Sorry I’m a little late today! As you can see, I had a blog redesign done by Julie! We’re still working out a few tweeks but any and all feedback is appreciated. Also, please click over and “Like” my new facebook page if you don’t mind! I’m going to be fully switching over to the page and delete the group eventually… thank you! =)
During some of the most of the critical years of my life, ages 10 to 25, I was very overweight and then obese. Throughout this time, I used clothes as something to hide behind, but lied to myself and others and just said fashion wasn’t really my thing. The truth was, I couldn’t shop at the same stores as my friends and they didn’t make cute, age appropriate clothes in my size, so clothes shopping was always a dreadful experience that often brought me close to tears.
I have a lot of bad memories relating to clothes from throughout my youth. I remember in 5th grade resorting to wearing my mom’s very high-waisted, tapered jeans from The Gap (size 12) so I didn’t have to deal with going to the store myself. I also remember wearing jeans with an elastic band waist that I ordered online because it was more likely they would fit. I was in school one day and bent over so you could see the elastic waist, and was made fun of by my classmates for hours and then days. Kids can be so cruel.
When my weight really started to get out of control in college, I mostly wore huge sweatpants with large t-shirts that hid my figure. I remember buying those shirts they sell along the streets of DC that are 5/$10 (or were at the time!) and using those to stock my wardrobe. The only option for me really was Lane Bryant, but many of the clothes at that store were geared towards older women and not so much someone in their young 20s, so I had so much trouble finding things to wear.
When I think back to that time in my life, it makes me really sad how much I let myself go. I never really thought about how GOOD I could feel if I wore things that flattered my body and made me feel confident. Instead, I wore clothes that worsened my flaws and made me look dumpy and feel really ashamed of myself.
Then, I started to lose weight after joining Weight Watchers in March 2009, and my body started changing. After several months on the program, I remember fitting into size 12 jeans from Express and how amazing they made me feel. I couldn’t believe I was finally at a point in my life where I could shop at (some of) the same stores as my friends and the clothes actually fit!
I think because I had missed so many years of developing my style from a lack of options, I had a really hard time figuring out what looked good on me and how to embellish otherwise plain outfits, and never really had anyone to help me break out of this rut. I learned how to wear flattering workout clothes, but I never really learned how to dress to flatter my new, fit figure, or knew what types of things would give me a sense of confidence.
And to be honest, this mentality of style being something that was beyond me and unimportant stayed in my head way beyond the time of losing the weight. I watched my friends transform their wardrobes as we adjusted to corporate life, and while I thought they looked cute, I never thought that could be me.
And as cliché as I know it sounds, this experience with The Washingtonian and specifically Kaarin, changed that completely for me, and it has affected me so much more than I thought it would. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I have things in my closet that I know how to wear that make me feel amazing. I have gained so much confidence through trying on clothes and experimenting with different looks, it’s really unbelievable. I’ve learned what it feels like to be in something that makes me feel beautiful, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.