the great clothing swap

So many of you commented and wrote regarding the post about giving away clothing to people who need it. So what we’ve got now is a line to a few great clothing donation sites, for those of you who have been looking just like me, and also a whole host of you out there in a whole range of sizes who want to participate in a clothing swap. It warms the cockles of my cold, cold heart, and I am excited, you guys.

So the easiest way to do this, I think, is that we talk directly. A few of you have made requests in the previous post, but we ought to consolidate that conversation right here. Please post in the comments below:

  • What you’ve got, in which sizes
  • What sizes you need along with any specific wishlist items (i.e., I AM GOING TO A WEDDING–HELP!; my butt is naked, please send pants)
  • Contact info–the best email address you can be reached at. You guys can get in touch with each other, figure out what you’ve got and what you need and what you can mail, and in a week, there will be a flurry of beautiful clothing criss-crossing the country and soon everyone will be gorgeously clothed and ridiculously cute.

Please do me a favor and if you possibly can, don’t just snag clothes–go through your closet and see if you’ve got anything to give away. Make room for your cute new sweater, and save someone else’s job interview at the same time.

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dressing up is my love

When I was heading out to San Francisco for a wedding week full of wedding events and wedding excitement and social engagements and being out and about on the town, I was excited, because yay! Weddings! Yay, people I love! Yay, happiness! But a big part of the yay was, I have to admit, yay going out! Because yay, I get to dress up!

Working at home is not much of an occasion for dressing up. It is not really even an occasion for pants, for the most part. There’s not much of a reason for makeup, when you’re going from the couch to the fridge to the couch to the bathroom, and maybe to the coffee shop occasionally. The coffee shop requires pants, and sometimes a glance in the mirror before you head out the door because maybe your hair looks hey-where-are-my-meds stupid. but mostly it does not matter. Your cat does not care if your outfits coordinate, and the Internet doesn’t really notice if you smell funny. Unless we’re talking metaphorically.

The days where I’d have to go down to Salt Lake–an appointment, or lunch with E, or a wild hare up my butt to be a grownup and sit in a chair and work in an upright position–were occasions of great celebration, in which I would choose my clothes very carefully and might even wear earrings. And occasionally, if I were feeling especially fancy about the library or chicken salad sandwiches, I would apply lipstick.

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naked: plaid pants make me sexy, no matter what he thinks

My boyfriend E and I have very different tastes in clothes–for me, I mean. He likes to see me in tailored stuff, buttoned up to the neck and down to the floor. He basically thinks that I look sexiest when I look like a virgin librarian nun. Me, I like…well, everything. It feels like now that I am in misses sizes, there is a dizzying array of styles and clothing choices and options and I would say that I’m afraid to pin myself down to any one look, except that I don’t think I even have any idea how to create something as cohesive as a “look.” I just like clothes, and pretty things, is pretty much what it boils down to, and my taste is eclectic. Which is a very simple way of putting it.

I have gotten to the point where I do not care that my arms are not perfect and firm and my stomach is not flat. I am still working on the same laissez-faire attitude about my knees and my thighs, but generally, I am doing really well with accepting this body I’ve ended up with, in general, and I am having fun dressing it up. I wear fitted clothes; I wear tight clothes. I wear sleeveless blouses and skirts that hit above my knees. I wear the clothes that E thinks look sexy on me, because I like to look sexy for him–it makes me feel gorgeous. I like to hear that he thinks I am gorgeous.

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dress you up in my love

So a friend is getting married in two weeks, in a spectacular concert venue in San Francisco, and I am starting to think about arranging for someone to care for my Fangor, thinking about making a packing list, about planning outfits for planned outings. And starting to panic about the dress for the wedding. This is not something that is usually a problem, or very dramatic or full of magnificent hair-tearing. But this time, I am pretty sure I am going to end up at the venue wearing a tuxedo T-shirt and yoga shorts, carrying a bunch of balloons.

Here is the dramatic saga: The first dress, a find, from J. Crew! Very much on sale and pretty much perfect–elegant, leopard patterned shift dress in silk twill. Size too small, but I took a chance and pounced on it. I waited a week and a half and then called, and they said woops! We’re out of those! We have totally cancelled your order without telling you. I grumbled and was cross, but I had plenty of time.

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naked: how you dress is how you feel is how you dress

I’m moving in a few weeks, and I’ve been going through my stuff, as is traditional, to toss anything I don’t need or use or wear or want, because moving giant boxes is bad enough when they’re filled with actual useful items. It is insulting to move books you hate and broken pans and stretched-out T-shirts. I am sure I have a ton of junk hiding in my office and my kitchen and scattered across my living room, but I realized, going through my closet and my dresser, that I don’t have any of those stretched-out, ratty T-shirts. I don’t appear to own anything I don’t wear–it is a miracle! But I also don’t have any of the kind of comfy, casual, flop around the house clothes that straddle the border between street clothes and pajamas.

At my heaviest, that was all I wore. I never put on jeans because they constricted. I wore big sweaters that came down to my knees, and long skirts and I even left the house a few times in an L.L. Bean nightgown that I told myself looked exactly like a T-shirt dress except that it really looked like was an ankle-length nightgown, and what I really looked like is someone who had given up and didn’t care and would shower in a down coat because she hated her body so much and couldn’t stand to have anyone look at it, including herself.

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i think that’s what they call body dysmorphism

I complain that I have no idea what my body looks like, that I have no idea what size I am, or what body type I have or how I look and how I’m supposed to dress, and you say, yeah, yeah, whatever, that’s weird, and how is that possible? How can you really be so completely distanced, so remote from your body that you don’t know what you look like? Is it really possible to be that blind–I mean, you’ve got eyes and a mirror, don’t you, woman? Eyes and a mirror kind of failed me, and I’m still not sure what to think, exactly.

On Saturday, after E kicked me out of the house to get some sun and ice cream and ride around, because I was getting grumpy and hunkering bear-like in my cave. I pedaled around town, read my book in the sun with a cone of burnt almond mocha fudge awesomeness, and then toodled by the giant thrift store not too far from home. I skidded into the parking lot, locked up my bike and went to browse. I ended up browsing for hours and hours, and filled up an entire cart full of stuff.

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