Clothing and Movement..... Which Influences the Other?
Have you ever NOT done something because of what you’re wearing? “Sorry, I’m in a skirt…”, or you realize you can’t lift your arms overhead or give that big hug you’d like to, or you can’t walk comfortably because of what’s on your feet, because what you’re wearing prevents that movement?
I think most of us have experienced this, and I know this because most of our modern clothing doesn’t take movement into much considerations. Which is why there is clothing specific to movement, i.e.- athletic wear. When we think about it, if you have to be wearing special clothing to move, that limits your movement time to when you’re actually wearing that specific type of clothing that lets you move.
One specific type of clothing I like to draw attention to, ladies, is our undergarments. I am not a fan of compression wear or tight underwire bras; they constrict us on a cellular and muscular level. Tight bras and underwires lock down our rib cage which is designed to move freely. These underwires also greatly impede the lymphatic system’s ability to circulate effectively. And the compression wear compresses our nerves, blood cells and organs, pushing and compressing and not creating a sustainable environment for health.
As I was thinking about this during my own journey, as a busy working/homeschooling mama I don’t have a ton of separate time for movement. Yes, I can schedule it and make it happen, which I do, but even if it’s an hour everyday (which on an average day it isn’t) that’s only 4% of my time during a week. So, if I don’t have movement available to me when I’m not in athletic clothing, it would mean I’m not moving 96% of my life…..
So, I started thinking about movement when it came to my clothing choices. I started asking myself if I could squat to reach the lowest shelf in my kitchen, or climb on my kitchen counter to reach the highest (short girls unite!), I thought about if I could give a big fat hug to my friend that I hadn’t seen in months or carry my child piggy pack for the last half of our walk after he decided he was too tired to walk home. I went through in my mind all of the everyday movements I did and the ones I wanted to do, and I started factoring this in when I make clothing choices.
Now this is not the only factor I make when I consider my wardrobe choices, but it’s one of the big factors. If I can’t move comfortably in it, it’s probably not going to make the cut!
Now, does this mean I’ve thrown fashion out the window? Honestly, for a while I did. I lived in stretchy pants and tee shirts for a while. But recently, I’ve been putting in the effort to build a sustainable wardrobe, even when it comes to sustainable movement. I've been searching for options that are supportive to my body, the environment and all the other people involved in creating those beautiful products, all while on a budget! It takes some creativity and effort for sure, but it's not impossible!
Movement matters. The ability to live the life you want to without being restricted, matters. If fashion is a high priority to you, that's awesome! And know there are ways we can dress fashionably without compromising the beauty of how your body moves, without having to make yourself smaller and less, but being able to live in your fullness, the fullness of your shape and moving freely!