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  • Writer's pictureAndie Kantor

Shopping with the Fat Girl

I am not the biggest fan of clothes shopping.

As someone who has been overweight for most of her life, and who has topped out at five feet tall, pre-made clothes have never fit me properly. I have to get everything hemmed, not that I actually do, and I still never feel like the clothes actually look attractive on me. It's frustrating. I've always been proud of my curves, but the clothing companies don't seem to take into account my particular shape. Short girls are, apparently, not supposed to have breasts or hips. Oops.

In my second year of college, my gorgeous room mate was a braggable, perfect size 8. She was tall and beautiful, and her hair always looked healthy and shiny. Everything fit her, and she modeled in Nordstrom shows because she was so easy to dress. Finding clothes off the rack like that is utterly foreign to me; I generally find something that "works" and just go with it.

Yesterday while wandering through at Old Navy I realized I hadn't purchased a new pair of jeans in over three years, and that I probably needed new ones. I found the jeans wall and searched for the ones I used to wear: Boot Cut, for curvy girls. Since the last time I'd tried on their jeans I'd been a size 12-14, I grabbed a 6 short with an open heart and wound my way through shoppers to stand in line for the dressing room.

I put them on and looked in the mirror. They were huge and looked awful. What? These were the jeans I used to feel so cute in. They made my thighs and butt look smaller and emphasized my curves. And how was I possibly swimming in a size 6?

I ran out and got a size four short. Same issue.

It was only when I was looking at myself in the size 2 short--which finally fit--that I realized something. The cuts that make me look and feel amazing when I'm one size may not, necessarily, do the same when I'm another. Boot cut does me no justice at size 2. I do not need to focus on my butt or thighs to looking smaller any longer. This is difficult to grasp for one who has been overweight for most of her life, and who still only sees herself as someone who has "more to love."

I grabbed a Straight Leg, just to see what it looked like. I wanted something that would not show off my curves from waist down, just a pair of jeans that looked attractive. The leg was not straight; it was really tight across my calves and the rest of it did exactly what I didn't want. The Mom thought they looked great, so I bought them, but they are still in the bag on my dresser and it's weeks later.

...I'm past forty. I no longer feel the need to show off every curve every time I put my damn jeans on. (Ok, sometimes, for dates? Fine. But I couldn't wear them to work...) What I want is a low-rise, straight leg (for real...going down from my thighs...not tight against the rest of my legs) pair of dark blue jeans I can wear with boots.

Bear found a website, eShakti, that tailors clothes to each order. Choices can also be made about length, sleeves, pocket or no pocket, neckline, etc. She and I have an upcoming date to measure each other, so that we at least have that done in case we want to order clothes at some point. I'm kind of excited about this; having clothes that fit my shape and size sounds like a real win, for me. And people like me.

I am grateful.

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