I caught sight of myself in the lift mirror this week. Rattlingly ancient, size-too-big, faded black trews sagged around my legs, tummy and bum. I hated the way I looked.
I said to my husband: I looked hideous today, a sludgebelly stuffed into a sack of spuds.
He said: I think it’s time you bought some new clothes.
The British high street is a crap place for bigger women to buy clothing that is A) worth the expense, B) well designed, instead of scaled up from a size twelve resulting in sleeves down to your knees and C) avoids fabric designed by a psychotic, colour-blind nutjob.
I used to have three pairs of trousers that fit. They’re identical until it comes to the mending. Each pair has worn through at the inner thigh. Each pair has been mended with fabric from the corpse of a long-dead sister pair. Some of those mends have mends on top of them.
Pair one no longer fits as I’ve lost weight. Those are the ones I wore in the lift mirror. Pair two now fit, they split long and hard around the top of my thigh. There will be no mending of those and keeping it secret. Pair three fits and are in one piece – but they’re ‘smart’ trousers, great for work, rubbish for anything else.
Years of not finding clothes that like me as much as I like them has always been a challenge. Shopping is demoralising, depressing and spirals me into wanting to comfort eat.
After several failed attempts at buying some utility jeans in the usual places I slunk home in a fug. Normally, I’m a very positive person; a right little Polyanna. So I decided the path to enlightenment – and finding clothes that fit – lay in discovering my actual size. My top is a size 20. My waist is a size 20. My hips are are size 28/30. Say what?
Fascinating stuff, those measurements, if a little absurd. Let’s face it I’m living in size 20 clothing that covers my apparently elephantine hips quite nicely, thank you.There’s a pair of trews out there somewhere, I just have to find them otherwise it’s going to get embarrassing. Today I made a massive order to a plus size clothing retailer. A huge order of trousers by the multiple in different sizes, most of which will be sent back. This way lies redemption, good people.
In the meantime, I’ve got some more patching to do.