The world of fashion can seem like an incredibly scary thing — especially when you feel like an outsider. When I look back on my high school days, I remember how much of them were fraught with concern over what my body looked like, which was amplified by what was on trend at the time — more specifically, the dreaded bodycon dress.
Getting ready for parties would usually induce panic, as I squeezed my way into tight dresses and skirts that always made me feel uncomfortable. Every cling on my curve made me feel more and more hatred towards my body, heightening every insecurity I had about the way I looked.
The decision between dressing for style versus comfort was this great divide that I had no idea how to cross. If I dressed how I really wanted, I'd be considered unfashionable, but when I dressed in line with what was trendy, I didn't feel like myself.
Over the last few years, a lot has changed in the fashion world, but by far my favourite has been the global embrace of the baggy aesthetic. Endorsed by the likes of Hailey Bieber and Bella Hadid in their off-duty street style and reimagined by Marc Jacobs and Balenciaga on the runway, there's been no denying that oversized is officially in.
Finally, a trend had emerged that allowed people (like me) to be on-trend without compromising their self-esteem. From long, wide-leg pants to oversized jumpers - the baggy movement didn't discriminate and didn't make anyone feel bad — it was the antithesis of the Miu Miu skirt and low-rise pant aesthetic.
Now, we're seeing women of all shapes and sizes styling oversized dresses with knee-high boots and parachute pants with crop tops. This trend has given them the freedom to experiment with silhouettes, tailoring looks to their specific needs and tastes. As someone who doesn't like wearing tight things around my midsection, my go-to look has become a pair of high-waisted, baggy pants with a corset top, à la Bridgerton.
I'm not suggesting that we throw a blanket (or a baggy tee) over our biggest insecurities, and I'm by no means endorsing a trend that encourages us to cover our believed flaws. Rather, I'm acknowledging the progression of fashion into a more inclusive space that doesn't force people to fit into a certain aesthetic in order to be considered stylish. This is a revolution of sorts.
The idea that comfort and style are mutually exclusive has been pervasive for some time now. The age old adage that 'beauty is pain' has rung loudly in the ears of young girls for generations. And, much like bad-tasting medicine doing you the most good, clothes that made you feel uncomfortable were believed to have the highest pay-off style-wise.
I think of the insecure, 16-year-old girl, and how much she would've loved to wear a pair of baggy pants to a party, but didn't, because she knew all her friends would be wearing bodycon mini dresses. I think of how much this movement would have helped her discover the parts of herself she really loved, and not focus on the parts she so desperately wanted to change.
The oversized clothing trend has created a new wave of women who are finally able to dress for comfort and style, without sacrificing on either, and I think that's something that everyone can get behind.
For more chats on fashion, self-love and body image, you can hear from the likes of Emily Ratajkowski, Remi Bader, Brooke Blurton, Amy Sheppard, AJ Clementine, Maria Thattil, Moana Hope at BODFest, presented by OGX.
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