Wednesday, May 28, 2014

"Goal Weight" Clothes are Pointless

I recently bought some spring clothes, as most of my clothes are either too small or meant for winter. I got some nice brightly colored tops, sandals, and a few dresses. New sunglasses were also necessary, since the pair I’d had for the last ten years finally broke. I bought them for $10 at a random highway stop stand when I was fifteen and they served me well.

I like having nice new clothes, but I don't love shopping, especially as a size 14. I've talked about the annoyance of vanity sizing, and it's still going strong. Yesterday I went to work in some of my new clothes: a dress, size XL, and a white cardigan, size medium. Both are fitted pieces and were flattering. I think they may have even been the same brand. This makes no sense.

Context. Thanks for the inspiration Kara 

While vanity sizing is an equal opportunity exasperation, fun for everyone from obese to petite, shopping while trying to lose weight has a unique challenge: the temptation to buy something that’s just a little too small. Why not? you say. I’ll fit into this dress when I weigh fifteen pounds less, it’s such a nice dress, such a good price, let me just buy it and wear it in a couple of months when I’m thinner.

I’m not the savviest of shoppers, but as a person who has fluctuated from 145-200 pounds since high school, there is one shopping rule I've learned to follow: Always, always, buy the size you are now. Always buy what fits and is comfortable today.

Sometimes when I see women buying clothing with the promise to lose some weight in order to actually wear it, it looks like a punishment. It's a hint that they don’t deserve to wear the item until they've lost weight. This attitude seems especially prevalent in bridal shops.

But I’m not going to punish myself for being fat by buying pretty clothes I can’t wear. There are already enough “negative” reasons for me to lose weight - I’m not comfortable in my body, I’m not healthy - I don’t need too tight clothing as another reminder of what I haven't accomplished.

So I buy what fits now. It just makes more sense.
  • When (yes!) I do lose weight, I can have clothing taken in. So if I really love something that I bought a few months ago and is now too big, I probably don’t have to say goodbye to it completely
  • It’s impossible to predict how my body will change as I lose - perhaps my waist will be thinner in proportion  to my hips than they are now. 
    • This is also a reason against buying a goal style - like a bikini or skinny jeans
    • A few years ago my sister lost about 25 pounds. She went down two sizes, but her larger-than-average chest stayed the same. If she had bought a cute but too small top at her heavier weight, it might not have ever fit
  • Why not buy something I can wear tomorrow? Why fill my wardrobe with things I can't wear?
    • It’s nice to wear something new. Besides, if I'm buying it now, that almost always means I need it now, not in five months.
    • It's confusing and absurd to go through ones wardrobe and have to remember if any given thing fits

  • Avoid unnecessary pressure to lose weight to fit into whatever it is. Why create that drama? I should be able to wear everything in my closet. 
  • I've fluctuated a lot since high school, so I already have clothes that don’t quite fit right now. I have an amazing blue work dress that I looked damn good in, and right now it doesn't even zip. That can be my “lose weight and wear this” or goal pile, I don’t need any more.
  • Nobody knows what size you are, so might as well buy the one that fits and looks good, and enjoy it

I hate "sizing up" as much as the next person even though I know how arbitrary it is. In the past, when I've bought something that fits and looks good, but is a size I don't like, I cut the tags out of it when I get home. Care instructions are usually on a separate tag, so there's no reason to keep the one that lists the size. I soon forget what size it was in the first place, but I have something nice that fits me well. 
Bonus: sizing up, when I need a larger size, will make me look smaller because properly fitting clothing always does.


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