So I have lost 105 pounds. That means I wear a different size. I gave away all of my old clothes as a motivating technique to never go back. If I go back, then I’ll have nothing to wear. It’s an committed all or nothing mind technique. Plus, I read in a mindful-eating book that are clothes are a good indicator of weight fluctuations. You immediately notice when those pants don’t buckle or those panties cut into some uncomfortable areas. Back to the point, I have had to get new clothes. As previously size 24, I knew which stores were for me. That would be Lane Bryant, Ashley Stewart, Torrid, Avenue and the “Women’s” section at Macy’s. [SIDE NOTE: Terming plus-sized clothing women always bothered me. But I’m not sure why though. As if we (I still consider myself plus-sized) we had to be reminded or announced that we are women]. But after losing 105 pounds (25-30 to go, depending on how tired I get), I can comfortably fit into clothing from any store. It’s been fun to do more than just window and wonder what other treasures lie inside. I no longer have to scan the windows, racks and walls to determine if they have plus-sized section. And for the stores with 1-2 racks of plus-sized clothing, I no longer feel like an outcast for walking in to check out the store. Usually, I learn that those stores’ view of plus-size are unbelievably skewed (*side eye* to Forever21). And then feel embarrassed after trying on those clothes that didn’t get past my knee or elbow, left only with a walk of shame to return these “plus-sized” items to the rack and the realization that I didn’t belong.
Whoa, that was depressing now that I look back on it. But those were the old days. The entire mall is my playground. Despite having a wide range of styling options, cheaper clothes and instant access to a plethora of possibilities; something still felt missing.
I missed Lane Bryant. It was a bright and happy place that I felt accepted. These new stores have decent to good customer service. But those old feelings of not belonging still rise up as I enter the store and then the dressing room to make sure I was in the right place. Although I always am in the right place, I still feel like an outsider. Like, they look at me and know I don’t really belong there.
Lane Bryant (LB) and stores just like it catered to me. They were special stores that were just for me. Those stores not only provided reinforced seems, quality zippers and double latches for clothing items that wore out my interest way before the fabric wore out; they also provided a safe place. No one there would be gracing Vogue’s cover (although many are GORGEOUS enough to do so). Everyone there understands your pain in finding cute clothes. It catered to more than just your clothing needs. It diminished those insecurities felt from other stores that reinforces the concept of SIZE=beauty. LB was my store. I miss Lane Bryant. I shopped at every LB store in my city and every city I visited. It was a national monument that had to be toured on a regular basis. And when one closed, my heart shed a single tear (after rejoicing over the major sale prices I racked up). [SIDE NOTE: LB’s real women dollars/coupons/sales are like the best shopping/gambling game ever. You constantly were betting if you should wait for a reduction in the price or get it before it sells out. Shopping poker?]
Regular-sized stores are carbon copies with variation in paper color (just dated myself). Fashion has become too easy. It goes from the runway to 50 retail store chains. Fashion has lost its artistry. Plus-sized women have to work hard to be stylish and we achieve it (because we are truly artist). And at a considerably higher price, I’m now learning. I miss the artistry of creating stylish outfits because I’m an awesome shopper and visionary. Now my vision is too easy to create.
But, I’m sure this is a silly problem to have. I’ve accomplished an extreme feat that I’m surprised at when I say it. I’m just saying that although I totally love the new me and enjoy the benefits, there are still things I miss like specialty size stores and donuts.