I shop for clothes by myself and I have no idea what I really look like in what I wear. It’s not a good combination. I’ve read that it takes a year for the brain to catch up with every 25 lbs lost, and that certainly resonates. Oh, I understand that I’ve changed and that I’m different, but the eyes don’t recognize what properly fitting clothes look like on ME.
After watching Stacy and Clinton for years, I know a lot about what styles and colors work best, but the FIT doesn’t make sense. My brain knows that tight = too small, and loose = fitted, which doesn’t always translate to looking right. I’ll try on a top and see nothing clinging to the lumps and bumps, and think it’s a good fit when it’s really baggy.
Since many plus size ladies also shop alone, we give each other feedback and can see “too big” clothes on other people that we don’t recognize on ourselves. And sometimes, sure, they are wearing “too small” clothes because they are blocked by the sizes/number and not by how things fit.
But yesterday was totally different. I went looking for some casual pants for fall, mostly just to see what was out there. Catherine’s is no longer an option for me, since everything in the store is too big, too long, too boxy, or just not my style. Or maybe all of the above. So I went next door to Lane Bryant, a store I usually avoid because I don’t like the clothes. They do have lots of pants, though, so it seemed like a good idea.
Over the course of the next 45 min, three sales women of different ages and 2 customers gave me feedback on how I looked in what I tried on. I mostly stayed in the dressing room while they brought me pants in different styles, colors, and sizes. My job was to put them on and come out and model. Mostly I tried on jeans or pants out of a denim or denim-colored fabric. I haven’t worn jeans for at least 20 years.
One pair felt as though it was painted on, which caused my watchers’ jaws to drop. They thought, to a person, that the pants were too loose, which totally shocked me. It happened over and over. They made me stand in front of a mirror and said, “Look at yourself. See yourself as you are NOW. You are not the same size you were before. These clothes FIT.” And they were right. Stacy and Clinton were mentioned frequently 🙂
I ended up coming home with 3 pairs of pants, in 3 different sizes, all on sale with coupons for extra savings. One is a pair of gray knit pants that will work for the office and for casual wear, size 14/16. Another is a pair of jeans in size 16, and a third a pair of “jeggings” in size 18. I’m not completely sure about the jeans, but know that as I lose more weight, I will feel more comfortable wearing them. Plus I will practice at home before I let anyone see me.
What this reinforced is that I need to go shopping often now – not to buy, but to try on sizes, colors and styles and really see what I look like when I try the same thing on in different sizes. The sales floor is often quiet mid-week, and taking an afternoon off to shop should let me have extra help and feedback.
I’ll be choosy about what I actually buy; I don’t want/need a lot since I know my size will change, though it’s going slower now than it was earlier (which doesn’t bother me at all). But as the new season approaches, I know I have next to nothing that fits and I refuse to start the fall in baggy clothes. The trick is knowing what’s baggy and what’s not.