Weight and Wardrobe (and the floral pants that almost weren't)

Blogging is such a small window into what someone's day actually looks like. For instance, you would never know from looking at these outfit photos that I had a melt down this morning over the simplest thing: what to wear. This is the story of how a pair of pants almost made me call in sick and quit life for the day.

Top, Catherine Malandrino (similar). Pants, Banana Republic (s/o online so lol the exchange anyway). Shoes, Kate Spade (similar). Bag, Coach (mine's the Phoebe - new kid on the block is the Edie). Necklace, Stella & Dot.

I ordered this pair of pants from Banana a few weeks ago, in an 8R because they didn't have the 8P. They were too long and a little too tight, honestly. I exchanged them for a 10P thinking I could use the extra room, and then I wouldn't have to have them hemmed. LITTLE DID I KNOW that Banana subscribes to the school of "Petite = Tiny" and not "Petite = Short." It's frustrating for a short curvy girl out there, and I got up this morning thinking I'd just slip these on and be-bop out of the house. Instead, I was met with a muffin top that almost felt WORSE than the smaller but regular size and all sorts of pulling and stretching in crotch and booty region.

At this point, I get a little annoyed, but figure Spanx might do their magic and help me out a little. I squeeze myself into my sausage roll shorts that, because of said short problem, can come up fully over my boobs, and slip the pants back on. It's better. It's not great, but the crotch issues are resolved and I can get them fully zipped and buttoned without feeling too uncomfortable. I've made enough progress to deem myself ready to continue getting dressed. My husband can see I'm fretting a bit and makes the mistake of saying, "I don't understand why you buy this stuff online, why don't you go to the store and try it on?"

My darling husband is a very logical thinker. Most men don't understand that buying things for girls is radically different than buying for a man. So in his head, saying this was just plain sense. He didn't know that Banana quit selling petites in store so I had no option. He didn't know that I'd already exchanged them up one size. He did not know the storm he had stepped into.

Now I'm a human disaster. I pull the pants off violently and throw them across the room with my best dramatic flare. I spout off a string of sentences about how hard it is for a short curvy girl this day in age and how he'd never understand since he wasn't burdened with child bearing hips and then go sit in the closet, wearing nothing more than Spanx and a bra, and stare at my clothes. This feeling of hopelessness washes over me as I realize I have LITERALLY nothing to wear. I start to cry.

Poor husband did not know he was coming into a closet with a crying woman, laying on the ground in Spanx and a bra. He did his best "there, there" for me and said, "Don't cry! You have plenty of clothes to wear! There's so much stuff in here!" to which I wail, "Nothing fits but SWEATPANTS!"

At this point he panics and starts singing "YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL! YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL!" ala James Blunt to calm me down while patting me on the back like an animal you're afraid may bite. It doesn't help. He has to go to work and hightails it out of there as I yell, "CAN YOU CALL IN FAT TO WORK? IS THAT A THING?" It's now 8:45 a.m. and I'm still just in my Spanx rolling around like a beached whale in the closet. My dog comes in to make sure I'm still alive, then crawls under my skirt rack to hide from the low morale in the room.

I somehow manage to pick myself up and put on THESE SAME STUPID PANTS. I am a glutton for punishment. After eating a Chobani Flip (Peanut Butter Dream is the jam) and doing my hair and makeup, I somehow manage to pull myself together and leave the house.

The fact is, I've gained a lot of weight. Several pant sizes. I'm not sure if it's the stress of work or just not having the time to devote to my fitness and food that I used to, or worse...the dreaded post-30 metabolism. It's likely a combination of all three and as someone who has a blog entirely devoted to clothes, it's really hard when you gain weight.

30 lbs heavy is a lot to carry on a little frame. Most of the time people say, "Oh you don't look like you've gained weight!" and things like that to be positive and helpful, but it doesn't make those shorts from last summer fit over these thunder thighs. It probably seems like I'm buying new things every week...because I am. Nothing fits. I've sized up in jeans, pants, bras, and shirts just trying to feel comfortable in my own skin, accepting myself at this weight and thinking, "Oh, it'll come off when I'm ready to really work for it." So far, it hasn't.

The incredibly stressful part of weight gain and wardrobe is the fight between acceptance and losing. How long will I be this weight? There's a stack of 27s and 28s in my closet mocking me. Leggings season is over, so I had to come to terms with buying up a size or two so I had something to wear NOW, not "if when."  I think the hardest thing for me to come to terms with the fact that the weight loss wouldn't happen overnight, and I wanted to feel comfortable in what I wore today. Every time you squeeze into a pair of jeans that's too tight, it's a confidence buster. It reminds you of what you've gained. When you put on a pair that fits, at whatever number that may be, you don't think about them any more. It's worth it to invest a little in yourself at the size you are, not the size you want to be.

Honestly, I yoyo up and down so much that I like to keep a bit of a size range in pants and jeans, just so I don't have to re-buy in case of gain or loss.

A few other tips for weight and wardrobe? Whether it's loss or gain, these could come in handy:

  1. Out of sight, out of mind. You don't have to get rid of your shirts with tiny armholes or skinny pants, especially if they're nice, classics, or you truly love them. Fold them up and pack them away in a bin for a later day. If you do lose weight, they'll be there waiting for you as a tiny victory.
  2. That being said, don't feel like you have to "cling" to your skinny things. I held on to 3-4 suits I'd bought when I worked at The Limited in teensy size 2s that I wanted to keep "Just in case." Then my mom pointed out that if I lost weight and needed a suit, I probably wouldn't go back to them. I'd want something new that made me feel spectacular. If it's something you can't see yourself wearing on the other side, or something that could easily be replaced, go ahead and let it go.
  3. It's just a number. This is ironic to me, since I sat crying in the closet about how I'd have to go up to a TWELVE in these pants if I exchanged them yet again, but it's good to have the mindset that sometimes, you're a large at Forever 21 even if you're a 0 at LOFT.
  4.  Shop at LOFT. Their sizes are so vanity that it's actually a bit of a confidence booster.
  5. Invest in the things that always fit. If you don't feel like you can buy clothes at your current weight but still want a little something for yourself, splurge on shoes, bags, and jewelry. When you focus on other parts of your wardrobe that aren't size-specific, you can feel like you're getting an update that will ALWAYS be the right size.
  6. The little things do wonders. Feeling down? Putting on red lipstick actually does help. Wash your hair. Do a facemask. Honestly, I've found so much peace in controlling the parts of my life that are easier to manage, like hair and makeup, that it's easier to cope with the ones that feel out of my hands.
  7. Get to know your shape at every size. This includes knowing how you carry your weight. For me, I tend to be a similar shape at all weights because it distributes evenly all over. So while I might not want to show off my arms, I know that I still have a good hip to waist proportion that I can play up to look thinner.
  8. Do your best. Girl, it's hard. We're all just trying to conquer the world out there, so don't be too hard on yourself. Fact is, most people probably WON'T notice a few more pounds. You are your worst critic. Updating your wardrobe to things you feel good in is part of the confidence factor, but it's important to love and take care of yourself at every size, and not let your weight define you. Since turning 30, I'm more comfortable in my skin than ever, even on the days that there's nothing to wear but sweatpants.

Anyone else feeling me on weight and wardrobe? What are some of YOUR favorite pick-me-ups when you realize you've eaten too many Kalteen bars?

AJ Wears :: A Bug Shirt

It says a lot about what I must usually look like at work when people go out of their way to say nice things whenever I've fixed my hair, put on makeup AND wore a cute outfit. At least three people stopped this morning to say, "Oh look at you!" or "Wow, you look so put together!"

Let's be real, it's clearly the new hair. You have to actually do hair and make up when you do a drastic clip or color because otherwise, you just look weird. Also, jokes on them, I've got bugs on my shirt.

Top, Banana Republic (exact - 50% off sale price!).
Shirt, Asos (exact).
Jeans, The Limited (exact - on sale for only $30!).
Wedges, JustFab (similar).
Bag, Coach.

PS - It's going to be a rainy week so I finally get to test out my Handbag Raincoat! Is this the weirdest thing I've bought yet? Maybe, but if you've ever tried to protect your nice leather bag from the elements, you'd love this thing. There's velcro at the top that can be closed around the handles for maximum coverage, and the whole thing folds up and fits into a little pouch you can toss in your bag. As someone who has definitely dug around in her car for an old Target bag to put my bag inside of when it's pouring, I think this is an excellent solution! You can pick them up in Mini, Medium or Large at Shopbop.

Sometimes I Shop :: Necklaces

I've been thinking a lot about jewelry lately. It's been harder to choose pieces for outfits because I feel like there are some major holes in my jewels wardrobe. I have tons of statement necklaces, but I'm not as into them as I used to be. Now, I find myself wanting for more delicate, timeless pieces. And now that I'm in my 30's, it also feels like it's time to invest a little more cash. Here are a couple of trends I'm looking to invest in:

Chokers

Chokers have made a really sexy comeback. These aren't the tattoo chokers and black ribbons of the 90's - instead, designers are making sleek designs in precious metals that are SO so good.

Jules Smith // Gorjana

Industrial Statements

The statement necklace has gotten an update this year, thanks to the trend of large, industrial-style jewelry. It's less about sparkly J.Crew and more about rugged pieces that have more of a rocker bad-a sort of feel.

I've long been a fan of DylanLex but can't really justify the price. They're gorgeous pieces of art and ABSOLUTELY worth it, so I dream of owning one of these pieces, but I'm always looking for similar necklaces for less. I jumped on this one from BaubleBar, which is an ode to the original without being an exact copy. I have a feeling this one is going to sell out quickly.

DylanLex // BaubleBar

Long Necklaces

Long, delicate necklaces popped up on the runway for spring and I could not be more into it. Honestly, I feel like I could never have enough of them.

Rebecca Minkoff // Mishky // Sam Edelman

2 For 1 Styles

My friend Maegan recently started selling Stella & Dot (here's the link if you need a stylist hook up) and I really love all of their 2-in-1 designs. I ordered the arrow necklace last week when I started thinking about all of this jewelry stuff because I really hadn't seen anything like it before. And hey, it's the same thing with clothes. If I can get multiple styles out of it, I'm in. You can wear that particular one doubled for a short necklace or leave it hanging for a long one. The lariat, of course, can be tied and wrapped several different ways, and the pendant is reversible! Blue on the front, dark gray on the back. It's definitely a "more bang for your buck" kind of deal.

So do tell. Where do you get your jewelry? What styles are you loving right now? I'm planning on spending most of my shopping effort on jewelry for the next few months to really build a grown-up jewelry box that I can get excited about, so I'd love to hear your recommendations!