When Models Wear What We Can’t

Sure — I know what you’re thinking. That happens all the time — see 9 out of 10 runway looks. But the phenomenon of models modeling clothes that we are supposed to buy, but would look like confused hippos if we actually put on, is that much more infuriating when what they’re wearing isn’t some crazy Karl Lagerfeld runway concoction that no one would actually ever wear, but a daytime dress, say, or a summer frock, that’s supposed to be a staple but really only works when you’re 5’11 and 95 pounds.

This issue comes up frequently during the summer, at least for me. Flipping the pages of a fashion magazine, I’ll think to myself, now that’s a cute dress, and doesn’t that look lightweight — what a pleasure that would be to wear in the hot summer months. The next thing you know I’m in Target, and I see the knock-off that I can actually afford. I’ll just try it on real quick, I say to myself, even though I only have about 10 minutes to spend in Target to find a gift for my friend’s birthday party that I’m on my way to.

Well, fast forward 45 minutes, I’m sweating in the Target dressing room after having tried on 12 dresses in 18 different sizes and 400 different styles, none of which look anything like the lithe model I saw just days ago. And I still haven’t found a gift for my friend.

I can’t tell you how many times this has happened. And it’s not so much that I’m under any delusions that I have the same body type as a runway model — but when dresses like the one featured at right pop up in magazines, one thinks that one can pull it off regardless of what size one is, and one is often, unfortunately, wrong. And it is aggravating. And really, there’s no amount of self-talk that can prevent it from happening again, and again, and again. In fact, I think I’ll go try to find that one right now.

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    • eEv

      Agreed. Model-shaped people, or even a less skinny apple-shaped people, with thin arms and legs, can wear more than people who are pear- or hour-glass shaped. Most of those clothes are designed to carry their volume in the middle, which looks fine if that’s where all your weight is anyway and you’ve got skinny limbs sticking out. But if your smallest part is in the middle and your limbs aren’t particularly thin, it just looks awkward and bulky. So people like you and me need more tailored stuff, which the model/apple-shaped people can wear too. So it’s not entirely fair, but there you go.