On a recommendation, I recently borrowed The Science of Sexy from the library. Essentially, it’s a book of fashion advice for women. Some advice is general, but most of the book involves taking measurements to determine your body type and what looks best on you.
Half of the advice I already knew: “V-neck cuts are most flattering” and “dark, boot-cut jeans make your thighs look slimmer.”
But then it got personal, and I spent the other half going, “Screw you dude, I WEAR WHAT I WANT.” Example: short women shouldn’t wear tall, dark boots. Eff that.
According to the book, I am an Average Plus Rectangle: Average height (because 5′3″ is on the bottom end of ‘average,’ I guess), plus-sized, and rectangle-shaped. Unfortunately, none of the book’s suggestions for outfits involve Tshirts, my wardrobe staple–a privilege I claim as someone who works from home. The “must-have” for my shape is an empire-waist dress, which…no. No, thank you. I get enough people thinking I’m pregnant as it is.
Each body type has a list of “blessings” and “curses.” For mine, the first “blessing” is broad shoulders because apparently that makes one look taller. Oh, good. And the first “curse” is that I “lack curves in the places that make a feminine body.” Awesome.
To quote the book, ”As a plus-sized woman, your rectangle shape turns into more of an oval, as you carry more weight in your stomach. This means you have double the work when it comes to dressing sexy.“
Translation: Wear jeans and Tshirts all the time, because f*ck it.
Now, I don’t have a problem with people who really do want to use advice like this. Some people don’t want to bother thinking about fashion, and they’d rather have someone else tell them what to wear. There’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what you want to do.
As for me, I don’t like other people telling me what to do, and that includes clothing. “I DON’T CARE IF YOU THINK THIS PRINT IS TOO LOUD FOR MY SHAPE, I LOVE IT AND IT WAS ONLY $4 AT GOODWILL SO SCREW YOU.”
Another friend reminded me of a quote floating around online: Your body type is not a problem that needs to be solved by strategic clothing choices. “Life is way too short to wonder if ‘other people’ are going to find your clothing attractive, flattering, etc.,” she said. “If it makes you feel confident and pleased about your appearance, wear the thing!”
And that’s what I’ll be doing.