What happens when we start to dress for ourselves and our bodies instead of what we think we “should be” wearing.
My mother is brilliant at being a mother. We spoke recently on some of the strategies that she implemented as a part of my development when I was little. One of these strategies was to involve me in decision making, including what I would wear that day. It didn’t take long for me to become a picky dresser and proudly showing off each day, my 3 year old OOTD’s. The irony is that, in my own opinion, I picked questionable outfits. These outfits included, but not limited, to neon green onesies with a sweatshirt that had clouds and cows on it. Things were simpler back then because I didn’t know what it meant to want the approval of others with what I wore. I just wore what I wanted! I didn’t know what it meant to conform to dress like others so that I would belong (with the exception of annoyingly wanting to wear everything my older sibling did, but let’s be real, which younger sibling didn’t?). My 3 year old self didn’t know what trends were.
Trends are a fascinating concept because they are also unpredictable. Some trends make sense and others make us scratch our heads – i.e. fanny packs (which I may or may not have 3 browser tabs open deciding between colours and textures as I’m typing this). Looking back, some trends were fun and silly, like super baggy jeans in the 90’s and blocky skater shoes, but others weren’t as healthy for our self image. As someone who grew up with more of a pear shaped body, trends like the low rise skinny jean weren’t the most flattering on me, but I also wanted to wear them to fit in. Little did I know, the 3 year old who once didn’t care about what others thought I wore would grow into an adult with body image issues. In this article, we’re going to explore the way trends impact us and our possible love/hate relationship with denim.
Alright, it’s time to spill the jeans
Okay! I’ll admit it, as you may have been able to guess already, I have people pleasing tendencies and along with that comes an unhealthy attachment with the desire to fit in or have the approval of others. As much as fitting in involves speaking in certain ways, going to certain places, or doing certain activities, dressing in certain ways is a HUGE part of fitting in.
I’m not proud to admit it, but in my late teens and early twenties, I thought in order for me to have sex appeal, I needed to wear specific brands or at least dress like the models in their ads. And although I loved the style of their jeans and how they looked on those models, many of those jeans did not love me back. They made my legs look short & chunky and when buttoned up, it emphasized my muffin top. I hated how I felt about my body when I was in them.
But brands are not totally to blame
One of my favourite things about fashion is that it’s deeply personalized. What works for one person may not work for another, but that’s a good thing! This kind of diversity allows us to appreciate and celebrate the differences in individuals and their bodies. The hard part is that we don’t know what we don’t know and sometimes we’re not able to visualize something different without the help of someone else. So we default to what we see, we default to trends.
Oksana, one of our incredibly talented and stylish co-founders, hosts all of the consultations in Toronto out of our beautiful studio. She had an incredible experience last year with a well known body positivity influencer, we’ll call her “E”. We had the privilege of making E a stunning tuxedo with leopard print lapels and custom chain closure. Now this woman isn’t just a body positivity influencer, she’s also a fashion icon in her own right. When designing the trousers for the tuxedo, E wanted Oksana to make them a skinny leg because that was the trend at that time. However, from a stylistic perspective, a straight leg would look far more stunning for such a badass suit.
This put Oksana at a fork in the road. Does she risk disagreeing with E, possibly offending her, while doing the right thing of presenting E with the better option or let E have her way because, hey, she’s the client and asked for it? One of Oksana’s best qualities is definitely her courage and integrity. She did the right thing, spoke up, asked E to trust her and that it was going to turn out better than she’d think. A few weeks later, E had a fitting for her new tuxedo and let’s just say there’s no other way she could see herself in a tuxedo now. This outfit ended up on a magazine cover and is one of our proudest moments to date.
This story reminds me that we all need another perspective sometimes and that there’s nothing wrong with asking for help with styling. This is why we provide not only custom garments for women, we also provide closet audit, personal styling and personal shopping services! Brands are not totally to blame because they offer what they offer and it works for some people. Which is why It is also our duty to seek out what works for us and more often than not this means a custom piece of clothing.
Seize the day – Carpe Denim
One of the hardest things to get right is denim. The fit of a straight leg denim is different from the fit of a skinny leg denim, which is different from the fit of a flared leg denim. So even if you found a brand for a pair of skinny denim that fits you perfectly, they may not have an option for a straight leg that fits. Then there’s the whole thing of how fit radically changes with different fabric compositions. When it fits right, denim highlights all the right places and hugs you where it should, making you feel sexy AF. When it doesn’t fit right, well I won’t bother describing what that’s like because we’ve all been there. This is why I have a love/hate relationship with denim and I wouldn’t be surprised if you did too.
Worry not! I didn’t just bring this up to surface suppressed emotions of frustration. We have a solution. Introducing SEWT’s made-to-order denim!
We know that you’re going to want to have different fits of denim in your wardrobe to go with different styles of outfits, so your very first denim order includes your own fit sample. This sample will be taken from your body measurements. You will get to hop on a virtual appointment with us and we will walk you through how to get the most accurate body measurements. Then from that fit sample, we can help you design the perfect skinny, straight or flared leg denim for your body proportions. This is a game changer that we hope will turn your love/hate relationship with denim to a love/adore/can’tlivewithout relationship with denim.
Want to learn more about our services? Click on the button below to see our offerings.
Interested in ordering a pair of denim from our website? Go to our “shop” section and select custom denim and the rest will be history.
Together, let’s bring back the trend of not following trends. Let’s walk down the street with a strut because we’re wearing the fit that really compliments us, in garments made for our bodies. Let’s celebrate different body types and embrace the body we were born with. What once may have brought us insecurity will now bring us beaming confidence. Let’s seize the day!