When I run the world, there are going to be rules, dammit: Hipsters will be sent to re-education camps until they learn the difference between sarcasm, irony, and general jerkishness. Phil Keoghan from "The Amazing Race" will be named Executive Emperor of Eyebrow Expressionism. And for the love of all that is good and holy, there will be stores that sell clothes in women's sizes 14-24 that (a) fit properly, (2) are made well, out of actual identifiable fabrics, and (iii) match each other.
You see, I had to go shopping this weekend, and I had a horrible terrible no-good very bad time, because NOTHING MATCHES, NOTHING FITS, and everything appears to be disposable.
I mean, look, I have a tragic case of unfashionability. I admit this. Most of my clothes are simple and basic and at least five years old, because while I love "Project Runway," I hate fashion. I hate shopping. I hate clothes. I need to wear them, of course, but if I had my druthers, I'd spend all my waking hours in plain turtlenecks, flannel lounge pants, and Christmas socks. You know, the kind with the cats and the glittery thread? You can hide all manner of figure flaws in granny jammies.
It doesn't help that I can't really put an outfit together. Honestly, I need Garanimals or something. My work clothes are more of a uniform -- black or tan pants, a couple of skirts if I am feeling inspired, turtlenecks in solid colors. If I wanted to do something kicky with my outfit, I would wear an interesting pair of socks or my saddle shoes. No ruffles, nothing too low-cut or clingy, straight legs, flats. I am boring. But because I've lost all this weight, none of my current supply of turtlenecks and pajama bottoms really fits any more, and neither do any of my "work pants," so I really needed to go shopping this weekend. And it was almost an absolute, unmitigated disaster.
True story: I spent more than an hour in a Lane Bryant Outlet this weekend, trying things on. I must have put on 25 pairs of pants and at least that many different tops. I pored through clearance racks, sale racks, and even (escandalo!) full-price racks looking for something, anything, to buy. I didn't want to buy much, just a few nice pieces that I would be able to work into what I already have that still fits, but I was willing to part with some hard-earned cash in exchange for some trousers that did not fall down as soon as I stood up and some blouses that did not make me look pregnant.
It did not end entirely well. I got two sweaters that are actually probably a little too big, but they are cute-ish and lightweight and I will be able to layer them with stuff I already have so at least I can make it to Christmas. I will keep looking for some more similar tops in different colors, because in my opinion the only thing better than a decent enough sweater is a decent enough sweater in five colors.
But I also got two pairs of "skinny jeans."
Now don't get me wrong -- these are not hipster-style skinny jeans, the ones that all the irony-impaired 20-somethings are wearing with their used bowling shoes and their $400 cashmere scarves and their trucker caps. But the jeans are skinny for me, tapered legs instead of being boot-cut clown pants, a full size smaller than I expected to need and three sizes smaller than the jeans I started with, and THEY MAKE MY LEGS LOOK FANTASTIC.
Yeah, I said it: I look FANTASTIC in my new jeans.
That's a big step for me, being able to say that I look fantastic in any way in anything. I definitely not Miss Mary Fashion Plate, and most of the time I am satisfied with not being a crumpled-up mess when I leave the house for work. Sometimes I will even settle for being a crumpled-up mess if I at least am not emitting visible smell rays.
But ... my God. I almost keeled over dead when I put those pants on, and I saw how good they looked. And I thought I was looking pretty good in the jeans I walked into the store with. It was my husband's idea to try on pants that were smaller than I thought I needed. To actually fit, really fit, into jeans that were a whole size smaller than I expected? That was an absolute revelation.
I still have a long way to go before I reach my goal weight, and I have a metric assload of self-esteem and self-image issues that I am going to need to work on along the way, but I am going to take this small victory. I finally feel like I am making noticeable progress, which is hard to see when you're losing two pound at a time. These are most definitely not "fat pants," or even really "transitional-sized." I bought a pair of jeans in a size that starts with "1" for the first time in at least 10 years. I'm not 100% sure, but I think weigh less now than I did when I got married -- and if I don't, I am pretty damned close. And I feel so, so good about it.
Never underestimate the power of a great pair of "skinny jeans."