A mid-week reminder that, sometimes, it's good to break the fashion rules
If I have to read one more clickbait-y "I Tried (Insert Thing Here), And (Insert Result Here) Happened" post on the Internet, I might jab a stiletto into my eyeball.
I clicked on this Buzzfeed story posted Tuesday night, "I Dressed So You Could See My Visible Belly Outline For A Week And It Was Scary," and it provoked all sorts of thoughts about fashion and body image.
The idea is pretty striking, if not groundbreaking. The writer, Kristin Chirico, starts by saying this: "While it's become socially acceptable to have fat deposits in your a** and boobs, it's a (mostly) unspoken rule that you must do your best to hide your belly fat."
And she isn't totally wrong. As a society, we're big on the sort of flat bellies that Spanx help create. Merely by bringing up such a "rule," Chirico's post made me think about why so many of us feel uncomfortable dressing in ways that aren't 100 percent flattering according to whatever body image standards are in vogue at the moment. Let us not forget that, half a century ago, cone bras meant pointy busts were all the rage.
Chirico's approach isn't a foolproof Guide for All Women. The hook, to dress without hiding her not-flat belly for a week, seems like just that at times: a hook for a story. There's also the fact that not all of us work at the millennial-dominated offices of Buzzfeed, where crop tops and "athleisuresque" are appropriate work attire. Letting your heart guide your wardrobe shouldn't mean dressing inappropriately or sloppy. And not everyone has the confidence of Chirico, a plus-size woman who is clearly comfortable experimenting with her clothing and not afraid to draw attention to her body. (See also this and this.)
But the post is an interesting mid-week reminder that, sometimes when we forget about the rules of fashion and try new things, the results can be surprising in a really positive way.
Chirico makes a point of saying she assumed she would return most of the pieces she bought in which "my belly was on display." Turns out, she liked how she looked and felt in a lot of the outfits. A lot of the supporters in the Divas' neverending Stitchfix debate (Team Too Expensive) say they like the service because it sends them clothing they never would think to try on then end up loving.
In the spirit of my college fashion icon, the fictional character Carrie Bradshaw, you do you. Here is a photo of her wearing a belt across her bare flesh to remind you to take chances, be bold, pair mismatching patterns if the spirit moves you:
Just please, keep the "athleisuresque" limited to the gym.