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Womens' clothes no.2

(53 Posts)
Ava6 Wed 08-Nov-17 08:56:50

I'm starting a new thread on this because I can't find the old one.

Becoming a radfem has really dampened my previously unabashed love of fashion. I've never done high heels or anything too restrictive or skimpy; have always detested bras and synthetic materials (I can;t handle due to sensitive Aspie skin), but I now I look at all female clothing critically.

My mother ruined her and my lives for the past few years in part due to wearing stilettos when very young. She quit after a couple of years and they were only moderate height in her day, but it still did enough damage to need bunion removal surgery and give her terrible arthritis in middle age. She's been living in excruciating chronic pain with limited mobility for years now. The kicker is that I'm disabled and she's my sole carer. Not only is she not able to care for me in full, but for many years the pain worsened her mental health and she took it out on me and the stress probably contributed to my current disability. So I can't even look at stilettos calmly (especially the ugly modern monstrosities).

Swimwear positively drives me nuts. I shopped at a granny store to buy my swimsuits so I could find something with decent coverage. Even that's relative because the boylegs ride up in the back. And then there're the bra cups...Who the hell needs them in a swimsuit?? They're constrictive, burn into my skin and a nightmare to take on and off. A woman can't even go in the water without having to make her boobies look lovely for the male gaze.

The constant adjustment required when wearing female attire is bonkers. I suffer from debilitating chronic fatigue so every movement tires me and takes away from the very limited energy reserve I have per day. I've made a plan to shop in mens' deparments whenever I need anything comfy. I already buy mens' socks and some shoes.

formerbabe Wed 08-Nov-17 09:05:44

And then there're the bra cups...Who the hell needs them in a swimsuit?? They're constrictive, burn into my skin and a nightmare to take on and off. A woman can't even go in the water without having to make her boobies look lovely for the male gaze.

I bought my swimsuit specifically because it had bra cups/in built support. I did this because I need the support and it is more comfortable for me. If it is more comfortable for you not to have that, then that's absolutely fine too. I certainly didn't buy it to make myself more attractive to random men in the swimming pool.

Zoll Wed 08-Nov-17 09:07:45

For swimming, try jammers and a tankini top (and rash guard over if it's cold). It's what a lot of competitive and wild swimmers wear now.

Ava6 Wed 08-Nov-17 09:11:58

Basically, womens' clothes are designed for the male gaze above all other qualities. When you look at female sportswear and much of the sleepwear you just wanna weep, cause even something as basic as sleep and exercise comfort must be sacrificed to 'sexiness' for women. You can't even lift up your arms in standard women's tops and bottoms without putting you stomach on display. I feel so sorry for female tennis players jumping around in ridiculous tight mini-dresses when they are world-class athletes playing one of the most demanding + prestigious sports out there.

I found summer a really depressing time when I was at uni: on the one hand there were young girls walking around in underpants that pass for shorts these days, and on the other hijabi women sweltering in the heat. Flipsides of the same coin...

Ava6 Wed 08-Nov-17 09:15:13

"I certainly didn't buy it to make myself more attractive to random men in the swimming pool."

Exactly. But I honestly can't find swim tops or suits without cups.

formerbabe Wed 08-Nov-17 09:15:32

You can't even lift up your arms in standard women's tops and bottoms without putting you stomach on display

That's true...tops are way too short on me and I'm only 5'2"! I think this is more to do with manufacturers trying to maximize profit by using less material...hence why 3/4 length sleeves are all over the place.

Ava6 Wed 08-Nov-17 09:20:21

Thanks for the swimwear recommendations. It makes sense that the more endowed women need support in it (just like they need bras), but why is it a standard feature in general?

formerbabe Wed 08-Nov-17 09:23:57

Thanks for the swimwear recommendations. It makes sense that the more endowed women need support in it (just like they need bras), but why is it a standard feature in general?

I find cheaper clothes shops sell swimwear without support...I guess it cheaper to create a swimsuit without all the extra engineering/material/labour needed to create inbuilt support.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Wed 08-Nov-17 09:25:12

Humans, like most other species on the planet, are programmed to attract a mate, reproduce and die.

Perhaps those young "girls" (at uni surely as a feminist you should realise they're young women) want to attract a partner. Surely they have the right to do that? Why is that "depressing".

Honestly sometimes I think no man can ever put down women or invalidate their choices as much as other women do.

Zoll Wed 08-Nov-17 09:29:59

It's not a standard feature of sports costumes tbh - some women even buy special sports bras/cups to go under a sports costume because many don't come with breast support (or to cover prominent nipples). It's really for fashion swimming costumes, the whole shapewear, internal bra thing. Your basic sports cossie will not have cups. Slazenger, Adidas, Zoggs etc will do a few cossies with cups but mostly not.

I do agree with you, actually, that mostly women's clothes seem designed to make women feel awkward and constrained. I don't buy those clothes myself but I do see what you are describing in the world. Just feel compelled to Be Factually Accurate about the swimming stuff hahah oh dear.

SnugglySnerd Wed 08-Nov-17 09:33:21

I don't think all women's clothing is for men to enjoy at all.
I asked for pj's for Xmas last year. DH bought me lovely warm cosy checked ones. They are definitely not secure but they are what he knew I would wear. He has previously bought me lingerie too but he's my husband. He's supposed to find me sexy!

SnugglySnerd Wed 08-Nov-17 09:34:29

*sexy not secure!

formerbabe Wed 08-Nov-17 09:35:24

When I was younger, I used to love getting dressed up. I loved high heels, dresses, make up and all that jazz (still do, but I'm older/fatter/have young DC!) However, in the 1990s, grunge was in! I remember shops being full of baggy jeans, shirts etc. I hated stuff like that and really struggled to find clothing I wanted to wear.

formerbabe Wed 08-Nov-17 09:39:09

Agee with SnugglySnerd. Shops are full of pajamas which are completely unsexy! Long legs/sleeves/fleecy and buttoned up to the neck! Especially at Christmas time.
It's also perfectly fine to want to buy sexier nightwear/lingerie.

Zoll Wed 08-Nov-17 09:39:15

Oh I wonder if you've read Chapter 7 of Backlash: Dressing the Dolls: The Fashion Backlash . It's very interesting as it goes into some of the economics of this.

Orangealien Wed 08-Nov-17 09:40:07

I don't think women's clothing is for the male gaze. Another woman is far more likely to remember what you wore than a man. Men are renowned for not noticing haircuts and new clothes. Perhaps women think they are dressing up for men, but in reality most men would prefer a woman who gets ready quicker than a woman who has spent an hour preening needlessly.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Wed 08-Nov-17 09:43:34

Re sleepwear unless you are exceptionally tall any of Marks and Sparks, Cath Kidston or Brora sell proper pyjamas. I'm sure other shops do too.

As for bras in swimsuits I much prefer them for the holding things in and support.

It is a bit extreme to say "girls" (I assume you mean young women) have nothing to wear except micro shorts or a now a niqab.

Sarahjconnor Wed 08-Nov-17 09:50:14

I swim most days in my speedo full coverage legsuit and a swimming cap. It doesn't stop men starring though and a particularly unpleasant specimen was asked to leave the watching area of the pool recently after I complained he'd been there everyday for 3 weeks drinking his coffee and pointing his phone at the pool.

Sarahjconnor Wed 08-Nov-17 09:52:18

Re cups in swimsuits - my dm has tiny boobs but wears these as her nipples really stick out after feeding many babies and she hates it - jokes about 'rude to point' etc so she wears a cup.

trainedopossum Wed 08-Nov-17 09:54:52

Sorry to hear you and your mother suffer from chronic health issues. Not to take anything away from your views but fyi (and if it helps with blame/anger) bunions can be exacerbated by heels, tight shoes etc but the tendency is largely genetic due to inherited foot issues (flat/low arches/hypermobile joints).

My gran's feet were twisted beyond recognition and she blamed it on her shoes but her children also have bunions (including my uncle, whom I have never seen in heels). My mum has always been very careful with footwear and her bunions are disfiguring.

I more or less lived in Birkenstocks and the like and I am on my way to having them too. Some people just get them.

YetAnotherSpartacus Wed 08-Nov-17 09:54:57

Re sleepwear unless you are exceptionally tall any of Marks and Sparks, Cath Kidston or Brora sell proper pyjamas. I'm sure other shops do too

Last time I tried some on in M&S the damn things only came up to my hips. I like ones that come up to my waist and which are nice and roomy.

For swimmers, try those designed for swimming rather than swanning. They do tend to be more practical and simple. I detest both cups and pads. I swim for exercise and want to do the opposite of attracting the male gaze.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Wed 08-Nov-17 13:22:33

I detest both cups and pads. I swim for exercise and want to do the opposite of attracting the male gaze

Are you suggesting that anyone who prefers a swimsuit with support/cups is choosing it to attract the male gaze?

Elendon Wed 08-Nov-17 15:11:37

No bra support in the world is going to defy gravity and keep your boobs in pre 25 years old shape. If you have big boobs they will sag in your fifties and beyond. Lifting them up just means your chest looks wrinkly (I have 34dd cups, because I'm post menopausal). Best to use proper stance, a good vest and have good abdomen muscles. I use non wired bras anyway.

A good swimsuit is one that is comfortable. If you don't feel comfortable in swimsuits with bra inserts then don't buy them. There are a lot of men out there who swim topless and quite frankly have bigger boobs than me.

noeffingidea Wed 08-Nov-17 16:02:04

Ava6 I just bought a swimsuit without bra support from sports direct, it's a slazenger one that cost a tenner. They do them with the 'legs' as well, I buy that one for my daughter who is autistic.
As for pyjamas, we're both primark girls. We're not very tall at all though.
I disagree that women's clothing is made for the male gaze. I don't think most men are fans of trackie bottoms, leggings, long baggy tops, ugg boots, etc etc, all of which we are free to wear.

IndominusRex Wed 08-Nov-17 16:16:25

Agree primark/m&s for PJs, sports direct or decathlon for swimming cossies. I also wear men's jeans (with ginormous houseful pockets) as I'm tall.

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