Google Thewallinna and other creatures: Another baggy dress!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Another baggy dress!

Are you familiar with the Wardrobe Architect, a series of blog posts on Colette Patterns, aimed at exploring personal style? Last year I took the challenge and identified that while visually I am attracted to fitted and feminine garments,  in real life I tend to stick to shapeless and boyish shapes. Most of these preferences come from my lifestyle: I am quite active and constantly on the move. So, there is definitely not much room in pencil skirts and fitted woven dresses.


Another reason why I wear shapeless garments is due to a negative image of my body that has followed me ever since I was a child. When we were kids, my cousin, who was only five years older than me, used to mock my bony body, match-like legs and boyish style, calling me “a monkey”. While I was still running around with boys of my age in my early teens, stealing flowers and fruit from neighbours’ gardens, she was slowly transforming into a young lady, experiencing the ups and downs associated with the hormonal changes in her body. Since I did not have any other closer role models of the same age, I looked up to her, in the hope that I would be accepted or approved of, but she teased and mocked me instead.


When I started thinking about the Wardrobe Architect challenge, I was not entirely sure why exactly the boyish/shapeless style resonates with me. Lifestyle was definitely one of the answers to that, but the more I thought about it, the more the second reason started taking shape.




Now, because many people around me know that I make my clothes, they often strike conversations with me about fashion and style (as if I were a real expert, ha!). Recently, I wore a fitted jersey dress to work and I received many compliments from my colleagues. They  pointed out that it looked good on me, but also made a remark that I should wear more fitted garments instead of oversized clothes or jeans. So I asked myself: why don’t I wear clothes which are more feminine? I took all the latest Burda Style magazines, intending to sew a fitted statement garment and. . . I ended up with this.

Yes, it’s another shapeless dress from the April BurdaStyle issue. Partly, I liked it because it reminded me of the Drape Drape pattern books series, partly, because the dress is quite comfortable but I could shape it by wearing a belt :) 



There is one unusual thing to this dress: it is one of the few garments in my hand-made wardrobe which is not lined. I deliberately decided not to add lining and when it took me only one evening to finish the dress, I was quite shocked and surprised. Do I dislike this dress? Absolutely not! Will I make more fitted garments this summer? Probably yes, but it will take some emotional efforts and cheering.



At this time of my life, I cannot say that  I am not aware of my own dress identity, but I also know that it will take a while to dress in a more feminine way. Well, who does not like a challenge?

Have you also the experiences similar stories distorting and negatively influencing your self-image? What made you realize it and what do you do about it?

41 comments:

  1. Congratulations on finding the look that fits your lifestyle and your body type. You've done such a good job overcoming your cousin's meaness. When I met you in real life to me, you are such a gorgeous person with the ability any style you like. And you sew really well too:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a fascinating post and I'm so happy to hear that you are learning to embrace your body shape! It's a tricky subject, because whilst you have been made to feel inadequate about your body others would look at you and dream of having your long slim legs and wonderful shoulders. I think we all have awkward times in our lives where we would rather look different, but if you manage to accept who you are then it's an amazing time. I really think sewing your own clothes makes you look at your real shape and accept yourself. Anyway, what I'm getting around to is that I'm so happy that you are learning so much about yourself! Xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  3. I really like this latest dress that you've made, and like it even more when you have it belted. I'll be on your cheer squad for making more fitted garments!

    ReplyDelete
  4. When I was in school. some girls said that my legs were too thin, so I belived them pretty long time and worn only long skirts%)

    ReplyDelete
  5. You're gorgeous! Love your haircut. I like the dress better belted, but you truly could wear anything so you should let go of your past and explore!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I suspect that I am the only one in the sewing community who is going to say this, but...BRING ON THE BIG AND BOXY!!!! I love that aesthetic and can't get enough of sculptural, oversized shapes that are usually referred to as "shapeless". The Japanese pattern books are great for that...so simple and beautiful. You look great in everything and can pull off any look so why not go for what you like?

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is so gorgeous on you! I say stick with what you're comfortable in...
    PS I'm dieting, so I could have a 'bony body', too!
    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Like you, I put up with lots of negative comments about my lack of curves. It's particularly harsh & hard to rationalise when you are a vulnerable teenager too. I still cop a bit from friends but I'm ok with it now.
    I've noticed that I do tend to wear mainly loose or draped clothes for casual or 'going out clothes'. Strangely though I favour fitted shifts and skirts at work, I tend to think of it as 'body armor'.
    I love your makes, I think you have a unique and interesting style.

    ReplyDelete
  9. you can definitely shape everything with a belt ;) ! (that is if you feel like it) There are so many reasons behind why we reach for a certain garment rather than another - it would take a lifetime to enumerate - maybe because they are the result of our entire life - experiences and stuff and I am lazy so I personally decided not to bother ;) - fact is I tried the wardrobe architect thing and by post four I think I was bored. The dress looks great on you (the same can be said and i think I did about the fitted one) and you feel good wearing it and I think in the end that is what counts.
    ps: what you call shapeless and baggy , people in my school call nordic & japanese research :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's remarkable how things like that can stick around for such a long time... I got some remarks as a child that have followed me for years, and I'm only recently starting to get over them.

    Not entirely related: you always reminded me of someone but seeing these pictures made me realise who it is! You look a lot like Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) and that is definitely meant as a compliment. She has amazing style as well!

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a horrible cousin! And, shame on her parents for not nipping that one in the bud. She probably treated others the same way so try to move past this. I think a boyish figure (which I used to have when I weighed 105-110 lbs) is perfect as you can wear many flowy garments that someone who has gained 30 lbs. You are so striking and "cute" and apparently full of energy.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Dear Maria! Thanks for this lovely comment. It is really surprising how long we carry some childhood memories/traumas inside of us and how they impact our adult lifes.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks, Marilla! It is really interesting to observe how others feel and react to our bodies. Human mind is difficult to discern! The only way to feel free from all the shit in your head is to learn how to be yourself the way you are!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you Andrea! I'll keep that in mind ;)

    ReplyDelete
  15. It is so mean, isn't it? I think you should wear more mini-skirt and short dresses because your legs are beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love big and boxy clothes! I like how you can easily play with proportion and highlight different aspects of the figure, just like you did with that awesome belt. The other night I wore a tight dress out to a party and I felt so strange, it just isn't me, although like you I received similar comments from my colleagues.
    Every now and then I consider trying a different style, I.e. More feminine or more crazy or whatever, but invariably I end up feeling not like myself. I'll be interested to see how you go with the more feminine take, right now I'm just trying to zone in and expand on my own style (appropriate to my lifestyle). Because I work with lots of men and sometimes have to take on a leadership role I often try to dress less femininely because somehow I feel stronger in trousers. It's so interesting how clothes can change your mindset.
    PS you have a gorgeous figure!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. You are probably right! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Nadezhda Kopteva22 May 2015 at 08:07

    Инна, очень милое платье! И принт такой летний - весь в солнышках! Мне тоже нравится эта выкройка, сшила по ней топ, скоро выложу. И платье тоже сшила бы - мне нравятся свободные платья, хотя я не постоянно в движении, но чувствую себя в них более комфортно, чем в облегающих вещах. У меня нет желания и потребности постоянно подчеркивать свою фигуру, так что предпочитаю делать это не очень часто ))))

    ReplyDelete
  19. Inna, this frock is freaking awesome and you look like a rockstar in it! To me, these style of frocks are architectural and you can play with the proportions and lines of the piece and get such an amazing effect :D Here is to the journey of finding your own style and feeling rad about who you are and what you wear :D

    ReplyDelete
  20. Japanese style is it! In fact, most girls in Japan wear this kind of shapeless garments, but it looks so much better on them!


    I should follow your example and stop being bothered!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I know! I wish Dr Freud was alive ;) Thanks for the lovely compliment. I had no idea who Annie Clark is before: something to discover! She seems like a crazy lady and I quite like it.

    ReplyDelete
  22. She was pretty horrible, I have to say, but it's all in the past now :-) And thank for the lovely comment xxx

    ReplyDelete
  23. It IS interesting how clothes change our perception of a person! I am so lucky my company does not have any dress code and I can wear anything, starting from a jeans-t-shirt set to an evening gown (if I really wanted to). It is also interesting to see how one's dressing style works in a men-dominant environment. What would happen if you dressed like a girly-girl? Would they treat you with less respect?

    ReplyDelete
  24. In fact, I feel much more confident when I wear this dress belted.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Generally, I would agree with you: boxy is cute, boxy is comfortable, playful and don't not restrain movements. But. . . At this stage of my life I am so obsessed with looking more feminine, and the story with my cousin is only one of the reasons why. Hopefully, I'll transition to a more neutral stage of my "dressing adventure" soon :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oh she's definitely worth discovering! I love her music and she's even better live, worth seeing if you get the chance!

    ReplyDelete
  27. We don't have a dress code either, at least not for rehearsals, anyway. I don't think I would be treated any differently in a dress, it's more about how I see myself, and for whatever reason I just feel stronger when I'm wearing pants! Weirdly this rule only applies to work. I'm happy wearing a dress/skirt/whatever the rest of the time. However, I'm trying right now to feel more comfortable working in skirts as it's a look I want to wear more often. Maybe you and I can both try to explore our feminine dress styles! I don't necessarily want to equate trousers with strength, it's just sort of happened, so maybe I need to work on that.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I love your (boxy) style (on you)! But I can definitely understand that you are attracted to a more feminine way of dressing as well! I am always very tempted by chique, feminine garments which are fun to sew because of all the details and couture techniques that can be applied. The/My reality though is, that I mostly bike to uni, spend my days either in lectures, at the lab or in the hospital and there is just no opportunity to wear a lot of fancy stuff. So that's my 'issue'. as for style: I am also a bit torn. I like to wear casual clothes that lets me move comfortably but I'd also like to wear more feminine stuff as well. Excited to see what changes you'll make in your sewing/wardrobe!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Such an interesting conversation! Can't wait to see how both your styles may evolve!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I'm glad it took me so long to respond because I got to read all the comments. I love this dress - sans the belt. It has a very cool 'drape drape' shape as you say. So much to say on this, but for now you always look great with a style that seems so you. And that is sexy.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Oooh, kids can be so cruel. I was an incredibly skinny child, so I can understand to some degree. I'm now sort of slim and curvy, and it's taken a long time for me to accept that I'm not the awkward child anymore, and to work out what works for my body. I still feel a bit self conscious in tight fitting things, even though I think they suit me best. It's sad how these things affect us for so long.


    You're lucky that you look fantastic in both loose and more fitted clothes, and I always admire your sense of style. Thank you for sharing this story with us - I think it's important to remember that everyone has some kind of insecurity about their bodies, even if you think they are super confident.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I've always thought Inna looked like Annie Clark, too, and I adore her so it's quite a high compliment!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Isn't identity and style a funny thing? I was very short, skinny, and flat-chested as a child and young teen and other girls often made comments about how I must be anorexic or how I was so flat, so I began wearing very baggy clothes in the hopes that no one would notice my body underneath them. I always wore sloppy wide-legged jeans with men's t-shirts... really a terrible look! It's been very hard to try to wear more fitted garments, although I like to wear skinny jeans as it feels like they offer me enough "protection" from prying eyes! But I've also always worked in male-dominated workplaces, and I would get way too much unwanted attention if I wore dresses or tight clothing, so I tend towards tomboy outfits just to keep that from happening. Now I'm working in a workshop with one other woman, but it's quite manual work so I'm often dirty and dusty and there's just no point in dressing up! I may be a sloppy tomboy forever! :(

    ReplyDelete
  34. I was not fishing for compliments :) Thanks for the nice words! It's crazy how some random experiences can influence one's attitude and self-perception!

    ReplyDelete
  35. When I lived in Japan, I used to take kimono-wearing classes. Once I could put a kimono on by myself, I started complaining to my teacher that there were not many occasions to wear it! She said something which I'll remember forever: If there is no occasion for wearing a kimono, one has to create an occasion! I try to apply the same rule to fancy(er) clothes. Even it I don't have so many occasions to wear fancy dresses, I put one on if I go to a dinner with friends or to a concert.

    ReplyDelete
  36. You are 200% right, and I should start complaining!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Спасибо, Надя! Уже увидела топ: он такой чудны! Ткань такая легкая, летняя! Вот не знаю почему, но у меня этот "пунктики" насчет приталенной одежды в последнее время не выходит из головы. Может, переходной возраст :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. I do dress up more for something like a wedding, but I tend to feel self-conscious. I need to try dressing up more just to get used to it! :D

    ReplyDelete
  39. I like the fabric you used, very Summer-happy! ^^*~~ And although I wouldn't choose this pattern, I like how it looks with a belt. Great tights, too! *^-^*
    My situation is somehow opposite - I like the boyish oversized clothes on others but I know I have no figure for them so I choose the fitted feminine shapes. Sometimes I wish I was skinny and boyish, and then I love accentuating the curves, showing deeper neckline. When I read your childhood story I started to think whether I had any similar experience that influenced my fashion choices. I remember that my mother didn't pay that much attention to clothes or makeup, it was practically over beauty, and I wasn't that interested in fashion or putting on makeup for a long long time. It really started only a few years ago.... *^v^* It's interesting how people close to us influence our choices!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I've gone through times where I wanted to wear boxier things and then suddenly the pendulum swings and I want to wear more fitted silhouettes. More than anything, I like being able to wear what feels comfortable on my body on any given day. One thing I've noticed about your style is how you mix color/print/texture, regardless of the silhouette. Good luck on your challenge!

    ReplyDelete
  41. That's a lovely advice! I will definitely try this out!

    ReplyDelete