I hate clothing. Unfortunately, I’d also hate full-time nudity. One, I’d get cold, and two, I have serious body-image issues. They came with the eating disorder and I’ve been unable to banish them as yet. But since I hate, wandering around naked or nearly naked is not a behaviour I’m ready to embrace.
I hate fashion as well, except when I love it. I love reading the magazines and looking at the clothes and imagining myself in them. I like to imagine that one day I’ll dress myself well. That I’ll care enough to bother. One day. One day when I’m perfect. Until then, I’m willing to look at nice clothes and buy them, but I insist on leaving them hanging in my closet. I don’t actually wear them, or much of anything beyond the three pairs of jeans I feel comfortable in topped by boring and baggy shirts. Honestly, it’s a good day when I get dressed. Expecting fashion and care from me at this point is too much. I don’t like myself enough to bother.
I do small things to show I’m trying. While I exist mostly in jeans and T-shirts, the shirts are now newish and close to my size. I binned the oversized men’s T’s I used to pretend were fashionable. I’ve also taken to wearing rings and putting on mascara and lipstick. It may not seem like a lot, but for me, it feels like a step of epic proportions.
Because of the love-hate relationship I have with clothes, and the issues I have with the body that goes in the clothes, I rarely go shopping. I don’t need to have my lack of perfection amplified by bad mirrors and horrible fluorescent lighting. My inside voice jumps on that opportunity to berate. Which is why I was so surprised by my recent urge to add a spring jacket to my wardrobe.
The initial urge was for an enveloping one, something that I could put on to cover me up and render me invisible while I lied to myself about it having a flattering nature and a certain level of whimsy. When I gravitate towards shapeless sacks, I know my eating disorder is in the driver’s seat. So, I abandoned the search.
For a while.
But the idea of a new jacket stuck in my mind. I was out and about wearing my only spring-weight jacket last week when I realized something about it. I hate it. I’m tired of wearing black. I want to add something less funereal to my wardrobe.
That realization was a shock. Unrelentingly dark fabrics have been my wardrobe staples for years. Wanting something lighter and with colour was mind-blowing. I’d have beaten the urge into submission, however, had I known what a challenging proposition acquiring a spring-suitable jacket in the spring is. I should’ve had the yen last November.
Apparently, buying spring clothes in the relevant season isn’t a thing. There were a few dark coats kicking around on clearance racks, but I have examples of those in my closet already. Dark and fashion-free is not what I’m looking for. I don’t know what it is I’m looking for exactly; I expect I’ll know it when I see it. Or I would, if I could find a store with appropriate stock.
I haven’t embraced online shopping for clothing as yet. Part of it is a size issue. I don’t actually know what size I wear. The sizes I’ve historically purchased don’t give much in the way of clues either. They’re all too big; I have to go smaller.
Clothing sites have measuring charts to help you with that problem, but then I’d have to measure myself and numbers aren’t my friends. I’d get agitated if I knew the inches of my hips-waist-bust, and start planning on ways to make them smaller and then I’m tumbling back towards the very behaviours I’m trying to escape.
But the inability to find spring-type clothing in the spring is a frustration and a bother. I’ve heard people complain about the seasonal disconnection that occurs with shopping but it seems more relevant now that it’s affecting me. My uniform is available; the jeans and plain shirts I habitually choose are always in stock. But now that I want something and can’t have it, I sympathize with those for whom this is a consistent problem.
I think I’m out of luck. I don’t think I’ll be able to find what I want. That’s a frustration and a disappointment. Under that however, is a sliver of happiness.
I may have been frustrated in my search for spring-like outerwear, but it’s a little thrilling to know I’ve reached the stage of wanting something nice to wear, not because friends tell me I should wear different clothes, and not because people say dressing well can help with my mood, but because I simply want something nice and pretty for myself.