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Sometimes, I make clothes look bad. I think.

(66 Posts)
ToastedTeacakes Mon 08-Jul-13 16:14:21

Does anyone else ever experience this? Please tell me that I am not alone and there is a solution for it!

Backstory: Suffered a lot this year so far - grief, loss, health scare, sexual assault, etc, so I am wondering if it might be a matter of self esteem. I am 5"4, size 8, blonde and apparently attractive (so some idiots say). So I can't identify what exactly is wrong so obviously this is a superb first world problem. I appreciate that. I am also 39 yrs old and haven't noticed much in the way of aging yet. So it all looks good on paper, doesn't it?

But just lately I am at a loss to ever feel good in clothes. I have some lovely designer and high street stuff and have tended towards quality over quantity when shopping these past few years, so have amassed a fair few nice things. I do not have too many clothes or to few.

Body shape is slim with high-ish waist, some curve to thigh area, not much arse but high hips make me feel like arse is whopping. Also have 32 chest but don't much care about that.

So today I wore an Isabel Marant linen tee with loose fit old baxter jeans and nice sandals. Saw myself in shop mirror and gasped. I looked like a sack of friggin spuds! I seem to make everything look shabby and shit. Is this a common issue or am I at a sort of low point here?
I know it sounds indulgent and pathetic but it is bothering me and I feel kind of bad when getting dressed. I DO count my blessings, I really do, but something is off here.

Are some people just made not to suit clothes? Should I just sod it all off and go to primark for a tee and sweat pants and give up? I even have a Burberry mac, which I adore, and even in that I feel like a spud sack.

Am i just doing it wrong? And if so, how do you get it right? How do you feel better about this type of thing?

Sorry this is a colossal whinge, but....

ToastedTeacakes Mon 08-Jul-13 21:09:55

It must be my faulty thinking - for I am now about to urge people to ignore the photos as they are possibly lying! I am sure some pics make me look better than I really do.

It is lovely to hear nice things said about us, and I am extremely flattered (and a bit embarrassed). I just don't see anything that good in the mirror. I wonder if i have developed too critical an eye.....or else I am transferring my inner issues on to my physical form.

MarshaBrady Mon 08-Jul-13 21:13:57

I think you should buy tops that fit your shape and you can tuck in. You have a great figure, so no need to hide it.

And that's it. The one change.

I think you are being too critical because you do look good, but hey everyone does every now and again.

Whoknowswhocares Mon 08-Jul-13 21:15:23

I don't think any of us see the person others see reflected back at us in the mirror. We are conditioned to seek out the imperfections and focus on those alone, blurring the up overall impression. I know I do!
When we look at others we don't do that.
How we stop doing that though, I have no idea. confused

ToastedTeacakes Mon 08-Jul-13 21:20:55

this should probably be in the psychological/mental health section confused

but i did want to focus on whether my clothing choices/style were working against me. it's good to figure out where the issue is coming from though. i agree with what you are all saying. and appreciate how gentle you've been!

KatyS36 Mon 08-Jul-13 21:23:27

I think I can relate a little to how you are feeling.

I had a horrible pregnancy with severe pelvic girdle pain (in a wheelchair) and severe carple tunnel (wrists in splints could barely do anything). Both improved post pregnancy but neither got to properly functional level until three years and a lot of physio and rehab later, along with some super frightening health scares.

I've just turned 40, like you look younger, and whilst I'm bigger (12-14) with an hourglass figure, think I scrub up pretty well. Similar wardrobe in spending better.

But..... I become super picky about my appearance. Almost as a case of having been through so much (relatively, agree with first world viewpoint here) thinking if I look good people will think I'm pulled together and a proper valid person.

Whilst I'm not having a full blown crisis I am worried about being judged as a failure if I don't look my super shiney best all the time, which is tough to achieve.

Does any of this sound familar - apologies if I've come from the wrong perspective here.


santamarianovella Mon 08-Jul-13 21:24:04

dont judge yourself too harshly,
you look very nice,you have your own unique style, a very left bank boho kinda a style,which is very coveted,
we all have certain things that we cant do, i think marsha makes a good point. knowing what suits you is is ten times better than buying things that dont for the sake of just having them.

ToastedTeacakes Mon 08-Jul-13 21:46:29

KatyS36 Thanks for sharing that, I'm sorry you had such a tough time, too. I wonder how this kind of stuff progresses, because we don't see it coming, do we? It's interesting how it can become so tied up with our appearance...the internal stress and pain, etc.

My case is a bit different, I think, mostly because I never think about what others make of me. It never seems to worry me, and I tend to doubt people care how I am dressed anyway, but maybe that's because I work freelance and lead a very sedate lifestyle, I don't know. I feel picky, as you do, but it is like I am spiting myself, as if I am annoyed with myself for not appealing to my own expectations. I pretty much accept my body and face and can definitely count my 'blessings', but once the clothes go on, I am really weird about it.

I suppose it says a lot when I am actually shocked to hear people say I look good!

santamarianovella I really want to know what left bank style is now! grin

ToastedTeacakes Mon 08-Jul-13 21:47:24

And i definitely need to locate which items in my wardrobe make me feel lousy. I once tried to banish skinny jeans but it didn't last. We are like lovers who argue but can't just leave..

YoniTime Mon 08-Jul-13 21:55:44

I can relate. Whenever I've went through some really tough shit or trauma, I also felt like I looked like crap.
It's the old cliche isn't it, if you feel good you look good or at least feel happier and more positive about yourself, and your looks. So if you feel down, and have had your confidence shaken you don't feel like you look good or can't see it. This might sound stupid but please take care of yourself! What you need right now is healing, not judgement of how aesthetically pleasing you are.

Ps) Wow! I've been admiring your blog before, didn't know it was yours!

santamarianovella Mon 08-Jul-13 22:03:03

toasted its rive gauche, its a very parisian sense of style, very much like the way jane birkin and her daughter charlotte dress .which judging by your pics are your style!

ToastedTeacakes Mon 08-Jul-13 22:03:12

Oh, and Gillybobs thanks for those links. I think I am a light summer, but haven't seen a consultant.

My colours - probably light summer.
My lifestlye - fairly low key, work from home, don't party often!
My personal life - Single for 3 yrs after 20 yr relationship. Didn't try to have kids after 2 miscarriages. So I am fairly independent (sp?), but satisfied so far with my lot.

I am now asking myself why the hell do I care about clothes.
I guess most of us here do. It's supposed to be fun!

ToastedTeacakes Mon 08-Jul-13 22:06:10

Yoni I know. I will work on this. And I'm glad you like the blog - it is mostly reblogs though! I used to run a personal one but got fed up with it.

santamarianovella I love that type i of thing, but would never have related that to my own style for some reason. I always see them as doing the masculine thing so well, which I can never do! Had not heard it termed that way before. When I googled it took me to lots of breton tees, haha!

babybarrister Mon 08-Jul-13 22:07:47

Better underwear?smile

santamarianovella Mon 08-Jul-13 22:21:43

thats the misconception about it,the breton tee is associated with the left bank,when in reality its more than that,its a very laid back and bohemian style, isabel marant designs are inspired by this kind of style.
you may not feel that you are this kind of style,but i think a lot of people do,which is a very good thing!

ToastedTeacakes Mon 08-Jul-13 22:22:35

yes! bras! if i wear the correct band it bugs my skin (have a few moles in that area). if i go bigger it slips about.

Scarletohello Mon 08-Jul-13 22:23:01

I think how you feel on the inside definitely affects how we see ourselves and it sounds like you have had a very difficult time lately, I'm sorry to hear that..

Something that really helped me and gave me a lot of confidence was seeing a colour/style consultant. They not only tell you what colours suit you but also what styles, prints, make up and jewellry that works for you. I had it done ten years ago and I can now go into a shop and know what to look for and ignore what is currently 'fashionable' if it won't suit mne. It's saved me a fortune in both time and money. Could be a great boost..!

Amazinggg Mon 08-Jul-13 23:41:00

I echo what others have said re you are clearly more gorgeous than 75% of the female population, and have a natural sense of style, combined with an interest in clothes. Maybe you are putting too much pressure on yourself due to what you've been through and when you look in the mirror you see weakness. If that rings possibly true, perhaps exercise would help - start to feel physically strong, and then when you look in the mirror there are no tricks. You won't look much different shapewise, but your aura will multiply in size and you will look (to yourself) so much better and stronger. I went through a similarly tough time a few years ago and swimming and running regularly as a discipline really helped - I'm sooo not a workout person but something about the freedom of it, the control over my body and the strength it gave me, translated into a more even state of mind, better posture, more confidence and so on.

Bit waffly but hope that makes some sense, and good luck. Enjoy clothes - life's too short not to, and you're gifted with a figure to show them off on.

Toasted are you in the UK?

I had a couple of moles on my bra line removed on the NHS. They rubbed and caught. The doctor whipped them off with a local, no scarring and much more comfortable now.

ToastedTeacakes Tue 09-Jul-13 08:48:03

This thread has been more than helpful, thanks very much everyone.

I am coming to bevel that this is definitely an emotional/internal issue, so I appreciate the clothing suggestions, and am very relieved not to have to consider immediate, colossal wardrobe reinvention! I'm just going to have to take it slowly, and work my way through it.

Have always wondered about the colour consultant stuff, but not sure if I would do it. Maybe I ought to have a read of older thread in here about it...I like the idea, but dread the possibility of having a wardrobe stuffed with pink and lilac!

I also like the idea of becoming more physically 'strong'. I do feel weak, both physically and mentally this past few months, and had toyed with the idea of yoga (always fancied it), so may give it some more thought. I don't currently have anyone to join me in the daytime (and I tend to work evenings), so I keep putting it off.

Have had a mole removed in past too, it was a doddle, so may consider another. I always forget about it for some reason.

ToastedTeacakes Tue 09-Jul-13 08:48:25

Bevel?? haha, I meant believe.

Gillybobs Tue 09-Jul-13 09:01:03

Glad the thread is helping
It's a common misconception that the colour analyst will tell you to wear pink and lilac forever. No matter what your season you can wear virtually any colour, it's the tone and depth that's important. Take a leap of faith on it, I know more than 20 people who've been and every single one of them found it's 100 quid invested and then you have that knowledge for life
Good luck

YoniTime Tue 09-Jul-13 09:47:00

Agree with Amazinggg's post.
Yoga is a great idea! It's good for both mind and body, I've found very helpful. I hope you're able to start with yoga, since you've wanted to try it before too.

libertychick Tue 09-Jul-13 09:53:01

Toasted yoga is brilliant for helping you appreciate your body - makes you feel very strong. I don't do it often enough but every single time I do it I feel exhilarated and at peace with myself and the feeling of being in touch with and happy with my body lasts for days <now I am wondering why the hell I don't do it more often!!>

As others have said, you look great and have a fantastic figure. I frequently catch a glimpse of myself in shop windows/mirrors and think WTF! Can you try and say something positive to yourself when you have negative thoughts? The more often you let the internal critical voice go unchecked the more you believe it. Stop it in it's tracks!

BabCNesbitt Tue 09-Jul-13 10:37:21

Toasted, please don't apologise for posting in this section! I think a lot of people who post here (myself included) are really asking how they can feel better about themselves, rather than just how they can look better. It's just that for women, it's more likely that the first thing we focus on for changing when we feel crap is the external, because we're often placing ourselves in the position of some hypothetical other, trying to figure out how they'd evaluate us. We're told that retail therapy can solve a multitude of ills (it can occasionally grin). But afterwards, we're left dealing with the same internal things. (When I had PND, shopping and thinking about clothes were a disturbingly effective distraction from what was going on in my head!)

FaddyPeony Tue 09-Jul-13 10:54:27

Hi Toasted, I've seen a few of your posts before and have looked at your beauuutiful tumblr.

Just wanted to add my voice to the others - you're so so pretty and I love your style. And actually I don't think you need to change it at all. I think you have it figured out. I am betting that you have a very good eye and that you work on a very visual level when it comes to styling - you see it as art? (Sorry if I'm projecting!)

Anyway, I'm quite similar to you in terms of my height and shape (a little bit shorter) and I have similar niggles about the skinny-fat thing. Also, I know what it is to buy beautiful clothes, to feel excited about them and more in control when you own them...only for that sense of excitement and control to slip into dismay when you catch sight of yourself in a shop window. I do think that state of mind plays a huge part in all of this, and I am aware that when I'm in a black mood literally nothing will feel right on me. So give yourself a break.

P.S. Don't ever get rid of the skinnies!

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