SKINNY BONES CHUNG
That's what a friend used to call me. And I secretly loved it. 😂There was about a 2 year stretch of my life when I was in optimal physical shape (for my own standards at least). I wasn't quite six packin', but I wasn't flabby either. But sheesh, it sure felt nearly impossible to sustain the lifestyle necessarily to stay in that kind of shape. My crankiness was on a whole new level if I didn't have my little snack at the right times. #whatsmysnack - Afternoon naps were a 'must' if I had an intense work out in the morning. But I have to say... I miss those days, and maybe one day I'll try to go back to it - but for now, DAD BOD it is. OK fine, let's be real. It's just crossing over into plain old FAT BOD territory now! :)
I bring that up not just to humble brag that I once was in shape, but because I want to talk a bit about something I enjoy thinking about: FASHION! See, from time to time on this blog, I plan on posting about specific articles of clothing I'm into, or a fashion accessory I'm digging. I might be getting ahead of myself, but if I'm going to share about fashion that I'm into - I feel that I'm also gonna want to refer back to my own simple rules of fashion, so I thought it'd be fun to write about that first! And as I like to do with everything else, I'm gonna start by over-analyzing things a bit. It's just what I do.
DOES THIS MAKE ME LOOK FAT
So here's my starting point. It might be something that's painfully obvious to many, and most certainly isn't rocket-science. Years ago someone asked me, "Koo, when it comes to fashion, whats' the most important thing for you?". My answer: "The way clothes fit". Not super enlightening, but he scratched his head and said, "Huh... the way clothes fit.... interesting".
Let me get into it. See, those years of being in shape was really difficult in terms of keeping up the lifestyle, but one of the most fun and rewarding things about it was being able to have more options when it came to clothing! Currently I'm a medium for most brands, but back then, believe it or not - I was a small or extra small! (and those are also not popular sizes, so I always got to buy things on sale which was an added bonus!)
I should also mention that I was a small not only because I was thin, but also because of the fact that I'm relatively short. I'm average short. Not a shorty short short, but just kind of short. What that means is that when I'm out of shape, mediums and large shirts fit fine around the torso, but then the problem is that I'll have sleeves for days, and my shirt becomes a short skirt - or with pants, way too much pant length (which means pants not tapering well- aka skinny jeans just become slim fit or straight leg). This is because most of the fashion industry produces clothing for people who are in shape (or for mannequins). Captain Obvious, right?
But wait, have you noticed that a specific size will fit differently from one brand to another - and then sometimes even within the same brand? When you KNOW you don't fit in a small but all of sudden you do, it's called "vanity sizing". Sizing is incredibly nuanced, (I just ignore tags now) and it is the very reason it's kind of a pain and a time suck for me to go shopping when I'm in Dad Bod mode, but I will pay attention to it because otherwise, the clothes will not only be unflattering, but it will also be a waste of money (more on that in a bit).
This is why people who care about fashion get their suits tailor made for them. Suits are expensive! If you're making an investment, wouldn't it make sense to get measured and get something that fits just right? Fact: A suit that is perfectly form fitting will make you look more slim than a suit that is too big for you (or too small for you of course).
For those who don't have money to throw out the window, this goes for regular clothes as well. If like me, you've let go in your diet for a season, you would think that buying LARGER clothes is the best solution to cover up, you know.. the soft parts. But this is incredibly far from the truth. It makes things worse! Unless you're walking around in a snuggie all day, you're not really hiding anything. On top of that, if I'm wearing a standard tee shirt with sleeves that come all the way down to my elbows, on top of NOT hiding anything, I just look sloppy. There are people who wear oversized clothing on purpose (and it actually looks like it's coming back into style), but in my case, that's not the look I'm going for.
So what do I do if I'm in that awkward place where certain sizes are too small, but the next size up is way too big. Some more common sense: keep looking to find clothes that fit me perfectly currently. I no longer do that thing where I buy clothes that are too small with the wishful thinking that I'll fit into it in a few months. It almost never happens. Realistically, I just end up not wearing that article of clothing until I do fit into it properly, and sometimes that can be a long time - long enough for it to go out of fashion - and that is a waste of money! I'd rather just reward myself with new clothes when I lose weight! When I go through the trouble, I eventually find the perfect fit - especially when I go outside of brands I normally shop at. For example, I was on the quest to find perfectly fitting black tee shirts. I normally don't shop at American Eagle (it's for a weird reason too - I don't like when clothing companies slap their logo visibly on all of their clothing!). But when I walked in to look around, there they were - a bunch of soft black tees that fit me perfectly even if I wasn't in optimal shape! (and they do have a small logo tag on the bottom left, but it is subtle :)) The key is to put in those extra few minutes and try on a few things. Really, don't just grab a medium when you're shopping online, just cuz you know that's your size. Sometimes, even two different mediums of the same exact shirt fit differently! I found this out by accident when I tried on a shirt, loved it, but saw that it had a hole in it, then grabbed another one, and it didn't fit right. I thought I was going crazy, but it's more common than you'd think. That's why sometimes I just grab two of the same item before I go into a fitting room. Am I overthinking enough yet?
With all this said, I would like to make something absolutely clear. None of this is to disparage overweight people. This isn't about body shaming. Remember, it's me, Dad Bod talking! Nor am I trying to get people to be super-self-conscious. In fact, it's when I wear poorly fitting clothes that I actually feel the most self conscious. Ultimately, I just want to be comfortable and not draw negative attention to myself. Comfort and fashionably fitting clothing don't always have to be mutually exclusive!
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