Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Fat Tuesdays : Athletic Wear

You know, I started this series just to be visible. As a chubby person, it's easy to feel invisible. Fat actresses are generally comedic and not serious dramatic leads. (Generally.) There aren't fat chicks in magazines and even fat bloggers are harder to find. (Also, hard to find some small enough to really relate to, which bugs me.) So, I just wanted to post pictures of me and be like, "Ok world, I'm fat. I write a blog. Here I am." I didn't think I had much to say about fashion and politics and I didn't realize I would rediscover an old project and take it up again. Well, today, I've decided to write some things I've been thinking about the "fashion" I'm posting and about personal style. (An issue I didn't think was complicated.)

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Many moons ago, when I was working in a plus-size retail store, I was really feeling some crazy patterns and leggings, which were all within dress code. I was also feeling becoming a manager. So, I started work and didn't have any store-specific clothes. It wasn't a requirement, but I like to wear what I sell. So I waited a paycheck or two and bought a couple things and came to work one day in this outfit I had been so excited to put together. My boss, who was sort of a mentor to me (in my mind, maybe not hers) said, "I don't hate it."

What a shitty thing to say and it totally bummed me out. Several weeks later, my mom and I were both shopping and I was trying on things I liked and whatnot. I put on an outfit that was pretty. It fit well. I looked nice in it. But I didn't like it. I wasn't feeling it. It was boring and didn't contain bright colors or mixed prints. When I came out of the fitting room, my boss said, "You look so good! You look LIKE A MANAGER!!"

It's possible her enthusiasm was less than those all caps, but that's what it felt like. It felt boring and stupid. And I realize, none of those bitches understood my personal style and my manager wasn't going to try to promote me based on my personal style. It sucked and it made me feel very down and very confused. I wanted to be my artistic self and wear bright colors and mix patterns and be very fashion forward, but my extremely boring crew was working against me. (There was even a bunch of confusion about "dress code" versus dress code and my managers were too pussy to just fucking say what we had to wear.) It was a major bummer and really affected me for a long time.

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More recently, I've worked in jobs with a ton more flexibility and no judgment and I've been going through a personal style transformation. I've been thinking a lot about why I've never really felt very into fashion. Certainly a large part of this is looking through fashion magazines and seeing skinny models. More than that, is seeing clothes at ridiculous prices. Then the mall is a smaller version of the same; limited sizes and sometimes too costly prices. I've never been a sale shopper, maybe because clearance racks are a mess, 20% saves little, and often the larger sizes are bought out. I just want to go in, find my size, and be able to afford it. But the there's also the issue of the cuts. Clothes are made for smaller sizes and then the pattern is extended up. This is a problem with mass produced clothing, but it also ignores that bodies change shapes when they get bigger. Standardized patterns and shapes for thin bodies don't always work well on chubby bodies. Even a thinner person with a little extra lovin' in her midsection is subject to the dreaded muffin top.

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I've been thinking a lot more about what I want to wear, and my size and shape, and what I do. The thing is I've always been active. I've never been one to have a lot of clothes that aren't suitable for climbing trees, because I never know when I'm going to want to climb a tree. I tried maxi skirts for a while...I liked their seasonability (year-round), that they were cute and feminine, and that I could do stuff in them. until I did a bunch of hiking and they caught all the burrs and prickers (like my hair). So now, I'm trying to thing about what I want from clothes:

1. Clothes that fit
2. Clothes that are comfortable
3. Clothes that move with me
4. Clothes that work in various seasons
5. Clothes that are bright and fun

So I've basically settled on leggings, t-shirts, other athletic wear.

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Basically, I'm about to completely redo my wardrobe to be all athletic gear, t-shirts, and hoodies. These are clothes I like. I dress them up(ish) with different tops. I'll probably keep a dress or two, but I'm just over clothes with uncomfortable waist bands that don't allow me to move. I also need shiny leggings, because my yoga pants are cat-hair magnets and they just look nasty all the time. (Already got rid of them.) I can double up leggings in winter, or buy fleece-lined. It's all pretty damn perfect, honestly, and it's what I want. It feels good and it feels like my personality. And like Shannon said, fuck it!


Feel free to check out all my Fat Tuesdays posts!

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