Body Acceptance, Recovery

The Three Fs

I have a confession to make…
I have too many clothes. 

I honestly have enough clothing to clothe several people in an array of sizes.  Clothing ranging from pre-pregnancy pants and shirts, to an EXTREMELY comfortable pair of maternity pants I still wear on occasion, and several post-pregnancy pieces as well.  You know what all these articles of clothing have in common?  I don’t like them.  When I try on shirt after shirt, pants after pants, I don’t feel confident.  I don’t feel beautiful.  I feel frumpy, fat, and sometimes downright depressed.  My butt looks too big, my belly puffs too much, the shirts are clingy…the reasons why I don’t like the clothing goes on and on. These negative feelings about my body in my clothes probably plays into why I change my clothes multiple times each day before leaving the house.  While changing my clothes multiple times is something on which I am working, I decided it was time for a more drastic change to help with my body image.  I decided to make a capsule wardrobe.

What is a capsule wardrobe and how will it help me feel better?  I’m so glad you asked!  The basis of a capsule wardrobe is  “less is more” when it comes to clothing.  All the pieces are versatile, so you can mix and match to create many outfits from a few pieces.  That being said, to start a capsule wardrobe one must ditch the old closet.  I had to go through –piece by piece- all of my shirts, pants, shorts, dresses, shoes, and jackets.  If the item didn’t fit well, flatter, or make me feel FABULOUS, it got tossed into “laundry basket of doom.”  That was until the “laundry basket of doom” began to overflow and became the rubbermaid tub and two DSW shopping bags.  (See, way too many clothes!) Needless to say, this process took several days and left me with three dresses, three shirts, no pants(!), and no skirts.  I still had lots of shoes, I mean those fit at any body size, right?  (I also might have a slight obsession with Jack Rogers, TOMS, and cute flats…so that makes it hard to choose which get to stay and which have to go.  I decided to keep pretty much all of them!)

No, I didn’t run around sans pants wearing only my Jack Rogers and a shirt, but I did need to go shopping to build a flattering and fabulous capsule.  My shopping spree is actually still in progress because I am taking my time finding items that truly help me feel confident, beautiful, and fantastic!  On the first day of my spree I was thankful my friend and my sister were there to support me because shopping is rarely fun for me.  I usually end up depressed about the sizes I have to buy and end up frustrated with myself.  The two of them helped me select a few flattering shirts and pants.  I felt great…until I got home.  Once I tried on the pants at home I decided I didn’t feel fabulous.  I felt fat and carefully processed why I felt that way.  They didn’t fit quite right around the waist.  Since they had to fit over my butt they had that oh-so-awesome gap at the back.  So, back to the store they went!

I was feeling a little frustrated because I always have a hard time finding pants to fit my plus size behind,  that are also made for short people, and don’t gap at the back.  (See my dilemma?)  Remembering someone told me about another store that offers cute pants in a variety of sizes, I decided to head in that direction but the store next door caught my eye.  Torrid, a plus size fashion store with some pretty cute pants in the window, happened to be that store.  I felt myself die a little inside as I took a deep breath (and a few sideways glances to make sure nobody would see me walk in) and opened the door.  Immediately my vanity and concern melted away because I was already in love with Torrid!  Finally, clothes that might actually fit me!  As I wandered around the store the sales associates were so helpful and encouraging about what might look good and what would be a good capsule piece.  Typically I go into a store and feel very insecure because I’m never sure if there will be clothing in my size that fits well.  And usually the clothing doesn’t fit well.  Once the pants fit my hips and butt they are too long and the look doesn’t flatter.  (Hello, short people need bigger sizes too.  We aren’t all tall.)  However, I didn’t have those depressed and insecure feelings at Torrid.  My initial thought upon trying on a pair of pants was, “Wow!  My butt looks good!”  Followed by, “So this is how pants are supposed to fit!” And topped off with, “Why didn’t I find this place sooner!?”

So, after two trips to Torrid and $425 later, I now have three pairs of pants, two pairs of shorts, and four shirts that help me feel fabulous.  While I am still building my complete capsule this feels like a great start.  Knowing there is store I now call “mine” because it helps me feel great about myself is amazing.  While spending that much money on clothing makes me feel a little sick, I know it is worth it in the end because it helps keep my negative body image away.  The conclusion at which I have arrived is this: when clothing fits well, flatters, and makes helps me feel fabulous, I walk with more confidence and feel ready to take on the world.  Perhaps it is silly to put so much stock in clothes but I am telling you, the three Fs are helping me feel better about myself every day.

If you have a closet full of clothing that doesn’t meet the three Fs, I challenge you to ditch a few pieces (okay, take them to a resale shop to try to make some shopping money) and shop for something new.  Take a friend, sometimes having someone for support greatly helps when stepping out of your comfort zone in the clothing world.  Don’t be afraid to take your time and find those pieces that truly fit well, flatter, and help make you feel FABULOUS!

With Body Love,

PS please keep in mind this blog post was actually written over several weeks, as this has been an
ongoing process.  I no longer wear or own those maternity yoga pants because they made it into the “laundry basket of doom” a few weeks ago.  🙂 

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