Treat clothes shopping like a job interview…for the clothes
“George was always so proud of my for staying svelt,
and I’m gonna get into that dress this year even if it kills me!”
Remember this episode? Blanche committed to getting into her wedding dress every year and taking a picture as proof. Personally, I find that very odd considering she’s birthed anywhere from 2-5 children (it’s all pretty murky, right?) I’m sure if I tried to get into my wedding dress today, it would not look the same. Despite the fact that I am around the same weight I was before I got pregnant for the first time, my body shape, distribution and even hip size is irrevocably different. It just is. This is also why shopping for clothing now, post 2 babies, has been so challenging.
After my first was born I was also drowning in Postpartum Depression and Anxiety without knowing it, so my overall mood was not great to begin with. Also, I knew deep down that our plan was to have two kids so I probably subconsciously wondered, ‘What’s the point in getting back into shape now? I’m just going to re-gain weight, get seriously stretched out again and be right back here at square one.” Sure, I went to the gym sometimes and tried to eat as best I could, but overall I was just trying to survive and what I put on myself didn’t really get prioritized. It was what it was, and since I lost my connection to my personal style I felt pretty crappy about my appearance.
Who LOVES trying on clothing?
I don’t mean the rush of euphoria you get as you’re paying for something new and walking out of the store with it in hand; I’m talking about the moments standing in your dressing room, alone, staring at your reflection and either loving the way something looks on you (hence, the euphoria later) or picking apart what you see. Most people have had this experience; just over the weekend I decided to take an impromptu trip to the outlets by myself, with the blissful possibility that I would be coming home with a crap ton of new clothing that would refresh my closet and make me feel new.
The reality was that I came out of the entire trip with exactly one top. One f*cking top! Do you know how many outlet stores Woodbury Common has?? DO YOU?? Undoubtedly, the reason for this incredibly fruitless trip was because I recently ascribed to the following framework when it comes to clothing:
If it doesn’t make me feel awesome, I’m not getting/wearing it.
How many times have you bought something that didn’t give you that feeling that you could literally conquer the world in it, but it also didn’t make you feel worse, so you figured, Eh, why not? Anyone else? Bueller? Or maybe you were standing in line, saw something and decided to take a chance in a split second decision because of the rush of it all, only to get home and see it on yourself and think, Oh for f*ck’s sake this is deplorable.
Whilst standing in some store dressing room on Saturday afternoon and feeling the beginning of a wave of self-criticism wash over me, I looked at the jumpsuit that I had just removed and was making me feel so crappy. It was some sort of cotton-y linen blend (is there even such a thing? Whatever, that’s what it felt like) and I thought to myself, This lump of fabric is not breathing. It can’t talk or move independently because it’s an inanimate object. Would a random stapler on my desk have the power to make me feel bad about myself? NOPE. Clothing needs ME to in order to function. Maybe it’s not that I don’t fit into that jumpsuit; maybe it’s that this jumpsuit, at this specific size, isn’t doing its job and can’t fit me.
By Betty White, I was NOT stopping there!
Jumpsuit, this is your job interview. You have one task. ONE! And that’s to fit me. You can’t? Oh, well then I guess you’re not getting the job and I’m not hiring you. You would not be a good fit (HEY-OHHHH!) for the position of part of my team (i.e. my wardrobe), would not make me feel awesome and therefore, you’re way wrong for this job. Thanks for coming in, but I’m going to go with another candidate whose qualifications better match this job description.
Seriously, I challenge anyone reading this right now to approach clothing shopping (if that’s a sore spot for you) as a job interview for your clothing. Does the garment you’re trying on have what it takes to do its job? Is it living up to its potential? Can you rely on it to make your feel like the cat’s pajamas?
I truly believe that’s why so many different styles, colors, fabrics and shapes of clothing exist; to highlight the best parts of you and make you feel awesome. It’s a way for us to express ourselves without saying anything. IMO, if clothing were purely for the function of keeping us warm and covered, everyone’s clothing would look the same. Essentially, I believe that clothing offers us options and whether or not we choose to explore all those options is up to us.
Maybe this will help someone or maybe it won’t, but what never hurts is taking out the judgement in body image and size, as if there’s only one way to look and be. That’s f*cking ridiculous..
In friendship and cheesecake,