Weighty Matters

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Stylin’

on April 1, 2013

I don’t want to obsess too much here about clothing, but it’s really in the forefront of my mind.   It takes adjustment, let me tell you.

When I was a kid, I absolutely hated to go clothes shopping.  It was torture.  There are so many more companies that have clothing for plus sized women today than there were when I was a kid.  In our little town, one forward thinking woman opened up a specialty store for overweight kids that was actually called The Chubbette Shop, or something like that.  I remember she talked my mother into talking me into modeling for her in a fashion show once.  But I digress.

The same woman also had a boutique for adult women with lots of large clothing.  She was pretty fashion forward and the clothes were perfect for more mature adults but they weren’t hip or cool or great for my age when I was a teen or in my 20s.   the other choice was pretty much Lane Bryant.  I think for most of my life, I wore clothes that were “too old” for me and never really felt all that stylish.

It hasn’t been so awful in the last 20 or so years.  Like I said before, as time went on, more stores opened which meant more choices.

But, and this is a big but, (not butt), that was nothing to the veritable vista that’s opening up before me now.  I am so not used to getting a random catalog that is not from a company that primarily targets plus-sized women, opening it and finding clothes in my current size, along with the full range of smaller sizes too.  Really lovely garments in different designs and styles that aren’t meant to hide and cover like sacks.  I saw at least a dozen things I would love to order and try on.  I wanted to play with the clothes like I never thought possible… like I’ve always seen smaller, more “normal” women do.

Yeah, I hate that word normal, too.  Normal is the setting on a washing machine and should not be used in any way that makes anyone feel bad about themselves — including if that anyone is me.

Back to that point.  I wish that this company could just send me one of anything to that I could experiment.   I need to discover what my style is going to be from here on out.   Tailored and/or preppy, free flowing, romantic, edgy, retro?  I have no idea.  Maybe it will be a combination.  I want to find out what suits my newly evolving body, what fashions I like, and what fits my heart and spirit.   What will I choose for casual wear and what for professional outings?

I know that I’m not in my “final” stage yet, so I’ve decided that I will just play here and there and, more importantly, be willing to try out new and different looks.  I’ve done that already with the little black dress that I bought and the dress with the banded waist that I ordered in the smaller size.  I think I just need to keep moving in that direction and dare to at least try designs that I never chose before because of my largeness.

When I finally reach goal weight I’m going to do one of the things that’s on my Promise List.  I’m going to a major department store and make an appointment with a personal shopper.  I think that experience will help me learn and assist me in developing a new eye and attitude for styling.  At the very least it will be an entertaining venture.

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4 responses to “Stylin’

  1. Hope says:

    I would recommend checking out some style blogs… but maybe not if you don’t want to spend a bunch of money on clothes. 😉

  2. pinkpelican says:

    Everything you just said.

    Consignment stores have been awesome. I have learned to try on EVERYTHING & ANYTHING that initially attracts my eye. Even if I look at it & then my 2nd thought is “that looks kind of weird on the hanger I’m not sure I like it”, I try it on because anymore I Just. Don’t. Know. And the thing with consignment stores … especially the nicer ones … is they get so much variety in that you can find stuff from all over the fashion spectrum to try on. And then the stuff is so much less expensive than retail you can go ahead and buy the stuff you find you like.

    I’ve also decided I don’t have a single “style”. I’m drawn to a range of styles. The one consistent thing I’m finding is that I don’t want loose stuff anymore. I don’t mean I want skin tight. What I want is stuff that has shape & fits along my curves. I’m finding that I have an inner “Emma Peel” — I like sweaters & tops that have a retro high quality 60’s/70’s vibe that are form fitting. But I also like sweater dresses, nice turtle necks, slightly fitted ladies t-shirts; I like the occasional floaty-romantic lacy top. I like empire waisted stuff, I like surplice necklines …

    I like scarves – I always wanted to be able to wear them as accessories, but they didn’t work when I was big – too much bulk around the neck, shoulders & chest for them to lay properly & still have the necessary length. The proportions WORK now, & I can wear them in the nifty configurations I always saw smaller women wearing them in.

    The biggest thing has not been settling so much on a specific fashion direction, as identifying my emerging body shape & dressing to flatter it. I’m a little pear shaped (approx 1 size bigger in the booty than in the boobs). I’m a C-cup, so I’m full figured. I have a high waist. I have slightly longish arms. I have an average length in-seam. Some things I would love to buy, hang a little oddly on my frame, even if they “fit” size-wise. Some things I think would look stupid, actually make me look AMAZING. And like I said above, I run a gamut of styles. I like tailored & conservative, I like floaty & fantastical, I like sporty & comfortable. This season I’m looking for dresses – sundresses, maxi-dresses, etc. The main thing I’ll be looking for is neck lines & shoulder straps that cover my bra & bra straps. I’ve never in my life been particularly interested in wearing dresses because they never looked good on me. Now I’m finding amazing dresses.

    What I don’t want? Stodgy. I still get some of the catalogs that feature plus sizes, & I see the clothes with utterly “new eyes”. When I was bigger, the clothes looked really nice, really fun. Now, with so many more options available to me, with so much more experience trying stuff on & enjoying fashion, I find those clothes to be boring & dowdy.

    It’s an amazing journey. I never used to understand the real appeal of fashion. It took being able to wear clothes that make me look AWESOME to understand why so many women adore fashion. When you look good in your clothes, you feel good about yourself. It’s not the only reason to feel good about yourself, but it’s something that contributes to your self-esteem, to the sense of who you are & how you present yourself to the world. It reflects your tastes & your sense of style & some of your personality.

    I stopped worrying about what exactly my style was & just started looking for stuff that makes me look on the outside like I feel on the inside. If you see it & it makes you smile, try it on. If you keep smiling, put it in the “I like this pile”. Then, when you start finding your “I like this pile” is far outstripping your budget, try all that stuff on again & when you look in the mirror and start swishing & posing & your face lights up, put that item in the “Hell YES!” pile & remember that lettuce & chicken is cheap (and still tasty), & you can totally sacrifice a little of your budget for that item.

    Have fun!

  3. Susanne says:

    The personal shopper sounds like a great plan because they see you as you present to people, whereas we have our preconceived notions of what we look like.

    I have very large feet, and as a child, it was a constant struggle to find shoes that fit (small town). I wore a lot of sling-backs and open toed shoes 🙂

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