Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fat Fashion

Monday I bought a new pair of Levi’s. Pre-shrunk classic 501s. A slightly roomy 38 waist.

Now this is rather monumental. Fat people have a hard time fitting into jeans. The slimmer the fit the less likely we are to go near them. It’s just one of the tradeoffs of being fat, if not one of the tricks.

501s are the holy grail of jeans for me. Button fly. Straight leg. They scream rock n’ roll. I remember back in college when I split a pair of too tight 501s (waist size 33, I believe) from the crotch all the way to the ankle. At a party. Dancing with the prettiest girl there. At least I was wearing boxers. The walk back to change was a different kind of walk of shame. That’s for sure.

I’ve been looking forward to buying a pair of 501s since I started the weight loss venture. So I’m pretty happy about this, even if my thighs are still huge.

Over the last ten years, as I’ve been on my growth spurt, I migrated from 501s to 550s and 555s. From the slim, classic fit of 501s to the Relaxed Fit or Baggy Fit of 550s or 555s. None of those jeans are complimentary to any shape, fat or otherwise. But they are comfortable and, when you get big, comfort is a major factor.

That’s one of the reasons why fat people wear larger, baggier clothes. In my experience, I was pretty ashamed of the shape of my body (especially my chest and belly) and believed that roomier clothes would hide the flaws. Well they do, but they also accentuate your overall size. So they are a tradeoff of flaws which, in the end, serves nobody’s interest. But bigger clothes also provided more room to move which was a kind of freedom that was otherwise lacking.

Fat people (meaning me) also have a few other tricks that they use to attempt to conceal flaws and provide comfort.

I used to never tuck my shirt in. It would accentuate the belly. Plus it was less than comfortable as I’d always cinch the belt a bit more in an attempt to keep things together. So, instead, what you’d end up with was a loose bottomed shirt and a pair of super baggy pants. I would look like a life size version of one of the seven dwarves, with no Snow White in sight.. I LOVE being able to tuck in a shirt now even if Snow White is still MIA.

Another trick of fat fashion is shorts. The fat wear shorts (or kilts – oh the comfort!). Whenever we can. One of the issues with being heavy is the extra stress on joints and discomfort that comes from that. When I would wear jeans or khakis I would not be able to sit still for more than 30 minutes at a time as I could never get my knees to find a comfort zone. Wearing shorts alleviated some of this. Flying on an airplane was especially brutal. None of my shorts fit me anymore. If I don’t cinch a belt super tight they fall right off of my ass. It’s funny and it makes me happy to see it. Even as the butt of the joke.

As I’ve been going through the major changes to reduce my body I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve been able to do as far as clothes. Smaller sizes. Slimmer fit. I’ve still got some physical imperfections but they are greatly diminished. At the gym they have mirrors everywhere and I’m still surprised at the face that looks back at me. I’d like to fadeup the fadeaway chin but I still look dramatically different. I’ve still got 2-4 inches that I can reasonably lose from my waist. A 34 waist would give me a kind of satisfaction that I have not known in a long time.

I still have a long way to go but I will get there.

But, I will still wear shorts whenever I can. Because that is part of who I am.


PS – Those are the fat fashion tricks from my experience. Do you have any to share?


Anonymous said...

B - I find your honesty refreshing. I too have been on an "operation free from fat" and know it takes hard work so congrats on your progress!
My favorite is more about the language surrounding the fate of the chubby kid. For example; referring to the double chin as "the neck brace" or excess baggage on the lower belly, "the fanny pack." People spend a lot of money covering up these not so flattering areas with fat pants and baggy shirts. I'm thinking of having a memorial service for my fat pants. They were there for me when I needed them. They provided protection and comfort but I bid them farewell and cast them aside. I gladly trade them for a newer, more stylish model.

Bruce said...

A memorial service sounds like a good idea (before giving them to Goodwill...) I may need to schedule something like that for my ridiculous jeans.