Friday, March 09, 2007

Befriending the Mirror.

Department store dressing room mirrors and I have come to an understanding. I'll look into them with honest vision and they'll give back an honest reflection; and the truth shall set us free. No more will I subject the mirror to slander. My reflection is safe from vilification. Me? I've plenty of room to move in the dressing room now that the Low Self Esteem Demon no longer crowds me into a corner

Last Friday morning I went to a seconds and samples warehouse with two goals in mind. My mission, and I chose to accept it, was to ignore sizing tags and buy something comfortable yet sexy; Feminine, even.

Ignoring the sizes was easy. I've long since given up on believing the numbers on the little white tag. And sure enough, clothes from the same manufacturer, in similar styles, required different sizes to fit. That number is an approximate guide to, presumably, help you when selecting sizes to try for suitability and comfort. They're there as a convenience for the customers and the workers. This system set up, supposedly, to expedite the trying and buying process has in fact made things slower, while, of course, removing jobs from the workplace. Years ago you'd enter the store, the salesperson would first measure you with their trusty tape and then lead you to the right section to suit your body shape. Now, you select your “size”, go to the changing room and then have to re-dress, return to the floor to pick the same item in one to two sizes on either side of the one you just picked hoping beyond all hope that at least one of them is near enough. Repeat as necessary.

Desperation, frustration and depression all occur as a result. Or jubilation if you happen to fit into a size “smaller” than the one you would normally wear.

This time, the only consideration was in selecting clothing that I WANTED to wear. If I wasn't sure of the fit after holding it up against me, I selected another size, if it didn't have a spare size, I hoped for the best. If it didn't fit, then I'd look for something else. I selected clothing that before this I would have dismissed as too-whatever, because I was determined that any preconceived notions I'd had of what I could “get away with” would have no part of this or any other shopping expeditions in the future. I trusted my inner fashionista to pick things that flattered me.

My trust was amply rewarded when I went to the dressing room and loved half of what I tried on. Only problem was the tops that looked good and fit beautifully were not complimentary to the skirts, and vice versa. After giving the rejects to the clerk I went back out looking again. This time I found a size down on a top that had been a little too big but I'd really loved, more tops, one that was a little big which would be easily altered, and THE top. A plain but cute and above all feminine top that showed some cleavage and would look fantastic with the skirts. Oh and look another that's similar, and another.

THE top was the last one I tried on, but it was the one that fit the very best with the skirt I'd selected. Several skirts and tops I gave back knowing that it would be too hot to wear them very soon, and by this time next year they would be swimming on me. I also kept a few items that I really adored but were just the teeniest bit small for me yet. More than a size too small and it was returned to the do not want pile. I also gave back a skirt that I adored but could not have been easily altered and would no doubt have been falling off me in less than a month.

And thus we come to the comfortable part. Clothes that actually fit and didn't dig in anywhere, how novel! I know that I'm not alone in having purchased torture devices -- Clothing that is several sizes too small that I'll fit into “one day”. The thing I've learned is that this is harmful in more ways than one. The most obvious is that it's still allowing the I'm-not-good-enough-to-wear-nice-clothes mentality. Buy clothes that you look good in! You're walking around in this body right now, so dress it so it looks and feels fabulous. Don't play some sick and twisted version of dress-ups. Kids play dress-ups, usually in clothes that are miles too big for them, whereas we want the clothes that can't possibly fit us. Stop playing make believe in this way, it only hurts you. As your children grow there comes a time when they outgrow their favourite clothes or items and we teach them that they must be put away in favour of things that fit them now. How hypocritical are we if we tell them this and then continue yearning for clothes that don't fit us?

Who says you'll even like that article of clothing once you fit into it anyway? Why waste money on clothes that don't fit, when you can spend money on clothes that you are capable of wearing? Value for money. I know some of the “goal” clothes I bought last year don't actually fit or flatter me even though I'm now of a size to wear them. Others will be off season as I go through that size. How depressing, I spent money on nothing! This time was different. The majority of clothing I bought fits me now. Sure it will become baggier as I lose weight, but that's okay. They'll be baggy for awhile, the clothes I've been wearing for the past few months have been baggy and no one's laughed or sneered at me. (I also put back tops that were baggy that I'd have bought in the past. No more hding my shape!)

I am however making sure I buy clothes that are from places that are considered cheap. Not tawdry but inexpensive. Goodwill, Salvation Army, Walmart etc. Clothing that is affordable enough to grow out of within a few months, else I'd break the bank by the end of the year. Also once I'm done with them, I make sure to give those clothes to Goodwill as it's then a tax deductible donation.

All that scrimping and saving and yet I walked out of that dressing room last week feeling like a million dollars. So much nicer than the lower than scum feelings I've exited with previously. And if I hadn't been able to find what I was looking for? There's always another shop. When you go shopping look for something you can and want to wear rather than what you wish you could wear. Believe me, your confidence, your budget, your body and your mirror will love it. As will you. Oh and make sure the clock is on your side. nothing worse than going shopping when rushed. That's always when that's-close-enough purchases occur.

Looks like I'm getting chummy with all kinds of things besides the mirror. LOL

2 Nibbles:

Erin said...

Great post! I cannot agree with you more about the sizing issues and the idea of buying clothes no matter what size you are, that make you feel good and are flattering. We are all deserving of nice treatment, especially from ourselves. I want pictures!

Marshmallow said...

Love this post, Kada!

That is all. [I am so witty and eloquent. o_0]