Sidestepping toward style [pt 1]

Earlier, I recalled how I felt compelled to invest time, energy, and money into a customized dress instead of putting those resources into something more noble, such as solving the world’s energy crisis or paying down yet MORE of my student loan debt.

Back in the day, I had a very broad definition of how I thought clothing should fit me; I’d say it ranged from close to my actual size to infinity. With that as a framework, my pre-intervention self rarely considered how certain clothing shapes flattered or made hash of particular body types.

Unfortunately, my open-mindedness was documented in visual forms, some of which remain tacked to my mother’s hallway bulletin board. At least no one’s put my permed, Byrne-shouldered past on Facebook. Yet.

But as I’ve copped to being a fairly mainstream clothing size, just how much Wednesday’s-child-full-of-woe can I possibly have about clothing fit? Rather a lot, as it turns out, but hey: angsty late bloomers need love too!

Surely the tender-hearted will cut me some slack when they hear that among other proportion issues, my natural waist means I have this going on:

Martin Short as Ed Grimley

As a result, skirts and dresses with actual waists–and even worse, belts–are off-limits to me 99% of the time. And that makes me sad, ok?

Sure, I may be blithely tripping down the street in my untucked knit tops, twinkling at all the be-waisted ensembles I spy. But inside it’s all Smokey singing The Tracks of My Tears, or maybe The Tears of a (Self-Centered) Clown. God bless Mr Robinson, I’m spoiled for choice.

So imagine my happiness when I found a pretty jersey dress that ALMOST worked, and was told by the designer that she could make it work-work by altering the pattern’s waist, hips, and arms. It was like I’d died and gone back to the days of dressmakers!

When she added that I could always choose another fabric for it I went into the Trace of Rationalization.

FACT: My 10-year-old LBD has more than worn out its welcome and has started fraying.

FACT: Jersey is nicely sedate, but a sportswear-inspired dress shape in a stretch silk print could work even in low-key Latteville.

FACT: A midlife crisis needs some shallow!


Next: Part 2 of Sidestepping toward style, aka “Uh-oh”

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