Sunday best: Could / couldn't wear

It's another working weekend for me, but I'm managing to squeeze in some small delights. Today, I'll nip down to the flower market and buy myself some pink roses and peonies and grab a coffee at my favourite coffee shop.

I read this thought-provoking piece on Friday (via TNI). I've never really (deeply) questioned the phrase "I couldn't wear that" though I've probably written it many times here about clothes I admired. I've also myself written many articles on the topic of flattering fit, what silhouettes complement what shape etc.

Occasionally - and I'm being completely honest here - I've run into a woman who lets herself wear what she wants, even if it's not flattering, and I've been confused about what I think. Where I used to perceive some kind of disconnect in self-awareness or judgement, I'm beginning to see, and love, the balls-to-the-walls braveness of it.

I myself am not balls-to-the-walls brave when it comes to letting myself wear what I love.

I don't just judge good fit. I judge how fat / thin / short / tall I look wearing clothes. I judge my body, my perceived assets and "problem" areas. I think about layers I could add or subtract to impact what I judge less favourable. I think about accessories and how they will draw the eye here and there.

I'm so deep inside all of this that I equate loving something with deeming it something I could wear. And I'm even judging what I can wear here in these Sunday bests. I used to think that made them more genuine; because I'm really thinking, "I could wear that". I never stopped to think what's behind that "could" - that it's very much about looking more or less like somebody with a different body.

I did have an outfit all ready for today's post, but it was something I could very much wear. Maybe instead, I'll think what I couldn't and wonder why.

Happy Sunday!


  1. Happy Sunday to you Jane!

    Your post reminds me of something that happens occasionally when I'm out with Anabela. We'll pass a window display of clothing and I'll ask her "What do you think of that dress?" In my mind, I may have noticed something interesting about the cut or the pattern or the colours but when I ask that question, Anabela hears "Would you wear that dress?"

    What that means exactly, I can't say, but the differences in perspective are interesting to me.

    1. Thanks Geoff - yes, it is interesting. It seems it's very hard for women to look at clothes without relating to their own bodies, often judgmentally. Knots!

  2. Yep, I do all of this. I still admire items that 'I couldn't wear' for whatever reason, but yes, when I'm considering buying something, I'll do all that head stuff and work out which flaws will be hidden and which features will be enhanced etc etc.

    (I'll be honest here, too. When I see someone wearing something ill-fitting, I don't see it as ballsy. I assume/judge that they don't have a clue as to what suits them and mark it up as a character flaw. Your attitude is much more generous.)

    1. Ahh - so interesting. I didn't say I admire people who wear things that are ill-fitting (I don't, fit is important), but that I admire those who wear what isn't necessarily the most flattering. Fit and flattery are two different things that I think we intertwine a lot!

      For example, a gathered mini-skirt may fit me just fine on the waist, but be unflattering because my legs are not my greatest asset. Similarly a Vivienne Westwood dress can fit a size 2 body, but many would argue that the cut of her clothes is better on a more curvaceous figure.

      I think we should all wear clothes that fit. But should we wear NOT wear something we love because we measure it as unflattering based on some external paradigm?

    2. Yes, you're right.

      This brings up the subjective nature of it all. I would say, wear what you love! Yet, simultaneously, I'd apply my own judgement of what suits that person's body. And maybe what I judge to be a physical flaw isn't what that person considers a flaw. Know what I mean?

      Like when someone describes you and it's completely different to how you view yourself. "Oh, you're so slim," etc etc and I think, "Me? No I'm not." (Using this as an example!)

    3. Yes - absolutely! It's all so very complex!

  3. For me, it comes down to how I feel. It's a mix of psychological and physical happiness or comfort. In general, I don't want to think about my clothing, they shouldn't require any fuss or adjusting. Aside from that, my definition of flattering is fairly loose and malleable.

    I hope you have Victoria Day off. I'm in the office but will have the afternoon free, at least.

    1. Thanks Erica - I've been working all weekend. It's really been a bummer. I'm so tired!!!

      But I'm glad to hear you have the afternoon off - enjoy it!


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