As I was perusing the September issue of Vogue, cutting out looks to further inspire my fall/winter wardrobe and debating whether this will be the winter I go off of Chanel No. 5 and take a girlish foray into the new, lush mandarin-and-incense Prada scent, Infusion d’Iris, I noticed that there were not one but two articles more-or-less devoted to chic, purposeful dressing. One was about how structured dressing is back in a big way and the other discussed chicphobia, a made-up name for the American woman’s fear of looking as if she tried. That struck a chord for me, especially as a plus size woman.
I can see the appeal of looking unfinished. Women in general, and big girls in particular, are used to having their looks torn apart by complete strangers. We can say it’s the media, but really, we do it to each other. Knowing that, it’s tempting to leave an easy out: a beautiful dress but rumpled hair, flawless cashmere sweater and unhemmed jeans (a sin I am guilty of at this very moment) whatever it takes to say “oh, I’m not actually trying.” so as to not subject yourself to actual criticism.
It takes a lot of courage to dress purposefully. When it’s all been “done” –hair, make-up, shoes, outfit, the works– you’re essentially announcing “there is nothing wrong with me” which of course makes the bitchy voices in our head reply “oh yeah?”
Why not take an opportunity this week to leave the house looking completely finished? Not over-done mind you, you still want to use discretion and discipline when it comes to accessories and makeup. It does take courage, but you might be amazed that your confidence will rise to meet the cause.