Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

“The purpose of clothing is not to make you look thinner” Fashion brand seeks to reclaim the word ‘flattering’

flattering body image 1.jpg

"Dressing for your body type" is a frustrating, old-fashioned phrase we associate with a bygone era. But chances are we've all been told we shouldn't wear something because it's not "flattering" for our figure.

Now a New York fashion brand is looking to reclaim the word 'flattering' from the negative connotations it's associated with.

Mallorie Dunn, founder of clothing brand Smart Glamour, which sells fashions in sizes XXS to 6X, says "The word flattering, as a stand alone, is not a bad one. The definition is 'pleasing or gratifying'. But that’s not what flatter means contextually nowadays."

"Having 'flattering clothing' basically means 'that makes you look thin.' Or - slightly better but still not good - 'that makes your shape look great'. 

"The purpose of clothing is not - and does not have to be - to make you look thinner."

flattering body image

Dunn asked women of all sizes, ages and ethnicities to share anecdotes of when someone - a stranger or loved one - gave them unsolicited advice on what they shouldn’t wear. 

After being inundated with responses, she invited nine of the women to tell their stories and model the very items of clothing they've been told to not avoid, "not just to prove these “experts” wrong – but to show that their bodies are up to them, and them alone," says Dunn.

flattering body image

The photo series, which is accompanied by the hashtag #imflattered, features a woman who was told her shoulders were "too broad to wear halter tops" while another was told "big girls shouldn't wear prints". 

One women who has been told to hide her larger breasts told Buzzfeed, “This campaign … has given me an opportunity to revisit judgments others have expressed about my body and say, ‘That’s not about me.’”

flattering body image

"When somebody says, 'Oh that's really flattering' what they mean is that article of clothing makes you look thin," says a model for the label.

"And that kind of feeds into this conception that we have that women need to be smaller and take up less space."

Watch the women of the #ImFlattered series model the fashions they were once put off wearing below.

Related

blogger mum.JPG

Mother's message about dealing with post-natal depression goes viral

rexfeatures_962329af.jpg

In defence of Emma Watson’s feminist tribute to Alan Rickman

Capture.PNG

Why this woman's "love handles" selfie is trending

period tampon tins there will be blood.png

Forthright new tampon tins tell it like it is

The retailer returns policy that moved one woman to tears

bikini body.jpg

The fearless feminists of 2015

Mel Rymill.jpg

New mum tackles post-birth body shaming head on with defiant selfie

hero.jpg

'My nightmare Tinder date exposed an unsaid culture of body shaming'

ThinkstockPhotos-503992794.jpg

Marie Kondo: Learn how to tidy your home forever in one video

Comments

More

This epic new handbag range is made from pineapple leaves

Vegan fashion that doesn't compromise on style

by Nicola Colyer
26 May 2017

Relax: Amazon’s new wedding shop has arrived

Browse “unique, handcrafted items for your wedding day”

by Anna Brech
26 May 2017

This week's style list: from Annie Warhol to chandelier earrings

Indulge yourself with a treat from our hand-picked edits

by The Stylist web team
25 May 2017

Five items in your wardrobe that were inspired by Cristóbal Balenciaga

Don't know much about him? Look no further...

by Harriet Hall
25 May 2017

Daily outfit inspiration with our look at the best dressed A-listers

Casual dressing ideas from stylish celebrities

25 May 2017

25 unusual accessories to update your wedding wardrobe

Shoes, bags, jewellery and headgear to perk up your one-wear wedding wonders

by Amy Swales
24 May 2017

22 unusual and awesome Father's Day gifts

Stylish, foodie, boozy, outdoorsy: we've got you covered

by Amy Swales
24 May 2017

Summer looks like jeans that turn into shorts

You didn't know these were missing from your life

by Amy Swales
22 May 2017

A closer look at Pippa Middleton’s wedding dress

One of Britain's most celebrated designers, Giles Deacon, created the gown

21 May 2017

The feminist t-shirt everyone’s talking about on Instagram

It’s time to wear your feminist credentials front and centre

by Kayleigh Dray
19 May 2017