Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Who's Afraid of Summer Clothes?

I have had one of those strange strings of days when nothing and everything happens. I have taken part in a local craft fair, caught up with the current season of Lost, dealt with some serious plumbing issues at our house, gone shopping and bought things, suffered from headaches, heard from a long-lost friend, and written reading lists for myself, thanks to all the wonderful suggestions you guys have sent my way regarding my research on mental institutions. Thank you, and keep them coming!

The weather has been horrible for the past few days, and to my amazement, the temperature is supposed to go up this coming weekend, from the current 4 degrees celcius (40 F) to 24 celcius (76 F). This means I am already a) getting way too excited about having warm weather, and b) starting to stress out about the revealing nature of summer clothes and the difficulty of layering in warm weather.

Every summer I go through the same silly routine of worrying about my bony limbs and pale skin, and every summer I eventually end up dealing with my imperfections just like everyone else. Come the weekend, I'll be changing in and out of random ensembles for an hour, only to come up with an outfit I am unhappy with, walking my arms glued onto my sides so that no one can see how bony my elbows are. (If I could, I would insert a little unsettled emoticon rolling its eyes, right about here.)

There are times when I wonder whether there is something profoundly insecure about the female existence to begin with, something more than the pressure from the outside. Could it be in our genetic make-up to have to struggle with our body image so much? At the end of the day, we do know better. We know that our bodies are there to stay for as long as we live, and we know that the stuff that really counts in life is not tied into these fragile castles of sand our souls live in. Yet we spend so much time worrying about how others see us, and the only things that often stare back at us in the mirror are our imperfections. Why, I really don't know. I refuse to accept that my mind is brain-washed by our societal norms, even though it probably is. It is frustrating and silly, it insults my intelligence and my inner strength, and I wish I could somehow escape the whole ordeal, to be above it. Anyway, one of my warm-weather-contenders is this dress, which I bought at Target's Liberty of London collection (and yes, I felt too insecure to wear it for the photo - how sad is that!):

I also bought these Liberty-print-beauties:

and some costume jewellery at the local craft fair this past weekend:

And there we have it. For today at least, I can still dive into a huge wool sweater. Summer body image issues - here we come. Watch this space.

Norwegian wool sweater: second hand / UFF

Blue silk top worn as skirt: Zara

Tights: Noa Noa
Shoes: Kurt Geiger
Scarf: Chris's


Rad_in_Broolyn said...

Eek, I have warm weather clothes anxieties too. Not only about showing skin but also all that labor necessary to show skin (shaving, moisturizing, pedicuring). Plus, I sweat like a teenage boy. I wish we didn't have anxieties but I guess we hear so many messages that we should be anxious about our bodies, no matter what we look like, that it's hard to ignore. I am at greater peace with my body that I have been in the past, especially as my much younger sister (teenager) and I talk about her body image and I want to be a good role model.
I am going to embrace those microfishnets for when I want to be not hot but not completely bare legged. Yeay for nice weather later this week.

DVM said...

Is that a lily pad necklace? I'm so jealous! I can't believe the Target in Binghamton had that dress and the teapot. I've seen other Liberty of London things at the 2 Targets near me, but not the tea pot. I love it!

Rest assured that there are always others that wish for the things about you, that are the things you hate the most. Although my metabolism is not bad, I'd be happier if it was closer to yours. I'm not too fond of my derriere, but some would kill for it (it's a little too Kim K. or J-Lo for my taste (but unfortunately not as toned!)), and makes finding pants that don't highlight it a challenge--the reason why I usually wear black pants instead of tan or gray, and NEVER white). There are a lot of things that you can wear that look great because of your frame, that I could never wear. I would love to basically be able to wear anything and not have to worry if it makes me look fat (some cuts can make even non-heavy people look fat when they're not). I think with your shape you can wear a lot more things than someone who is carrying even just an extra five pounds (or in my case around 8!) can't wear. You just need to find those shape enhancing cuts!

I find that American clothes that are in odd sizes as opposed to even sizes always make me look heavier than I am (or think I am!). Have you tried odd-sized clothes?

mary said...

I don't know why we are always worring about out bodies either...It seems to come in waves for me. One day I'll feel great about myself with my head held high, and the next I'll want to bury my body under the biggest sweater and baggiest jeans. And I know that the only standard of beauty that I'm trying to achieve is my own. Strange eh? I guess we just kinda soldier through it until it eventually passes.

Jane W. said...

I bought the peacock
mug from the LoL collection, and it definitely takes the edge off of my morning.

I feel the same way about summer. It seems like retailers only offer short skirts, which are way out of my comfort zone. I'm a) self-conscious of my spider veins but b) too lazy to use self-tanner.

Eyeliah said...

That dress is gorgeous! And I totally feel you on the warmer weather nervousness, particualily the beach (as I like to live there in the summer). Every year I just try to ease in to it... slowly...

Charlotte said...

As if self-tanner was any help on spider veins. Mine are terrible, and the single reason I hate warm-weather clothes. Black tights just don't look, much less feel, great when it's 90 degrees out. Waves, your Liberty dress will become second nature by mid-June. You'll start out with a cardigan over it, and little by little. . .I might just have to go to Target in search of one of those teacups.

tigerteacher said...

I feel quite the opposite about summer fashions for both myself AND others! I think everyone, of all sizes, shapes and complexions, seems to look cuter in summer. The colors are more exciting, more various and more flattering to people than standard dark winter fare. I love wearing skirts and dresses best and it's great to be able to do that without being chilly or windblown (though I'm glad I'm a thrifter, because the skirt lengths in stores right now are a tad too short for my comfort.) Which brings me to another thing I love about summer clothing - the comfort that comes from the unencumbered feeling of not being saddled with bulky coat, layers, scarves, hats, gloves to keep track of or tights to match and coordinate and hope don't leave you visibly pinched at the waist - just pull on a floaty dress, some open toes and a bag and you're set. I have my own figure anxieties but I do feel that summer fashions make the most of the things I like about my figure and the carefree feeling that comes with wearing summer clothes really makes it my favorite season for dressing. And, for what it's worth, I'd wager that whatever the season, EVERYONE looks cuter than they feel. :-)

Eline said...

Oh, it's so strange to me to read about insecurities you might have because you seem so self-confident but also incredibly beautiful to me (I hope I don't come off as creepy now). I can understand the whole insecurities during summer. I think what helps to fight this is continually looking at your supposed flaws and also (stranegly enough) post photos or show photos in which you don't try to hide these things. It's confronting but the more you see these you'll come to see there's absolutely nothing wrong with you after some time. Have you ever looked back on teenage photos of yourself and tried to remember what you hated about your body or that photo? Don't you suddenly realise that not only were these worries completely futile, they are also hardly noticeable. I think society is so harsh on women in their looks that insecurities about the most silly things are embedded in us and it's so hard to get them out... I'm pretty damn sure it's not inherent in women's dna or something though. Just look at the media and its crazy ideals...

vesperbeauty said...

I know how you feel about body insecurities - we've all got our sensitive points, right? For me, I am so relieved that flowy/trapeze tops are in style, because I'm totally paranoid about shirts that cling to my (not so flat) stomach.

Great Liberty dress (I might have to go look for that one!) and you have the best luck at vintage shopping.