Trying It On

“Does my butt look big in these pants?” You guys out there know this is a loaded question, and your best response is always, “You look great in those pants.” But girlfriends know that this question can be answered by hedging a bit, “I don’t think your butt looks big, but why don’t you try on the blue pants and see how those look.” I’m sure that men do not ask this question because their man-butt is perfect no matter it’s size, but that said, I’m going down a different road today. You may like a dress on the hanger, but you have to try it on to see if it fits and if you really like the dress on your body. As I have aged I have shed several wardrobes that didn’t fit anymore, I grew out of them. I guess you could say my butt got too big!  Or my butt shrank!  What I’m really asking here is “Did my outsides match my insides?”

I’ve dressed to camoflauge my body and dressed to flaunt my body. What’s funny is whether I was hiding or flaunting myself, inside I felt the same. I was defective, unworthy, ugly and ashamed. I wore a long jacket to cover my belly and butt and a midriff blouse to show off my belly and butt, and in both cases I was just a mannequin. No matter how much skin I showed, I never showed my real self to anyone. Mannequins can be positioned in different poses, and I let myself be manipulated by others. Going from fat to normal really messed with my head, it seemed I was a different person whether I was in a fat body or a thin body. My wardrobe changed when I got thin, but my clothes didn’t fit my self concept. I didn’t get to try on skinny clothes until I got skinny and I had to adjust my mental picture of myself at the same time. As a teenager and young woman I battled with my body and used clothes to help me fight my battles, but I never won. Sadly I lost it, but I did feel pretty tough in my wonderful aged jean jacket though!

I wore a cream colored  linen like skirt and top when I married my first husband. I remember looking in the mirror thinking about how many wrinkles I had, I was 30. And then, about a year later, I had to leave my pants un-snapped and transitioned to looser tops…I was pregnant!  Soon my waistline disappeared and my wardrobe was maternity clothes. I never really showed off my growing belly and I wish I would have, it was the best “wardrobe” I ever had. This was the first time in my life I loved my body. I wore my plaid, flannel, maternity top and my black maternity pants to the hospital, and wore the same outfit home. Of course I came home with my son,Tyler, whom I love with my whole heart. My baby weight came off slowly, but then the  divorce stress diet took care of that and more. For quite a few years the clothes I worried about most were the clothes I dressed Tyler in. 

When  I married Roger, I wore kind-of a crushed velvet, blue pant suit, which was a  little too formal for all the very early morning walks we took for years. I rolled out of bed and rifled through the pile of T-shirts on the dryer, and depending on the time of year, I found some shorts or sweatpants. I had tons of sweatshirts and tons of socks, and eventually I got some long-johns to prevent the hives I got on my skin from the very cold air. In the early morning, I felt at ease in my casual clothes and didn’t worry about what I looked like. When I wore a hat I never worried about hat-head, a very freeing experience for me.  Being with Roger and experiencing the morning was the point. I was not the clothes I wore, I simply wore the clothes.

Here I am in 2021. Roger is now gone, but walking is a way of life for me. My walking shoes are the most important part of my wardrobe, and there are many more shoes because I am a shoe addict! I plan walk&talks for socializing.  I’m retired and pretty casual, but I am more willing to take fashion risks. I don’t think much about dressing my age, but I do try to focus on my excellent parts and minimize my not so excellent parts. Spider veins are interesting but they are not tattoos.  I’m not dressing to hide myself or to impress anyone. I’m finally dressing for me.

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