Wearing vintage reproduction clothes has been such a huge part of my life for over 2 years now that it’s actually really hard to imagine dressing any other way.
However there are some times where I will see what’s happening in the mainstream fashion world and feel this tiny niggling feeling that maybe I’m missing out by only dressing a certain way.
My sense of style has always changed, I went from dressing really promiscuously in my younger years to flipping a 180 and turning full on punk with blue mullet/faux-hawk to match (no there aren’t any photos). Then I bleached my hair blonde and had this weird skater Barbie thing happening, before hitting the clubber phase and wearing mini skirts and tiny dresses.
So having a style change now and wanting to diversify my look as well is nothing new.
I’d always considered myself to be very fashionable in my early 20’s and being so slim I could wear just about anything and never even think “I don’t feel good in this”.
But now? Stress, anxiety and body image is a part of the struggle of dressing mainstream that many are quick to dismiss because they don’t understand.
So why the change?
Here’s a little back story of what inspired my pinup wardrobe change.
Vintage reproduction/pinup fashion really did come into my life right when it was meant to.
Throughout recent years I have gained weight, it happened so gradually that it was like BAM! “hey curves where the heck did you come from and what am I supposed to do with you?”.
At first it really wasn’t so bad, everything still fit so we’re good.
I didn’t really experience any change in my self esteem, confidence or body image until maybe 2 or so years ago.
My partner and I went a week long trip to the sunny Gold Coast in QLD, and me being the scatter brain I am forgot to bring a swim suit.
No matter, I could always just buy one while we were there, I mean, we were staying in Surfers Paradise so how hard could finding new bathers be?
My naive mind that had always been able to wear tiny bikinis without a doubt or second thought was not prepared for the emotional breakdown I experienced while trying on bikinis.
I mean full on tears and hyperventilating while my poor partner was on the other side of the door oblivious to the war that was waging in that change room.
It was the first time I had really looked at my body and I hated everything I saw.
I left that shop empty handed and very much broken.
Weeks later I was scrolling around online and found Pinup Girl Clothing (clothes that are made by women to fit the female body regardless of size or shape, yes please) in a Google search, honestly I don’t even know what I was searching for to begin with but whatever path I was on led me where I needed to go. I clicked on “images” and Miss Victory Violet popped up. Seeing her gorgeous photos, amazing natural figure and reading her content about body positivity was so refreshing and eye opening that I realised that this was what I needed. A new start and new clothes to celebrate my new body.
So over the next few months I had built up enough of a pinup wardrobe that I was able to donate my entire old wardrobe to charity to make room for clothes that I would actually feel like I could love myself in. It might seem silly to think that clothes could have such an affect on a person, but if you think that then one would assume you’ve never experienced the positive effect wearing an outfit that makes you feel like a Queen can have so I would suggest finding that feeling pronto! It’s amazing!
So now more than 2 years on from discovering the wonderful world of pinup and it’s amazing clothes and supportive community I’m finding myself wanting to diversify my look…again!
I wanted to give mainstream fashion another go, still had those old feelings of self doubt. Would I find clothes that both fit me and flatter me?
Do they make clothes in larger sizes that are still young looking and not frumpy?
I guess I was thinking of the plus size fashion industry of the passed. The way that consists of shapeless dresses, baggy tops and leggings because it thinks “how can a fuller figured woman possible love the way she looks? No, she should hide her body away under horrible clothes!”.
Well listen up folks, we ain’t going anywhere so stop trying to shame us for our size with ugly ill fitting clothes!
So with this new stress and worry in the back of my mind, but also a sense of determination I turned to my old friend Google.
This is where I found a renewed love for Boohoo.com.
Before my weight gain I would shop at this store quite regularly, the styles are always on trend so I thought I would give it a go again now that they have a “Plus & Curve” line.
For the most part, I love this line but I do have a couple complains, the obvious one being the models used. The line caters to women size 16-24 which is so freakin awesome BUT, the main model used is a size 12. I’m not sure how they thought this makes any sort of sense but I guess that’s fast fashion for you.
My second complaint is the sizing isn’t always right. I bought two identical body suits in the same size, 1 in black and 1 in white and the black is much smaller. So things can be hit and miss, but mostly I have found they have been hits for me.
Now that I’ve figured out that mainstream/modern fashion isn’t so scary and is much more diverse than it was when I was growing up, diversifying my wardrobe is actually really exciting for me. And since most fast fashion clothes are made out of that thin stretch jersey-like fabric, finding clothes that fit may not necessarily be limited to the “plus size” section, which can sometimes start at size 18 which is a little big for me.
So I’ve been able to find some really nice things from Target and one of my happy places, Kmart.
Being told bigger girls shouldn’t wear ______ is a great example of a toxic society that shames anyone who looks different from the “norm” the media, advertising, film and fashion industries has dictated to us. And unfortunately, I see this a lot both on social media as well actual media. The best example of this was that ridiculous article in O Magazine that said bigger girls shouldn’t wear crop tops. Seriously, what garbage.
Wear whatever you want!
This is another reason I love Pinup Girl Clothing and the pinup community so much. You’ll never hear “uhh you have a muffin top you shouldn’t wear this”, what you will hear is a chorus of “hell yeah girl, slay!” and I really love that and have taken that carefree attitude and incorporated it into my modern style.
For me, the all or nothing attitude I had when first dressing in the pinup style has very much changed. Now my style sense is as diverse as I am, and I now feel confident enough to switch between the two. There are still days where I will wear something modern and not love the way I look but once I leave my front door there’s no turning back. No running back inside to change. I just have to own it and own my body!
Both styles are me and both styles take courage to wear, courage that I never knew I had.
So basically my message is this, don’t hesitate when it comes to change. Don’t feel like you can’t have multiple styles to represent who you are. Just make sure it’s for you, not someone else.
And one last bit wisdom!
Remember, what other people think of you is none of your business!
What’s your style swap?
Do you alternate between 2 different styles too?
Let me know in the comment section.
Miss Dottie DeMure