Monday, December 5, 2011

Katherine and I, Visibly . . .


 Quite a while ago, I bookmarked a post on DressADay for this statement about a featured skirt:

But the first person to mention that a horizontal seam at the hips may, possibly, conceivably, make you look slightly wider gets a resounding Bronx cheer in the comments. C'mon, live a little! You can't always worry about the width of your hips, sometimes you have to worry about where to put your wallet & cell phone! Or about why everyone under 30 seems to only wear a short tight skirt, a big floppy blouse, and four-inch nude-colored platform pumps!  Worrying about looking wider fell off my worry-about list some time ago. (But zombies are still on my list. Oh, yes, those pesky zombies ...)


Erin expressed what I so often feel, that we (understandably) prioritize figure flattery over (unfortunately) enjoying styles that express our personalities in important ways. And finally, today, I've got around to a post of my own that seems to call out for her wisdom.

I loved these fine-wool, high-waisted, wide-legged pants (by Clemente, a European line) as soon as I spotted them. They're not terribly practical -- I'm going to have to clip them carefully before biking, so they don't get caught up in the chainguard.
 And they're probably not very flattering, making me look squatter than a 5'3" woman needs to look. But they make me tap into my inner Katherine Hepburn. . .
 albeit Katherine had many inches on me.
It seems to me that part of what Visible Monday is all about is expanding notions of What to Wear beyond simply those designed to make us look younger, slimmer, taller (not that I've abandoned the quest for that trifecta).  Go check out my fellow participants and see if you agree.

Merino V-neck, Banana Republic
Cardi, Aritzia
Pants, Elemente Clemente
Boots, Acne

19 comments:

  1. Oh wow, I am in love with those trousers, Frances. So much so that I am trying to track them down and it seems I must go to Germany : >

    You look splendid, comfortable and confident. I am completely unaware of your height (not that it matters one bit anyway!) Thanks so much for posting this, and for linking to Visible Monday; have a wonderful day.

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  2. I think the pants make you look tall. I love everything about them. They look marvelous on you. You look as lovely as KHepburn would. Beautiful VM look.

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  3. I always think it's best to wear what you feel comfortable in - clothes that make you smile and allow you to ride a bike (with clips)!

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  4. Love that quote! I have to consciously consider that line of thought more often.

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  5. I love those pants! And you look fabulous. But then I've always had a thing for high-waisted wide-legged pants and I think we all need to channel our inner Katherine Hepburn (or whomever) on occasion.

    You look fabulous. And I get tired of that particular trifecta, not that I'm giving up on it. I think people should wear whatever taps into their inner views of themselves.

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  6. You look great in these! I prefer clothes with drape and flow, and especially like wider-leg pants. Worrying about looking wider "fell off my worry list" too.

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  7. Back when I style blogged, I did a series of style icon posts in which I tried to channel a bit of people like Katherine Hepburn and Frida Kahlo. It was fun and let me think about some things besides more mainstream elements of figure flattery. These days, I am sort of into thinking about my body more like a dude does. I no longer worry about having a bit of a belly in certain outfits or how my legs look at the gym. I still find dress a creative outlet, but I no longer connect it to self-image in quite the same way. And yes my hips are wide.

    All this to say, I love those pants!

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  8. I agree with Debbie, the pants make you look tall, and I love the idea of you channeling your inner Katherine Hepburn.

    Thank you for your lovely comment BTW. I agree with your thoughts on what I'm finding as my style. I replied back on the post too.

    Happy Monday!

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  9. Patti: I'm lucky enough to have a local boutique in our very small city that carries a few pieces of this line. Really good quality, great fabrics, interesting cuts. Thanks for the kind comments and thanks, especially for organizing Visible Monday. Such fun!
    Debbie: Thanks. Looking forward to checking out your post and those of other participants.
    TNMA: Smiling is good, as are bike pant clips!
    Kristin: I know! As soon as I saw it, it resonated.
    Mardel: Thanks. I know you agree with me on this, and you're always inspiring me with your own posts.

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  10. Duchesse: Thanks! Yes, I've had to give up the wish to look taller, especially as my last physical revealed that I'm 5'3" instead of the "just under 5'4" I've claimed most of my adult life. . .
    Anne: ;-)
    Raquelita: I like that idea of thinking about it as a guy does . . .and there's something, I think, about my recognition of what my body does for me, especially giving me the speed and distance, running-wise, that it has this last while. That should be enough without expecting skinny here and curvy there. . .
    Susan T: Thanks, and I went back to read your post. Interesting journey, overall, isn't it?!

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  11. I think the beauty of age is the ability to wear what makes us feel good inside without too much worrying about what we look on the outside. This is easier in some circles, maybe less so in teaching though, where we are judged quite cruelly sometimes by arbiters with no taste at all, yet whose comments linger longer than they ought. I have found a path through this and frequently fail to flatter my figure, which might tolerate a tad more tucking in than I do. But I agree there is something wonderful about wearing wide legged trousers and those are real beauties.

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  12. Hey! I love those pants. Squat is not a word that comes to mind. In fact to me they make you look taller. That flowy fabric is great.

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  13. Just FYI, after seeing the picture and before reading the post, I thought, "Katherine Hepburn-esque." Your inner self appears to be reaching out successfully.

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  14. Alison: Yes, the late teen can be a harsh judge. But as you say, a certain maturity helps us hang on to our style despite them. I can imagine you enjoying a wide-legged pant as well, actually. . .
    Lisa: Thanks! It's really a lovely fabric, a beautifully light woolen weave, and they've got a marvelous flow.
    Marsha: Ah, thanks! I love your comment.

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  15. I had those pants on their last go 'round in the 70's. They made me feel at least 5'10 - maybe even willowy.
    You feel good in these pants. They make you smile, and my mum would say that a smile is the best accessory!

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  16. I love the pants and the comment. Why do we have to all aim for the same aesthetic? I saw a young woman today who was short and had wide hips and she was wearing a red gathered skirt that came to mid-knee. And it had big pockets. She looked amazing. So much better than crammed into a pair of skinny jeans. Your pants are the ones I've been searching for!

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  17. Pondside: Yes, I did wide-legged pants in the 70s (did you call them "elephant pants" or was that just in my neck of the woods?). And I had a wonderful cream-coloured not-quite-so-wide pair of Hepburn trousers in the early 90s.
    I love your mom's fashion advice. Smiling is good!
    OWW: Aw, thanks!
    L'Age Moyen: As soon as I read your description, I flashed to an image of the photographer at my niece's wedding several years ago. Similar figure to what you describe, a vibrant young woman wearing a fairly short, gathered full skirt -- it showed off her tiny waist and emphasized her hourglass figure AND most of all, it highlighted her confidence and her love of her own body. That confidence might be an even better accessory than the smile, and I'd love to nurture my own.
    Thanks to all of my commenters for the encouragement!

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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