My proportions have shifted and the terrain is all new. The shape of my wardrobe has shifted too.
Last week I was making a sweep through my drawers and closets, looking for clothes to pass on and clothes I could actually wear.
I passed by my stash of pre-pregnancy jeans and thermal underwear that I will wear again some day. I looked over my collection of relatively new tops, rediscovering cuts, colors and patterns that I acquired mere months before I got pregnant. All those hip, dressy blouses make me happy, but most of them won't fit my nursing bosom! Who'da thunk it?
A sleek line of lovely, stylish slacks in browns and blacks takes up a fifth of the space. I tried one on just in case I had shed enough. Nope. Can't even get them over my hips. I didn't even look at the pile of dance dresses that I can't even think about wearing for some time. They are too tight, too slender, too short, too uncomfortable right now, but I'm not getting rid of any of them.
I have too many curves to stuff them into most of my old clothes, and not enough to continue wearing my pregnancy pants. Thank goodness I had the foresight to snag some women's XL comfy capaline thermal leggings. Thank goodness because it feels like it's freezing now, and it's not even winter yet, and I certainly can't wear my old ones.
So now I have this one pair of thermal leggings, two pairs of snuggly pajama pants, and two, two! pairs of pants I can wear out in public, not counting the loose black pants I often wear dancing or the baggy hiking pants that catch at my heels. Only one of those has pockets. It's the jeans I bought on sale whose size I guestimated. That's my new size, at least for the time being.
Then back in the closet, I notice as I'm going through the pants that one of them is... bigger than the others. It's, it's... my new current new size! I'm astonished. When did I buy that? I never wore it when I was pregnant, but somehow it fits me now. Make that *three* pairs of pants I can wear out in public, one of them stylishly cut in a chocolate brown winter fabric. Whoo! I feel like I've won the lottery. Except these pants also fall a little long on my heels.... which means that... I am losing weight?? I can't decide if I'm happy about being slightly smaller than before or sad that I don't quite fit this lovely pair of pants.
I assess my stores and judge I can make it through the Winter. Of my tops, most of my Tshirts are uncomfortably tight, and I can barely fit those dressy tops. I snagged some jewel-tone v-neck Ts on sale a couple months back, women's XL again, and I happily live in those. But for the winter months? I may have to rely on my stash of large, stretchy turtlenecks and accompanying sweaters.
And still I find things to pass on. That dress with over- and under-layers that I'll never wear. Those nursing bras that are just too damn tight. Other clothes I have already forgotten. I am tired of drawers full of clothing that doesn't fit, but I don't see being this curvy forever.
Then my friend emails me about her next women's clothing exchange. Oh, yes!!
In previous years, I've found comfy jeans and sweet jackets at her clothing exchanges, things that call your name even if you weren't looking. Maybe I'll find some clothes to fit my new shape without a large cash outlay. After all, the clothing exchange philosophy is: bring what you have, take home what you want.
I decide now is the time to let go of that Spring suit that I last wore at my best friend's bridal shower, and I haul myself over.
The house is apportioned by room. The front hall is littered with pairs of shoes and sandals. An upstairs bedroom is a safe zone to stash your own clothes. The front living room/library is children's and men's clothing. The back family room is awash in tops and jackets. The front bedroom is bottoms - pants and skirts, and suits, and the dining room has lingere and jewelry with some spare toiletries thrown in. The kitchen is munchies and baked goods to sustain us while we dig through the piles. The front bedroom, especially, is busy with women trying on item after item, searching through piles and modeling for each other. My friend Julie sits half collapsed in a chair after collecting her own piles of acquisitions.
I come home with another pair of comfy pants, some stretch jeans that actually fit and feel wonderful, another pair of lovely dress pants in the next size down, and nine tops in various colors and styles, including a slightly garish top I can wear calling and a Travel City top which is apparently an expensive brand of very nice travel fabric. Also, several men's jeans and dress pants in my husband's size, three snazzy shirts, a small pile of children's tights, socks and pants, and a small toy piano-xylaphone, just the right size for the little Wookie to bang on, which she does with enthusiasm. A good haul.
The clothes go out, the clothes come in. Sometimes the universe gives you just what you ordered. Sometimes you get something different but even better. Make that *five* pairs of fit-for-public pants. I'm definitely making it until Spring.