MY RELATIONSHIP WITH OVERSIZED

I’ve gravitated towards oversized pieces for as long as I can remember. They are loose fitting, comfortable, and hey, probably fit my boyfriend too. I’ve never met an oversized shirt that I didn’t like, and there’s something very romantic about an oversized blazer thrown over a little dress. It’s that juxtaposition of looks that I refer to time and time again, and one that often creates the balance in an outfit that feels like home. Over the years, I’ve utilised oversized pieces for many different reasons – sometimes because of a favourite film character I’ve become obsessed with, and other times because of the relationship I have with my body…

‘Figure flattering’ is a term that I’ve always found quite odd. It creates the impression that I should be concerned with whether my outfit flatters my shape or not…

Don’t get me wrong – I think the term definitely has it’s place, and it’s always offered out with the best of intentions, but that’s surely the last thing any of us should be worried about when it comes to personal style. Couldn’t we just have less emphasis on the figure part, and more emphasis on the flattering? I’ve heard people discuss women with ‘oversized styles’ and slim figures as ‘a total waste’ and it makes me want to throw a heavy oversized pile of clothes in their direction. Similar to occasions when I’ve worn a dress that nips me in at the waist and someone says ‘where have you been hiding that figure?’ (usually inflicted from men in the workplace that make me want to throw up). Both examples that make me feel vastly uncomfortable about how much the female form is commented on, and just how many people believe we should be showing it off for others viewing pleasure. It seems, as women, we still have to fight against the stereotypical women’s wardrobe, proving that we have ownership of our own desires, and sometimes that desire might lie in an oversized shirt… 

Truth be told, I started wearing oversized because I felt most comfortable being mostly covered up. I fluctuated in weight a lot growing up, so oversized always seemed like my safest bet. That, or having to constantly rearrange material that was clinging to my fat and making me feel overly conscious of myself. Oversized felt floaty and safe, and so I stuck with it… 

I love oversized silhouettes – I think they can make someone look so powerful when the tailoring is just right. I love exaggerated sleeves, and baggy jeans with huge cosy jumpers. I love big stomping boots with wool coats that almost hit the floor, and I love huge tacky clip on earrings that look like they are straight out of a dressing up box…

I love character dressing, and oversized outfits are like a warm hug on those days when I’d rather be tucked up in bed avoiding any kind of adult responsibilities. Oversized also has the power to be incredibly sexy – that’s what’s great about it, it’s versatile and fun to play around with. An oversized shirt worn as a dress with some strappy heels will never be anything other than killer in my eyes…

At twenty six, I still use oversized pieces to cover up my body now and then, but not because I’m ashamed of it – the very opposite in fact. I’m starting to appreciate that a ‘good body’ is one that wakes up each day and breathes, everything else is a bonus. Whether I feel proud to show off my body or not, oversized clothing has a special place in my wardrobe. There will always be days where I need that warm oversized hug, and there will always be times when I want to feel powerful and sexy in my own skin…

Oversized has my back. 


Photographs by Catherine Booty 

Shirt & jeans – both vintage

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5 Comments

  1. I also like wearing oversize, but it really depends on the pieces. For shirts and sweaters in general I like a bit more loose fit. But then too baggy trousers do not look good on me.

    1. Yeah I tend to be the same, but baggy trousers and a tighter fitting top is a great look. It’s just about playing around with the balance of the pieces. I’m sure baggy trousers would look great on you!

  2. Found this post very thought-provoking. My love for oversize pieces comes from being self-conscious as a teen, where I suffered from body acne and my body simply growing. Yet today I still find myself reaching for oversize jumpers not for these reasons, but because of how they make me feel and how they look. Oversize jumpers and skinny jeans is a timeless look, and couldn’t agree more on the tailoring part – big sleeves and blazers can look amazing! Great read x

    Summer, http://www.thetwinswardrobe.com

    1. It’s funny isn’t it! I think sometimes you don’t even realise until you look back at images of yourself. So glad you could relate to it xx

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