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Here's why you should stop worrying about wearing 'flattering' clothes

Wear whatever you like!

WE’VE ALL READ about what clothes are “flattering” to your figure.

In this context, the term “flattering” typically applies to clothes that will make the woman look, well, slimmer.

Magazines will tell you that “pear-shaped” (ugh) women should opt for A-line skirts, while “curvy” women (double ugh) should go for pencil skirts.

flattering Source: InStyle

PastedImage-86795 Source: Huffington Post

But lately, there has been a degree of backlash to the term “flattering” and indeed all the fashion rules women are supposed to abide by.

For one thing, many women feel that the term teaches women that being slim is the only way to be beautiful.

Many of these “flattering” outfits are designed to hide or disguise women’s bodies. And as Mary Danielson Perry writes for Curvy Sewing Collective, fashion should be about accentuating or celebrating one’s assets as opposed to covering them up.

Fashion should not be about hiding one’s body. That’s the number one trap that plus size pattern designers fall into, after all, assuming that what the larger woman wants most is to cover up her body in swaths of fabric. What a depressing worldview! If every morning I woke up and thought, “Gee, what will hide my body best today?” I would never get dressed at all.

And besides, who decides what is and isn’t flattering?

Buzzfeed writer Kristen Chirico conducted an experiment in which she asked stylists to dress her in “flattering outfits” for her body. (Chirico is a size 16.)

Coming up on BuzzFeed: I went to a bunch of different personal shoppers and gave them one task: to dress me in flattering clothing. It turns out that flattering means something different to everyone. Source: itskristinchirico

And unsurprisingly, none of the stylists could agree on what was “flattering” for her body. Instead, she was dressed in everything from culottes to dowdy Mam jumpers.

Her conclusion? The term “flattering” is pretty much nonsense.

“Flattering” is at best a personal opinion, and at worst a sales tool aimed at getting you to buy things based on your insecurities — often a combination of both.

In other words, you should disregard whatever society tells you is “flattering” for your body, because fashion and style are completely subjective. 

All that matters is that you feel good with what you’re wearing.

If you want to wear high-waisted jeans, go for it. If you don’t feel comfortable wearing a crop top, ignore that trend and go for something you do like.

Either way, don’t feel obliged to conform to whatever is considered “flattering” for your body shape.

As Into Mind writes…

If somebody tells you what you’re wearing doesn’t flatter you, ignore them. Because it’s not your job to wear something that makes you look as close as possible to whatever’s currently considered ideal.


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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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