*You can also find this article in Lancaster University’s newspaper SCAN @ scan.lusu.co.uk*
We all have those problem areas, those parts of our bodies we love to hate. But when it’s something that you can’t change or hide, like your height or the size of your chest, the problem becomes an everyday struggle, as does dressing to suit your body shape.
At 5ft 11, my friend has the daily struggles of too short jeans, coats with too short arms, and dresses that end up being too short. She advocates high-waisted jeans to solve the first problem, or Hollister’s as they seem to work for her. I’m always jealous of people with long legs, but I can imagine how it must be tough to buy clothes.
It’s definitely easier to not be thin anymore, and finally (!!!) the world is allowing women of all sizes to dress in gorgeous clothes, rather than practically forcing them to shy away from what most women wear. Missguided and ASOS have great plus size ranges that really allow for the choice of many styles within the ranges. I have bought the odd thing before, particularly ASOS’s uber-comfy jumpers, just to be oversized. Both the quality and fit are great.
As a short person myself at 5ft and a half, I struggle to find skirts, dresses and trousers or jeans that don’t drown me. One friend swears by Topshop Petite, however always complains that the skirts are just a little too short. The only problem I have with both their Tall and Petite ranges is that neither have enough choice. You can’t get all the same garments, and okay that would be ridiculous to expect but at the same time, it feels unfair to not have the same choice as people with an “average” height.
Within “curvy”, I’m encompassing those of you who are large-breasted, have big hips or a “big” bum. I think we all know that having any one of these, or all in conjunction, causes problems when you go out shopping. High street brands and designers just do not cater for women with more shapely bodies. I’m not saying that every shop should start a plus-size range (a size 16 is the average in Britain so for that to be plus size…I’ll leave that thought with you…), but it would help if brands like Topshop cut their pieces to allow for boobs, to flatter big hips, and to not cinch in where it is unnecessary, and not flattering for any human body. River Island’s pieces cater much better for curvy women as do Dorothy Perkins and H&M, so I’d suggest heading there to match your needs.
Until this, I hadn’t given much thought to the effect your skin colour has on your clothes. But, I consciously know that I choose clothes depending on how they look against my skin colour, not just by how they suit my body shape. As quite a pale girl, I know that I do not suit nude shades, I’ve tried and tried but they have never looked “ok” against my skin. Cool tones like blues suit my skin tone, as do fiery colours like reds and mustard. In my opinion, the warmer the skin tone, the more shades you can wear. The darkest of skin tones suit bold colours like orange and aqua, take Lupita Nyong’o for example! My best advice for deciding what clothes match your skin tone is to just try anything until you decide it doesn’t look right. Trust me, you’ll know. And if you’re unsure, always ask an opinion before buying.
I hope these suggestions help you and that you identify with some of these common “fashion” struggles we face everyday. Fashion brands need to find an equilibrium because our bodies aren’t about to change to suit their requirements.