Most of the time, I don’t really care what I weigh. The way I see it I eat relatively sensibly, go to the gym as much as my busy lifestyle allows and walk considerable distances every day. If, after all that, my body wants to be a particular size that’s her business. It’s not a foolproof strategy, as anybody who’s gained somewhere between two and four dress sizes since her mid 20s will tell you, but generally it does me fine.
It’s when my mental health is poor, or when I’m trying to put together an outfit for a fancy party, that my usual healthy-at-every-size body positive attitude becomes its most difficult to maintain and I am more liable to fall victim to the diet-industrial complex women’s magazine sponsored bullshit that we must constantly fight against. Wedding season is a particularly horrendous time for this; the party to celebrate the surprise wedding of my little brother to his partner Alison in Gibraltar last month more than most. Of course few eyes were going to be on me on Saturday night, but your brother’s wedding calls for a special effort to be made. I left it too late and was too skint to shop, so decided instead to recycle one of the barely worn pretty – and pretty expensive – dresses from my considerable wardrobe. The problem of course being that most of these don’t fit: if indeed, owing to my status as a recovering online clothes shopper who never gets around to sending things that don’t fit back, they ever did.
In the end, the only appropriate thing which fit was this Bettie Page dress – worn once, never with family; and made of such a stretchy material that with a bit of effort my bestie managed to zip me into it. After consulting with style conscious friends on Twitter how best to dress it up I put on my trusty Chanel lipstick and booked an appointment with Rebel Rebel, the city centre “barber for men and women”, for a suitably vintage hair do. I cannot recommend this place highly enough: it was expensive, but after an hour with Gemma I looked and felt fabulous. I’ve been walking past Rebel Rebel for years, intrigued by the look of the place but convinced it was only for blokes. Gemma explained that they exist for anyone who might be put off by the atmosphere in an ordinary hairdressers’, which in my case is part of the reason I go maybe once every two years and survive on fringe-trims and bathroom dye jobs in between times.
You know, I think I’m about ready to cut my losses and start clearing out my wardrobes. I stick by what I said the other day in that there are only certain categories in which I would consider myself a hoarder, but clothes is definitely one of them. There’s plenty in my main wardrobe that doesn’t fit, of course, but even worse is the backroom wardrobe that’s been filled with the stuff that hasn’t fit since long before the move. Part of the reason is that I am living in hope that I will one day fit back into some of my favourite things (like that slinky size 12 Coast dress from 2006); part of it is that I cannot bear to think of somebody else wearing the things I love the most; much of it is sheer lack of time. I used one of those Cash 4 Clothes places that have sprung up around Glasgow and the west before we moved to shift a bit of it, but as they pay you by weight it’s not a great return for better quality pieces. And while I’d love to eBay the lot, that’s a time sink I really can’t get into right now.
So I was very interested to learn that MusicMagpie – a site I’ve had bookmarked for ages for when I finally get around to clearing my mother’s spare room of all the CDs I didn’t take with me when I left home and haven’t missed in the approaching seven years I’ve been gone – have branched out into cash for clothes. I haven’t had a chance to play around with the site yet, but as they allow you to search by brand and type of garment I suspect it’s a way better deal than those little shops. I came across a little lifehack the other day: point all your hangers the wrong way, and then when you wear things and return them to your wardrobe hang them correctly. Check back in a couple of months and see what you haven’t worn – and that’s what you should get rid of. I think it’s time to get ruthless…
This post is sponsored by MusicMagpie. Funnily enough they had absolutely no hand in the above rambling.