Pretty uncomfortable: why does women’s clothing feel like such a hindrance?

Sitting on the toilet and pretty much naked; my outfit choice for the day is a playsuit – navigating a visit to the toilet is never easy in a playsuit. I’m conscious of the unusually wide gap near the lock and I’m pretty sure someone is staring at the bra I got in the Ann Summers sale. I secretly hope she assumes the bra was very expensive.

Finally done, I now reach behind frantically to get a good grip on the zip and pull away like a whirling dervish in floral. The safety pin I had to keep together the all-too-revealing plunge front pulls apart – thus exposing my boobs and my £8 bra.

I’m sure everyone waiting in line thought I was either taking a dump or doing a line – or maybe both considering the time it took me to finally emerge from the cubicle.

Many outfit crises happen in the ladies loos. In the private space of a toilet cubicle, we meticulously pull up our tights so as to not make ladders, we pin back fabric and tug up Spanx for as to appear poised and lovely for the public eye.

Though I enjoy wearing women’s clothes, I find the process of putting them on laborious and consider the wearing of them an inconvenience. I’m forever surreptitiously tugging out a front wedgie and jerking down fabric for fear of exposing my vag to the streets of London. It’s actually a skill that I’ve mastered over the years. I find handbags a hindrance and only ever opt for a plain black, leather shopper that I can hitch onto my shoulder – I need to have both hands free at all times.

And if I had a pound for every time I’ve nearly revealed a boob from under a shirt, I’d have enough money to buy clothes that actually work!

Finding clothes online is often a struggle, too. Often, you can’t find a basic tshirt for all the cropped, monochrome, mesh and strappy versions. Online shops are brimming with deep plunges that go all the way down to the crotch, super short shorts, mesh all over the gaff and shoes boasting heels bigger than your actual foot size.

The only time I would pair a deep plunge playsuit with ten inch heels is if I was to be sitting down the entire evening – or posing in front of the mirror pretending to be Beyonce.

But the days of women spending their days perched like statuesque goddesses are long gone; the women I know are on the move and getting shit done. None of us want to be modern day Elizabeth Bennets –  sitting on a chaise longue in Tiger Tiger, wearing a mesh mini dress, waiting for Mr. Darcy to buy us Jager bombs – avoiding movement so as to not pop out a boob.

Even ‘power dressing’ for the office involves heels too big to walk in and dresses so tight you risk crushing your rib cage. For that reason I don’t really ‘power dress’ – no one will take me serious if I trip over myself.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t wear dresses or crop tops, but in my personal opinion I feel like much of women’s clothes are made to be uncomfortable. The clothes offered to us are made to show us off when we’re on display. They’re not designed for busy days spent tackling chores, giving presentations and writing up reports. Those stilettos may be okay for the model sporting them – but they don’t allow me to sprint to conferences and brave the Tube during rush hour.

As much are there’s nothing wrong with dressing up and flashing a bit of thigh, there’s nothing wrong with comfort. It all depends on the individual; but one thing all women can agree on is that a lot of effort – and sometimes pain – goes into wearing ‘lovely’ outfits. And when we wear said outfits, we feel more like mannequins than capable women.

Recently I’ve made the decision to wear my Doc Martens to my graduation ceremony; because if I wear anything with a hint of a heel, I will face-plant the stage, rip my dress and expose my arse. Out of concern, a friend has offered to lend me her 3 inch heels that she has stashed in her wardrobe. Her expression when I told her my plan suggested I’d told her that I had 3 weeks to live.

‘I’d rather be comfortable, besides no one will notice for the gown I’ll be wearing,’ I assured her. And in that moment, she understood because she too has probably had enough of being expected to wear things which are pretty but deadly uncomfortable. Saying that, haven’t all women?


One Comment Add yours

  1. meinheels says:

    Hmm, recently got a jumpsuit…still thinking when the hell I will get the chance to wear it. I do the heels thing with ease after much practice, and even do the traditional corset thing. Its interesting how lives have changed we are pressurised by the mainstream media to dress up for the sake of making money, but historically impractical fashions were the preserve of those who were wealthy enough to never need to something. I’m not saying being aspirational is a bad thing but surely there’s something wrong with society of we feel the need to pretend to be people we are not.


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