I want to tell you this absolutely ridiculous story about myself, with the full hope that you will laugh at me.
A few years ago I was getting dressed for a live-action roleplaying game in which I was playing a young girl. I was trying to dress a little on the childish side, and pulled out of one of my drawers a pair of striped socks. I pulled them on, put on a pair of red Chuck Taylors, and looked at myself in the mirror.
The horizontal stripes on the socks were doing what horizontal stripes are rumored to do: they drew the eyes horizontally across my legs and my calves, to my eyes, looked enormous.
As I looked into the mirror, the gut-instinct, unedited, honest-to-goodness thought that raced through my mind was: I can’t wear these socks! Someone might realize that I’m fat!
I stood there, all 5’9″, 244 pounds of me, looking into the mirror, worrying that my socks might tip someone off the the fact that I’m fat. As if my fat weren’t doing a fine job of it.
There are endless bits of advice plastered in magazines and shared in fitting rooms that suggest that the clothes you wear can disguise your girth. Don’t wear horizontal stripes. Black is slimming. Use seams to draw the eye away from the widest parts of your body. That’s all fine and good, but listen to me when I say this:
There is no article of clothing on earth that can make a fat person thin.
No amount of vertical stripes or dark colors or anything else is going to let a fat person masquerade as a thin person. Do horizontal stripes accentuate width? Sure, a little bit. Is avoiding them going to trick people into not noticing that you’re fat? Nope. Not at all.
I don’t care what your size or shape is: you should dress in a way that makes you happy. Wear clothes that make you feel good. Wear clothes you like looking at. If you’re fat and you like big, wide horizontal stripes in a garment knit with bulky yarn – wear it! Wear it proudly! Wear it and post pictures of it so I can admire it in all its stripey goodness! If you’re thin and you like spaghetti stripes and v-necks (apparently these are “things to avoid” for skinny people – I had to look it up on the internet) wear them and show them off everywhere you go. Wear the clothes that you love. Wear the clothes that you’re comfortable in. Wear the clothes that make your heart sing and make you feel like a million bucks.