I always wonder if anyone reading this blog doesn’t personally “get” the desire to shop. I wish I knew what that feels like! I’ve been interested in clothes since at least middle school, when I started keeping a journal of my outfits to make sure I didn’t repeat them.
There are the standard shopping reasons for people like me: new trends to try, dated clothing to replace, seasonal update, etc. But I had two big reasons this summer: major body change and an upcoming new job.
I’ve never not been overweight. I was in the “pretty-plus” sizes through elementary school and was mortified when my sister took me shopping only to ask for the “big” kid section. Through the years, my weight fluctuated some, but never to the point below a size 12. That meant there was a whole world of styles that were not meant for me no matter how badly I wanted to make them work. They did not work, and I got used to what did work and made the best of it. A couple of years ago I stepped up my style quite a bit, ditching the daily fitted tees, jeans, and Merrells combination. I also climbed to my highest weight/size combination, effectively slamming the door on most of my previously beloved styles.
You already know that this year I decided to make a health change, and I’m still a bit shocked at the results. I thought it would take another year to get to the point where I am, but my body really responded to weightlifting. Early in the process, I’d gone down one or two sizes, but most of my clothing still fit fine and worked. Six months into it, I was down a total of five sizes. FIVE SIZES. I can’t even believe I’m writing that. Or the fact that some of my new pants are getting a little loose. (Weights, I love you!) But I’m not just a smaller version of my previous self. My body has changed shape. I used to be an unmistakeable pear and now am barely a pear at all. I can wear bodycon things without shapers underneath. The extra lumps and bumps are not terribly visible, though I can assure you I still have some!
This change has opened all those doors that have been closed for a lifetime. I can’t even express how thrilling it is to try stuff on and have pretty much everything fit. Now, I’m not saying I’m a model or anything. I just mean that to my eyes, what I try on looks good on my body, like it’s supposed to look. What?! On me?? This is crazy. But I really, REALLY love the dressing room now. The first month or so, I cried in the dressing room. I’m no stranger to crying in there, but it was usually for the opposite reason. This is why I’ve become very strict with shopping lists. Otherwise I would want to buy out the store.
Another side of that coin is that with this new body, I’m free try out a completely different style persona. I’ve never worn flowy, loose items…but what if I try it now? Maybe it would work for the first time in my life. It makes me want to go to new stores that were previously out of my reach and find out. And, it’s getting cold. I just want warm, cozy clothes and don’t currently have any other than sweatpants. Warm, cozy, and flowy make up my wishlist these days.
Then there’s the job, but it’s not what you think. It’s mostly a work-from-home job, so my desire to shop because of my job is not so that I have something nice to wear to the office. No, it’s the fact that I have an income again for the first time in seven years. An income that doesn’t have to go to anything important. It should, but it doesn’t have to. Finally, I can shop without a budget! I mean, there is a budget, but not the arbitrary low number I used to use.
I’m taking it day by day. I didn’t buy anything this week, but I did browse online. I’m planning a big shopping trip in a couple of weeks and trying not to buy anything before then. What works for me? I keep thinking about how I would feel wearing xyz to school drop-off. Um, not a whole lot different than I did wearing what I did today. There is no paparazzi waiting to take my photo. No one is looking at how I’m dressed, especially now that it’s coat season. And who cares what my coat looks like? Why do I need the most flattering coat I can find? Is waist detailing and a slightly different sheen that life-changing? These thoughts keep me grounded.
Until I see someone that looks fantastic and wish I could be as stylish as her. Then I start browsing online again…