Thursday, I gathered together with a bunch of my girlfriends (all of us are on Weight Watchers... I'm such a trend-setter... Not entirely true, Leigh was doing Weight Watcher's before any of us, but she'd gotten to lifetime, then had a bunch of Real Life fall on her head and she quit, regained some of the weight, etc etc. Anyway... Thomas and I started Weight Watchers in January '08, Jeanne picked it up... April of that year? Carol in October... and I'm not quite sure when Leigh went back, but she's back at her goal weight... in our group of friends, we've relocated something like over 300 pounds...) There I go with those long asides again... sheesh! Anyway, the four of us (me, Jeanne, Carol, and Leigh) went clothes shopping at some of the trendy little shops up in Newtown.
Actually most of the shops there aren't terribly trendy, they just look trendy when behind the brick and class look of Newtown.
Carol's high school reunion is coming up soon and she needed a dress. I was in dire need of a few more pairs of shorts to get me through the summer, because honestly, three pairs wasn't cutting it, particularly when two of those pairs were bright pink and bright blue. There's only so many times I can wear the same clothes in a row before someone notices. Jeanne was short a few pairs of work-pants, and could have used another pair of jeans. I don't know if Leigh needed anything particular (she was a last minute addition because we didn't know earlier if she was going to get the time off from work) but wanted to hang out anyway.
We hit Anne Taylor first, where I immediately pounced on the saleslady. "I need your help," says I. I was wearing those grey-brown and white flowered pants that I got from Old Navy a few weeks back and a black top. The two items of clothing didn't clash, exactly, but it was the only top I had that even remotely went with the pants. "I need a top to go with these."
She took me around the shop and we looked at tops. (As a note, clothing salesladies are almost inevitably thrilled about weight loss... they can smell a commission a mile away and nothing says "new clothes" like 85 pounds gone...) We looked at various neutral shades, most of which were "not quite..." We looked at several different white shirts which they either didn't have my size or were too floofy for me. (I just don't tend to look good - in my opinon - in those 'romantic, feminine' styles. Probably because if I have too much froof on a shirt, I'll end up fidgeting with it. Or I won't iron it.) And then we found the perfect top. It was a white tank with some brown-grey crochet lacing around the collar. The lacing was almost the exact same shade as the background on my pants. Seriously, they looked like they were made to go together, it was that perfect.
After we found the Perfect Shirt, she insisted on showing me a bunch of other shirts, pants, shorts, skirts, dresses... anything she could think of that I might possibly buy (I did mention that salespeople can smell a commission, right?) and I ended up picking up a black and white flowered sundress. I probably wouldn't have gotten it - it looked in danger of falling right off my chest - until Leigh came up behind me and adjusted the straps. I hadn't actually realized the straps were adjustable.
Then we crossed the road to Lane Bryant, where Carol discovered to her glee, they had absolutely nothing that fit her right anymore. Their lowest size is a 14/16 and all the 14/16 dresses were just too big. We found one pantsuit/jumpsuit thing that looked really good on her, but she was going to need like $20 worth of tailoring to make it fit. (The hem of the pants part needed to come up a good 2 inches, and the elastic around the bust was going to need to be replaced with some elastic that actually had a good grip. The top looked great, but was threatening to fall down the instant she took a too-bouncy step.) She did still fit in their jeans from there, so she got a pair of those, and (I think) a wooden chunky bracelet.
Jeane, on the other hand, who hates jeans... tried on a few pairs of the Lane Bryant jeans, and declared them terrible. I'm not sure they are, but they certainly are confusing. The sizes are all wonked - they retooled the sizes so that they start at 1, which is equalish to your size 14 in other stores, and go up from there - and then they come in three color-cuts. Red, blue, and yellow. (Not that the jeans are anything but blue and dark blue, but red is like extra butt and thighs, yellow is for extra tummy, etc.) So, while I think the jeans are quite excellent, you do sort of have to try on a red one, blue two, and yellow three, frequently, before you figure out what your size combo is. If you're not happy wearing jeans in the first place, the style-size-cut thing can be a bit intimidating. When I first bought pairs of the new styles (I only ever actually bought one pair, since I was on my way out of Lane Bryant shops just as the new jeans were coming in) I had a saleslady assist me with what sizes and cut she thought I should be in.
We left there and headed over to Old Navy, where I managed to score a sale or two. Technically, just one sale, but since I bought two pairs of shorts... I have figured out the 4/6 thing. Some of my shorts are 6s and some are 4s, and I couldn't figure out for a while WHY I could wear a 4 in some styles and not in others. It turns out that it's where the waist lays. If it's a high-waisted piece (ie, the snap fastens over or around my navel) I can wear a size 4. If the snap goes 1 inch below my navel (mid-waist) or around my hips (low waist) then I need a 6. It's not that I can't fasten a size four at a mid or lower, but I muffin-top over them. Yuck. I'm still working on tightening up my abs, but I may never get any better than this.
Carol and Jeane were both very excited to realize that they could, actually, shop at Old Navy. (Unlike me, where I spent a while in the Lane Bryant sort of nostaligically fondling the clothing that was never going to fit me again... I know a lot of prior fat girls bid a cheerful fair-the-well to Lane Bryant, but I always felt... comfortable there. For me, being in a fancy boutique is intimidating. Lane Bryant feels like home...) Jeane found a few pairs of pants, Carol got a very cute top and some tanks, and some very nice water bottles. (Which reminds me, YOU got a DEAL, girlfriend. I saw those exact same water bottles in Target on Friday for $17 a piece!!)
After that (we did shop til we dropped!) we headed down the street to J Jills, which was going out of buiness. Prices were marked down, down, down, and then 70% off after that!
Which meant I picked up a pair of silk pants ($6), a linen jacket ($9) and a really nice wool-cotten blend sweater ($11). If I'd bought them not on sale... the three items would have run me over $300. Nice.
We were all so enabling each other to spend money...
"Oh, that looks SO CUTE! You MUST buy it!"
I'm quite sure the saleswomen in the various shops were delighted to see us. I know I spent at least $100 total, the others similiar amounts or more...
You know, when I used to go shopping, it was this rapid, horrible event.
Run into the store, pick one or two things that weren't horribly colored. Often I didn't even try them on in the shop. Honestly. I would rather deal with the hassle of taking something back for an exchange than risk crying myself sick in the dressing room. (Also, I hated taking off my clothes in front of three mirrors. I mean, seriously. With bad lightening. So not like I ever looked good, but did we really need to go through all that?)
Now I go into the dressing room with anywhere between 8 and 10 items, try on a bunch of stuff, come out of the dressing room to look at it, solicit opinions, feel how it moves when I move, etc. We spent all afternoon trying on clothes.
And honestly, I couldn't have imagined a better afternoon.
Sushi. Shopping. Chocolate.
(As a note, despite not tracking and massively eating out all week while Jeane was in town, I apparently managed to get in enough activity points - the children's museam especially was a LOT of activity!! - I managed to drop weight this week... down 1.6. I'm back to less than 5 pounds til goal...)