dressing up

Today, I went shopping.

This is not an unusual experience.  Oftentimes, I go shopping.  But you see, I made a bet with myself at the beginning of the year: I have to wear all the clothes in my closet before I can buy anything new.  If I don’t, anything not worn goes to Goodwill or other charity by May.

I did not buy clothes for myself.  I bought pajamas, which aren’t clothes (and which I needed).  I did, however, buy clothes for my husband, who never, ever goes shopping for himself.

I love clothes.  I love clothes the way a woman of size isn’t supposed to.  At least, that’s what society says.  I’ve talked before on this blog about how I write about fashion, love fashion, live fashion, have been on Fashion Avenue in NYC (had a coffee there and everything!), and I just. love. clothes.  It’s as simple as that.

But it’s not, is it?  Because it’s never simple, not ever, when we deal with concerns of women and size.

I spoke to a friend tonight about Stitch Fix, and recommended it for her.  I think she would really enjoy it, as she lives in a place with not many clothing/shopping options.  I felt I needed to justify why I don’t use it, to which I said, “They don’t have plus sizes yet, but I think they’re working on it.”

And so I checked, and no, they don’t have plus sizes, but they do have petites and maternity sizing, two other types of sizing that often get overlooked for the XS-XL standardizing of women’s clothing.

But I love the idea of working with a personal stylist.  I used to do this with my friends: take them shopping, dress them up.  Back in the day when I was younger (and more goth), I would dress up my girlfriends and bring them dancing.  When people complimented them on their outfits, I would say, “I dressed her!”, proud and excited that someone noticed my hard work.

Even now, when I get complimented on my clothes, I say, “Thank you!” in a way that I am unable to take other compliments well.  Clothes, as Blanche DuBois said, are my passion.  I love them to the extent that I shouldn’t.

I keep saying that: shouldn’t.  Because for most of my life, I’ve been told, through media, through available clothing outlets, even, that big girls shouldn’t be in love with clothes, because clothes are just there to cover the fat.

But they aren’t, are they?  And I know now that if you wear clothing too big for you, it makes you look larger.  Clothes that fit are flattering.  It took forever for me to realize that because I was told, again and again, to hide my shame.  My shame, of course, was my body.

Body conscious dressing is a beautiful thing; women conscious of their bodies’ beauty?  Gorgeous.  Take my friend Professor Dresser, for example, who documents her clothing every day.  She is fully aware of her beauty and her fashion-flare, and I admire her for her fashion sense and wisdom.

Fashion sense is wisdom, but it’s also flare for drama.  It’s panache, a bit of sass, and a whole lot of love, because clothing and dressing is about love.  It’s about loving yourself enough to love your body.

This has been hard for me, but I’m working on it.  I want it to be adamantly aware that I am trying to be as confident with myself as my clothing suggests.  Because for me, clothes and makeup make me confident.

I love them.  I love dressing up.  I always have, even as a young girl.

I just want society to realize that women of all sizes should have the right to dress up or dress down, whichever they prefer.  It’s our choice.

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