Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Appearance: dressing

Let's move on from housecleaning to dressing. I'm planning to attend an event this weekend where I have to dress up. I want to look good and, to be frank, I am stressing a little about this whole aging process. At some point, I know I'll come to terms with it, but right now, I'm thinking, "Who stole my 25-year-old body?" Partly, I did. I didn't take care of it. I took for granted my high metabolism. So I didn't exercise much. And now, the thighs don't look as good as I wish they did. And birthing a couple of babies has added to the hip line. The truth is, it's been a rare moment when I've been completely comfortable in my own skin. I am skinny, it's true, but I'm short and growing up, I had a hard time finding clothes that fit. I lived in a small town whose mall carried the standard sizes. I had to shop in the little girls' section for far too long. And that was long before cool little girls' clothes. If you were buying girls' clothes back then, you were investing in unicorns, Holly Hobbie and Winnie-the-Pooh, so not cool for the preteen set.

Today, I still have trouble finding clothes. Unless I want to have every single thing I buy be tailored (who can afford that!), I shop in the petite section. Now I live in a large city, near the second largest mall in the country, and one would think that that would mean a large petite clothing selection. Alas, it does not. I know, I went to them all. What they typically do in petite sections is include the "bestsellers" in the smaller sizes. Problem is, the best sellers for the tall and thin are not necessarily going to look good on the short and hippy. Aside from being short, I'm hippy and absolutely tiny up top. My wedding dress? Size 2 up top, size 8 on the bottom. Seriously. So I have a hard time with dresses and tend to go for separates, further limiting my choices.

I will admit to being a "What Not to Wear" fan. Sometimes, I'm totally surprised by people who desperately cling to their ugly clothes, but other people talk about how hard it is for them to shop and that's why they have no good clothes. I can sympathize. If you have to try on 30 things to find one that looks good, shopping becomes a real chore. And the depression of having to look at yourself in the 29 outfits that don't look good? Yuck. The thing is, I care about how I look. I just don't want it to be so much work.