Aren’t numbers funny? They rule our lives in so many ways…currency…time…sizing.
Before my time at the gym was put on hold by the hernia, I’d managed to lose Henri’s baby weight plus another 20 lbs. Inspired by the fact that I was no longer even nursing, I packed away all my maternity clothes, even the items that were just for shlumping around the house. Even the comfy yoga-style pants. Even the nightgown. The problem is that my “before” clothes don’t fit very well, but I don’t yet consider myself an “after”.
My closet and drawers currently have 3 levels of clothing. Level 1 are the bigger stuff that I’m really trying to weed out. Some of my old standbys really just look too baggy when I wear them, and anything that obviously doesn’t fit gets either tossed or donated, depending on the level of deterioration. (Even the unfortunate don’t want plaid pj shorts that haven’t had elastic since 1993). Level 3 clothes are the clothes I’ve been hanging on to since the days when I was closer to where I’d like my “after” to be. I got rid of most of the really slutty stuff from my bartending days (small clothes = big tips) and the stuff that might fit one day, but styles have changed so I wouldn’t want to wear them anyways. What’s left are classic pieces that won’t solely make up, but will round out a wardrobe nicely. Some items still have price tags, bought when I lived in the make-believe land of “I’m only 5 lbs away from this shirt, and it’s on sale, so I’d be crazy NOT to buy it”.
Level 2 clothes are the ones I’m currently wearing. I don’t really like them, they’re not really all that fashionable, but they fit better than either other level. They’re the clothes that I can’t wait to no longer have to rely on. The clothes I wear ‘cus I have to, but not ‘cus I want to.
I’ve been putting off going out to buy nicer stuff because of the age-old adage of anyone who has tried to lose weight- you don’t want to waste money investing in nice clothes that won’t fit you for very long (you hope).
On our way back from New York we stopped at the outlets in Lake George and my dad enouraged me to buy some new shirts for work, since I’d been complaining about my wardrobe. There were some nice clothes at really good prices, and not at least taking a look would have been a wasted opportunity. The first 2 stores were depressing. I tried stuff on, it would fit, but not comfortably. I knew I’d never wear it out without pulling at one part or trying to hide another. Finally at the 3rd store I changed tactics. Instead of taking the size I’d LIKE to be I sucked it up and tried on clothes in the size I AM.
Let me tell you, I felt like I was in Pretty Woman. We got there 30 minutes before closing, but I had so much stuff in my dressing room between the stuff I’d gathered, stuff my mom gathered and then stuff Yannick brought me, that we ended up staying there for an hour. I ended up getting a bunch of tops, everything from casual “throw-on-with jeans” tees and funky tops, to dressier shirts and blouses for work. It felt so empowering to put on stuff that fit and was flattering to look at, and it makes such a difference when getting dressed in the morning.
This led me to take a good hard look at my Audrey cardigan. When I’d cast on I’d had the choice between a size 1″ smaller than my bust, or a size 3-5″ bigger (I forget right now). I chose to go with the smaller size, since I’m trying to get away from excess baggage. When finished the sweater fit like a glove- literally. The sleeves are perfect as is the body…except that I don’t have the body that I’d like to show off in a skin-tight sweater.
Luckily blocking helped tremendously. The sweater now has a lovely drape even though it is knit in a bulky yarn. The thickness at the seams has eased, and it actually grew a little too much, so much so that I need to remove about 5″ from each sleeve in length, and only once I fix the loosened buttonholes and sagging buttons will I know if it is too wide around.
I realized that while it was nice to have the quick knit of a bulky sweater, there’s NOTHING that can compare to a well-fitting item of clothing. If I want something to be proud of, I can knit a bunch of bulky sweaters and frame them in shadow boxes. But if I want something that I can also wear, I need to make sure it will fit and be flattering. And if that means knitting a little longer but using thinner yarn, going for a better drape, or a different style than the one everyone else is knitting ‘cus it just won’t flatter me- then so be it it. I know this cardigan will be one I’ll wear from time to time, and I can’t wait to wear the one I know I’m going to make that will fit beautifully.