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What Not to Wear?

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Today is day 30 of my current streak!

My first streak started on March 1, 2012 and lasted for quite a long time..290 days! When it ended, I was disappointed, of course. I was really trying to keep that streak going for a solid year, but I fell short. I wasn't TOO disappointed, though. After all, staying on track for 290 days is a pretty big accomplishment, so I was really proud of myself for that. More importantly, I was proud of myself for getting myself right back on track and starting a new streak. My next streak only lasted 13 days, but once again when I got off track, I picked myself up and started over again right away. I kept reminding myself that its not a failure to get off track...but it WOULD be a failure to STAY off track.

Anyway, when I started my streak last year, I also started saving change in a coffee can. Its my new wardrobe fund! When I reach my goal size, I am going to do some shopping. Right now, I only own 2 pairs of jeans, lots of workout t shirts and a few pairs of workout pants. I'm fine with that, because other than going to the grocery store, I am pretty much a homebody.

But for the past year, I've been dreaming of the perfect wardrobe. Funny thing is, as the weight came off, my fantasy of the perfect wardrobe has really changed. For instance, when I first started streaking last year, I imagined that when I reached my goal, I would wear hoodies and jeans and loose tunic shirts. I even bought an "inspiration hoodie" in a smaller size. I thought it was so pretty....it was long and had a peony print on it. And it looked so good in the catalog that I ordered it from! I really looked forward to the day when it would fit me.

I would try that hoodie on from time to time but the closer it got to fitting me, the more I realized that I didn't like it anymore! It just wasn't my taste, after all. And it just seemed "too young" for me. I'll be 52 next month, and that hoodie seemed more appropriate for someone 20 years younger.

So what kind of clothing SHOULD I wear? What clothing would be age appropriate, and what is my taste in clothes now? I had no idea! Even though I'm not close to my goal size yet, I know that the day is coming when I WILL be there, and when that day arrives I want to be able to buy myself a new wardrobe that flatters me. So to get some tips and advice on clothes, I have started to watch the show on TLC, "What Not To Wear." They seem to mostly have women under the age of 35 on that show, but sometimes they do have women my age. I really STUDIED those episodes to see how to dress for my age, and I think I have learned a lot.

Well, this week I decided that even though I'm not at my goal size yet, I would buy myself one new item of clothing....a cardigan sweater! From watching What Not to Wear, I've learned that I need to buy a "basic" like that, and then jazz it up with a pretty print shirt under it. So off to the mall I went, planning to buy myself a pretty cardigan...maybe in teal or robins egg blue. Something not "plain", but still "basic."

The first store I went to was JC Penny's, and that was not a fun experience. It has been a long time since I've shopped at Penny's, but they have certainly changed a lot! The loud music they now play was just really off putting to me. I like a much quieter shopping experience! And wow....I'd forgotten how many clothes they have, lol. It was really overwhelming! I didn't know which direction to look in first. And I'm at that awkward size now. You know, the size thats in between plus and misses. And my upper arms are my trouble zone. Even in the past when I've been smaller, my upper arms were always big.

I headed to the plus size section first, and the only cardigans I could find there were horrible. Or at least not what I was looking for. Like the music, they were just too loud for me! Not basic at all. I did try a couple on, and they were too big. So then I headed to the misses section and a strange thing happened. I suddenly became very intimidated. I just stood there and looked at everything without actually picking anything up. I didn't try anything on. I guess this will sound strange but I was afraid someone would tell me "You don't belong in this section! Nothing here is going to be big enough for you!"

So I left Penny's without a cardigan. I went to Kohl's, and thankfully they didn't have music blasting so loud that I couldn't even think. I again went to the plus section to look at cardigans. They had some pretty ones in the right color, but they were too big and too expensive. I also looked in the Misses section and I managed to try on a few things. And it was so weird...some cardigans fit me, and some were too small....even though they were the exact same size! But you know what was sad? Instead of being proud of myself for fitting into some of those cardigans, I instead berated myself for the ones that DIDN'T fit. I felt bad about myself, and had to really give myself a talking to in order to snap out of it.

I ended up getting a black cardigan that had been marked down to 12 dollars. It wasn't exactly what I wanted, but it fit and it will be a good basic to go with anything. Its one of those cardigans that don't button or zip. I think it will fit me for a long time as I continue to lose weight and go down in sizes.

For my birthday next month, my mother in law will give me a $20 Kohl's gift card, as she always does. So I will use it to look for a shirt to wear under my cardigan! But I have to tell you, I'm not sure I'm looking forward to shopping again. If I had so much trouble just buying a cardigan, whats it going to be like to buy a shirt? Or for that matter, whats it going to be like when I reach my goal size and cash in the can of coins so I can go buy a whole bunch of new clothes? Where are Stacy and Clinton from What Not to Wear when you need them?

It would be so easy to just keep wearing workout pants and t shirts. But I'm not going to let myself do that. When I reach my goal size, I am going to reward myself with REAL clothes! I just wish I had a shopping buddy to help me out.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    U r right Pixie u should be proud & happy that some of those cardigans in the Misses section fit! That's a NSV baby! Also remember, no matter what size we are different brands fit different even in the same sizes!

    Did u get your new shirt yet?

    I say wear what feels good to you!

    1242 days ago
    Great blog, and remember to be kind to yourself. You deserve that.
    1395 days ago
    So relate-able. Great blog. Shopping is the worst no matter what my size.
    1403 days ago
    1408 days ago
    I was wearing my old clothes as I lost w eight. I saw a photo of myself in the clothes that I still wore when I lost weight I am purchasing clothes that fit me and I look 100% better. Even though I am not where I want to be wearing clothes that fit make me feel good
    1455 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1498 days ago
    emoticon Great blog! Thank you so much for sharing.
    1503 days ago
  • MAW_OH
    Great post! Thanks.
    1505 days ago
  • DRPOOH63
    Great blog and honestly it doesn't matter your age or your size, shopping can be horrid. Sometimes it can be amazing. I agree with the looking online to get a feel for what you like and then head into the store. emoticon emoticon
    1511 days ago
    I am also a big fan of "What Not to Wear"! What I have learned most from the recent episodes, beyond finding clothes TO WEAR, is to find the ability to love the skin that you are in. I have been an on/off watcher of that show since it's first season and I've noticed something about the people on the show. In the beginning (from what I can remember), the people seemed to be confident in themselves but just wearing poor clothing for their body. More and more it seems like the people have very little confidence in themselves/their bodies and that just makes their clothing choices for themselves even worse. I love that Stacy and Clinton work to make the ladies (and men) look great in their clothes, but that they work even harder to make the ladies feel great in their clothes and about themselves.
    1512 days ago
    1520 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1520 days ago
  • GETTO140
    I enjoyed your blog! I love "What Not To Wear" and really don't like shopping for clothes at all. I'm sure my entire wardrobe would be in their trash can! Way to go on your streak!
    1521 days ago
  • LANNA22
    As an experienced clothing shopper, I can assure you that there will be days when nothing works, and others when it seems everything you try on was made just for you. Sizes--even within the same manufacturer--can vary widely, so select a garment in the size you think might fit and use it as a starting point, going down or up as needed to best fit your body. Try not to let those numbers define you or discourage you. Not every item will look good on every body due to different cuts, colors, fabrics, etc.. Perhaps you are used to hiding in your clothes, so it might take a little time until you feel more comfortable in being more visible to the world.

    You might try shopping with a friend or relative [whose style you admire] to help guide you toward fashion choices you're comfortable with. Kohl's has great sales and promotions and I do most of my clothes shopping there. But explore different places: some stores may feel more welcoming to you than others. Remember, it doesn't cost anything to try clothing on, and you may become more comfortable with the experience of clothes shopping over time. You might even grow to like it! Best to you~
    1522 days ago
    1523 days ago
    All so true. Thanks for sharing.
    1524 days ago
    1524 days ago
  • PANIK257
    Congrats on your streak. Unfortunately I have no clothing advice. I don't even know how to pick out my own clothes! lol
    1524 days ago
    1524 days ago
    Several stores still have personal shoppers and they aren't intimidating. Priorities: Go to Macy's and be fitted for a bra - free! Once you start with the basics, the rest will come.
    1524 days ago
    I noticed that someone else suggested Chico's & that's a good idea. You might also look through their online catalog to see what gets your attention. You don't have to buy.....just see what you like. Maybe that will give you some ideas.

    1524 days ago
    With time you will get more comfortable shopping. Speaking for those of us on the younger end of the scale who shop in the women's section, I alwaus think everything looks matronly and totally not my style.
    1524 days ago
    You are not alone, I can definitely relate!
    1524 days ago
    I have a feeling I'm going to have the same problem in the Misses department when I go to buy myself some new clothes. I remember feeling last year when I was getting a Christmas gift for my mom in the Misses and Petite departments that everyone was watching me. "Why are YOU here in the Petite section?! seemed to be coming from their looks.
    1525 days ago
    1525 days ago
  • DFG5876
    I consider the label size just a number or letter, I wear about 4 different sizes on any one day. emoticon
    1525 days ago
    1525 days ago
    Great blog!
    1525 days ago
    I've been through and still go through similar experiences, but I found that the info in Dressing Your Truth has really helped me discover what clothes/ makeup/ accessories/ hairstyles look best on me, even though my body isn't exactly what I want it to look like yet. It'll get there, but there's no reason I can't embrace my own type of beauty NOW! Look it up if you like. Feel free to shoot me any questions! Good luck on your journey!
    1525 days ago
    I love this blog!!!!!!!!!!!
    1525 days ago
    Loved this blog. Hugs to you for pressing on when shopping stopped being fun. Your idea about bringing a shopping buddy is a grand idea. Someone who can not only offer honest opinions but also notice when the mood shifts and suggest taking a break.

    So happy your found a cardigan that will adapt with you AND for your plan to dress it up as you change.

    1525 days ago
    I know exactly where you're coming from, down to the arms that are too big! A couple things that I have learned about fashion...For sweaters, try a Raglan sleeve--they tend to be a bit larger in the upper arm. Also, I'm sure you have a friend who you think has good taste. Ask her to go with you multiple times to the "regular size" stores and give you moral support until you feel strong enough to do it on your own! And remember that size is just a number..I have clothes from size 6-size 14 that fit me right now, depending on the cut and the part of my body I'm trying to cover. I think your idea of looking at "what not to wear" is great. And Stacey is absolutely right about a nice boot-cut trouser. They look nice on everyone!
    1525 days ago
    1525 days ago
  • 4KWALK
    I have a really hard time shopping in the stores too so I often shop in the catalogs or online.
    But now that I'm going down in weight and size I am still shy about going out to the mall and I have no idea why.
    It seems to me we should be so mighty blasted proud of ourselves that we should be out there getting the nicest outfit we can find and then wear it like we are 10 years younger. I think you have come so far with 71 pounds. Be proud. Walk into the store go for what you like and then wear it like the winner you are.

    1525 days ago
    I look forward to each and every one of your blogs. Thank you! Wonderful, honest, funny, heart-felt blog. I can identify with everything that you have written. I hate shopping for myself except if it is for things that do not need to fit on my body (shoes scarves and earings). When I look around regular sized clothes I am always ready to tell a sales person that I am "shopping for my daughter" in case they are wondering what I am doing in that section. No one has ever asked me but I still prepare myself to respond in this way. it is amazing the things that go on in our heads and how we can make ourselves feel badly by focusing on the the negative. Now that I have lost 10 out of the 60 or so pounds i need to loose I actually don't feel better about how I look. In fact when I look in the mirror I feel more critical about my shape. I think that this kind of thinking is common because now I am actually looking at myself not glancing as I used to and I am seeing areas that I need to work on. So its ok--in a funny way it is a non scale victory.

    On the other hand. watching what I eat and working out has made me walk with a lighter step, have better posture, naturally hold in my tummy when I walk (I think the last time I did this was greater than 30 years ago :) and generally feel proud of myself. I generally wear large shapeless tops that hide my middle. Stacey would say that this is a no no and that this makes you look bigger and that well fitting clothing that gently hugs the body is the way to go. Maybe in a few more months I will venture out and try this. I'm feeling happy with my self for taking control and day by day step by step its slowly making a difference. This is itself motiviating :) I look forward to each and every one of your blogs. Thank you!

    1525 days ago
    1525 days ago
    Great blog!
    1525 days ago
    Awesome blog!!! I , at this point, can't find ANYTHING I look good in!!
    1525 days ago
    What great inspiration! Could relate to many of your descriptions - thank you! emoticon
    1525 days ago
  • LOSER05
    1525 days ago
    Don't worry about the size on the label: they vary so much they just don't matter any more! emoticon
    1526 days ago
    I love to shop...for somebody else. I too love to watch WNTW. Also, a great book to get out of the library is "The 100", by Nina Garcia (a Project Runway Judge). It lists the 100 staples of a woman's wardrobe, from shirts and pants to accessories and shoes. and she tells you how to adapt each item to your age, body shape, and personal style. Fantastic book. Because of the show and the book I have completely changed how I shop. I go someplace where they don't limit how many items you can bring into the dressing room, and then I grab everything that I like in the size I think I am. I bring a friend to help carry stuff. Then, I try everything on. If it doesn't look fantastic on me, I toss it into the "NO" pile. I also have a "need to get this in a bigger/smaller size" pile, and I have a "YES" pile. After I get all the garments in the right size, I go back through the yes pile and think of what color I don't have enough of, or what pieces are really interesting or different. I pick the absolute best, and buy. I usually end up with 3 to 6 pieces, out of the 10 to 40 I tried on. The process goes pretty fast, and is focused on what looks good, not what size everything is. My husband says I shop for myself like I'm storming the beaches at Normandy. I get in, accomplish my objective, and get out. Try it one day, before you do your "real" shopping spree. It'll get you used to shopping again, and help you figure out what your style is.
    1526 days ago
    loveeeeeeeeeeee this love love the stacy londone thingy hehehe saying i mean
    1526 days ago
    1526 days ago
    I LOVE the Stacy London quote! emoticon
    1526 days ago
    Just a little suggestion, perhaps if you go to a store like Chico's? They specialize in that in between size and thier clothing is simple and timeless. Best of luck! Good job on your weightloss!
    1526 days ago
  • IN_IT_2_WIN_IT
    Awesome story
    1526 days ago
  • KRISKAY1962
    emoticon emoticon
    1526 days ago
  • AJB121299
    1526 days ago
  • AME4IT
    in my opinion, women have experiences like you had even when they are at their goal weight and those that have never had weight issues. i'm glad you were able to find a cardigan you like, that fits and that you can grow (or shrink) in to.
    1526 days ago
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