I don’t own pants.
Okay, I lied to you already, I do own pants because recently Sarah donated some clothing to the “Colleen Has No Clothes That Fit” foundation. So let me rephrase, I don’t wear pants.
I end up having this conversation a lot with people who are getting to know me, and after a few times seeing me, they finally ask “why are you always dressed up?”, and then I have to explain that I’m not, I just don’t wear pants.
Some people feel most comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt, I don’t, I feel constrained in pants and I feel self conscious. I’ve always had big thighs, like, have to buy pants that fit my thighs and not my waist, big thighs. Dresses and skirts hide them. I also used to have a huge butt, I don’t anymore, but I did, and I hated it. And on top of that, it did not bring all the boys to the yard. This was a lose lose situation. So after high school I slowly transitioned my wardrobe to skirts and dresses, in fact, I remember thinking to myself one day, making a promise to myself, not to play the mind game anymore and just not wear pants.
Seems crazy, right? Wrong. I made a decision to not hate how I look. I wasn’t giving anything up, I was giving myself a gift, I was allowing myself to not stand in front of a mirror criticizing and changing outfits for hours until I felt “normal”. I simply made a vow to myself to always feel pretty, no matter what anyone else thought, because pants certainly didn’t do this for me.
The question of winter always comes up, obviously, I don’t live in a warm state, winters are cold and people have a hard time understanding how I keep warm. Wool tights, occasionally leggings. They work wonders, I’m just as warm as I would be with pants, and I feel comfortable.
I’ve always loved fashion, I read the magazines, I watch fashion shows, I spend way too much money on designer clothing. As I got bigger, I learned to embrace fashion for bigger people, I hate calling it “plus size”, it has a nasty ring to it and is full of social criticisms. I wasn’t “plus size”, I was bigger than average, fashionable, and proud. When I started losing weight I was excited for what kind of clothes that could mean for me, I even said that once I got to a smaller size, I would buy jeans. Now I’m smaller, I’m confused about what I can and can’t wear, and the thought of jeans still make my skin crawl. I still see someone much bigger in the mirror- but that’s a whole different thing for a different day.
What I’ve decided is that no matter what size, I feel awesome in skirts, I feel fantastic in dresses, I’m not going to start wearing jeans just because I can buy them a little easier. I love that I am constantly ready to go anywhere, I can dress up or dress down the same outfit, I don’t have to change. I have a sense of pride that I never resorted to sweatpants; like a lot of people do when they gain weight. I’ve never let my size keep me away from looking and feeling good about my appearance.
Here’s what I encourage every one to do:
Only ever dress in a way that makes you proud. If you’re going to a football game and you really hate the thought of wearing a football jersey, then don’t. You won’t stand out and look funny, most likely no one will notice. If you feel better about yourself because you put on a dress and makeup to go to the store then do it, I do, most likely no one will care, but you will feel better. Heck, if you want to wear that old Prom Dress that’s been in your closet for years, go for it, do your hair and makeup too. Or maybe sweatpants are your thing, that’s fine, just take pride in it when people ask why you only wear sweatpants.
No matter what size you are, don’t feel like you have to be constrained by society, find clothes that make you feel fabulous. You don’t ever deserve anything other than the best, whatever that may be for you.