Katie Goes Shopping

Well sort of. After purging most of the clothes I owned (6 large trash bags full) that were too large, old, ill fitting, or that I just didn’t wear, I realized I had very few clothes to wear on a day-to-day basis. I was even low on pajamas that fit. (correction: am low. Gosh, I love pajamas. Can we just take a moment to breathe an “ahhhh” at the idea of great pajamas?) I currently have 2 pairs of pants in the wear to work rotation and one of them is definitely too big. I’m also wearing the same couple dresses (also becoming too big) on repeat. And t-shirts? Swimming.

So, while I was at Target last weekend I managed to see plain t-shirts on sale so I grabbed two in colors I like and hoped that I was right in grabbing “the next size down.” And I was. My t-shirts are now a size Large. NO X REQUIRED.

Riding on a workout fueled Friday happiness, I decided to tackle the notion of trying to find clothes for work that actually fit. I’m hesitant to buy a lot of clothes because realistically, my plan is that they won’t fit for very long. The problem is that gets expensive no matter how cost effective the purchases. But, I have to wear clothes. And they have to be work appropriate. AND, I don’t want to look like a crazy bag lady. Why would I spend so much time working out and being so careful about what I eat and ending up with a better figure, only to COMPLETELY HIDE IT AND MAKE IT LOOK BAD WITH ILL-FITTING CLOTHES? No. Not good for my delicate self-esteem. I know I feel better and interact better with the world when I feel like I look good. I’m challenged enough by being shy, nerdy, socially awkward and introverted. I don’t need to be constantly thinking about how stupid my clothes look. I need all my energy and focus on not saying something stupid, dropping the conversation ball, and/or spitting on someone.

Anyway, I ended up at JCPenney, which has long been a go-to for reasonably priced clothes that fit. Knowing that my size large t-shirts fit, I started scoping tops in the same size. I grabbed a few that I liked but I was distracted by jeans. One of my coworkers made an impression on me earlier with how good her jeans looked and I wanted to look that good in my jeans. So, I started rummaging (gently selecting) for “the next size down” in Levi’s and another brand that was in the same display area and looked cute. (I like dark jeans.) Arms loaded with size large tops and size 14 jeans (yep) I made my way to the delicates section because they have the best fitting rooms. They’re all purple velvety with a nice cushion, plenty of room to hang things, big mirror, and a real door with a lock. Also, they generally lack children and teenagers. [I have nothing against these two groups of humans. But kids run around and peek under doors and make bad smells and teenagers are loud and messy and in a totally different mental place than I am and I do not need that psychosis on top of my own 30-something, single self-conscious psychosis.]

Once again, I was distracted. My bras don’t really fit anymore either. And improper support and control is not only uncomfortable and aggravating, but it can make you look frumpy. I grabbed a couple of bras to try in a band size smaller than the smallest one I have and cup size smaller. (I tried on 36DD.)[I’ll cut to the point on this one. Band size seemed to fit but cups were too snug. I probably need to actually measure. I also desperately want to buy something pretty from Victoria’s Secret because I think I actually can now. And pretty bras are so joyous. And because I CAN.)

And then I took a deep breath, pulled off my cowboy boots and dress, and tried on clothes. And they fit. What the…? THEY FIT. Excuse me, but I’m still a fat girl. Looking in the mirror I still see the same contours of my belly and chest. But I grabbed mainstream clothes from the normal size section and they fit. I stared for a good five minutes.

I ended up not finding work pants – the main mission of the trip. The selection was small and size 14 was absent from the racks. As that practical reality set it, I decided not to buy anything I tried on. If I really really wanted it, I’d go back. But really, I don’t need jeans. I should use that money on something more practical like clothes for work or a bra.

Even though I walked out sans-bag and sans-debt, I did take something away. I’ve lost 61 pounds and I’m still losing. I’m not busting out of a size 22 and XXL any more. I shouldn’t feel ashamed of my body. I shouldn’t’ feel guilty thinking I look good. I’ve earned it. I’ve worked so hard for it. And I’m still working. And being a size large/14 feels like some sort of miracle. Instead of thinking about how some people would still find that fat, I have to focus on how I feel at this size – and I feel strong and hopeful, but a little bit scared.

And a little bit naked.

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6 thoughts on “Katie Goes Shopping

  1. If you want to treat yourself to a really great fitting bra, try going to Birdies or Intimate Designs in Independence. They have a much better range of sizes than VS, and will fit you a lot more precisely. And have an even better selection of pretty things (especially Birdies). It’ll probably cost a little bit more, but is tooootally worth it, in my opinion.

    You are awesome.

  2. That’s an awesome experience. I’m so excited for you! I also like buying Victoria Secret bras (and they measure you, which I appreciate) when I’m okay with spending a little extra.HOWEVER, you keep saying how socially awkward and nerdy you are. Maybe it’s because I’m your younger cousin who has always looked up to you, but I don’t experience you that way at all. Just sayin’. 🙂

    1. I’ve gotten some good recommendations for local places so I think I’m going to go that route. I went into VS on Sunday (Semi-Annual Sale!) to replenish my body wash/body splash supply (so cheap during the SA Sale!) and I was really overwhelmed and uncomfortable because it was crowded and the staff wasn’t friendly, helpful, or accessible. But no worries; I have not lost hope!

      And I’m so totally awkward! Perhaps I hide it well sometimes? Maybe you are also nerdy so you think I’m “normal?”

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