They’re not *just* clothes, it isn’t just work, and it is a big deal.

They’re not *just* clothes, it isn’t just work, and it is a big deal.

Every night before I go to bed, I complete my random skincare routine of washing and brushing my face, moisturising with rosehip oil and adding a dab or two of sudocream.

Then, I stomp over to my wardrobe, pull the doors open in a dramatic fashion and I examine my choices of outfit for the following day, because heaven knows I won’t find anything to wear in the morning.

It’s not that I’ve not got enough clothes, it’s quite the opposite really, I have too many.

Dresses, blouses, blazers, trousers, skirts, shirts and more all stare back at me, waiting to be picked for a day about the town.

Next, I check the weather, I think about what I’ve got going on the following day at work, and I think about how I’m feeling right now, and how I’ll feel in the morning, and then I make my decision.

Polka dots? Stripes? Red? Black? Blue?

They’re not just patterns and colours;

They’re not just shirts and trousers.

They’re a form of self-expression, communication, and sometimes, a form of social mobility.

What you wear, and how you wear it says a lot about you as an individual.

For example,

One day I went to work in check trousers and a striped shirt. I clashed like hell, but I felt amazing, and I looked fantastic, if I do say so myself.

“Cool, but why?”

Well, my friends, as an educated bean, I am aware that historically, it wasn’t common for women to be allowed to wear trousers and that’s only really been accepted within the last 100 years or so.
With this in mind, I still see trousers as a powerful item of clothing for a women. Not only this, but in my opinion the clash was both bold, and brave. My size is no secret, but I don’t let this hold me back when it comes to clothing.

Whilst I won’t subject people to see me wearing a pair of batty riders and crop top, I’m willing to experiment with colours and patterns, and this outfit made me feel fierce and I used this fierceness to try and have an amazing day, and you know what?
It was an amazing day!

HOWEVER,

What makes me sad about clothes is when people don’t care about what they wear – and it shows.

Whilst you may feel comfortable in your smock top and loose black leggings, it tells another story of the discomfort you feel with regards to clothing and your body. It shows you lack confidence and /or knowledge to pick something that fits you right, suits you and shows the person you want to be. You scuffle along in this outfit thinking that no one will either care, or notice, but, I, and many see this.

And I’m not the only one.

In a study recently published by Universitat Oberta De Catalunya, it was found that “politicians who simply look more competent are more likely to win elections. First impressions also influence legal decision-making.”

I know what you’re thinking…

“I’m not a politician.”

That may be true,

“I’m not a criminal”… Legally, maybe not, but your crimes against fashion are a whole other story.

 

The excuses

“I’m poor”

Nope, I’m not taking that one.

You don’t have to be rolling in money to dress nicely; I’ve got clothes in my wardrobe from H&M, Tesco, Zara, and Boohoo, but no one would know where they’re from unless I told them.
I recently went into Primark; they’ve got some amazing items at crazy low prices, literally, no excuse!

“It’s hard to find things in my size”

Hmm.. You’re seemingly smaller than my 5ft 11, size 18-22 frame, yet I have a wardrobe, much like my skirt, which bursting at the seams because when I find something I love, and that fits, I want it.

 

“I don’t have time”

The internet is open 24/7, baby, I picked up a package from a locker at the petrol station at 6am; whilst working nearly full-time, studying for a masters degree, and caring for someone, so quit your bullshit.

 

If you’ve stuck with me this far, I am almost done, I promise.

 

When you don’t think people notice that you wear the same pair of trousers and downtrodden shoes a few days of the week, we do notice.
Whilst you may feel good in your clothes, do you feel good about what they say about you?
I doubt it.

 

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Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, are you the unfairest of them all?

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, are you the unfairest of them all?

The wrong message is being forced upon children who dare to look in the mirrors at high-street chain clothing stores.

 

We all desire to be slim and tall, but should this be forced upon children when innocently shopping for clothes?

 

I will let you decide.

 

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what happens when the beholder stands at just three feet tall, and only possesses a year of life for each foot she has?

 

She gets confused.

 

Ava, like any other little girl is besotted with a very famous Japanese cartoon kitty, and when she saw a top adorned with Hello Kitty’s face, she knew she had to have it, urging us to go into a very well known high-street store.

 

We picked out the t-shirt in her size, and I thought she would appreciate some hair clips with the kitty on too, so she looks extra cute, which is when she caught sight of herself in the mirror.

 

Ava, like any other human looks at herself when she sees a mirror, but remained silent on the matter until we returned home.

 

Upon arriving home from the shopping excursion, Ava just could not wait to put on her new t-shirt and Hello Kitty clips – Who could blame her? One of the most exciting parts about shopping is putting on your new clothes when you get home!

 

Several moments later, Ava is wearing her new top, and looking in the mirror when she remarks ‘why I not tall like I was at the shops? And my belly look big again?’

 

 

 

From this photo, you can tell that Ava is beautiful, and of a normal weight and height for her age, but she’s abnormally hilarious and observant which made me question what she was saying.

 

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Several years ago, before Ava’s arrival on earth I noticed the same thing as she… Slimming mirrors.

 

Whilst some, like myself, may not find fault with slimming mirrors in general, it is easy to find fault in them being in the children’s section of clothing stores due to the mixed messages it can send to them.

Nicky Hutchinson, author of body image publications such as ‘Body Image in the Primary School’ and ‘Promoting Positive Behaviour in Young Children‘ commented on the matter of slimming mirrors in the child’s section of clothing stores.

“It’s terrible that these mirrors are placed in the children’s section, we know that children begin dieting behavior whilst still at primary school and studies show they already prefer slimmer figures when given a selection of pictures to choose from.”

Nicky, also a body image and behavior consultant for ‘Not Just Behavior’ a Bristol based consultation company, commented further, “mirrors such as these just encourage young people to pursue the thin ideal and to become self critical and feel that the way they look as they are is somehow not good enough .”
“We also know that in research children always prefer the slimmer figures and so these mirrors may be a calculated way to encourage young people to make purchases.” – Nicky Hutchinson.

 

Nicky is not the only one to remark about the dangers slimming mirrors present to young people.

 

Maggie Clarke, a senior school nurse in Leicester said “I think it’s sad that large companies who have a predominantly young clientele subliminally  promote the belief that to look good you have to be thin and tall when they could really promote the view that we are all different shapes and sizes and being healthy physically and emotionally should be our goal.”

 

Tamzin Bouzad, an 11-year-old schoolgirl loves nothing more than doing sports, and going shopping with her friends in her spare time, she too noticed that the mirrors in a certain store give off a certain effect.

“I like to go shopping on the weekend with my friends, and I’m quite short. When Amber told me about the mirrors, I went back to the shop and I noticed I was taller. It felt strange.”

After contacting the chain for further comment, they categorically denied they had mirrors of such in their stores, yet said if they are giving such an effect it would be due to the mirrors being ‘incorrectly installed when hung on the wall’.

 

What do you think about slimming mirrors?

Should they just be in the adult section of the stores, or not at all?