Thursday, April 14, 2011

Let's Be Honest: Size Does Matter*

One of the things that we espouse on Operation Sparkle is the utmost importance of editing. Key to editing—being honest with oneself about the items at hand. This honesty revolves around many considerations that must be taken into account when deciding to go with the possible treasure you currently hold in your hands, or to let it loose, back into the thrifting wild. A major consideration is size. If something doesn't fit right, unless you can make miracles happen on a sewing machine or somehow magically change your shoe size from an 8 and a half to a six (I maintain that if I had one magical power, this would be it), it is usually best to let it go.

Difficulties arise, however, when a piece is so great and so close to fitting. These are often the pieces that I have the hardest time letting go of, and as a result, my closet it teeming with items that, due to their ill fits, never meet the light of day (or moonlight of night). Occasionally, I will break out of my comfort zone and force myself to suffer through an evening wearing a skirt that was way too tight to ever come home with, only to vow to rid my closet of it the next day. Despite such insistence, these items somehow cling on, until it is time for some serious soul searching and resulting closet cleaning. Thus, we have my next springtime purge piece—the pieces that, no matter what, will never, ever fit and thus must be passed on.

Now, there are some aspects of sizing that may fluctuate, though they often do in small increments. There are others that, no matter what, will never, ever change. The length of your torso is one of these measurements. I am coming to terms with this now, as I need to face the fact that this studded zip-up jumpsuit will never be able to achieve that classy, trashy comfort I long for as it rides so far up my nether regions that I may as well be sitting in a thong swing when I wear it.

Gold Studded Zip-up Jumpsuit (detail)

I have a confession. Even as I am writing this, I am thinking about my current longing for more studs in my wardrobe and that giving up this number, despite its crotch crawling tendencies would be a major mistake. Maybe I could just cut off the bottom and have a really bitching zip-up studded sweatshirt/jacket thing! Maybe, I'll have to experiment tomorrow and will keep you posted. But see—this is how these pieces stay on! They will never die as long as there is some truly winning detail about it that convinced me to buy it in the first place.

Update: I just tried this piece on. My torso has not shrunk but I still can't totally come to terms with the fact that I'd rather have this riding up my butt all day than give it up. It is coming with me to Jake's apartment to prepare for the fair. There the final decision will be made, deciding the fate once and for all, of this studded zip-up jumpsuit.

As I previously mentioned, the fact that we cannot change the size of our feet** is proof that man has serious limitations. As I spend a lot of time on my feet, and rely on them for actual transport (the fact that this seems to be the exception to the rule in our society is more than a bit disheartening), I need comfortable, sensible (and cute) footwear. Key to achieving shoe perfection is a good fit, so you would think that by this time in my thrifting career, I would be able to accurately judge when a shoe fits.

It turns out, this is not the case. As chick lit and romantic comedies from 2000 to 2004 used this subject for whole plot lines and the basis of most jokes, perhaps it is true that a woman can't say no to cute shoes! While my opinion of what qualifies as "cute shoes" most likely varies greatly from Kate Hudson's character in any number of her award winning films, I can say that I have, on more than one occasion, convinced myself that a pair of shoes fits when it clearly does not. Such is the case with these amazing studded back moccassin-style boots. I have never seen anything like them! I had to get them! It didn't matter if they pinched everywhere on my feet! I was wearing thick socks! They won't be that tight with thin socks (or no socks)! They're leather! They'll stretch out!

Leather Moccasin Boots
Leather Moccasin Boots (detail)

These are the sorts of lies I tell myself when confronted with footwear that doesn't fit. And again, as I write this, I am making a mental note to try these on tomorrow and make sure that, yes, indeed, there is no possible way I will ever be able to sport these puppies for more than a minute.

Update: As it turns out, my memory was tricking me, just a bit. The boots themselves fit in terms of length, but there is some weird pressure going on on top of the toes. Therefore, I am going to try wearing these a few times (short trips only, never try out a new pair of shoes for the first time during a long work shift or on a day that requires a lot of walking where you won't get a chance to change footwear) and see how things turn out. I'll keep you posted.

And now for a piece that truly breaks my heart. It seems as though rust-colored denim is not in the cards for Operation Sparkle. As Laurie lamented when a volunteer refused to sell her a pair of rust-colored jeans a few weeks ago, I purchased this totally awesome pair of shorts with the understanding that I would "have to lose ten pounds" to fit into them.

Rust Jean Shorts

A few days ago it was in the 70's, which naturally meant that it was time to start trying on all the shorts I have been itching to break out for the past six months. You can imagine my joy when I put on these rust-colored beauts and they actually fit! My heart was jumping little jumps of joy that for a 50-year-old may have indicated a heart attack.

Then I turned around.

Let's just say these gave the phrase "cheek chillers" a run for its money. While I have a rather high threshold for clothing decency (years ago, it was shockingly high), I have to admit that there is no place other than my bedroom that I would feel comfortable wearing this shorts. It just wouldn't feel right subjecting the occasional child or creepy old man to my cheek hangage. So...they must go (insert sad face here).

Similar to the jumpsuit debacle, I need to part with these most amazing denim high-waisted shorts. It makes me so angry that I want to punch someone, but for the second time, I tried them on and realized that not only is the crotch ride-age so uncomfortable that I would look like I was riding a horse if I wore them out on public, but that the resulting look from such a fit resembles a diaper. In short, even though the braiding on these puppies is to die for, I must come to terms with the fact that these are both ill-fitting in look and spirit so they must be passed on.


Not all is lost, however! I had in my mind that I was going to be forced to part with these hats, as I am unable to shrink my head (as far as I know). I just tried them on and they actually, legitimately fit (well, the gray one is a bit snug, but it will do)!!!!! Life is good again! Happy day!

Hat and fannypack
Vintage Grey Hat with Bow

*WARNING: This was one of, if not the most difficult blog posts I have had to write for Operation Sparkle. As Laurie just explored here, it is really difficult to come to terms with the fact that you need to give up an amazing piece just because you can't remove ribs or cut off your bosom (at least not easily). Please keep that in mind as you read through what pains me to write (and admit).
**Foot binding aside. I am all for fashion, but, as this post indicates, I am all anti-pain. I'm also anti-forms of female oppression.

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