THE SNOW PANTS WON’T ZIP
By: Lauren Anderson
I have LOTS of rules on how clothes should fit my body… as we all do, I’m sure.
There a few pieces of clothing that I don’t want to “fit” though. I want them extra BIG and Baggy. I want to feel like I’m swimming in fabric, and get lost in the comfort of being lost in the clothes.
Like when I was little and I put on my Dad’s army jacket and work boots, and hid out and played make-believe in the tent of textiles.
Now that I’m grown, the first and most important for me of course, are sweat pants.
Sure, we all love a kicky jogger– but there is something to be said about the “baggy grays” that I wear around the house when I want some extra snuggly snugs on my legs. I’m not wearing these for fashion. I’m wearing these for MY SOUL.
The second would probably be the aptly-named “oversized sweater”. When it works and it’s cute– nothing makes me feel cuter. But when it doesn’t? Oh boy. I mean, have you ever tried on an oversized sweater and have it look like… just a sweater? BETRAYAL.
And there are runner-ups too. That swag t-shirt you got at a corporate event that means nothing to you, but is so damn comfy that you find yourself Donald Ducking around your apartment on more than one occasion.
Or the sweatshirt that you stole from such-and-such or so-and-so. They’ll never get it back. But rightly so. It’s like being hugged all day long. And I mean, they just can’t have it back okay? Sorry.
These pieces of clothing are no-brainers. I’m sure anyone reading this might be like “YES” to at least one or two on the list. But I have one to add, that I didn’t even know about till today.
I am an adult in Minnesota, and I can’t believe I don’t have a pair for myself. Like boots and a good jacket, it seems like an important thing for any hearty Northerner to have. But let me just say for the record, that a good pair of snow pants are HARD TO FIND. And if you do find some that work, they are usually like, a bazillion dollars.
Long gone are the days when I could frolic carelessly in my sister’s hand-me-downs.
But if those snow pants taught me anything, is that the roomier they are, the more fun they are. Period. Life is too short to wear outdoor pants that cling. My gawd– THE HORROR.
So, Cut to a “Video Shoot” that I did today.
Our characters were supposed to be having hijinks in Antartica, and the costume designer got us all snow pants to wear. No easy feat to be sure. I gave her my correct size, and she purchased my correct size, but these bitches WERE NOT THE CORRECT SIZE AT ALL.
I got them on, but they could not get them zipped. (By the way, since when did snow pants zip?! I don’t remember that???) And honestly? I can’t remember the last time I have encountered that feeling. They pinched in the front and were SUPER uncomfortable.
Then I started to have other feelings. Feelings I haven’t felt in years! Like, embarrassed and ashamed types of feelings. Like I had lied to the costume designer and led her astray, and my vanity has now ruined everything.
Luckily, the snow pants didn’t work for a few other actors in the shoot, and by the grace of GAWD, the camera didn’t go below our waists really either– so I was able to wear the black leggings I brought instead. A mitzvah instead of what could’ve been a disaster.
But I felt gross. I thanked my costumer for being cool, and I remarked to the room, “It’s way too early in the morning to feel this bad about myself.”
It got titters of recognition, and that was that. Except the feelings stayed… and YEESH.
YEESH! I haven’t felt like this in a while. And I forgot how much it sucks. I also forgot how often I used to feel like this all the time. And I was bothered at how hard these emotions were to process.
Maybe it was because it was before 7 am, or maybe it was because I felt extra betrayed because it was SNOW PANTS. No matter. I was still kinda shocked. And mad at myself for being so deep in my “feels”.
And the worst part? I wanted to manage the intense emotions quick, because I was needed on set, and I had WORK TO DO. Ain’t that always the case?
Because here’s the deal: I stopped warring with clothing sizes a LONG time ago. I decided that I would much rather have a piece of clothing look right and feel right on my body than have it be a certain SIZE.
It happened right before I started to take my journey to whole person health, and I think of that minor acceptance as one of the things that got me headed towards this place where I am now.
It wasn’t for some grand reason either, although I wish I could say it was. It was because I wanted to look the best I could. And squeezing into a size that was “smaller” just to be in a smaller size is stupid.
Why don’t I save myself the hassle and buy something that fits? I’ll look and feel better and no one will be the wiser? SIGN ME UP.
Because the fact of the matter is, NO ONE CARES ABOUT IT BUT ME.
(And if they do care, they’re weird… and they suck. I know I try and keep this blog a judgement free zone, but I comfortable dying on this hill. So I’m just gonna say it. People that care what size clothes other people wear are weird and they suck. SO THERE.)
But I think what got me about the snow pants today, is two things really.
One, because once I stopped caring and starting wearing sizes that fit, I haven’t had a “squeeze into something and hope for a miracle” Cathy-cartoon-cliché moment in ages. And I was actually shocked that this was happening to me. And I was annoyed at the reminder of how shitty this feels.
And two, I think I felt betrayed because it was SNOW PANTS. It’s not like I was trying on a pair of vintage Levi’s with no stretch. I wasn’t squeezing into a mini skirt that I borrowed from a friend. I didn’t lie about my size. Literally everything else my PROFESSIONAL and TALENTED costumer got for me for the shoot fit perfectly.
It must’ve been the damn SNOW PANTS. A far cry from the red leather snakeskin pants I had in college. (I miss those things…) And they made me feel worse. Cause I was expecting to feel like I do in my baggy sweats. Instead, it felt like me and my body don’t belong… yet again.
These feelings were fleeting, but I am surprised at their potency, even after all these years.
That shit still lives in there and demands to be managed from time to time. Sometimes I think about all the effort and work I’ve put into accepting my body, and I get mad at the time spent.
I feel like I could be fluent in all the fricking romance languages with the time I’ve spent trying to be okay in my own skin. But, BUT! (and that’s a big BUT)
I am so grateful for the tools and the time I spent to figure this shit out. Because even though the snow pants affected my mood for the next hour or so, this snow pants incident used to decide how the rest of the day, week, or even year would go.
And for as much as I would love to speak Italian, let me just say, having language to speak to my own body, has helped this gal travel in her own skin more than any rosetta stone.
These practices have saved me from the familiar dressing room dance of my mis-spent youth. But I am not immune to it. I still have weird feelings sometimes… and that’s okay.
Am I mad that most retailers make it hard to shop? Well, hell yes! MAKING CLOTHING ACCESSIBLE is something I feel passionate about. It’s never failed to bother me that a store as ubiquitous as The Gap refuses to carry my size in their stores.
Clothes that fit the right way for my body might always be hard to find.
But let’s be honest here. I’m not usually in their stores anyway.
They may not carry my size, but they also don’t really carry my style. I mean, you don’t just walk into the GAP and walk out looking like the “Post-apocalyptic Glamor Madam” that I strive to be. That shit takes talent!
The snow pants may not have fit today, but they did inspire me to add something to my list of comfy clothes that always make me feel better to wear. It’s not another sweatshirt or sweater.
This time, it’s my own damn skin.