The Daily EO: October 24th, 2012

I wore a red rain coat and high heels today.

As I toured a plant with the operations peer group, I realized I was the only one not wearing black or grey and I towered above most of the attendees.  To boot, I was one of the two women in the whole group.  Manufacturing generally doesn’t have a lot of us types – you know, girls.

October 24th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  I like not quite fitting in.  I think I will wear my red coat more often.

The Daily EO: June 28th, 2012

The first suit I ever purchased was in Victoria, BC in a beautiful cream colour, size 10.  I bought it because I needed something for my MBA entrance interview at McMaster University.   I purchased the suit (more than I could afford, but my BFF Lisa convinced me it was the way to go), broke up with my boyfriend (dodged a bullet there), flew to Ontario (thanks Mom), and convinced Mac I would be a good fit.  I still have that suit actually, because despite it being 15 years ago, it’s classic.  Not Jackie O. classic, but it wasn’t the 60s.  Plus, at the time, I think it cost me 15% of my annual budget, so I can’t let go of it.  And I got in, so it must be a lucky suit, anyways.

They say that clothes do not make the person, but I don’t know about that.  I am woefully ignorant of fashion, do not read women’s magazines (they just try to make me feel inferior somehow, although I have considered a subscription to Chatelaine as of late), and am completely mentally handicapped in the application of makeup.   But when I have made the effort to find good quality, well-fitting clothes that perfectly match the occasion, a sheen of confidence envelopes me.  My 5’8″ stands tall, I walk confidently with my heels first and I want to shout “I belong here!”  Wherever here may be.

Over the last three years, I have reduced from a size 14/16 (yes, I was occasionally a 16, nobody would ever believe me, and that is yet another advantage of being tall) to a size 12 (with an occasional 10).  My closet is decimated.  I can fit into all of my career clothes certainly, but they hang on my waist, they sag in the front, and generally go not look good.  And no, a belt cannot fix ill fitting clothes.  Please spread this around.  I sorted through the closet a while back and created three categories:  too big – donate, too big-put aside for altering, and wearable.

My professional closet – once a decent sized – now consists of 2 pairs of pants and 2 shirts suitable for interviews and three boxes of “for altering”.   It just doesn’t make sense to purchase or alter clothes in potentially the wrong size.  And spending the money when I don’t need to is folly.   So, the alter boxes sit.  So long in fact, I probably will have to re-sort them to check for fashionability again.  Like I have any idea.  Sigh.  I am so hiring a consultant when I can afford to (Punch List addition).

But in this new life I am forging for myself, I have found confidence and a sense of power and ability to achieve more.  And it flows when I put on running clothes.  Often in the morning, I will rise and change immediately into workout clothes.  This is two-fold – if I see someone they won’t think “Look at that unemployed bounder, she is still in her pajamas” and it is one less barrier to getting out the door for a run.  It’s a public declaration of my intentions (for the cat I guess).  One cannot take off work-out clothes, one must peel off sweaty work-out clothes.

And as I type this (not in my pajamas), I have in a racing back Lululemon purple top, a Running Room racing back sports bra, and Adidas Climalite black snug fitting shorts.  And indeed I feel strong. And powerful.  And like an athlete.  And when nobody is looking, I will flex my bicep or admire the cut of muscle across my shoulder or sneak a peek at the curve of my waist to my hips.  After a run or work-out, I want to stay in these stinky clothes for a while as a reminder of what I have achieved for that day.

Do clothes make the man?  No, but the right ones match what you are feeling inside and help it come out.

June 28th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  I ran 4.0 km in 35 degrees Celsius (with the humidity).  What potential will this racing back unleash today?

The Daily EO: May 13th, 2012

Today was mother’s day and my sister-in-law’s birthday.  We all decided on a quiet day – brunch and dinner together and hanging out in between.  Not too much flair and fuss.  After brunch, my MIL and SIL and I decided to go shopping at the local mall.

At Sears, I tried on a Jones & Co summer dress that I didn’t need, but it was 50% off, and everyone else was trying on dresses, why shouldn’t I?  It was size 12.   It was close-fitting cut and needed fit properly or you’d be fussing with it all the time.  The  dress was too flappy in the bosom and too loose in the waist.  It didn’t fit right.  Sigh.  But, wait, . . . if it was too big in two different places, then perhaps I needed a size 10.  And a 10 fit perfectly!  It know I shouldn’t care.  I know the size number should never matter.  But a size 10!  I had a huge piece of Vegan Chocolate Cake that day and 30 ounces of wine in the previous 48 hours.  Pretty good.

Off to Old Navy where cheap shorts were my target.  I took all my size 12s into the fitting room – as surely the size 10 was a fluke.  (do not tempt fate) Apparently the 10 was  – all of these size 12 shorts were too small.  I had to bump up to a 14 in all of them.  Do you think it is possible to expand whilst walking through a mall?

Then to The Bay were I found a pair of Jessica Simpson jean shorts – that were sized logically – based on the universally accepted INCHES of your waist measurement.  I grabbed a 32  because my waist is 31 or 32 and looked on with confusion as fell on the floor.  I had to drop down to a size 29, and really a 28 would be even better.

May 13, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  When did the length of an inch change?  I am so behind the times.

Maintenance May Day 13:
Didn’t let my MIL purchase those weird almost-skin-tone shorts at Cleo.  (family, soul)
Had a good heart-to-heart with my MIL (connection)