2010-09-16

Silhouette

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Dress? Kenneth Cole sample, gift from a friend
Shoes? Vince Camuto, Winners
Cardigan? Thrifted
Clutch? Thrifted
Necklace? Antique market
Belt? Thrifted

My friend gave me this dress when she bought it at a sample sale from her work. I always seem to grab it when I'm in a rush because it's a perfect, chic summer dress. And then , when it's on, I remember why I don't wear it enough... the cleavage is cut scandalously low for daytime exposure. But I'm usually running late (perfection takes time), so I don't have time to fix it immediately and the dress goes back in the closet to shock me again the next time I reach for it. I finally altered it this summer and now the cleavage situation is under control. After owning it for more than 3 years, it took me five whole minutes to alter... Time well spent.

Once again, this outfit has a definite retro feel. The nipped waist, the demure cardi and the hair bump (which is actually the leftover from a 60's dress-up party the previous night... )... It's a look that is really ' in' this year. Trust me, I know, The Fashion Bosses told me so. I spent a final day at the beach a few weekends ago and I ate a lot of chips and read a lot of September issues. My stomach cramped with grease and my brain exploded with Autumn trends. What I found frustrating while reading these, is that this retro silhouette is immediately paired with 'curvy' models. Actually, that's not the frustrating part... it's more that I feel like a lot of magazines/designers are asking for a pat on the back for being so wonderfully inclusive this season. I realize a Thursday night post that is being typed with one eye on The Apprentice is maybe not a wholly appropriate time to launch into a media vs. body image rant. It's a really complicated issue. I just don't know what's better... looking in a fashion magazine and seeing a size 0 model and realizing that that isn't representative or looking in a fashion magazine and seeing a size 4 model with an admirable chest and being told that this is a curvy girl. Is this making any sense? All this thinking... brought on by a pretty dress.

lady4

32 comments :

La Historiadora de Moda said...

The dress is gorgeous, and I really don't see any scandalous cleavage!

I think part of the issue is that curvy has come to be a euphemism for overweight/above normal BMI while at the same time still retaining its other definition of well someone with curves. That can be a size 4. But seriously, show me some 12s and 24s and 2s and 16s and then I'll pat the industry on the back for showing body diversity.

The Coastal Chicster said...

i love this dress! it's so pretty on you. :) i love your leftover hair, too. :)

i'm only 5'1", so don't even get me started on diversity in magazines. curvy models? how about some SHORT models? haha. :) instead i just have to comb through rummaging for photos of rachel bilson, eva longoria and kristen bell...

Lindsey N. said...

The subtle print on this dress is gorgeous.

I gave up trying to understand body diversity in the industry a long time ago.

Lindsey Soup

20 York Street said...

A co-worker made a comment loudly one time in the office.. What? You are a zero?!! Zero is not even a number, that's just ridiculous!

Though a bit hurt, I kinda agree!

You look beautiful!

The Suburb Experiment said...

I love the dress. And the necklace looks fantastic with it too.

Lovers, Saints & Sailors said...

I think it makes perfect sense. Unfortunately my late Friday afternoon brain can't articulate any more than - pretty dress.

FASHION BUTTER said...

Hahaha so true. My favorite story is about Victoria Beckhanm inisting on using models that aren't a size zero or whatever.

Between Laundry Days said...

I actually think, even in your Apprentice-induced post, that you totally hit the nail on the head about this one. By trying to be more "real" and use "curvy" models, magazines are re-defining what "curvy" means, and, possibly, further distancing those women who are not a size 4 from the fashion world.

Also, purty dress.

Linda said...

Holy crap I forgot about that dress, what else did I give you that time? This is the first time I am seeing it, it really is ridiculously pretty and I'm sure at the time of purchase it wasn't exactly "the style" to wear retro, but now it seems so fit. WHat an eye!

Mari said...

I love your rants! Don't ever stop!

Keira said...

I love all of your recent retro-inspired, gorgeously feminine outfits! So, so pretty :)

briannelee said...

I think it looks really pretty on you!!!! Also loving the clutch.

Sal said...

LHdlM is completely right - "curvy" means very different things to different folks. And I refuse to give the fashion world credit for hiring models with boobs. Eesh.

Holly Courtney said...

Ugh, I agree. Why are women's bodies such a big deal? Let's all just be happy and make the best with what we've been given. Every shape will look good if the woman is eating right and exercising regularly. And I would love it if it were just the norm for designers to hire women of sizes 0-20+ without a media frenzy.

Your dress is beautiful, BTW!

Half Dressed said...

The new dress looks stunning! And I love the clutch :)

L x
Half Dressed

Jayme said...

the dres is gorgeous! I had to look back up about the clevage...before I read that it was altered! It looks great! I wish I had the expertise to do that.
I agree with the body image thing...I am actually a curvy girl and NOT a size 4!! I think as an adult I can handle it but I feel for the young girls out there trying to find their own place. I read an article the other day that said 85% of 10 year old girls have been on a diet!!! Thats terrible

merl said...

That's like someone saying Marissa Miller is 'curvy'... homegirl is one of my girls I'd go gay for, but curvy? No sir. She has huge boobs and a tiny little body. She is top heavy, not curvy. But I do have a wrench in both your argument and mine.. a little girl CAN be curvy. Though I loathe her, Scarlett Johanessonasdkgn is curvy, but also skinny. Make sense? HOWEVER just because the magazines are showing one other version of a womanly silhouette, does not mean they get a gold star for the day. To be honest, there's never going to be a magazine showcasing every possible shape the female body comes in. Even the 'alternative' magazines have their go to's which might not include the naturally skinny women. That's why I've stopped looking to magazines for my inspiration and style idols. Hello blogosphere you moody nurturing bitch. I both love and hate you. Love for introducing me to my Canadian sisters from other misters, as well as heaps of American bff's and foreign bosom buddies. If you could suddenly wipe out all the snobby bitches on here, I'd call our tiff even.


ps my fingers are turning black from keeping them crossed. if you don't pick me to win those bracelets, I'm sending you a bill to buy me new digits.

jen lainy said...

I'll tell you what?! The media doesn't know a thing about curvy women until they meet someone who is a size 10 with D or DD chest. Puuhhlease! They wouldn't know curvy if it hit them in the face!!

There's my rant!

Healthy and Homemade said...

Totally not scandalous you look great!!

orchidsinbuttonholes said...

Gorgeous dress! I love the neutrals and textures throughout this look. Looking lovely!

Melissa said...

You do make sense.

And that is a pretty dress.

Look at you multi-task, blogging and watching TV. I can't do that. I can't even READ blogs and watch TV. Good grief.

Nadine said...

This outfit is just so good. Love it!

myedit said...

I agree with you Merl and LHdM... I think curvy is not the right word. Curvy comes in all heights and sizes... my rant was more against the fact that a size 4 with a large chest is supposed to be more representative of the population than a size 0. And the fact that I feel the industry is using curvier women to get extra points.

Christen said...

Five minutes well spent, indeed.

And I have my issues with the body image thing. Like you said, it's a complicated issue.

sartoriography said...

This dress is amazing. You look stunning, even if it did take three years to get past the cleavage shock. :)

I totally agree that the notion of being representative w size 4 models is ridiculous and certainly not deserving of praise. The argument "better than before" or "better than nothing" doesn't work for me. I think that praise is justifiable when there's actual diversity in the way that models look- 0, 2, 10, 20 and everything in between.

Julia said...

I love the mix of tan neutrals here. Very pretty!

And the word "curvy" is such an odd one - it really has been used to define larger sized women but also models who don't fit into the size 0 sample sizes. I'd call myself happily a medium-ish large on top person - but I really am not very curvy. Curvy is an odd ball word.
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Rafaela Marinheiro said...

Hello, I am Brazilian and I loved the blog. I thought the outfits a maximum. I have already become a follower. 'll Always be here.
Bye

A-Dubs said...

To harp on the above chorus: yer gorgeous in this ensemble. Gor. GEOUS.

You know where else you look great right now? In the Wonder Woman Pose Conference line-up over at In Professorial Fashion. Come on over and check yourself out!

Fifth Sparrow said...

So glad you altered the dress, it's divine! You look all pretty and vintage and lady like! I love the hair bump too, mine always goes flat 2 min after teasing it. Hmph. xxx

Personal Injury Lawyer said...

this outfit is so comfy and low profile outfit, pretty

Apple said...

beautiful dress.

modest-apple.blogspot.com

Chelsea said...

That dress is AMAZING! I love how the cardigan seems to have been born to go with it... it nips in at just the right point to highlight your waist even more.

And screw the media. I love me a fashion magazine, but personal style blogs have kinda ruined them for me. I'm flipping through thinking... okay who can afford all this shit? And what would this trend look like on a regular gal? Then I surf my google reader and feel like all is right in a world again.

PS Love the bump!