Monday 25 July 2016

In-Betweener Clothes

I hate shopping for clothes. It takes me days to get mentally prepared, and when I finally get up the courage, it usually ends with me leaving the stores empty handed, sitting in my truck, feeling so down. It's horrible. I realize that sounds overly dramatic, but it's true. It seems like every store is geared toward younger women or girls who don't have hips or a chest and have very skinny legs. Nothing fits. Nothing flatters. Nothing makes me feel good. By the end of a shopping trip, I feel horrible about myself.

I have been reading "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing" by Marie Kondo. It is basically a plan for organizing your home. You work with categories, like paper and clothing, and only keep items that "spark joy." I like this idea. Surround yourself with things that make you feel good. It sounds like a good plan. Well, let me tell you. Nothing sparks joy in my wardrobe.

This is why. (I will try not to make this move into rant territory.) I am about 5'7", and have always struggled with weight. Although I'm not in plus sized clothing, I am at the upper end of regular sizes. I wish that "plus" sizes went a little lower. I had started shopping in plus stores when I returned to work after maternity leave. I felt like I found "my store," because, when I left, I actually felt good about myself. I had found some nice clothes that both fit and flattered, and (BONUS!) the sales people were also friendly, which made me feel welcome.

Since then, I have been able to drop some more weight, which, health-wise, is a good thing, but I no longer fit in those sizes. I should be happy about that, but when it comes to clothing shopping, I'm stuck shopping at stores that I don't feel are made for me. Being at the upper end of the size spectrum, I get to choose the big versions of skinny clothes. Right now, everything is "skinny". Pant legs are so tight at the calf, they make me feel like an inverted triangle when I try them on. Clothes never fit well, too tight and pulling in some places while being baggy and frumpy in other places.  To make it more difficult, I have long legs, which further limits what I can buy for bottoms.

I really don't know how to fix this problem. It's not like I can design or make clothes. What I would love to see is a designer or clothing line to design and make clothes for us "in-betweeners." Focus the designs on those who are over a size 12. Not just making bigger sizes of skinny clothes. Have options to help us hide or smooth our tummies and the dreaded "muffin top." That would certainly spark joy in me when I look through my closet and go looking for something new to add to my wardrobe.

What are your favourite stores (online or in person) to shop in for clothes? I'd love to check them out!

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