As far back as I can remember, I have hated clothes shopping. Mostly because being a plus sized teenager back in the 70’s and 80’s there really wasn’t much to choose from. I either had to buy men’s jeans or those ugly, old lady stretchy pants!
Then along came specialty stores for the big gals!
Oh these were always fun, NOT!!
They attempted to make younger, big girls look and feel more fashionable, but, alas most of the styles were not figure flattering to us big girls. The designs seemed to be made by using some very unflattering fabrics and expanding the template or pattern. This doesn’t usually work. Not every big girl has a giant ass or giant thighs. We are all built differently. I have always been plus sized since as far back as I can remember, and have always had issues finding clothes that fit the way I liked. I may be big but my body has always been solid and proportionate. Finding figure flattering pieces to make a wardrobe is hard. Styles change so fast and furiously that I stuck to my basic jeans and t-shirt attire. (Jeans with saggy thighs and butt because the waist had to be bigger and t-shirts that hung off me to hide the belly and love handles) I never really had any “dress” clothes, and I made sure that I never had the need for dress clothes. I worked at jobs where I could wear jeans and t-shirts, or they issued a uniform. Sure the uniforms were mannish, but at least I didn’t have to buy dress up clothes!
The past few years I have been slowly trying to acquire a wardrobe that is akin to the show “What Not To Wear”. Remember this show? I sure remember it, and I always wanted someone to nominate me. I wanted Clinton and Stacy to come and whisk me away to NYC and teach me what I was doing wrong. I imagined they would show me how to dress this body of mine and I would look put together, happy and my whole world would change. I bought things that were more upscale and “classic” as my hubby called it, but those things just weren’t me and I had a closet full of clothes that I never wore. I thought they were too nice to wear for every day. I ended up giving most of it away to a friend who was starting a new job.
As we all have heard, clothing is an inanimate object, it shouldn’t matter what someone is wearing, it’s what is on the inside…..Blah, blah, blah!
IT DOES MATTER!! (not in the way you think though)
In my opinion it matters how we as individuals ‘feel’ about ourselves. It affects how we carry ourselves in public. It can affect our moods, and whether we are social or not so social. For me it mattered whether I walked with my head up and a smile on my face of if I walked with my shoulders hunched over, my face pointing towards my shoes and looking very closed off and unapproachable. I don’t want to be unapproachable, but, I also do not want to come off as being conceited and full of myself either. I prefer to be seen as someone who is confident but not cocky, someone who is kind, friendly and approachable, because that is how I feel inside.
So let’s get back to the purpose of this post. Two days ago my hubby and I went to the outlet mall in search of some clothes for me. He is actually an excellent shopper and I can trust his honest opinion on everything I try on. He loves to shop!
I have been to this particular store a few other times and have really never had much luck in finding anything that either (a.looked good, or (b. fit me in the way I like. I am a sensitive person. I don’t mean in the, ‘I can cry at the drop of a hat’, kind of sensitive. I mean in the textural sense. If something rubs or binds in one place or another I just can’t wear it. Socks have almost always been a nightmare for me, along with tags on things. *shiver* Just thinking about the tags rubbing makes me cringe.
Back to the store. I always check the displays of outfits they have put together up on the top 1/3 of the wall. I have often gotten great ideas from these displays. This trip was no different except, I found so many things that I just loved! I thought to myself that this surely couldn’t be true, I couldn’t get this lucky. Hubby was bringing me things and asking if I liked them. We looked at a few other items together and discussed what we thought about things like horizontal stripes, the cut of the fabric or how it may or may not drape properly. (I tell you, I am the luckiest woman on the planet to have this man in my life!!)
We found so many things that our arms were getting overloaded and the sales clerk started a dressing room for me and she had to make 3 trips!! I was stunned and amazed when I walked back and saw the amount of clothes that I found to my liking. It was daunting for sure. But, in true Melissa style I forged ahead and started to try things on. I had found an awesome pair of boots on my way back to the dressing room so I snatched them up and tried them on ‘with’ the outfits. When I slipped on the pants, boots and one of the tops, I was delighted that everything I picked was the right size. I looked at myself in the full length mirror, turned to the side to see if the clothes made me look wider and to my shock I looked freaking thinner!! HOORAY!! I was excited and my heart started beating faster, I couldn’t wait to show the hubby. He being the wonderfully patient man he is, was waiting outside the dressing room for me to come out and model the choices. The look on his face was priceless. I know he loves me, and it doesn’t really matter what I have on because he does love me, but when I walked out there his eyes popped open and his smile got bigger. That in itself really boosted my confidence greatly.
To some this may not be a big deal, but to me it has changed my view of who I am. I finally, for the first time in my entire life feel like I know who I am and my outer shell now projects what is inside. It is kind of a cool feeling, and I wish every person, especially every woman no matter what size, could feel this confidence.
From here on out I will walk with my head held high, knowing that I finally have the style and look that I have been searching for my entire life thus far and this is why two days ago I had the Best.Shopping.Trip. EVER!
Next adventure will be to change my hair to match my new style! 🙂
What do you do to feel confident?