I am not your typical woman. Picture this: 5'9", 125 lbs, 34D-27-36, with a 35" inseam. And all that's after babytown.
But trust me -- I'm not bragging. Those are just the facts. All that perceived goodness has its badness, don't you know.
I had a rare girls' night with my two besties and of course we talked a bit about our self-loves and self-hates. As much as we aren't conventional women in terms of our interests (one of us is a physicist, one is a former goth who knows LaTeX, and one is, well, me) it still propped up amongst our clever banter and witty jokery.
K, the physicist, is much like me in that she's a tall, thin girl who really shouldn't have anything to worry about in terms of her body image. However, the challenge we both face is the gross standardisation of the retail world. We both can't just walk into a store and find something that fits us where it really matters. To find things that do us right, we have to go to more expensive shops or pay to have things altered. It's just silly.
M faces the opposite problem -- she's a petite, delicate little thing and has to chop five inches off her pants when she gets them. All three of us are really just lovely to look at, but none of us are the average, North American woman. We sometimes hate our bodies just because they're not what's considered "normal".
So, anyway, I've taken to thrifting. When I first met Mr. Watson, he mentioned that some of his super-cool threads had been purchased at various second-hand shops. Me, being the consummate fashionista and lover of fine garments, couldn't imagine buying something that someone else had worn. What if it stank? What if there were pit stains? GROSS.
However, however. Once we were expecting, my whole view on money-spending changed. I couldn't rationalise spending over a hundred dollars on a single pair of jeans. I didn't want to rationalise it. Between clothes and fancy makeup, I was spending way more than was responsible considering there was a little Watson to think about.
So, after much deliberation and support from my husband, I stopped buying stuff. I think I wore the same charcoal turtleneck a thousand times one winter . . . it popped up in so many different Facebook albums I began to try finding new ways to wear it. Anyway, I couldn't stand not keeping up with the trends and not expressing myself through new fashion.
I've just realised this is kind of a vapid entry. Oh well, I'm a mother now so I have to finish what I start. In this way, I will set a good example for the chilluns.
Okay. So, I found the fashion blog to end all fashion blogs. This beautiful, amazing girl runs it, and she posts second-hand items, artfully photographed and of great quality. She's very picky and only posts things that she herself would consider buying. It was a very, very good segue into the world of preloved clothing.
So, I've spent my weekly "me money" on her very reasonably priced (sometimes I feel like I'm stealing!) pieces, and have injected my wardrobe with so many vintage, designer and unique items. Way more personality than what the larger retailers are pumping out season after season!
Now, I look forward to popping into the thrift stores I used to view with such disdain. It's a real pleasure to find an awesome blouse that is actually large enough to fit my chest and small enough to fit my waist -- and pay ONE DOLLAR for it! I mean, you have to have the right attitude, the right patience, and the right sense of what will work with and pick up on current trends, but it can be so rewarding. As I always say to Pete, I could spend my smaller budget buying sweatshop clothes, or spend the same on quality stuff that someone else used to have tucked away in her closet.
Anyway, so that's how I've learned to balance my love of fashion with the limitations of being a responsible adult. I just wish the weather here were nicer so that I could wear a dress or skirt every single day. It would certainly abolish that long-inseam problem I still haven't exactly come to terms with yet.