My original goal was to avoid discussing what you look like on my personal website. The style blogger/style Instagrammer market is beyond oversaturated. Number two, I never want to be known as a style blogger. Known for my filmmaking and music? Yes! That said, this new adventure in diarying my life in reluctantly female product consumerism arrives for two reasons.
#1 To finally express to all my male friends, acquaintances, and social media pals, “This is what junk I have to deal with all the time.”
#2 Expressing my annoyance with the assumptions everyone born female has to have the same types of clothing or molds, because if enough female clothing/product consumers complain, we shall see changes in what is available. Which we’ve discussed plenty on my site from a sci-fi film angle, and now, here we go, discussing it practically in my day to day life.
This category shall be named “Pretending to Fit In.” I feel exactly like that. Like yeah, I’m cool with physically being a girl, I don’t want a sex change to be male nor loads of plastic surgery/dieting to look like what is “attractive” for women’s appearances, but I am sick and tired of pretending I like whatever horrible offerings are available to consumers who don’t want to feel anything feminine, don’t want to be androgynous, simply want to be normal people wearing clothes that fit them living life. I can’t be alone.
May we begin?
Finding a blazer that does not:
A) obscenely stick to my body like a Kardashian kut fabrik or anything worn by most of the Daily Mail’s Showbiz gossip section reality TV/lower tier celeb personalities
B) look oversized like women doing menswear clichés, because most actual men born male don’t wear weirdly giant sized clothing
C) look like anything trendy a millennial fashionista might wear
D) come off like I’m trying to be a dapper gentleman but…
E) kind of look like something a dapper gentleman may wear, aka. “normal people clothes,” aka. not sticking to my bum and curvy frame?
No, all of this “accentuates the female body.” Translation. “Makes anyone who’s not skeletal look like we are wearing sausage casing.”
The J. Crew staffers within corporate and the retail end were incredibly nice about helping me out at the store and in the mail with my frustrations. I purchased a size 8 Parke blazer in navy. Below is the J. Crew website image on how it fits the model.
Online, you’ll find a bunch of very skinny, straight up-down figures wearing the Parke blazer and it fitting like that. I’m not plus size. I have a between size figure where I can wear anything depending on how “sexy” you want it to fit, a bunch of sizes, really. In the blazer, I ordered an 8 thinking it would be appropriate enough for me to meet people, buy food, go out, and in general, wear it over jeans, dresses, and skirts. My dresses and skirts tend to be more form fitted, therefore, a lady-like fitting (non-Kardashian) blazer was the goal.
As it turns out based on my returning the item and trying on larger sizes, all of the female blazers at J. Crew fit like a bumblebee cut. As someone who’s naturally very curvy, I don’t need much help. The bumblebee outline only works if you’re an up and down, very lithe frame. And even then, behold, townsfolk. This size 000 style blogger online posted her blazer online giving her a major J. Lo bubble bum region, and while it is lovely on her, I don’t want that look for myself. On my body, that effect in any size is 10+ times exaggerated. I presented this evidence to the J. Crew staffers in retail and within the corporate department as a major flaw within the design itself. My body alone being curvy isn’t the issue when it does that to a very uncurvy rail thin woman.
I’m not going to shame anyone who wants a “sexy” look with a blazer; however for the 99 percent of the rest of us who that is not a goal for because we aren’t fashion bloggers, Kardashians, J.Lo’s, picking up dates online, or, uh, strippers doing a blazer strip tease on stage, this doesn’t work. Again, I don’t mean to look down on people who want to do those things. The issue is, it doesn’t seem to be a choice for people. You must wear overly tight clothes at all times. Nobody can mix and match a bandage dress with a business to casual fitting blazer. Or on some days, be all covered up! We as people buying female products have to either look like Golden Girls or show it off all at once in stiff, uncomfortable attire!
I expressed to J. Crew how I do not feel comfortable meeting folks now or in the future, some of whom are people I greatly admire and want to be like in my career goals, dressed like a Kardashian. I do not want all eyes on my bum nor on my body type. My body type is already visible tastefully done with any regular clothing. Super tight V-shaped clothing “accentuating” the female form feels trampy if you’re trying to impress people you’ve viewed as role models all of your life at lunch or them seeing your photos online. And uncomfortable. Yeah, I’ll lunch with someone and feel like I’m mummified because of a stupid ladies jacket.
They, as in multiple people, all suggested their French girl blazer. To me, that was excessively trendy and defied why I wanted a “normal person” blazer. Look, below. The fit is like something Jim Carrey wore in The Mask. And in vivid colors!?! No way, I want a solid black, navy, possibly cream. Nothing that screams “fashion-y.” And notice how the model is styled wearing a low cut camisole that doesn’t look good on any bust size for friends or work. Unless you’re converting a friend into friends with benefits. Then by all means, wear a low cut, skinny fabric’d camisole with your Mask blazer. I asked a real French man I chat with about it, who told me women in France don’t really dress like this.
Men have this luxury. You guys pop in a store and find a solid blazer that doesn’t make you look ridiculous in the fit or color scheme. You men get classic attire that often doesn’t shout any specific gender nor expressive idea. Why can’t I?
Do you get it by now? For my male pals? The reason a majority of women diet and some starve down in varying degrees is to adjust their figures for clothing. Clothing isn’t made for women. Men can buy clothes and not feel like they’re wearing a suffocating contraption. When I have a lot of women’s blazers on, I can’t avoid the “sexy” look nor feel free to have an 8-ounce beverage in fear of it showing. These blazers feel like there is no room to breathe, fit in a dress shirt, or well, do anything other than standing around all day like a still crash test dummy.
When I hit the men’s section at J. Crew, I learned I’m between a 38 and 40, somehow with my 41-27-38 measurements I’m between those? And because neither fit right, I needed severe alterations...my day kind of sucked. I’ve been known to pull clothing from men’s sections to ironically dress like a lady (non-Kardashian). I like how my clothing from the men’s area usually skims over my curvy frame where you can see my shape clearly front and center and know I’m female enough to see hey, I’m curvy, though it’s done ever so tastefully. You see my figure very well and it’s like the men’s clothing is tailor made for me—crazy! Had the men’s blazer fit me better, I would have grabbed it. The 38 hugged my curves tastefully for the most part and did not stick to the bum at all! The shoulders felt good; the fit issue was the midsection being too tight from my bust area pulling it up because hello, I’m a chick shopping in the menswear area seeking normal clothing. Menswear isn’t designed for me.
You can see my figure type here in the J. Crew dressing area wearing the dress I came in with for trying on purposes. And my figure in a poorly fitting ladies blazer sized up that when closed, remains outlining my figure too much. Two sizes up is like a very baggy outfit altered to fit my waist and emphasize the bum; the fit wasn’t spandex tight yet was Kardashian kut. You can’t win. And the size 8: absolute sausage casing like the staffers said is how it is supposed to fit.
Because I choose not to starve myself for clothing, and I’m not plus size as the plus size movement is hot at the moment, I get stuck with lousy fitting clothes. People’s kindness at stores isn’t enough to make up for the lack of well fitting attire.
This is a real problem and one existing as a whole across all brands. Ladies’ blazers are all full of stupid patterns, tight fits, bad color schemes, and bad, bad, bad. Women’s clothing is designed to say, “Change your body to fit this, if not look trampy, or start hating your body.” Nowhere do I see self love towards the female form inspiring most of women’s clothing. My chest area likely pulled up the blazer to where the middle didn’t fit well.
Furthermore, brands presume everyone classified as a “millennial” wants to look like the stereotype of a millennial. No, many of us don’t. Not all of us Keep Up with the #instalookz desired by a smaller percentage of the population wrongly speaking for a larger group of fed up consumers. Store sales are down at J. Crew and other store brands because you’re alienating the wider consumer base in favor of a small batch of Instagram people.
When management/corporate deals with me on this blazer issue, they’re very sweet yet toss in jargon you know the company tells them to say. “You want to look appropriate but flirty and feminine.” No, I don’t. I don’t like feeling anything. I want to be me. Basic, boring me. I don’t want to be “flirty” being picked up by men/women/snails in this outfit nor “feminine” as in Stepford Wives. No. Does anyone wake up feeling like “yo, I’m a woman,” brushing your teeth? Showering? Falling asleep? Feeling feminine all day sounds really weird. Really, I’m unsure if ever I’ve felt feminine, androgynous, or masculine! Most days, I feel “hungry,” “sad,” “excited,” and in some shape or form, human emotions. Wondering now if feeling feminine is some kind of millennial marketing phrasing paperwork given to J. Crew employees for unhappy customers.
“Feminine fit.” I didn’t know a feminine fit was my ribcage being crushed within a cloth corset fit. “We might have other items coming for you that incorporate the menswear look.” How? Your menswear stuff all either is geared to fashionistas as faux oversized stuff or that same weird overly fitted style. Or to the women who want to dress like a Brooklyn hipster Charlie Chaplin who are, for the record, usually straight up and down shaped at any weight. Again, fine if you do; I don’t and need boring, classic clothing choices. Grrr!
If the designers actually wore any of the poorly fitting items they peddle, we would have more options for people who want to look modest and/or demure and/or sometimes maybe do subtle sexy demure. I’m never going to really pull off a modest look well without wearing a Halloween ghost costume with my figure type. Modest for me means covering up, or at most, when I let loose, doing a miniskirt covered up top, or a lower cut dress with everything else covered. And if I go revealing in one route, notably when I go revealing it is rare anyway, I mean everything else has to be covered. I cannot show off everything at once and be comfortable with myself.
My next step is searching the men’s area at Express. Here’s to hoping it works!