Friday, October 2, 2009

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself..."

"...instead of a second-rate version of somebody else." -Judy Garland

That struck a chord in me today. I was just watching Project Runway. It reminds me about who I used to want to be, and I miss it! I used to want to be a fashion designer. I'm a really good seamstress. In fact, I'm a custom clothier. I love to design. I love textiles and what I can do with them. I love to draft patterns. I want to do this again.

I used to do the work for many years, on a small scale. Wedding dresses mostly. Weddings were my undoing. I don't have the temprament for that sort of emotional work. I don't like working under high-pressure conditions. At the time, I didn't know how to separate my clients' emotional issues from mine, so I took criticism very personally. And I worked like a dog. I haven't sewed for anyone in many years. It was like my talent and my inspiration left me because I wasn't caring for it properly.

I think I'm ready to nurture it again. I think I can earn it back, and I want to exercise my talent again...for me. I'm ready to create my first-rate version of myself, for me, with the intent of allowing my gift to blossom and be useful once again. I'm also toying with the idea of working as a custom clothier and stylist strictly for plus-size professional women. I know I have it in me. But I won't be making that decision yet.

First I have to find my first-rate version of me. From Staging Your Comeback, I'm finding that my primary style is as I suspected, Innovative and Classic, with a bit of Dramatic and Casual thrown in, as the mood takes me. My style buzzwords include: imaginative, creative, elegant, stylish, natural, comfortable, distinctive and striking.

My shape is definitely a triangle, with my hips wider in proportion to my bust. I'm glad to read the author addressing how an older triangle can get thicker in the middle and still be a triangle. That describes me perfectly!

What I never considered before was my vertical proportion. I'm tall, nearly six-feet tall. Sleeves are never long enough on shirts, tops and jackets never fit properly through the waist (they're usually too high). But in the last few years, I've been buying pants at one or two stores that offer a tall length and I've noticed that even if I wear high-heels, the pants are too long. I began to wonder if my proportions leaned toward a long torso and shorter legs. I just measured myself. I'm pretty balanced between my upper and lower torso. I'm just tall, and no one makes tops and jackets sized properly for my torso and arms.

I have an average neck that's gotten shorter with a well-rounded chin. I have narrow shoulders that are starting to round a bit. (Yeah! Shoulder pads!) My bustline is smallish and each breast is racing towards my waistline, which isn't cooperating and is heading south as well. My upper arms are very heavy and sagging, which has gotten more pronounced since I've lost weight. My forearms are starting to get a little slimmer but they're giggly as well. I have big square hands with large palms (the better to milk a goat with, my dear) and the base of my fingers are wider and fleshier than my knuckles (thanks Grandpa!)

My waist is thicker than it used to be, and it's dropped so that my hip length is shorter. So when I buy regular-waist pants, they ride really high. Low-rise pants seem to fit a little better and sit almost at my waist. If I get pants that fit my hips, the waist is huge. My front belly used to be bigger than my backside, before I started to lose weight, but now they're almost evenly split.

My hips are wide, but my inner thighs are really thick. I wish I could lose that first. Well, actually, second, after my batwing arms. No, third, after my big belly too. My knees are chunky (always have been), my calves are developed, but my ankles are actually slender! Big old feet, size 11W. I had my feet measured recently...from the heel to the ball of my feet, I'm a size 10, and from the ball to the end of my toes, I make up the distance with extra long toes. When I buy pumps, the heels always slip off my feet as I walk!

I have a big head too. But you probably already guessed that.

No comments: