Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Fashion Dysmorphia and me

So I’m sitting in my lounge, cuppa to hand and a copy of my favourite fashion magazine nestling in my lap. I won’t lie, it hasn’t been the best of days, so a flick through to see what the gorgeous people are wearing should brighten my day right up.

Its spring (well it’s supposed to be) and jumping out from the pages are lithe young lovelies wearing blocks of bright colour, floaty florals and stripes galore, all accessorised to within an inch of their lives. It makes me smile….but as I drool over the latest gorgeous handbag and some fabulous Ash Buckle hi-tops (if I had the disposable they would be mine) I happen to look down.

Yet again I’m wearing my old faithful washed out denim flares, olive and black striped top that’s at least 15 years old (hey, at least stripes are in again) and my converse. Well at least I’ve more or less ditched my staple DMs for something softer and *ahem* more feminine.

As I lovingly gaze at the models I know that I will never, ever look that good – for goodness sake I’m twice their age – but I have also come to realise that I have Fashion Dysmorphia. I have a room full of clothes and nothing matches. I can casually fling on an assortment of garments, look in the mirror, flick my hair in a fashionista way (well what’s left of it, but that’s a whole different story) and think…. “ hmmm…not too shabby”. Then a few hours later I realise that Worzel Gummidge had more fashion-sense and better hair.

When I worked amongst “people” I managed to look not too mis-matched, even though I did like my mini-skirts and Doc Marten boots, or sky-scraper heels. Now, over ten years later, I have taken a step backwards rather than an older and wiser, more fashionably clad, step forwards. Working at home, behind a computer screen, is a fashion killer. Why get dressed up when you have nowhere to go and jeans are comfy? But again, I’m straying from the point.

Give me free reign in one of the top fashion houses (just for an afternoon mind you, I’m not greedy), and I would still emerge looking like I had just stepped out of the sale rails at Primark. There is something that happens between the light travelling from the mirror to my eyes that shifts the particles and I don’t see what everyone else sees… I see a perfectly presentable mother/wife/chauffeur (albeit a little on the unusual side) and they see a scarecrow. Perhaps Brian Cox could help me sort out the realities of this in some way? And yes, before you ask…when I look in the mirror I am wearing my spectacles.

Be very afraid

One case in point is the outfit for my brother’s recent wedding. Imagine.. I trawl through the shops in Inverness…three hours to find the perfect outfit with daughter in tow. As usual I end up in M&S, Per Una is usually a life saver, but nothing catches my eye. However, I’m in a retro vibe at the moment and a lovely 50s style linen shift dress beckons me from the rails (I know!! Linen, the Devil’s material…which I make a rule never to wear!!) The clock is ticking…I team it with a red jacket and shoe boots…and don’t look too shabby. Until I see the wedding photos! How on earth can something that looks good on the models (even if they are a few stone lighter) look so wrong? When I gazed into the changing room mirror on that fateful day I saw a woman in a smart outfit; it suited me and would be formal enough for a wedding. I even check and double check to make sure it’s the right size and everything ….the photos strangely enough show our dear old friend Worzel.

So, I have come to the conclusion I have Fashion Dysmorphia, it is a non-life threatening affliction caused by the inability to see how fashion translates onto one’s body. When a sufferer looks in the mirror they see a distorted image … they see a fabulously put together ensemble, while the world around them weeps.


  1. No,you mustn't diss Primark - not for that reason, at least; one can come out of there with a decent outfit, if one looks carefully.

  2. aaah I suppose, but the sale rails hmmmm? ;)

  3. Pah, fashion's highly overrated... ;)

  4. not when you alway look like you're wearing a tatty sack :P

  5. Yep, fashion dysmorphia. Guilty as charged. I just think the fashion models look ill and severely undernourished, so it's hard to see the beauty there. I'll take my body as is (though perhaps a bit more fit than at present). Wonderfully written, Sara, as always.

  6. Dear Sara, how lovely to have found your blog!

    Great post, you really made me laugh. I work from home a lot. I only get dressed if I have to leave the house. I have a nice line in nightdresses/pyjamas and kaftans, nearly all bought from Ebay for next to nothing.

    At least you have some day wear. I don't even own a pair of jeans or a t shirt. Shocking really.

    Have a great weekend xx

  7. Christina..what a lovely surpise :)

    I would love to swan around in my PJs, but the school run up here demands clothing...I'd be the talk of the town if I turned up in nightwear..literally...everyone knows everyone else around here! Jeans are my PJ substitute, but so damn lazy too.

    I have Hestia to thank for pointing me towards your blog, and Im glad she did. You blog is fabulous, much better than my mundane happenings at the far end of the country ;)

    Have a fabulous weekend xx

  8. Well us in the sticks often knock on each others doors in PJ's and one night even found my visitor and I had same pattern PJ bottoms on :-D not saying who though ;-)
    You see I dont have this problem, I try to clash and then avoid all mirrors until its too late then shrug and recon people can remember me for my clothes as my nutty personality!
    If I have a really bad day, it all goes together! and I worry how I will ever do it again!