I have a love hate relationship with clothing that I used to mistake for a love hate relationship with my body. There are few things as frustrating as taking the time to go clothing shopping, being ready and willing to spend a bit of money on clothes (after all, we’re not all nudists) and then coming up with nothing.
From the time I was a kid I had a hard time finding clothes that fit. When I was little I was painfully thin and my body was too long to fit into anything. Then one day I woke up and had big tits and a little waste and big hips and found that nothing fit at all for a completely different reason. Now tailoring is all well and good but you can’t always stand in a dressing room looking at yourself in something that fits one part of you and nothing else and know how it’s going to look when it does fit.
It seems almost everyone has a hard time finding clothing that fits, it’s a universal truth that pisses people off. And if you’re one of those lucky few that can just toss on anything and it fits perfectly… then all the people who can’t easily find clothing that fits hate you. I’m not trying to hurt your feelings, it’s just the way it is. Did you make a deal with the devil or something?
There was a time in my life that I was willing to settle for clothing that didn’t actually fit or that was just plain blah. A few years ago I decided that was bullshit and I put my foot down.
I learned though, through careful and painful trial and error, that it’s a matter of brand and perspective. Not every clothing manufacturer makes clothing for the same body type. If you can find the designer that works for you it can make things a bit easier. If you can find the type of garment that works for you, same story.
I should point out before I continue that I am by no means a fashionista… I wear black nearly all the time and I’ll wear boots with almost anything. I’m just me and very comfortable being that way.
But I’m about to give you my single favorite clothes shopping secret. I’ve been so much happier since I started shopping at the consignment store by my house. Don’t get me wrong I can’t get EVERYTHING there. I still have to do the bra shopping torture and I know where to get jeans that fit me just right, but shopping in general is made easier by looking at a place that I can feel good about shopping in. Why? Well it’s a local store, so I’m supporting the local economy. Also since the bulk of their merchandise is 2nd hand (though not necessarily used) I know I’m minimizing retail waste. But most importantly on a personal level is that if I see something I like and it doesn’t fit, it just doesn’t fit. There’s not stressing and worrying about what one size up or down would fit like. There’s no WHY WHY WHY?
I’m not sure what it is, but I find knowing that there is only one of a particular item in the store to be comforting. It’s not a matter of uniqueness. I know those dresses, skirts, tops, pants and shoes all exist out there somewhere, but they aren’t in the store taunting me and blowing raspberries telling me that my body is inferior because I can’t fit into a stupid dress.
Or it could be because I just bought a dress with the original tags still on for $12.75. The original tags? The ones still attached to the dress? They say it’s $99.
Yay me. Also, yay wallet.