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I wore this dress yesterday. It is loose and long.  It flows and moves.  Some of you may describe it as a “fat” dress, others may scoff and say it hides all feminine curves and does not allow a woman to express her sexuality and yet others will scorn and call it a “bag dress.”  I on the other hand, love it and describe it as a non-conforming, breathable, with a tremendous comfort quotient, super-stylish dress.  (I am entitled to my opinion, right?  After all we do have the fundamental First Amendment right of Freedom of Speech.)

kim kardashian

On the same day, as I was watching mindless television (in my very loose pajamas), I “inadvertently” ran into the Kardashian show.  The television screen flashed images of the enticing Kim Kardashian squeezed into a super-tight-to the point of being bound and bandaged, abbreviated dress.  She was the embodiment of sexuality.  Every nook, cranny and curve of her voluptuous, buxomy frame was tightly crunched into the “bandage dress.”

And, no I did not conjure  up the moniker of the “bandage dress.” Believe it or not, it is the official description of the Herve Leger contraption.  A royal feat for women’s lib (no pun intended)!

I had no choice and was compelled to compare my “bag dress” with Kim’s “bandage dress.”

I do have to make a disclaimer here. I am in no way eschewing overt sexuality.  Women have beautiful bodies and we work hard to keep them in shape.  There is absolutely nothing wrong in flaunting our curves or wearing tight clothes.  Deep down it satisfies the vanity of a woman to know that she has a body that can carry off (for a lack of a better term) a “bandage dress.”  Fashion, a multi-billion dollar industry, rests upon gratifying this very desire for unequivocal sexuality.

However, time and again, I have been compelled to make an astute observation.  An observation that bewilders me and makes me question the validity of it.  Precisely the reason, why I am sharing my confusion with you today.  Maybe you can infuse some semblance of clarity to my confusion.

When I look around, I notice that most women are very hesitant to wear loose clothes.  Most women’s comfort zone is tight-fitted clothes.  Case in point is jeans.  I see one woman after another, no matter what their body size or shape, feel very comfortable in fitted jeans with a fitted shirt.  In fact, the hesitation to wear loose clothes is so pervasive that my very first blog was devoted to it.  (You can read it here, if you are interested.)

I am intrigued by the machinations of the female brain and what dictates their choice of a dress as tight as the “bandage dress” over a breathable, free-flowing, stylish albeit loose dress.  Is it easier and quicker to put on as not much thought is required?   Maybe, it is like jeans, a sort of “no-thinking” garment!  Is it possible that such clothing is comfortable (although, the mere sight of the “bandage dress” makes me want to take a deep breath)!  Does wearing a garment so tight impart confidence to a woman?  Is it possible that women think they look fat when they wear loose clothes and make every effort to squeeze into a garment a size too small to look thin?  Is a “bandage dress” not constricting for a woman?  I refer to the term “constricting” in both the literal and metaphorical sense.  Literally for the body and metaphorically for the spirit of a woman.

Even the term, “bandage dress” has connotations of oppression and subjugation. It’s ironic that after fighting for women’s rights for centuries, women continue to seek the “aid” of the “bandage dress” to prove their sexuality.

Questions, questions and more questions pop into my brain.  Is it possible that a dress such as the “bandage dress” is worn to satisfy certain acceptable societal norms?  Fashion magazines are riddled with the do’s and don’ts of fashion symmetry.  Wearing loose clothes is always in the “don’t list,” no matter what your body type.  If you are petite, you will get dwarfed and if you are fat you will look even fatter.  So, sadly my poor loose “bag dress” is absolutely unacceptable as per societal fashion norms.

Women often come up to me and make this verbatim statement, “I love the loose dress you are wearing; I wish I had the guts to wear it.”  Really, is it truly about guts?  If so, what is stopping such women from wearing loose garments, despite the fact that they appreciate the beauty of it and even admire it on others.  I don’t see anybody getting arrested for wearing loose clothes.

I work as a lawyer and I often hear my female peers comment upon “sexing up” their clothes to get a better result from the male Judge or the male opposing attorney.  When I ask them to define “sexing up”, it always includes something “tight and short.”  This information leads me to another direction, maybe we women have an ulterior, more sinister, a more practical reason for wearing the “bandage dress.”  I mean, whatever it takes to get the work done, right!

Since, my blog is all about honesty, I will admit that when I wear tight clothes, I do get admirable glances from men, which is not the case when wearing my looser counter-parts.

If this is the case, do women dress up solely to please men? Do women derive a sense of self-worth and self-confidence only when admirable glances are thrown their way by the darker sex?  Are women blatantly using their sexuality for ulterior motives?  Are these the reasons that we do not have the ” guts” to wear loose clothes, even though we consider them stylish and attractive?

I know I am asking a multitude of questions, but this topic has intrigued me immensely and I would love to know your opinion.  What is it for you, a “bandage or bag dress”?   Or maybe as we say in legalese “it all depends.”

  • i’m going to skip the questions and just say you look amazing in your loose flowing and poetic dress. FANTASTIC!

  • albert:

    I once heard a director explain the difference between a “B” movie and a great movie. A “B” movie makes things explicit. Nothing is left for interpretation. I like to interpret.

  • I think different folks dress to express various values. I know that in the workplace for many years, I dressed to convey competence and expertise, hence polished, professional, neutral tones. The dress you are wearing allows you to move and to breathe…and as I age, it is important to let my mid-section assume it’s natural shape. I like the long crucifix. You would definitely catch my eye on the street.

  • Interesting. I have a bandage skirt not dress that I wear with volume on the top. Although, many men love tight fitting things I feel if you aren’t comfortable in it, then you probably should not wear… With that being said, I love the drape, and free flowing feeling of loose garments, like that one you’re wearing. There are many outfits that I have that are loose where I do feel sexy in them and receive compliments… mostly from the bf, but even so…
    I don’t know, perhaps I just don’t care, I simply wear what I wear! fitting, loose, and everything in between. :)

    *You look as if you have alot going through your mind in this lovely photo: On a stylish mission of sorts.

  • I agree that tight seems to be the norm these days … on nearly everyone I see. It hurts my eyes. Tailoring generally seems to be a non-word and the term “loose” is seen only in hairstyles. I love your beautiful dress, especially with your gorgeous, massive crucifix:))

  • lyudmyla:

    Here is what I think – “bandage dress vs bag dress” in a typical female brain translates to “sexual freedom vs. vows or commitment to a spiritual life.” Now it seems it doesn’t matter if we look like a tomato or a banana wrapped in tape, because we don’t really look at ourselves in the mirror. We look at the dress and as long as we see that dress in the mirror that translates to “sexual freedom”, so we feel good :) (even if it’s hard to breath in it)

  • I do think that lots of women dress in ridiculously tight clothing and heels that define nature to impress men!
    There’s nothing wrong with doing this is that how you want to be perceive but if you are looking to be taking seriously I think you should leave something to the imagination.
    The tight clothing and short dresses is something that prevails in my Latin Culture. I mean have you seen Telemundo or our Telenovelas? Women of advance age and something young girls of less than 7 years old are dress so provative that when my mom is watching this shows my daughters sometimes asked me why are they dress this way? I do show my curves or a bit of cleavage once in a while but I prefer cool and feminine cloting than super tight-circulation cutting clothing.
    By the way, I adore this dress and the long rossary-necklace and the shinny booties! A gas station never look so good.

  • I actually really love the dress you’re wearing as well. Flowy, loose dresses are always my favourites.
    I’m personally not a fab of ‘bandage’ dresses. I don’t think I could breath in them, let alone walk and move! I think most women would probably feel more comfortable in a loose dress, but are probably scared.

  • Hun, whatever you wear it will always look perfect! I love because is so flowy!
    Your fashion style blows my mind.. i need my camera next to you ASAP.
    Ps.. Kim Kardashian looks like a blow up sex doll.. “wayyyy to much”
    lee x

  • My dear friend. We are the same person and if you have not read Anika’s most recent post on sexy then you need to this instant…she touches on the subject of loose clothing.

    I LOVE loose clothing I kind of live in it. I do own the skinny jean as it goes nicely with my loosey goosey tops and way oversized sweaters in the winter and I love a short pencil skirt but my dresses are loose and pretty much 90% of my tops are billowy and I tend to size up because I like my fit with room to breathe and move and EAT!

    I would hope that women choose to wear those bandage dresses and super tight things of the same ilk because they feel good in it, I hope it makes them feel confident because that’s what loose clothes do for me I would hate to think that their reason is motivated by getting attention and the bit about your fellow lawyers trying to persuade judges with shorter/tighter clothing is sooooo disheartening. I hope it really gets them nowhere, because that is a terrible way to try to be.

    As always you look sooooo chic and effortless, I would wear your outfit in a heartbeat. You are such a beautiful woman, friend.

  • I love a blog that provokes thought! Thank you! Now that I dont care as much as I used to about dressing sexy, I still find I feel more “refined” in well fitted clothing. And now that I am older, I find that tailored clothing can smooth down those lumps. And to think I wasted a lot of my hippie years in figure disguising clothing! But I still love dressing in full flowing clothing also (like your dress–that I absolutley love) And more tailored clothing than I care to mention……Paula

  • I like wearing clothes “close to the body” but definitely not anything that could rival a Herve Leger bandage dress. I gave up super-constricting clothes a few years ago… just like I gave up super uncomfortable shoes. I decided that I was probably coming across as uncomfortable as I felt in those things. ;)

  • As a plus sixed women I wear some stuff form fitting or tight! I normally like wearing a tighter skirt and a looser top. I am top heavy 44DDD breast, but I love my legs, my hips and tush, and I high light it. Then again I love wearing a loose maxi dress that doesn’t show much. I may put a belt on there for texture, or to show my waist, but it all boils down to what I feel comfortable and when i’m comfortable then i feel sexy and confident, weather i’m wearing looser jeans, and a t shirt, or wearing a bubble dress that shows no curves!

  • Hello Ambu, this is my first visit to your site which I found through our friend Ofelia. Seeing the first photo of you, I realized how Colmbus must have felt discovering America. That being said, I don’t know if he really discovered America of not – but you get the idea. I don’t get the bag vs. bandage. I get bandage but not the bag part. My one & only comment about bandage is that it shouts “I am my body” – that’s what makes me interesting or what ever adjective your care to pick. I am all for sexuality in personal expression but the bandage think is more of a pyschological indicator for me than a style of dress.
    I don’t get the “bag” because it’s not a bag – not meant to cover flaws – I was overjoyed to find your blog because personal stye is about the expression of our very personal art. It indicates who you might be. I have yet to come across a personal style of art form that reflects my own and shouts – come see me in the MOMA. I could walk into your closet and feel at right at home. Perfect. Mostly though, seeing a woman who emotes what you do makes me want to sit down and talk and find out who this person and what she thinks and all that follows.
    I don’t know either why wearing loose clothes are on the don’t list. Comfort is as important in clothing as it is in designing a space where people will feel comfortable, energized and breathe in the living beauty of a structure. It changes you to be in a space like that.

    Anyway, glad to be following you.

  • Ambu my love, we are going to have the most interesting conversations when we finally see each other! There is so much I want to discuss with you, and this topic is one of them.

    How amazing that we are so on the same wavelenght! Kindred spirits indeed. I feel that there are all kinds of rules about what to do and not, and what I advocate is to screw the rules and not let us become restricted by a regime that we feel we need to comply with. How we express this defiance will vary of course, for some breaking out the bondage dress is it, for others wearing the “wrong” shape is freeing. In terms of dressing sexual for me, you know how I feel about the inner aspect of it. As for the outer aspect of it I`ll say this. I have a body that men find very sexual. I have been groped etc by bypassing men since I was 12. It still happens every day, only yesterday several men came up to me and made suggestive looks and comments, and one guy followed me. This is a daily occurrance for me, and I have been thinking about why this happens for years. One thing is my open nature I think, but even when I am more closed off it happens. I guess it is the va va voom of the walking symphony and the hourglass etc. When I tried dressing more sexual I felt voulnerable, because showing my body to the fullest ment that the unwanted attention increased. So, you might ask, do I now wear wider clothes because I am hiding? Why not show some cleavage? I`ll tell you why, I want to be free. Free to sway my ass when walking, not holding in my tummy, not worrying, just being and having fun in the moment. And, come on, why is the dance of the seven veils so sexy? Because we want to see what is underneath, because that forplay is a thrill. Ambu, to me you are drop dead georgeous. I totally fancy you and love you.

    Tell me, do you sumbit your posts to IFBs links a la mode? Your blog is in my top three of blog loves. Hugs, Anika

  • Ambs! I love that dress! It looks so reminiscent of another era yet so current all at the same time!
    I don’t own a bandage dress but I do have a couple bandage skirts and I love them! The thing is they are stretchy so they don’t feel tight. I wear them because I like them. I never considered what “message” I was trying to convey with them, so I don’t really guess there was one. Most of my clothing is “fitted” but that is just my style I guess. I like the way I look and I feel good in what I wear. That’s all that really matters to me. I never thought about whether or not they are attention getting. I have some skirts and dresses that are loose or full, as well.
    I believe fashion is about wearing what makes you feel confident and sure of yourself. Confidence is the sexiest wardrobe item any of us could own. So even if you wear fitted, body conscious clothing – if you don’t feel confident it will show. And that isn’t sexy. If you wear loosely fitting items and feel like a Diva, that will show as well. That is sexy!

  • Elle:

    Personally I love your “baggy” dress and it’s movement- I was always one for clothes with movement. While I admittedly love my skinny jeans I must say I love flowy “baggy” silky tops that flow in interesting ways. It might not be the most “flattering’ silhoette, but I’ve always found something beautiful in these tops, and while my boyfriend has questioned them on hangers, he actually likes it when I wear them. I think anything can be sexy if you wear it in confidence. I don’t tend to things that are tight in a way that is uncomfortable or anything that makes me feel over exposed, and I have a feeling that style of bandage dress would just not be to my liking, nor do I see it’s appeal- now put a higher neckline, and make it a little above the knee, and stretch the fabric a little bit and that to me would be beautiful without having to sacrifice modesty or comfort. I love this thought provoking piece! And the discussion in the comments too. Anika was so right- sexy is a state of mind. And for me dressing in a way that attracts cat calls from men is not the only way to be sexy.

  • I am all for comfort. I dress for myself. Unless it is a date night … then I dress for my husband. But I love loose flowing dresses. In fact though I can easily fit into XS/X I often buy M and L ‘coz I like the breathing space! :)

    ♡ from © tanvii.com

  • prutha:

    i am loving ur fat dress!! and the necklace is perfect for it…

  • gothchiq:

    Bag! Highlight the good parts, skim over the not so good. I’m 43 years old and have a pot belly. Tight clothes make me look horrible. X(

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