I ordered Stitch Fix the other day. For the uninitiated, this is a company that will send you 5 stylish additions to your wardrobe. You fill out a questionnaire- it is very thorough- they ask how you like your clothes to fit, describe your body (are your arms short, average or long), colors, lifestyle. You are shown pictures of various outfits and you rate them, love, like or hate. I’m a quiz kind of person, so this was fun for me. Though too much Buzzfeed left me with expecting an answer as to who my soul mate is (George Clooney if you’re wondering…)
I received my first box the other day. The clothes were shockingly perfect for me, both in style and fit. That’s one hell of an algorithm and stylist combination. I sent pictures to my friends- they were excited to see what I got.
Now- I know many of you know I live in the middle of NYC- a place kind of well known for it’s shopping. Why would I buy clothes online, site unseen, based on what someone who does not know me thinks would be perfect?
Well, I hate shopping. And shopping here is not always a pleasure, especially here. For window shopping it’s wonderful- there are always beautiful things to see. But that’s fantasy shopping. That’s not buying a pair of jeans and a nice shirt to wear out on a Saturday afternoon shopping.
I was also in a style rut. This is multi part. First off, I’m older. I loved the way I dressed when I was younger, but those clothes and styles no longer make me happy. I love mini skirts, but not on me. Not now. 5 years ago sure. But not now. I’m OK with my age. I’m happy to have made it this far. I would wear a big scarlet 50+ sign if I could. (Sorry- daughter is reading Scarlet Letter and I’ve heard about that book for a month now) But I wasn’t sure how to shop for the new me.
This wasn’t just about my age though. It was also about extra pounds lodged around my waist and chest.
I noticed that I was buying clothes that were baggy and shapeless, and I was buying a size too large on top of that. I realized that I was literally hiding under things. I had not realized how much the extra weight I was now carrying was effecting me mentally. This is not healthy on so many levels, but as soon as you realize you are hiding in plain sight, you know it’s time for an attitude adjustment.
I’ve mentioned that I have weight and food issues that I have been dealing with my entire life. I’ve never been anorexic or bulimic, but I’ve still let food dictate my life. For much of my adult life I’ve been able to deal with it, but at the end of the day, the issues are still deep inside me. They have the ability to reappear at any moment. I must be aware of this.
So this is why I asked a complete stranger to pick out clothes for me. I needed a gentle nudge. I needed to know that I can still be me, even with the added pounds. I needed to exist. I needed to come out of hiding.
But it wasn’t just the clothes- it was my whole appearance. I love make up and manicures and all things once considered girly. I love them for me, because they always made me feel good- but I noticed I was getting very lax. My cuticles were a mess, I walked around with chipped polish, I was letting more and more time go between haircuts. The extra pounds made me feel like the there was no point in taking care of myself.
Big. Red. Flag.
Once I was fully aware of what I was doing- I set up a plan to change. Raise your hands if you’re shocked that I wrote out a list and added things to my planner.
I wore some of my new clothes on Saturday. I did my nails. I felt lighter. I felt like me again. I really missed me. I’m glad I found her again.
And some of you may think this is superficial, that appearances shouldn’t matter. And that’s great- I get that- the inside is what counts. But see, with me, the insides weren’t at 100%, which was affecting the outside. The insides were affecting my whole person. So I self corrected.
Sometimes you have to self correct.