As you can probably tell, I love clothes. I think of what I wear as decorating myself – I love to be creative and to show my personality with the things that I put on my body.
BUT (and here it comes) I loathe fashion. Hate it (ever noticed how we have a style section rather than a “fashion” section?). Fashion magazines, for example, are designed to make people on normal salaries with normal bodies feel like shit. Every time I pick up a fashion magazine, I feel like I’m repeatedly bashing myself over the head with the not-good-enough stick. So here are the things I think are inherently wrong with the fashion industry right now (excluding the big questions of ethical production and that side of things – that’s a whole other post).
Clothes are designed for toddlers
No, seriously – the fashion industry churns out clothes for one body type only: straight up and down, completely proportional and (most of the time) entirely flat chested. Here’s a typical changing room dilemma for me:
“Should I get the ten or the fourteen? The fourteen will fit over my boobs but drown my waist. The ten will hug my waist but oh DEAR GOD it looks like I have one, giant, flat boob! The twelve is a happy compromise, I guess… It’s a bit too tight on the bust and a bit too loose on the waist but I guess… oh man I’M A FREAK *hysterical tears*.”
The truth is I’m not a freak – I’m a normal person with an average body type. Lots of women have a larger bust than the rest of their body. I barely know anyone in perfect proportion. In fact, most women I know hate shopping for that very reason. Yet the fashion industry continues to flood shops with identikit bizarre samples for the minority of people with a model’s body.
My personal style may not have changed much, but my size has! (That’s me on the left)
Need I say more? What exactly is the point of trends? The most stylish people I know are the ones who have cultivated their own, unique and personal style. When I polled my readers, 80% said they have their own sense of style and will only incorporate trend pieces if they fit in with their wardrobe.
That’s why I love shops like Anthropologie, Free People and Monsoon – I’m sure they have to subscribe to the trend monster in some way, but their own brand identities surpass the need to desperately fill their floors with the latest must-have item – when I think Anthropologie, for example, I think of a look – their distinct brand look, regardless of what’s in season. I wish all shops were like that. Love the whimsical, lace thing? There’s a shop for that. Love tulle skirts? There’s a shop for that. How great would that be? I reckon it would drastically increase sales AND that shopping would be a much easier and happier task if you know where to look for the type of thing you love.
The pressure to be perfect
It’s summer. I’d like to wear some sandals. Except holy shit, I haven’t had a pedicure. What about those shorts? Crap, time for a leg wax. For every item of clothing I even think about wearing, there’s another consideration – camel toe, VPL, armpit vaginas (seriously) and all the other disparaging, disheartening things the fashion media have invented to make us feel crap enough to buy more crap that’s supposed to make it better.
For me, wearing clothes is all about feeling good and projecting your personality through your own, unique sense of style – not squeezing yourself into badly fitting sample sizes and creating more anxiety. That’s just no fun.
So that’s what’s wrong with the fashion industry – let’s start a fashion revolution, one where individuality is celebrated, not quashed, clothes are made for all sorts of body shapes and you can find the stuff that you like in places that specialise. Wouldn’t that be grand? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment box!