I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

On Fitting In…


My usual morning routine: *alarm goes off* Jump out of bed, head to the restroom to relieve bladder, take a shower, moisturize like the dickens, blow-dry hair, get dressed while being attacked by a tabby, put on shoes while being mauled by a pug, kiss husband goodbye, head to the grocery store for supplies for the cafe, buy said groceries, drive 45 minutes to the cafe, park and carry many bags, drop bags and turn on many machines, prep/load groceries to their proper places, open cafe for business, make a cappuccino for myself. Ah!

I’m a no-fuss kind of gal. I don’t put on make-up unless I have tons of extra time (I always make a mess) or it just tickles me to do it or I have an occasion to wear it. I only started to blow0dry my hair in the morning when I got my hair cut short, it’s so fast and easy this way. Before, when my hair was shoulder-length or a bit longer, I would simply pull it back while wet. My work uniform is basically jeans and a top, rarely varies. Running a cafe is messy work and coupled with an apron this uniform allows me comfort and durability. I exclusively wear Keen brand shoes to work as they are the most comfortable I have found.

I don’t dress for anyone else but myself. This hasn’t always been the case, but it is now and I’m quite fine with that. In my last career (corporate trainer in customer service and computer skills), I had to look professional. I was surrounded by the upper reaches of the corporate ladder and thus had to “fit in” or look a certain way. When I was first promoted to this position, I barely had a thing to wear. I relied on Lane Bryant and Avenue because they were local and I could just pop in and buy one piece at a time. When I found LB’s Madison Trousers (R.I.P.) I was in love! I have short legs, ginormous ass/thighs and a waist (not a small one but it’s there). Their 28P fit like a dream! My first pair were black, but I later got them in grey and a heathered beige. LB’s camis also saved me plenty of times when I didn’t have much to wear but a cami and a cardigan! Man, those things rocked!

When I began to give presentations and things in front of large quantities of people, I sought out blazers and more classically professional gear. And there in lies the expensive bit! A blazer, even the halfway decent one I got at Avenue, costs hella money, yo! I think I paid $49 just for my plain, simple, classic, black blazer. Yikes! I also already had a tuxedo style one from LB that I would pair with dressier tops. I mixed and matched and added little things to these staples as I went along. But that wasn’t the end of the fitting in thing. Oh no!

OMG! SHOES! For many a fat, shoes are the playing field leveler! Anyone can wear shoes, duh! NO! Here I was in an office full of fancy ladies: fake nails, perfect tans, flawless make-up, dressed to the 9’s and very high heels! What?! Oh Noes!!! Yeah, I was doomed. I had never worn the things, never had to and never felt terribly inclined. At this point in my life I knew I had wider than average feet, but I was still shopping at Payless Shoe Source because that’s where I’d always bought my shoes! Not only that, but I would later discover that I’d been wearing the wrong size shoes for many years! (I was wearing 7’s and 7W’s, but I’m truly an 8W.)

I bought some shoes with shorter heels. I tried wedges and chunky heels and everything in between. Kitten heels were in suddenly and I had one patent leather pair I adored! But they all fucked up my feet like nobody’s business! I would dread having to walk or stand for very long. I would make excuses to not go on lunch dates with work pals. I was missing out! Because of some silly notion that I had to wear heels. When a new co-worker moved into our office we bonded over shoes and our in-common wide feet. I shared catalogs and we placed orders together. It was like when you first start dating someone and everything is just clicking.

When I broke my foot on the job (just walking, nothing crazy, wasn’t even wearing heels that day), I knew I could never worry about fitting in or wearing heels again. I had had enough! Not to mention that I had to wear a splint on my foot for what seemed like ten years (a few weeks). What became so apparent to me then was how important comfort and support are. Not just in footwear, but fashion, friends, significant others: Love and support and comfort are necessary to be your best you! Radical stuff, no?

While I love fashion’s wild side and often wish I could do my eyeliner evenly (let alone those lovely winged liner styles) and wear my hair in all sorts of over-the-top dos, it’s just not me. I’m a Doc Marten’s and denim gal. Gimme a flannel and a granny dress with combat boots and watch me conquer the fucking world! Sure, I go through phases when I wear a certain style OUT! But in the end I just wanna be comfy, ya know? I just want to be me, whatever that means on that particular day. When I find myself in the job market again, I’ll wear my business attire, but the shoes will be my own choice! I shall not bend to peer pressure or long to be someone else.

I was reminded of this several months ago when a friend began a new job. This friend and I had so much in common, especially when it came to dressing comfortable and not wearing make-up, things like that. This new job she started, well, most of the ladies she worked with had fake nails, wore Mary Kay, smoked cigarettes and dressed more fancy than she was used to. She resisted at first. I encouraged her to stay true to who she was. In the end though, they won. She started smoking again (after having quit for quite awhile), got fake nails, started buying make-up. While this is hardly the reason we’re no longer friends, I have to admit it was a bit bizarre to see someone I thought I knew transform, almost before my eyes, into someone else entirely. It made me sad, ya know?!

My point is (what? a point? I know, right?! ha!), when you get dressed in the morning, ask yourself who is it all for? If it’s not for you, then who? And why? Are you being your best you or trying to fit into something you’re not entirely comfortable with? I encourage everyone to do this:

Question        every        damned        thing!!!


16 Comments to

“On Fitting In…”

  1. On January 17th, 2011 at 1:22 pm Sweetnfat Says:

    Man, comfortable, fashionable shoes. What a concept, huh? I’m so pleased that ballet flats are popular right now. They’re so much more comfy for my feet than what I used to wear in high school.
    It’s funny to me that you want to dress down now, as I’m stuck in a job where I have to wear “uniform colors”, and long to dress up all day long. (I get fancy on my days off, let me tell you!)
    Fantastic post. 🙂

  2. On January 17th, 2011 at 1:24 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Thanks. And I dress up on my days off, too!

  3. On January 17th, 2011 at 1:51 pm Bree Says:

    I have temporary job with the state government in processing medicare claims and we are allowed to wear jeans and sneakers so this is my daily wardrobe, but I pair my jeans with nice sweaters, cardigans and/or tops. I dress for comfort because I sit all day doing data entry but I still like to look nice for myself. Society assumes fat women don’t know how to dress themselves or don’t want to look stylish, so by looking like the opposite of what is thought about me, it’s giving a middle finger so to speak to society.

    I also don’t wear makeup unless I’m going out to a dance or karaoke. Sometimes if I’m looking peaked I’ll add some Benefit lip and cheek stain but that’s really it.

  4. On January 17th, 2011 at 2:03 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    I’m going to karaoke tonight, but I never would have thought about wearing make-up to that (rethinks entire life)! And seriously, do you have tips on how to use that Benefit lip/cheek stain? I try and try and it never works for me. Ha! Thanks.

  5. On January 17th, 2011 at 3:02 pm TropicalChrome Says:

    When I was much younger, I went through the “I can’t leave the house without full on makeup” phase. A little further on, I went through the “I’m sick and tired of makeup and will only wear it for really special occasions” phase. And now, being of a certain age, I’m in a much more comfortable “I can wear as much or as little as I like” phase. Most days I wear just some eyeliner (self-sharpening pencils mainly, but I’ve been experimenting with wet eyeshadow and a flat brush and having a grand time) and mascara and call it done.

    I’m kind of the same with shoes. For the longest time, I absolutely avoided heels of any height because I’d been indoctrinated that “they’re SOOOOO painful”. I found that if I wear the right size/width and the shoe is balanced for my foot, they’re actually not awful, and far easier to walk in than publicized. No, they’re not like bedroom slippers or my favorite sneakers or pant shoes, but they certainly don’t torture me, and I like wearing them from time to time.

    I’ve found that if I choose my look on what I want, I rock it. If I try to imitate others, I don’t care how nice the clothes/shoes are, I don’t look as nice. Your mileage probably varies :).

  6. On January 18th, 2011 at 11:09 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Great point! It’s not about what you’re wearing, but how you feel wearing it. Boy do I wish everyone could approach fashion in this way. thank you!

  7. On January 17th, 2011 at 5:59 pm Living400lbs Says:

    When my friends were learning to walk in high heels, I was 5’8″ and self-conscious about being tall. I never really learned. I can manage a low heel, but that’s about it.

  8. On January 18th, 2011 at 11:10 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Because I was a bit envious of the taller gals, I always thought it would be so daring/rebellious to wear stilettos if you’re already tall. But every single tall gal I have known has been super self conscious about their height. Too bad. But I never truly learned to walk in high heels properly. That whole toe-heel business? Lost on me. Ha! =0)

  9. On January 18th, 2011 at 12:28 pm Twistie Says:

    I once knew an absolutely fabulous very tall young woman. She stood 5’11” and never went out without heels. She looked spectacular and loved it. And I would go around with her, my little 5’2″ self in flats. We both looked and felt our best, and refused to be self-conscious that we were outliers in the height game.

    Perhaps that’s part of why I don’t get very self-conscious about my weight, even when surrounded by very thin people.

    As for how I dress and for whom, well, I dress for me and usually in a slightly bohemian, artsy, yet ridiculously comfortable way. The icing on the cake is that Mr. Twistie loves the way I dress.

    I used to do a lot of acting, and when you’re doing that the character’s wardrobe is – obviously – determined by the costume designer to express that character. I think that also contributed to my insistence on dressing me to be the most me I possibly can. I know who I am, I love who I am, and I can’t even imagine dressing to be someone else… unless I get bitten by the theater bug again and return to the stage.

  10. On January 18th, 2011 at 12:33 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Oh that is so rad! I am picturing the two of you sashaying down a runway! Woo! How lovely! And well, yeah, dressing up in the name of theater or whatever, is super fun! =0)

  11. On January 19th, 2011 at 8:39 am purplekeychain Says:

    I love this post so much. Because you’re so right about absolutely everything and I can relate to everything you’re saying, down to only buying shoes from Payless. This was my favorite line: OMG! SHOES! For many a fat, shoes are the playing field leveler!

    I wrote a post about the shoe issue on the Fatshionista Livejournal site not long ago (Fats & Flats was the name of the post), and there were many people who responded that would 100% agree with you (and also resulted in someone getting banned, d’oh!). I am most comfortable in flat shoes, or shoes with very low (like 1.5″ or less) wedges, and it (used to) made me feel like I wasn’t as “put together” as everyone else. Skinny women, fat women, it didn’t matter what their size, I never felt that I measured up.

    After reading this post, it offers some hope. Because you’re right — I’m dressing for me, not anyone else. So, despite all the well-meant advice for heels, they are not for me, and I’m okay with that. I’m just going to stick to black tights and shoes, and hope they disappear into the background.


  12. On January 19th, 2011 at 9:23 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Yes and “put together” means different things to different people. I also never felt I measured up to others, but in the end I found that it’s all me, it’s in my head. Once I gave up on worrying about stacking up or being judged by others, well I started living a life I wanted. I mean, I still have to work my ass off, but I’m pretty happy with life over all. Ha!

  13. On January 19th, 2011 at 5:57 pm Bree Says:

    Re: Benefit…I really don’t have tips. I just brush it on my cheeks and/or lips, blend in, and go. They do have a lighter pink colored stain, which might show up better on your skin. For the record, I’m biracial with brown skin and the dark tint works best for me.

  14. On January 20th, 2011 at 8:47 am Not Blue at All Says:

    I have very pink cheeks, so I only use the stain on my lips, but it always feels sticky. I love the color and the shine, but the sticky, not so much. Perhaps I’ll try to go a bit lighter on application and see what happens. Thanks. =0)

  15. On January 25th, 2011 at 10:02 am Psycho Sue Says:

    I am a total GLAMOR TRANNY. I need a fix of glamor everyday. I don’t worry about fitting in ANYWHERE. In fact, I prefer it! I make everyone around me feel under dressed LOL. It’s not for anyone but moi. Because I am my best when i shine like glitter. it’s true. ask my hubby LOL

  16. On January 25th, 2011 at 10:06 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Okay, “Glamor Tranny” is now part of my permanant vernacular! Ha-ha! The best! I love over dressing for things, but I’m not terribly consistant at it, or anything actually. You’re too much fun! <3

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