Wednesday, March 6, 2013

You're not hiding in plain sight

Pretty much my whole life, I wore clothes that were baggy to "hide" my weight.  I think a good amount of us do this and think we're getting away with looking thinner by not wearing form fitting clothes.  I mean really, who wants to have shirts clinging to their rolls, lumps and bumps?  If we're wearing a tent, surely people won't think we even have rolls, lumps and bumps, right?   WRONG!  I see this all the time on weight loss shows or even just in real life passing people at the mall or whatever.  People with weight problems wearing clothes a size (or two!) bigger than they are because they think they're fooling someone but trust me, we're only fooling ourselves people.  I'll use this pic as an example...


463 lbs on left /  356 lbs on right

That wasn't even my heaviest on the left, I'd lost about 30 lbs from my highest weight and thought I looked good.  Yike.  Anyhoo...note the non-descript square man's t-shirt, baggy elastic jeans and (swallowing yak) Crocs.  (In my defense, Crocs were about the only thing my fat club feet would fit in at that time, it was not a fashion statement!)  Now at that weight, I likely wouldn't have worn something more form fitting but you can see that it does nothing but convey how big I am.  A shapeless blob kind of look is always so attractive, no?

The pic on the right is 107 lbs later and while losing weight always certainly helps, this is the first outfit I FORCED myself to buy that was cut for a woman.  I don't mean form fitting or anything but a shirt that actually had shape when it was on the bed like coming in a little toward the top, accommodating for the hips but lays flat in the front so it doesn't bell out so a rogue bird couldn't fly up the front like in a man's shirt and it even has some silvery stitching around the bottom, neckline and arms to make it look like I was trying.  The jeans aren't skin tight but fit well in comparison to the clown jeans on the left.  I'm not saying there is a massive difference between the two but one is definitely more flattering than the other even if I'm not overly jazzed about how I looked in either one.

It was so difficult for me to finally grasp just what kind of injustice I was doing my body even if I was nowhere near goal.  I couldn't believe how many compliments I got and how many people began asking again if I was losing more weight just based on how my shirts were cut.  I have some pretty good arm dangle going on and am so self conscious of it but it's hard to find women's shirts that don't have those stupid cap sleeves on them.  So I just bit the bullet, bought some Old Navy shirts so I didn't spend too much on them and forced myself to wear them in 2010.  That year to our family reunion I wore one of them and my cousin who I see pretty frequently said that was when he REALLY noticed my weight loss (even though it was slowing down at that point) and it inspired him to get his act together a few months later.  It can still be a struggle for me to wear shirts with sleeves shorter than I would make them but I force myself to do it because it's entirely too easy to go back to "hiding" in plain sight behind big ol' baggy tees.  Don't get me wrong, I have a TON of tees I wear around the house but when I go out in public I try to go outside my comfort zone with clothes because baggy looks sloppy...period.  That is not what I want to present to people.  Even if I wear a jacket or cardigan, I always want my base piece to be a little more fitted and if I'm wearing something super fitting (rare) then I break out the Spanx!  (Even the thinnest of celebs proudly proclaim their love of Spanx...no shame, yo!)

So I challenge you, if you're guilty of buying everything in a size or two bigger than you are or buy men's clothes to cloak your figure, buy at least one new shirt with a flattering cut.  Experiment and try on things that you would never wear in a million years and take pics of yourself in the dressing room.  I do this all the time because what I see in the mirror seriously does NOT look the same as it does in pics.  It's easier to identify your better attributes when you have a different perspective other than the mirror.  (I mean really, how many times have we walked out the door thinking we were looking pretty good that day and saw a pic from the same day and thought, "WTH!?!?!")

Do you wear baggy clothes to hide your figure?

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26 comments:

  1. I was just looking at an old pic of us and noticed how we both did have baggy clothes and it is obvious, now, how it did nothing to hide anything at all. Unfortunately it's one of those things you can't see when you're in the thick of it (no pun intended) but at some point your eyes are opened and you realize how cringe worthy it all is.

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    1. Yeah, some of the old pics are like "dang, looks slobby much??" Of course being tall doesn't help me find well fitting tops, I wish some manufacturers would get on the bus, Gus.

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  2. I wear men's jeans and dress slacks, but not to hide my figure. The way I'm built they fit me fairly well, and they have what I want. The plus size women's section at our one (and only) store that carries clothing is horrible and I can't find anything I want to wear. They are either capris, elastic waist, or frilly. I just want plain solid color slacks for work, and jeans without bling that are made of actual denim not that weird stretchy not-denim stuff most women's jeans are made of.

    I've been thinking that I need to start looking for some shirts that are a little more flattering though.

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    1. As long as they fit well, that's what matters. Old Navy online is a good starting point for plus size tops because they have free return shipping for their plus size customers since they took them out of the store. (GRR!) Jeans are the bain of my existence because being fat and tall is apparently like finding a leprechaun...mythical. I can't wait until the "jeggings" and skinny jeans craze is over. Please give me a good straight leg denim jean that doesn't expose my coin slot and I'm good to go!

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  3. I second what "another layer" said about actual denim..I hate the stretchy kind...i have a bigger lower body than my upper body so all that stretching doesnt help...but so true on the cut and form. I used to wear baggy clothes and i thought if I wore those I wud get out of the funk of "i feel fat"...but then realized clothes can make a difference...

    take care
    Manasa

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    1. I am okay with the stretchy stuff but not if it's skin tight. This stupid skinny/jegging craze has made everyone think if your jeans aren't skin tight, they're baggy. No, you should not look like you painted on your pants and the bigger you are the less flattering it is too. Yes, clothes can definitely make a difference!

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  4. Due to my leftover squish-belly, I do have a tendency to buy shirts that are size too big. I need to get over myself. :)

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    1. I've seen pics...if that's a "squish belly", I want it!! :)

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  5. Wearing the baggy oversized clothes also fools us (no matter our size) into thinking we aren't as big as we are. I firmly believe baggier (meaning ill fitting) clothes actually contribute (a bit) to weight gain. Humans are like fish/lizards. We will grow to fit our environment. So if the clothes are oversized, we grow to fill them.

    I know it helps me stay focused if my accurately sized jeans start pinching. It PROVES I've been lazy and need to get back to work lest I have to get new pants.

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    1. EXACTLY!! When you can't see what you've got going on under there, one day you're surprised when you actually see how much all of your clothes were hiding. It makes it much easier to gain weight when you don't have a well fitting item of clothing to keep things in check.

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  6. I found this blog very interesting, because I really look at what other people are wearing, how they look in it and consider what I would [think I] look like if I chose the same styles. I really don't like to wear something form-fitting enough to cling to my rolls, but being short as well as overweight is a real challenge. If I buy something that just skims the rolls, the sleeves are often six inches too long, and same goes for the pants. So I tend to wear jeans with just a bit of spandex so my waist won't be uncomfortable, and A-line tops with some fit in the bust but ease over the hips, hiding the roll at my waist if I remember to stand tall. And then I look at celebrities whose builds are even more overstuffed than mine wearing skin-tight, short dresses and they actually don't look all that bad. I wonder if my sense of what does and doesn't look good is changing?

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    1. Yeah for the challenges you have with being shorter, I have problems being tall. Shirt sleeves are WAY too small, the length of shirts are ridiculous and come up way too high on my long torso. I sometimes have to wear long tank tops under certain shirts. Clothes shopping can be so maddening but I think if we take like one day out every 6 months to see what's out there, we can improve our appearance and self esteem.

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  7. I've committed to wearing clothes that fit. And I also love having my stuff tailored (if it's a nicer piece). Good for you for going for it!

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    1. I'm going to do that with a few pieces I can't bear to part with when I'm at goal. I have a trench rain coat that is so cute and I know they'll never make it in that material again, a vintage football shirt and a wrap skirt that was discontinued. I need to check into pricing for tailoring, thanks for reminding me! :)

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  8. I used to buy baggy clothes all the time trying to hide everything. Now, looking at old photos, I can see how terrible I looked. It was the clothes and not the extra weight, right?!? Still not at goal, but buying clothes that fit, has really made a difference. My self esteem has gotten better and I just look better.

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    1. Girl, I've seen your better fitting clothes and all I can say is RAWR! Hot mama!!

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  9. I was the queen of baggy clothes. Like you, I thought I was hiding my fat from the world. Even today, I tend to buy clothes that are a little big, except for pants. Since my derriere shrunk so nicely (I always had a huge behind, but it has disappeared and I am proud!), I like to show it off in tight jeggings and spandex jeans, and will squeeze into the tightest pair of pants I can. Of course that is also good motivation cause any weight gain and those pants ain't gonna fit anymore!

    I hear you about the damned cap sleeves on everything. I just won't expose my horrible batwinged upper arms. I did a time or two on the way down the scale and noticed people staring at them. So now I never wear anything less than 3/4 sleeve. And even with longer sleeves I get teased. I wore a tight (in the arms) white sweater to substitute teach in, and the little girls were pointing and laughing at my batwings, which evidently were clearly visible even though I was wearing long sleeves. And that is just frustrating. And humiliating. I thought those days were over, but fat leaves an indelible imprint.

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    1. Show off that little bum, girl! I'm sorry about the "batwing" situation but consider the source...little kids especially these days will pick on anyone, anywhere for anything. Doesn't make it hurt any less, I understand that. They'll hopefully learn one day how wrong that was but until then, wear what makes YOU feel good and screw what anyone else says.

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  10. Been there, done that--guilty as charged! I used to wear baggy clothes in the futile attempt to 'hide in plain sight' how big I was. Now that I'm down in weight, I'm might be guilty of going too far the opposite--my clothes are almost all form fitting, and yes, I even have some skinny jeans in my closet. Hate the cap sleeves on everything, though; my bat wings have gotten better but will likely never go away completely.

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    1. Hey, I'm all for showing off the assets, it's the people who wear clothes that look uncomfortable on them whether it's too big or too small. Cap sleeves suck. My batwings will never go away either but I'm working on some serious muscle so hopefully I can look toned from the front even if the back looks a hot mess. LOL

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  11. I used to do the same thing. I am short, and have short legs, so it's very hard to find pants that are not too long. I carry all my weight in the middle, so my legs are fairly small compared to the rest of me. The skinny jeans actually fit me pretty well because of this. I don't get the super skinny ones. No matter what I have a muffin top because that's just where my loose skin (and my fat) are. So, when I wear tighter pants I will wear a more flower or looser top to sort of hide it, but the shirts are still fitted. I have fairly small shoulders now that are really defined, and I like shirts to be fitted, but not really tight. I still have a lot of back fat that I am self conscious about. I really love wearing dresses now. I have found the ones that are knee length or just below look best on me. If I wear something that ankle length I feel shorter for some reason. I wish more tops had longer sleeves. The skin under my arms is pretty bad. I am excited for spring this year. I've gotten some things I think are pretty cute. I got a top at Target that has a belt and peplum and it's floral, and just really cute and I can't wait to wear it. It's much easier to find clothes now that I can fit into a 12 or 14. I find myself wanting to buy new clothes or accessories. When I was 325 I felt like no matter what I wore I didn't look good, so why bother.

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    1. *more flowy top I meant to say..not flower lol

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    2. That's awesome! It's nice to have that freedom. Even though I'm still in plus sizes (I hate having one size on top and another on the bottom), it's "mainstream" plus sizes that I can find at any big box store instead of being forced to shop from a catalog. I can't wait to get firmly into Target's XL's (I can wear them but they're tighter than I'm wearing in public!) because their plus size section is a joke! It's like 2-3 racks and then when you find something cute, it's maternity! Thanks for the ego boost Target. Pffft! I know what you mean about not buying accessories because you figured why bother. Only within the last year have I bothered to buy necklaces, scarves, etc because I can finally "pull it off."

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  12. I could never find stuff at Target until the last year or so. I wear a Large in their stuff now, but depending on the cut of the shirt I might go up to an XL. It depends on the pants whether or not the 12 or 14 fit. I just got a pair of jeans in a 12 from old navy and they fit perfectly in the butt and legs, but are slightly tight in the waist. I will just wear looser tops with them until I lose a few more pounds. I love all the scarves I see, but never buy any. I still feel like I am not very good at accessorizing, but I am trying! :) It's a lot more fun to shop now, and I can actually find something I like and look for my size rather than having to settle for what they carry in my size. I have always been into earrings, especially fun dangly ones. I think it's because for so long I couldn't wear a lot of the bracelets or rings, but earrings always fit.

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  13. I used to wear super baggy clothes and looked like a pregnant she-man. It's hard to find shirts in my size that have any shape, but I have bought some "accordian" type blouses that go in at the waist so you can tell I have a shape...big boobs, smaller waist, big hips. I don't look good, but it's feminine if nothing else. I honestly don't know though if I'll ever be able to get beyond the elbow-sleeve. I think elbow sleeves (hard to find) are more flattering than 3/4, but most of mine are 3/4. Sadly, I even wear that in summer.

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  14. The Crocs made me laugh, because Crocs were the ONLY shoes I wore for about three years! I was so happy to get rid of them ;)

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