I was watching a local awards ceremony some years ago, and my mum was almost screaming at the television, because of how the MC’s suit fit him. I was perplexed, as she went on and on about “how his pants don’t fit right”.
Now, as a ‘hard-back’ man, it’s finally clear to me; it wasn’t a fashion issue, but about awareness of one’s body type.
All of us have been guilty of letting our clothes wear us at some point in time. But some of us seem to take carnal pleasure in wearing clothes that don’t fit us properly. And no, this isn’t a jab at people who wear super-hero-like, tight pants and jerseys, and look like they stole their little sister’s clothes. You can wear close-fitted clothes if you find something that suits your body. Experimentation is cool, but it sucks that many are not too aware of when the experiment fails.
At UWI, I see a lot of bulky youngsters walking around in clothes that make them look like clumsy “Michelin men”. And I wonder… Why do we dress the way we do?
Popularity isn’t a privilege; it’s a job, and some people go to extreme lengths to fit in. Yes people, even after our teenage years, some of us still need to get that stamp of approval from our peers. Particularly among the youth, I don’t recall ever getting a reasonable response for a sudden change in their clothing. They change along with whatever is popular, and whatever is deemed acceptable by the so-called fashion gods. So for the sake of making a safe choice, some people change their wardrobe to something more ‘fly’… but not always suitable.
Changes in style aren’t usually drastic, but it’s clear that many of us have never actually considered what our personal style really is. Some people are inclined to look like their favourite artiste, actor or sports star. I suppose it’s natural that people would want to emulate someone whom they admire. But that doesn’t mean you can’t mesh emulation with considerations like, what would I look good in? What would reflect my personality?
Someone’s personal style suggests, at the very least, some sort of consistency. I have friends who dress conservatively, while there are others who have a more outrageous taste in clothing. That has been their mode of dress for years, despite the trends that come and go. Many people don’t dress for their body type, because firstly they don’t even know what their sense of style is or what image they want to project.
Some people know exactly what they want to project. The problem is… finding clothes to suit your style and your body isn’t that easy.
Last year, I went to a birthday party of one of my former co-workers. Another co-worker there was wearing a close-fitting jeans that was totally opposite to what he would usually wear. The man looked weird!
When I asked him what was up with his ‘kit’, he told me that that was the largest size in the store at the time, so he gave in. In T&T, it has become incredibly difficult to get our size in clothing, especially for women. Most clothing outlets do not cater for women who are out of the petite range. Then, most stores carry the same styles. If you’re stuck with shopping ‘in store’, sometimes you just accept what’s available, and buy a smaller size at the expense of your comfort. I know women who shop abroad or order their gear online, just to get some diversity and to find their size.
So when you see some women who look awkward in a top or jeans, this could be the reason why. Some chicks don’t intentionally wear love-handle-revealing tops. It isn’t always because they’re in denial about their size. So how does a person find the ideal look? Firstly, you’ve got to figure out your personal style. Secondly, find a way to get clothes that actually fit well, as hard as that may be for those of us who aren’t petite or ‘magga’, as they used to say long ago. Check out Facebook. Every year, you see new small business popping up, selling clothes and accessories. Maybe you can order clothes in your size from them.
There will always be those people who refuse to dress for their size, or buy a new outfit that they plan to wear, when they lose ten pounds in Neverary. Still, whenever you see someone who isn’t dressed for their body type, remember that there may be various factors involved – even if they are built like a rugby player, but are dressed like a figure skater.
Check out the rest of this week’s issue (31/10/11; Issue 79):
- Life after Anya: What will We do Now?
- Monkey see, Monkey do: What T&T can learn from other Countries
- Undercover Jealousy: Admitting is the First Step
- Anointed Fusion: SOS is More than Music
Look out for a new issue of Outlish.com every Monday!
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