Lady In Brown

Mo of the rockin Big Fat Deal blog posted a link to Daily Mail article that says, "skinny people are more likely to be unhappy and commit suicide than those who are overweight".

This reminded me of a wintery day in 1999 where I went to see my GP for a check-up and she soon started rattling through a list of depression symptoms.

"Constant fatigue?"
"Feelings of hopelessness?"
"Loss of appetite?"
"Suicidal thoughts?"

And then I got the giggles. I knew that now matter how bleak and lost I felt, I’d never kill myself. Why? Because I was utterly mortified at the thought of a mortician looking my naked 350lb corpse.

That seems so wrong now but it still cracks me up to this day. Sorry. Sorry!

Well kids, last night I spent three hours traipsing up and down the streets of Edinburgh looking for something to wear for this goddamn work Christmas Party. It’s anything goes in terms of wardrobe, so it shouldn’t have been too traumatic. But after three stores I was on the verge of a major freakout and vowed, "If I don’t find something in the next fifteen minutes I am going to devise a violent stomach bug and call in sick tomorrow." Yes! I was fully prepared to waste the money I’d paid for my lunch, stay home and sulk in front of the telly.

I can comfortably wear a UK size 16, which on paper should open up a whole world of new clothes to me. But that doesn’t take into consideration my:

  • fear of colour
  • fear of fabrics that aren’t forgiving cotton/lycra
  • upper arm paranoia
  • reluctance to stray from my "Uniform" of 3/4 sleeve tops and flattering trousers
  • complete TIGHTARSEDNESS – ie. strong reluctance to fork out for nice new clothes when I am losing weight…and it’s not like I am trying to pick up a hot man at the party, is it?

I thought of What Not To Wear and tried to channel Trinny and Susannah. They are not afraid of fabrics and colour. But they always swan serenely round the stores, they’re not stupid enough to shop the night before a big party, one week before Christmas. They also don’t mind riffling through racks, whereas I stand at the entrance of the store, muttering and moaning, expecting the Ideal Garments to just float towards me like snakes to the snake charmer.

So last night I actually riffled. God it was depressing. There is still too much flimsy gypsy shit out there. I am afraid of floaty fabrics. But I got adventurous in Monsoon and tried a gorgeous floaty-yet-fitted teale-green skirt with lovely swirls. I felt rather sexy, and happy that the size 16 was a little loose around the waist. But I couldn’t justify the price, and then I realised even if I did fork out I’d have to spend another eleven bazillion hours looking for suitably strappy shoes to wear with it.

Oh yeah. My shoe situation is another example of my profound wardrobe neglect. I haven’t bought any new winter shoes for over two years, relying on a pair of crappy black ankle boots, that I keep reviving with heavy layers of boot polish. Shoe shopping is a nightmare for my broad size 8 (size 10 US/AU) hoofs, so last night I decided I must find something that wouldn’t require new shoes. Which ruled out skirts.

Next stop was H&M, my trusty standby. I thought of the time I had my Colours Done, and they told me I was a Warm Autumn, which basically means I look good in poo colours. So I tried on this chocolate brown top, which had a flattering v-neck, and a crossover thingy – which T&S say is great for big-boobed chicks as it divides the Boob Loaf thus avoids the dreaded monoboob. It was also made from cotton-lycra which skimmed over lumpy bits, AND it has that ruching on the stomach which T&S say disguises your rolls. It was quite flattering.

And only ten pounds! That’s even cheap in Australian dollars. Call off the search.

So I decided I’d wear that with some nice wide-leg trousers I’d got at H&M a few weeks ago, then just chuck on some jewellery to make it look more dressy. I spent twenty minutes looking for a new necklace before I got crowd-o-phobic, (what’s the proper word for that?!) ran screaming to the train station and went home.

Now here I am, all dressed up ready for the party in what basically is my Standard Issue Uniform in Brown. But I do feel reasonably attractive! Except for my mascara, which for some reason decided to dry up THIS MORNING so my eyelashes all clumped and twiggy. Oh and my lack of right-ear earring because the hole for some reason decided to completely close up THIS MORNING and no amount of stabbing is helping.

Next year, I will get my shit together. A skirt, a dress, some colour. I will be the belle of the ball. Next year!

UPDATE: It’s now Saturday. The party was good fun, and no one said I looked like a turd. Huzzah!

11 thoughts on “Lady In Brown

  1. Good God that made me laugh. You just described the exact shopping experience I had last week, but I was in Manchester. Although, I have a fear of H&M. I even had the same ‘Trinny and Susannah…’ thoughts all the way round. Glad you had a good night!

  2. Thrift shops are your best friend when dieting, when you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a transition wardrobe. Trick is to go regularly because a) the good stuff will get taken and b) you can’t just waltz in expecting to find exactly what you’re looking for — it’s a treasure hunt! And if you go regularly, you can dash in and out before the crowdophobia sets in — I hear ya on that one. I felt so much better about my own tightarsedness when a friend commented that he knows people who _only_ shop in thrift stores for philosophical reasons. Off my puzzled look he said, “Reduce, reuse, recycle.” So on top of the thrill of the really cool find (I’ve had ENDLESS compliments on my $4 green skirt), one feels incredibly smug and earth-friendly. Gitve it a try! Thrift shops have different personalities — if you don’t like one, try another… By the way, “poo colors”? Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I’m gonna giggle every time I see my sister in her warm autumn palette….

  3. Geeze you make me laugh Shauna. I have the opposite problem; I lurvvvv to shop and can’t get enough of it. Glad you had a good time.

    Have you heard about our riots? It’s not good over here at the moment. NJ

  4. LOL glad that the party was good and no one compared you to a turd!! You had me laughing so much. oy vey – shopping. I’ve noticed I have lost my ability to shop, I don’t even know what I look good anymore.

    I just want the loose, easy stuff…and cheap LOL I’m the same damn way – have to pry money from my woren, ripped, faded clothed body before I can part with it.

  5. I was clothophobic too until this year.

    The weight loss had very little to do with it, it was more wanting to try something different and be less dull.

    Shopping is a learned skill, but it can be done! I have also made the leap from 3 pairs of shoes to over 12 in less than a year! (And the leap from very little debt to a quite a bit in the same time!)

    I wear tonnes of brown too, I just think of it as getting my chocolate fix on the OUTSIDE rather than eating it 😛

  6. I had my colours done once and I’m a winter. I think that means I must wear black – well I’m hoping.

    Wouldn’t it be good to have some kind of shopping consultant to go with you – someone who knows what would look good on you and encouraged you to try on different things.

  7. I’m not clothes-phobic at all. Unfortunately. I always think that the right clothes will utterly transform me into a cool person. I wish this was actually the case.

    I would LOVE an excuse to buy new shoes. (Conversation with boyfriend on Friday:

    “I just want to look at some boots in here.”
    “Would these be boots as in, you know, shoes?”
    “I thought you weren’t going to buy any more shoes?”
    “I don’t think I said that. I think you said that.”)

  8. DG, one of the hardest things I had to do was to go into a shop and ask the saleswoman to actually HELP me find something to wear. I was always too embarassed to ask for clothes in my size. It was actually a great experience to have someone pick stuff out for me to try on. It wasn’t all great, but it was nice to have someone help me. Give it a try sometime!

  9. There should be a ban on holiday parties unless they are completely casual – do they have any idea how damaging it can be to shop for a special occasion dress??? 🙂

  10. DG-

    You should have just broken down called your sister and had her send you something. Doesn’t she always have your back in the clothing department?

    I am glad you persevered and went with what you were comfortable in. I am sure it showed.

  11. Just read your archives-you are an incredible person. Thank you for posting all these years! Hope your Christmas is excellent.
    Carole in Canada

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