(Slightly) Twisted Corporate

As so many of you liked the “Corporate Up” POTV ensemble from Monday’s post, I thought I’d actually wear to the office this week.  I think it worked well and here’s the result.   I carried my dark olive green Lancel bag, just to throw another color into the mix.  Once again I’m feeling the need to apologize for a) the lousy photo quality, and b) mirror shot.  (The contortions required to get all of me into this narrow mirror while holding the camera steady don’t make for great photography.  I have “buy a tripod!” on my to-do list for the weekend. Yes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.)

I’ll also admit that after seeing this shot, I almost didn’t post it.  I mean, those light colored, wide-legged pants aren’t doing me any favors, are they?  My mother’s Prime Directive (“you shouldn’t wear that, it makes you look FAT!”) still echoes in my head. 

But then I remembered my recent impassioned manifesto that we need to see more images of how clothing looks on women who aren’t 5’11” and 112 lbs, so I’m pouring myself another glass of wine and clicking Publish now.

Edited to add: Are you able to be objective about your own appearance, especially in pictures?  If so, were you always or did it take some work?

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  1. April 21, 2010 / 10:00 am

    I don’t even see what you are talking about (as far as the pants not being flattering). You look fantastic!

  2. April 21, 2010 / 10:54 am

    You look TERRIFIC! Really really chic and stylish and slim. Well Done. xxx

  3. April 21, 2010 / 11:50 am

    I like the pants. True, they are not as narrow as some of the jeans I’ve seen you wear but it’s still an elegant look with the rest of the outfit. It’s always a challenge to wear black/brown together and you do so quite nicely.

  4. April 21, 2010 / 12:10 pm

    Be kind to yourself re: the pants. I think they’d look fine IRL as opposed to the mirror shot (which there isn’t anything wrong with, BTW). I wore a similar pair yesterday based on your polyvore on the floor!

  5. April 21, 2010 / 1:02 pm

    If those are your taupe lightweight wool Jackson’s, I’m wearing the exact same pair today. The outfit looks great on you. Pay no attention to the mother in your head!

  6. April 21, 2010 / 1:02 pm

    You look wonderful… All I see when I look at the photo is a long lean line– and fab shoes.

  7. Northmoon
    April 21, 2010 / 1:46 pm

    I am learning to live with myself at ten pounds or so over my ‘ideal’ weight. It is not ‘fat’ it just isn’t teenaged svelte anymore. So what. I’d have to starve myself to be in that body and I’m not willing to do it.

    I do want to step it up a notch in terms of putting outfits together, and you are a wonderful inspiration. Thanks for posting the picture.

  8. April 21, 2010 / 2:36 pm

    I think you look fabulous, Pseu, but I know exactly what you mean. Every single time I publish a photo of myself, there’s a part of me cringeing. Another part is as committed as you are to having more images of women out there — maybe my granddaughter won’t have to inherit all these body-image gremlins.
    As far as the photo-taking goes: I’m just so impressed that you people in obviously sunnier climes can take an indoor photo without the flash so regularly. Most of my attempts to mirror-photo myself result in most of the picture being obliterated by the blinding reflection and if I turn off the auto-flash, the snap’s too dark to see.

  9. Anonymous
    April 21, 2010 / 2:40 pm

    Mais voyons Pseu, n’écoutez pas cette mauvaise langue dans votre tête, vous ètes belle et chic. Cet ensemble vous va à merveille.


  10. Rubiatonta
    April 21, 2010 / 2:54 pm

    Pseu, you look grand.

    I don’t always like the way I look in photos, so I’ve learned to make requests of those taking my picture. If I’m sitting down (rarely flattering), I ask that the photo show only the upper third of me (bosom to pate). And I also ask that I be photographed from slightly above. Looking up into a camera works like a mini face lift.

    I realize that this may sound demanding, but I have a minor in photography, and I’ve come to understand that making a few requests like these is the difference between a snapshot and a nice informal photo. And there’s nothing wrong with asking nicely!

  11. April 21, 2010 / 3:09 pm

    I think you look fabulous! But I know exactly what you mean because I struggle with the same issues anytime I post pictures, and admittedly there are many posts that never see the light of day because I can’t bear to see the photos of myself, much less toss them out to the world.

    Still, without fabulous role models like you guiding the way. You are an inspiration to me, and have helped guide me to greater acceptance. I hope if we all post our photos and learn to accept ourselves better, that future generations will not be plagued with the same self-doubt.

  12. April 21, 2010 / 3:23 pm

    The outfit looks great off the floor too:). You look great. As for images of myself? Lord, I’m nowhere as brave as you. Bravery is terribly attractive.

  13. spacegeek
    April 21, 2010 / 3:49 pm

    Ditto what everyone has said. I don’t see what you are talking about wrt the trousers–they look fine to me.
    OTOH, I believe in keeping clothing in my closet that make me feel fabulous, so if these trousers don’t fall into that category for you, consider sending them on their way…. 🙂 Really do like the outfit!

  14. April 21, 2010 / 4:22 pm

    You look great! No fat in sight…I am very self conscious myself and applaud you for showing us your twisted corporate.
    I think the world puts way too much pressure on women to be perfect…lets embrace our uniqueness and be comfortable in our own skin…I say that as much for you as I do for me.

  15. April 21, 2010 / 5:03 pm

    “Are you able to be objective about your own appearance, especially in pictures?”

    Good LORD, NO!!! But Miss J can be objective about other people’s photos. She thinks Miss Pseu’s looks marvelous- colorful, classy and well-put-together, and sexy.

  16. April 21, 2010 / 5:34 pm

    Looks just as good on you as it did on the floor!

    Photography flattens one out, which is why “good lighting” helps…one gets some shadings and highlights that contour. And point-and-shoot cameras do distort more than machines with great lenses.

    Unfortunately most of us don’t have pro-quality lenses and fabulous lighting following us around to represent us more accurately!

    In addition to some of the tips already mentioned, try lowering the camera to waist-height to minimize distortion.

    I’m not naturally photogenic — or so I tell myself, ha — and I’m afraid I take bad photos way too personally when really “bad angles” do exist! Since I’m not really a “one snap and go” subject, I do my best in candids and will play around with blog shots.

    Since a small adjustment in stance can look quite a bit better/worse in photos, I prefer to have my pick — and when I’m critical of myself for being vain I just ask myself “What Would Narcissus Do?” and go from there.

    This is YOUR place — of course it’s lovely to be free from insecurities and self-criticism and such, but indulge yourself with retakes if you want.

  17. April 21, 2010 / 6:40 pm

    “What Would Narcissus Do?” I think it’s my new motto! (Pseu, you don’t mind if I appropriate it, do you?)

  18. April 21, 2010 / 7:47 pm

    Interesting – I am liking your blog. Visit mine and you will see the connection!

  19. Marsi
    April 21, 2010 / 12:49 pm

    We are our own worst critics.

    I think the slacks look fine.

    But if they make you feel anything less than fabulous, you owe it to yourself to give them the ol’ heave-ho.

  20. April 21, 2010 / 8:11 pm

    I think you are looking great and I love the outfit too…. bring on another glass of wine and celebrate! x

  21. Sal
    April 21, 2010 / 1:19 pm

    Good. Because all I thought when I saw this was, “Deja looks FABULOUS in this ensemble!”

  22. Frugal Scholar
    April 21, 2010 / 3:12 pm

    I don’t think you look heavy at all. I think that–at the moment–narrow pants are more au courant; maybe that’s what’s bothering you.

    Love the sweater on you also.

  23. adornedunicorn
    April 21, 2010 / 4:23 pm

    I think we are our own worst/meanest critic- you look great, and I really like seeing how the outfit looks “in real life”. I just turned forty and find you and your blog totally inspiring- thank you!

  24. April 22, 2010 / 12:24 am

    Thanks to all for your kind reassurances!

    Nicky – thank you. I actually think these pants look fine IRL, especially because they drape and move so nicely. I think it’s the two-dimensional-image-shock that always gets to me.

    Faux Fuschia – thanks, you’re a peach!

    Special – thank you. Actually the jacket is a dark navy, which I’m finding is easier to pair with other colors than black.

  25. April 22, 2010 / 12:28 am

    Nancy – thanks! I do think they look better IRL, and I’m even feeling better about the photo today.

    Marsi – thank you. Actually I think the pants look fine IRL. I don’t know why I think a photo is a more accurate image than what I see when I look in the mirror.

    SarahN – yes, these are they. I love my Jackson trousers, but am a bit miffed at BR because they’re not offering this cut in anything other than black and two styles right now.

  26. April 22, 2010 / 12:31 am

    SMR – thanks! I think the shoes make everything I wear them with look good!

    Sal – thanks, doll. You’re the best.

    Northmoon – thank you so much. We all need to keep inspiring each other, and countering the super-thin, super-young images that are so ubiquitous.

  27. April 22, 2010 / 12:50 am

    materfamilias – thank you, and your adorable pics have inspired me too. My trick for non-flash photos: turn on every bloody light in the vicinity!

    Orane – vous etes très gentile, merci.

    Rubiatonta – thank you; those are great tips.

  28. April 22, 2010 / 12:56 am

    Mardel – thanks so much. I really do think that putting our images out there does counter some of the fashion/beauty industry propaganda. So much of the problem is that we think we look “wrong” in comparison to the singular standard we see in media, when in reality we’re just fine.

    Frugal Scholar – I think you’re onto something there. Thank you.

    LPC – thanks so much. You’re too kind!

  29. April 22, 2010 / 1:03 am

    spacegeek – thank you. While the trousers aren’t the most fabulous thing in the closet, they do fill an essential role, and there would be a definite hole in the wardrobe without them.

    hostess of the humble bungalow – thanks! I do just want to say though that there’s nothing inherently wrong with *any* body type. We all strive to look well-balanced and proportional. When I perceived that the pants made my legs look shorter and thicker, those old tapes recorded by my mother long ago kick in.

    adoredunicorn – thanks so much! I also love seeing how ensembles look on non-models (I almost said “real women” but models are real women too, just women with a rare type of physique). I get so much inspiration from others, especially when they take some chances and move out of their comfort zone with great results.

  30. April 22, 2010 / 1:18 am

    Miss Janey – thank you. I always think you look fab in your pics too.

    Vix – those are GREAT points, and so easy to forget for those of us who aren’t doing photography at that level. When I get the tripod, I’ll try setting it at waist level.

    Rubi – WWND belongs to Vix, but if she’s OK, I’m OK. 🙂

  31. April 22, 2010 / 1:21 am

    Je m’appelle Cynthia – indeed! Will enjoy reading about your first trip to Paris.

    Semi Expat – and it’s just about time for a glass of wine! Thank you!

    LBR – thanks! Why do we do this to ourselves? What would Jung say?

  32. April 22, 2010 / 2:34 am

    Pseu, you’re right — visibility matters so much. And the older I get, the more I need some alternatives to the Red Hat Society (bless their hearts). So do keep on truckin’….

    Rubi, plenty to go around –.use it with my blessings, ha!

  33. April 22, 2010 / 3:08 am

    I’m getting a tripod this weekend too.

    Pictures often lie…don’t trust them!

  34. La Belette Rouge
    April 21, 2010 / 8:17 pm

    Your eyes lie. You look fantastic in this outfit. Glad you ignored your sense of this outfit and hit publish so we could disabuse you of your misconception.

  35. April 22, 2010 / 9:59 am

    I completely sympathise with the photo cringe – I have it too.

    It’s also much harder to take flattering photos of yourself than have someone else take them.

    The pants are fine! you look Fab! and have you worn those new orange shoes to bed yet?

  36. tiffany
    April 22, 2010 / 3:08 am

    You look GREAT! But understand re photos. I hate being photographed so much that probably only a dozen or so photos of me exist from the last 10 years – my children may wonder in future where I was!

  37. April 22, 2010 / 12:32 pm

    Pour the mother in your head her own glass and give her a recipe book or something. You look wonderful!

  38. April 22, 2010 / 12:33 pm

    Fat is not the word that comes to mind. More like fabulous,dinamic,radiant.

  39. April 22, 2010 / 1:45 pm

    This is beautiful! It was my favorite polyvore, and seeing it on you confirms that.

  40. April 22, 2010 / 9:06 pm

    I never thought for one second that your legs looked fat or even larger than other legs I see photographed. Someone wrote that photography flattens one out. I don’t allow photos with any of the three cameras in our house lately as they not only flatten, but also bulge in the centre. So I’m betting you look “even better” than this photo shows.

  41. April 24, 2010 / 1:52 pm

    Vix – yes, though it’s not always easy to put ourselves out there.

    WendyB – so true!

    tiffany – thanks, and isn’t that a shame that we are so reluctant to allow ourselves to be photographed? I treasure old photos of my family, and I’m sure your children will treasure yours.

  42. April 24, 2010 / 2:02 pm

    (can’t type your name) – thank you.

    Imogen – thank you! I agree, it’s tough to do self-portraits.

    Duchesse – thanks so much. I’m getting better at realizing that voice does not have to *my* voice.

  43. April 24, 2010 / 2:07 pm

    nurmisur – thank you so much.

    Rita – thank you. It was fun putting this together and wearing.

    Rosina – yes it’s true, photos do flatten, and I think my point-and-click camera doesn’t help the equation either. Thanks so much!

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