I need a clothes stylist

Clothes Shopping - no, this isn’t meI started to say that I needed a dresser, but then it sounded as though I was missing a piece of furniture. That isn’t the problem.

I know what colors look good on me but I really don’t understand how to dress myself properly. There, I said it. A terrible thing for a 52 year old to know about herself. No matter how many hours of What Not to Wear I watch, I haven’t picked up the tricks.

You see, the women on WNTW are usually teeny tiny or else larger and either losing weight or have just lost some. I haven’t seen anyone my size. I don’t mean weight here, I mean size. I am a pear-shaped person; my hips are far larger than my upper body (see how tastefully I said that?). If I find something that fits one, it doesn’t fit the other.

I’m also short. Er, petite. That sounds lovely if you’re shopping in a place like Nordstom’s (not that I go there; we don’t have one) where petite’s usually refer to those teeeny tiny people. What’s available in Womens Petite (aka WP) were designed generally by people who are not in the WP sizes. Most WP pants are things I trip over, or else the zippers are too long and the waistband goes up three inches above my waist. It looks stupid and feels worse.

My shoulders are very narrow, which doesn’t balance out my more cushioned lower half that is a broad as a beam. I have jackets that I love but they look crappy because the shoulders are too wide, the sleeves are too long, and the length is wrong – and these are WP jackets! From places like Talbots!

It’s enough to make me despair.

I’m going into summer – well, maybe, if you don’t count the snow that’s coming on Thursday – and hate my clothes from last year. Even if they fit, I don’t want to wear them. But I don’t want to buy many new things because I don’t want to be wearing them long. In theory I understand going out and buying a few really nice things, spending $$ to have them tailored, and then be happily well dressed for the season.

That’s not what I do. I hunt down bargains or things that “will do” to tide me over, and they either fit weirdly or shrink or turn into something I despise. Been there, done that, have given bags away to charity. Perhaps there is a major lesson here for me. What I’m doing isn’t working. I need to try another way.

I want to be comfortable in my body while I’m in it. And I’m just not which is why I’m not willing to dress it well. I want to pare off the saddlebags on my hips so things fit better (without getting bloody from the paring, of course). Exercise is the key to this and I have been a slug, but since even walking 30 min. makes my knees scream at me, I’ve been loathe to do more. And since I’m moving, I don’t want to invest in a gym with a pool when I won’t have much time to use it.

ThimbleIt shouldn’t be so hard, to find a few things I love, somewhere, and have them tailored so I love wearing them and feel good in them, not like a little girl playing dress up in clothes that swim and hide my lumps. Stacy and Clinton are always telling people to have their clothes altered but all I can think of is the $$, considering the number of things I need to buy. I wish they would come up with advice on stores to shop for large size people – other than Lane Bryant. Blech. If I want better quality clothes that FIT, I need a place where I can find them.

When I went on my medical fasts in 1979, I remember the hideous mumu style dresses that I wore – because they were the only things that fit. There are more choices now but they are not cheap and I have to hunt for things that will look like what I want them to look once they are on my body. Not great on the hanger, great on me.

I get very squirrely when having to deal with my wardrobe. Feelings of inadequacy and cluelessness abound. Where are Stacy and Clinton when I need them? I’d take a fairy godmother, too.


6 thoughts on “I need a clothes stylist

  1. Lori

    You know, one thing that Clinton Kelly says in the show (and he said it when we saw him in Richmond) is that people need to have their clothes tailored. Now, FINDING someone to do that is not all that easy.

    The other thing you can do as far as pants are concerned, Lands End will tailor pants for you (free hemming too). But like I said earlier to you, find one outfit and discard one of the ones you truly hate and despise.

    I was talking to someone at work today and she is an apple (I’m a good sized pear). I said to her, between the two of us, one of us could have a perfectly normal body, huh? 😉

  2. Oh, how I feel your pain. I have your problem in reverse. In addition to having chunk to spare, I’m tall, big-chested & long-waisted. I always have a difficult time finding clothes that a) I like and b) are big/long enough.

    I have a sort of ‘uniform’ that I’ve settled on. The Lane Bryant stores really got me into matte jersey. I have matte jersey tank dresses in a rainbow of colors. The fabric is comfortable, drapes nicely and doesn’t add extra bulk under a top layer. I always wear an over-shirt or jacket of some sort over the dresses. (The tops/jackets cover any bulges that the jersey might reveal!) It is a simple ensemble and easy to dress up or down.

  3. I wish you were close by so we could go shopping!!! I always find that taking a friend helps — sometimes they will pick things for you that you would never consider and those things end up looking great. That extra eye helps…

    So when are you coming out to L.A.? 😉

  4. Probably the best thing is to do separates, and to buy good-quality stuff so that it’s worth getting tailored. And keep the total number of pieces small. As for finding a tailor, probably word of mouth is the best way to go. Do you have any shortie friends who also need to have their clothes altered? Otherwise ask at some of the stores you like or the dry cleaner’s.

    I think that you’re afraid to invest in your current size because you don’t want to be there, but feeling good about the way you look can only help with your weight-loss goals.

    Stop buying stuff you don’t really love. Since I’ve done that I’ve been much happier. I’d rather have 3 or 4 nice things than 10 pieces of junk.

  5. Cecelia

    I see such mental health in you candidness! Being honest with your self is so healthy. Most of us could learn from that! We all have weekness and things we are ashamed of.

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