The cut of a piece of clothing, I’ve always known even before losing weight, is important for getting the right shape out of your clothes. The cut, as I understand it, refers to the way a piece of garment hangs on the body based on the shape and dimensions of the various parts/pieces it is made of.
You may fit into a certain size, but the cut may not fit you – look nice on you, flatter you. Perhaps the upper part of a pair of jeans looks out of shape, or a shirt seems too round and puffy around the torso, or the sleeves are too big/long.
I realize now that, with a better body shape, clothes are going to do more for you. This may seem like the most obvious thing to say in the world, but I think for someone like me who has been fat/overweight/unshapely for so long, to finally see oneself fit a cut nicely, is a revelation.
And this is important, because in the consumer world of fashion, we are used to (1) perfectly shaped models pulling off all kinds of clothes with nonchalant ease in their immaculately photoshoped magazine pages, (2) we know it’s because they have far superior body shapes from us ordinary mortals, and (3) we’ve resigned to being fat and shapeless.
This combination of mental acceptances creates in us a complacency that we can never look like that. We all go into shops, pick out clothes that look great on the hangar, try it on ourselves only to have them betray us in the mirror. Slowly, we accept that the model adverts are just a lie – or rather, it’s not for you, not for your “shape”.
My point is that, if you feel that clothes never seem to look good on you, it may simply be due to your shape + the cuts you choose. While the latter is something you can hunt down and choose, the former is something you have to commit hard work to turn into reality.
It is not impossible to find clothes with cuts that fits you, even if you’re overweight. It’s just harder. In my experience, it is also annoying – it’s just so hard to find new clothes. I know this because of the many years of buying new clothes for Chinese New Year. My experience for this year has been the easiest. Two of my favourite pieces this year came from clearance bins. They were relatively small in size – and surprisingly they fit. I’ve never had it this easy before. Just about the only thing hampering me were stock and price.
The lesson is that vanity is not just about having the right figure, it is about the satisfaction that clothes fit you nicely.