“Hold still,” one of the LOFT designers told me as I turned to see who was fiddling with my skirt. “I’m fixing the bow for you.”
When he stepped back to admire his work, I reached around and felt the bow in the middle of my back. “I don’t like it there,” I firmly told him as I retied the bow. “I like it on the side.”
I felt a light slap against my hand, “The designer intended it to be tied in the back.”
I twirled. The voluminous black fabric of my vintage, 50’s, wrap skirt swirled around me. “This skirt is mine!” I corrected him. “I decide how I will wear it! I like the bow on the side so it doesn’t poke me when I lean back.”
When I buy a garment it is mine to wear as I please. Ditto for the garments I sew. I have very few wardrobe “shoulds.” This is one of them: Every woman should feel the same. If a bow tied in the back is uncomfortable, tie it at the side. If the bow is prettier at the side, tie it at the side. If a spaghetti string tie at the waist feels off, try tying it higher, if long enough. Or just snip it off if the dress is inexpensive. Otherwise, cover it with a replacement belt that suits your taste. If a self fabric belt isn’t working, replace it with a different one. Or use different belts/sashes according to your mood. And turn the buckle/bow/tie to the side or back instead of the front or side front if that’s what you want.
Personalize your wardrobe.
And trust your instincts even when catalogue photos look scary. After seeing this top on Boston Proper for a year, I bought one size smaller than their chart indicated convinced I’d send it back. It fit perfectly – not too big, not too tight. I closed a couple of buttons to make this “sexy” top stylish and chic. It’s one of my all-time favourites but I would never wear it as pictured here.
Originally, this Talbots’ dress had an invisible zipper in back. Closing it was a nightmare. Removing the dress was worse. I took it to a tailor and had the invisible zipper replaced with an exposed, white cotton zipper with metal teeth. Now, the dress is a bit edgy and easy to zip and unzip. (I’ll add a photo when I’ve finished unpacking my summer things.)
Practice telling yourself, “These clothes are mine. I can change them to suit my life, my body, my taste. I can personalize my wardrobe.” Practice it over and over. And if anyone sneaks up behind and tries to move your bow, say, “No. This is mine.”