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Redesigned by Me

**Post originally written 20/06/2020**

I have a few posts I need to write up but this seemed like the easiest one to tackle first. Hopefully once it’s out of my head I can start trying to work on processing everything else that has been going on these last few weeks/hundreds of years.

So remember when I said I would stop buying fast fashion/cheap clothes for myself and instead save up for the odd piece here and there from ethical and sustainable brands? (You won’t but that's ok) Yeah well I forgot to factor in that just about my entire pay would be used to cover the childcare costs needed for me to work so that didn’t really go to plan.

That being said, I have continued to be a lot more intentional with my purchases. I do the mental check of whether or not it will fit in with my attempt at a capsule wardrobe and then wait until I’m really sure I need it, and then purchase it. Usually by this point a lot of time has passed and some items are on sale so that is an added bonus when funds are limited. But, at a year and a half into my capsule wardrobe, I have started to get really bored of it. I’ve been missing colour and prints and personality. I had forgotten how much I used to use my clothing to express myself when I was younger and so instead of purchasing (justifiably) pricey new clothes, I’ve been raiding Vinted for pre-loved clothes. Not only do you get a bargain but you are extending the life cycle of clothing. I’ve also put a few items up for sale myself, profile name is Kartechno if anyone wants a browse. 

Some Vinted treasure and other crap in my kitchen

Having a capsule wardrobe has relieved me of a little of the decision fatigue I face every day but thanks to lockdown, I have spent a lot of time in my head as I try and tune out from the kids squabbling and the constant news updates on Covid-19 and I realised the benefits go deeper than that. It also relieved me from having to go through the daily ritual of trying on various outfits to find out which one kept my secret from being revealed to the world. The secret I have been trying to cover up for as long as I can remember – I have a belly. A biggish, squishy one that spills out of every waistband no matter if it’s hipster, high waist or flicking pyjamas. It’s there, it’s been there for as long as I can remember and I’m so sick and tired of apologising for it and trying to cover it up. 

You would think that with the huge body positivity movement that I would have accepted or even celebrated my body shape by now but nope, instead I kind of see these women and wonder how the heck they become so confident and have they not listened to the media and other such ‘truth tellers’ that judge and inform them of what they should actually look like in order to feel confidence and acceptance? I’m assuming part of the answer to that is no, they haven’t listened to them or if they have then in reply they have said ‘F*&$ off I’m amazing’ and carried on believing their own truth and the world didn’t end.

Well I’ve decided at the age of 36 that I can do that too. I can keep exercising to improve my mental health and physical well being and wear what I want while I am my current shape and not wait until I think I’ve got the figure required to wear a certain outfit. My body has taken a pounding over the last 20 years from yo-yo dieting, stop and go exercise programs and the crowning achievement of carrying and delivering two children. I am finally going to stop being ashamed of how it looks and only wearing outfits that hide all the lumps and bumps.

Exhibit A

On my birthday I decided to be brave. I wore a black sequin maxi skirt (thanks Vinted) with a fab t-shirt by Monster & Fox TUCKED IN TO IT. Normally this move on it’s own would reveal my shape but in a sequin skirt with the sun dazzling off it, there’s no way to ignore it. That wasn’t even the bravest part, I went on to post it on my BE Designed by K Instagram grid, where people could see it and judge (or as was most likely the case, not notice or care at all). But the main point is, I loved what I was wearing and felt great, even as I hoovered up every sequin that that amazing skirt shed all over my house. 

Obviously, it’s just not practical to wear that particular skirt every day and unlike with my capsule wardobe, I’m no longer going to tie myself into a particular look. If I feeling like wearing something that resembles unicorn puke I will go for it. If I think I will be more comfortable wearing something more muted I’ll do that too. Instead of always checking what everyone else will be wearing, I’m going to try and just show up as me. I might look like I got the dress code memo, I might not. Either way you can be sure I’ll be more comfortable and confident in my own skin that trying to be like someone else.

I know that nothing I am saying in this post or any other one is ground breaking. It might be that some of you reading this will have been brought up brimming with self acceptance and don’t know what I’m making such a fuss about, in which case, please continue to celebrate and express yourself so freely, you never know who you might inspire to be less harsh on themselves. But I will continue to write as if these are breakthroughs because that’s exactly what they are to me. Little by little I’m finally claiming these truths for myself and being redesigned by me instead of by some one else’s idea of what a mum of two in her mid-thirties with an interest in saving the planet should look like. 

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