The Fashionable One.
It's no secret that I love clothing. I don't mean that I like it, I don't mean that I enjoy it, I mean that I love it. The photo above was taken by the fantastic Nick Fay for a blog I wrote for my day-job last year. The post was about the fanny pack/belt bag trend, and I found the most gorgeous Prada number at Nordstrom. The sincere affection and adoration I had for this belt bag, combined with the fact that I could never in a billion years afford a Prada bag and this was possibly my only chance to don such an article, made the whole thing look like a maternity shoot. Like I said, I love this stuff.
If I had to pinpoint exactly where my love of fashion came from, the credit would have to go to my grandmother. My Nanna instilled in me a passion and scrutiny for material beauty. The hours I spent touching each and every precious item in her jewelry boxes and caressing the fine stitching of her coach bags were almost religious experiences in my young life.
What it's really all about is the thrill of the hunt. I am a bargain shopper, I never pay full price for anything (okay that's not true, but it's incredibly rare that I do). A good sale gives me an endrophin release that I imagine is only comparable to reaching the summit of Mount Everest. Buffalo Exchange is my church.
What I've realized only quite recently is that my love of fashion may be my outlet for body dysmorphia recovery. It sounds quite illogical. If you hate your body, wouldn't clothing shopping be the last thing you'd want to do? For me though, it's quite the opposite.
We all know that women's clothing sizes are absolutely out of control. They are completely inconsistent by brand, style, and type. Have you ever gone wedding or bridesmaids dress shopping? If you have, then you know that you have to DOUBLE the size what you'd normally wear. Nothing makes you feel like a queen on your special day than doubling your dress size, am I right?
Putting all that aside for a moment, I most regularly wear a size 0 or XS. Not always, my weight has fluctuates significantly, but it's been around this ballpark for a few years now. It feels really good to put on a garment that by definition means that I am NOT fat, that I am in fact Extra Small, and that whatever I'm seeing when I look in the mirror is probably not grounded in reality. I want to be very clear here, I am not saying that wearing a size Large makes you fat. I am not saying that it matters what size your clothing is in the least little bit, I'm just sharing what my experiences have been. It's not a cure-all. Sure, the dress I'm wearing in the photo above is a size XS, but it's not doing any favors for those flabby arms of mine. Ohhhh there's a poisonous thought! Self-love and acceptance is a work in progress, folks. I have a lot of work to do.
What's most important to me right now, at this stage of my life and my journey, is that dressing well and curating outfits for myself makes me feel really great. It makes me feel that I look really great. It makes me feel great about my body, because it puts me in control. I have control over what I am wearing, over what colors, textures, and designs I chose to show the wold. This body that has been the enemy for so long is now a canvas of sorts that I can do exciting things with every morning.
Do I have too many clothes? You bet I do. Do I have to constantly find things to donate so that I can make room for more stuff? Absolutely. Do I have to stop shopping or I'm sending my husband and I to the poor house? You know it. But I am grateful for my clothes. I am very happy to be known as the fashionable one. Not the skinny one, not the fat one, not the anorexic one, not the chubby one who is in recovery and just gained a bunch of weight because her body doesn't know what to do with food anymore. Just, "The Fashionable One."