Tuesday True Confessions: I Hate Fashion

I have hidden my entire life. Even when in plain view, I hid behind others who were more attractive- like Rumpy. I hide behind my ability to manipulate a conversation. Hell, I can manipulate an entire room! I’m that good.

But few people really know me. It’s time that changed.

So I’m going to start writing about me. I’m calling it: Tuesday True Confessions.

Today’s confession: I hate fashionable clothes.

Me at age 21, wearing a man's sweatshirt. The kitty was Cagney.
Me at age 21, wearing a man’s sweatshirt. The kitty was Cagney.

I know that the clothes we wear tell the world who and what we are. And I think that’s the most ridiculous expectation we humans have set up for each other ever.

I have been told since I was a young child that I wasn’t pretty. I was fat, and back in the day, everybody knew fat kids weren’t pretty, and had no qualms about telling a kid that. I remember the looks of disgust my fashion-conscious 3rd grade teacher gave me. Finding clothing for me to wear was difficult, and so my grandmother made many of my clothes. While all the other kids were wearing blue jeans and t-shirts, I was wearing dresses made of polyester. To this day, I still hate polyester. I owned my first pair of jeans when I was in the 4th grade. Once I got that first pair, I wore them every chance I got.

I remember I also had a Boone’s Farm tank top. I wore that thing every day too. It was heaven for me- a chance to taste the forbidden, to experience what other kids took for granted. Oh, I know what you’re thinking. I should have just lost the weight. And I tried. I remember going to diet clubs with grown women when I was 7. As a teen, I was a binge-and-purge queen. And oh, boy, did I love to eat speed! Yellow jackets were my best friend.

So what does all that have to do with my hating fashion?

At some point as an adult, I realized that I could choose to either wear what feels comfortable, or wear what would make me pleasing to society. That was a no-brainer, because I already knew I wasn’t pleasing to society. Never have been. So comfort won the day.

On the left, my 5th grade school photo wearing one of my polyester specials. On the right, my 4th grade photo, in a "store-bought" pantsuit! It was polyester, but at least it wasn't a dress!
On the left, my 5th grade school photo wearing one of my polyester specials. On the right, my 4th grade photo, in a “store-bought” pantsuit! It was polyester, but at least it wasn’t a dress!

I own a dress and one  pair of low heels that are worn to job interviews and funerals. At work I wear our uniform shirt with jeans and one of a couple of pair of Sanuks I own. And on weekends, I have a drawer of men’s tees and sweats that I wear.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’d like to wear clothing in pink and purple instead of navy and heather gray. It’s not so important to me that I’m willing to spend a day looking for them. Clothes in my size may seem to be plentiful, but many of the pieces look ridiculous to me, as though they were designed to demean the overweight wearer.

Perhaps if I were to put more effort into my attire, things could be easier for me. But I’m cool with me the way I am. If you don’t like me like that, that’s your problem. Deal with it.

Care to share any true confessions about yourself? 




84 thoughts on “Tuesday True Confessions: I Hate Fashion

  1. I love this blog post, and I am looking forward to reading more of them. I know exactly where you are coming from. Kids, and adults, and be super mean to people who they deem not conventionally attractive. Posts like this are important to write and for others to read. Big applause! ps — I thought, an still do, think you are awesome! And, I am very chance I had the opportunity to meet you at the Natura tour. 🙂

  2. I think we all “hide” to some extent. I was painfully shy as a kid. And then I discovered acting…I could “pretend” to be someone else, to be brave, and entertaining, and make jokes at my own expense, and so on. If they laughed, it wasn’t at me…it was at my “character” that I’d created. Even today, the “bling” and sequins and shiny stuff that I love to wear that has become part of my brand started out as a shield to hide behind. Very few folks know the “real me.” I let a bit more of my true self out with trusted friends and family, of course, but this post strikes very close to home. And…the pets have never cared what I wore, or looked like, or was good/bad at. Maybe that’s why so many of us take comfort in our beloved pets. Thanks so much for sharing! I look forward to more posts along these lines.

    1. I was shy too, which made the taunting that much worse. Today when I’m faced with making conversation with strangers, I start talking about my pets. Invariably I find at least one fellow animal lover in the room!

  3. Being ourselves is what I think is most important for everyone. It took me a long time to learn that but I have never been happier since doing so.

    I can identify with a lot you say. I did not have a weight problem until my early 20’s and losing it like you say is not easy. People will tell us that we should and can lose the weight, like you I have tried and it is a constant battle with little or no result.

    When I was growing up I was only allowed to wear dresses or skirts…never shorts or pants. Well, now I only wear pants or jeans and knee length shorts when I can find them to fit. I have a short round body and that shape is very hard to find clothes that fit right. Shopping for clothes is one thing I hate, it is so hard to find clothes to fit and look right. I too love tee shirts and jeans or pants and that is what I wear 99% of the time. I have one nice skirt and top that I wear for some occasions but rarely.

    Be yourself and stay comfortable. Big hugs!

    1. Yeah, I hate clothes shopping too. Online shopping isn’t any easier, because women’s clothing sizes mean nothing. Every brand is different, so I have to actually try on an item to know if it’s going to fit.

  4. I was always the skinny little kid but that didn’t mean I didn’t have insecurities. My best friend in high school was large and we both found it easier to stick up for the other than ourselves. I love shopping and fashion but you will always find me in jeans and a tee, flannel shirt or sweatshirt depending on the weather. I think I just like the idea of having a fashion museum in my closet. Since I retired I don’t have a need for the suits and heels so the museum is dwindling. It’s nice to know the wonderful person behind that stunning menagerie you have. I don’t think I have ever seen a bad picture of Rumpy.

  5. Thanks for sharing. Posts like yours always make me stop and think. I gave up a life of caring about fashion and style, to keep dogs and chickens and work in the garden. Now, I mostly shop at the farm store for comfy clothes. I live in wellie boots and jeans, but I confess I do choose tops and sweaters in girly colours 🙂

  6. You know what.. I hate clothes too. Who cares what society *thinks* we ought to be. I say we unite and wear what makes *US* feel good. Amen and bravo to that my friend. My mom was like you growing up. “Couldn’t find anything cute for the big girl. Couldn’t find clothes for the fatty.” She hated clothing – despised fashion and all of the cute little teeny boppers out there that openly flaunted there cute bodies. Then you know what happened. She left that life behind without looking back a second time. If mom wants to wear a tank top and shorts, so be it. She’s not impressing anyone. Anyone can be sexy regardless of their size. Flaunt it my friend. Flaunt it like you’ve never flaunted it before with PRIDE! XOXO – Bacon

      1. And you should! And you know what? My mom wears men’s t-shirts as well. They are so comfortable!! My mom says you rock! XOXo – Bacon

  7. YOU are the type of person I tell my kids to look up to. Be yourself, don’t be afraid of what others think and even if you are afraid of others, have the courage to be yourself.

    I went from a size 4 to a size 18 after my second son. I have people ask me all the time if I’m pregnant because most of my weight is tummy. The hard part is when people challenge me when I say I’m not and they say, “Come on!! Don’t kid me!”

    I wasn’t bullied and taunted in school for being fat, I was taunted and bullied for being in a bi-racial household. Kids can be so hurtful and really zap your self esteem to nothing. I hope you’ve retrieved some of that now and you realize that your heart is way more important than your body. I’m sure Rumpy, Hissyfit and all the others feel the same way!

  8. I had unhappy times in grade and high school due to matters of appearance and clothes that were issues to other kids. So I ended up with little regard for the entire idea of fashion and ‘required’ clothing. I go for comfortable, practical, and the colors I like myself. Sturdy fabrics that hold up under contact with extended kitty claws.

  9. All women seem to have food and body issues.Yo yo dieting is the worse thing for your body and your soul. You have to find a way of life that is good for you. I have maintained my body weight for the last 4 years by following this- no white food(bread, sugar, potatoes, rice, pasta etc.), all of the protein that I want, all of the veggies and fruit that I want One day a week I eat only protein and the next day I can eat anything that I desire. The one day of eating anything seems to jump tart my metabolism after the day of only protein. Try it you might like it. i never feel deprived. Let me know if it works for you.

  10. At least you own a frock. I don’t, though I have 2 skirts that I kept ‘just in case’. I live in joggers and tees, and yes, they are mens. Why? Because they are actually cheaper to buy and of thicker material. I dress for comfort and practicality. I’m clean and presentable, as are my clothes. If you don’t like the outer layers, tough, you’ll miss out on the nice stuff inside. 🙂

  11. I LOVE Tuesday True Confessions! What a great idea. I also love that you know yourself and know that others who know you will be OK with you, just like you’re OK with yourself. At the end of the day, that is ALL that matters. I love being around people who have risen above the struggle and are comfortable in their own skin.

    1. Twenty years ago I would never have dared to speak any of this. Today I know that there are lots of 20-somethings out there that need women like me to tell my story, so they can find some peace.

  12. When I was a kid, I hated fashion. Pointy shoes and mini skirts were uncomfortable and awkward and I though they looked ridiculous on everyone. I wasn’t fat, I just hated it. Later, I gained weight. As an overweight young adult, I hated fashion even more. Nothing looked good on me. When, later, I was extremely thin — almost skeletal — I still hated fashion. It was inappropriate for my age and life style. Fortunately, there is Lands’ End, LL Bean, JJill, etc., the final stops for fashion rejectors. Unfortunately, it cost more if you can’t find what you want in outlets. Most important, I’m old enough so no one imagines for a moment I care, which is convenient because I don’t. Comfortable, easy to launder, preferably with pockets for a dog biscuit!

  13. you are more beautiful than you know!Fashion is overrated any way seeing as most womens pants are 29 inch inside leg and I need 31 inch inside leg looks totally ridiculous,there is always some thing we don’t like about ourselves,xx Rachel

  14. You are beautiful, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Beauty is not what is on the outside. It is what is on the inside. Your beauty radiates through every day on your posts. I used to work as a paralegal. When I burned out after 25 years, I started working with animals I now work at a no-kill animals shelter. I donated all my skirts and dresses and I wear old clothes daily. Most which are bleached or have holes from all my four pawed friends. I find I am more comfortable in these clothes, even when I am not at work. It is who I am. Like you, I have 1 skirt and 1 pair of dress pants that I also wear to weddings and funerals. So, don’t let people tell you by the way you are dressed or your weight that you are not beautiful. You are most definitely a very beautiful person.

  15. I always thought you’re black and don’t want to tell it and I wondered why the hell you wouldn’t say it. Some people complain that I dress like a man. I don’t like fashion either. Men’s clothes are cheaper and more comfy, so what. I hate pink. And it would look like shit with my orange hair anyway. When I was a child they gave me the clothes of an older cousin. She had breasts, I didn’t. The polyester dress was baggy where her boobs had been. Imagine that!

  16. I’m not into clothes and not usually impacted by how someone dresses. I’m all for comfort and thankfully I live in a town that is very casual and low key, right up my alley. Sounds like you’d be a good fit here in this animal loving town that’s more interested in the appearance of your heart than your blouse. ❤

  17. This is so wonderful, I’m so impressed by your personal growth and so happy for you too. I can only imagine the freedom you must feel! I’ve always said that there would be no wars or other problems in the world if people just accepted and honored each others’ differences rather than trying to get everyone to conform…and to what? Someone’s superficial, shallow ideal? I hate conformity, it makes me think of Stepford Wives. Differences make life interesting. And I’m proud to know someone like you, even if just through a blog. 🙂

    1. Thank you! I would have to agree with you on the war thing- especially if we’d give up the idea that we all need to believe in the same religion.

  18. I was a fat child, I was bullied and teased at school. I have grown through that and survived. I lost weight but have to work at staying thin but I d it for me not others. My guilty secret is that when I get upset, scared or stressed I scratch myself until I bleed. I need to cover my arms and back because they are so scared .. I have started scratching my legs now.
    Here is a song for you I think it describes the way you look at body image… more power to you I deeply admire your honesty!

    1. Mine has always been picking at my face. When I was younger, it was acne. Now it’s the stray chin hairs that seem so be coming more and more often.

  19. I think that, no matter what you look like, we all have insecurities. I’ve had them my whole life too. Interesting Jen that you say by the time that photo was taken at 21 the damage was done. So true. Sadly, I think it’s much earlier – particularly these days. People are always telling me and Love Bug how beautiful she is and how cute she is. My response is always that she’s a kind, caring, happy, fun loving child. I say it to her too. I don’t want her to grow up thinking that what’s outside is the most important. I get a lot of our clothes from op shops or hand me downs. She knows that and it’s an adventure for us to go looking for ‘treasures’ together. I have scales at home but they are under a cupboard in our bathroom and only used rarely. When I measure her height, I weigh her. Or when we are at the doctor. We don’t talk about ‘fat’ or ‘skinny’ and I almost fell over a few weeks ago when she asked me if her tummy was big {she is FOUR and she had just eaten dinner}. In response I pulled up my shirt and told her that’s where our dinner was that we need to nourish our bodies and keep us healthy so we can grow up and our brains can work. We like you Jen. Just as you are. x

      1. It’s sad to know that for many people, Love Bug’s worth will be measured solely in her looks. Thank goodness she has you to counteract that, and teach her there’s so much more to her than that.

  20. I think this is a brilliant post and great on you for writing and pressing publish. BTW I loved the first photo of you with the kitty. If you’re happy that’s all that matters c

  21. I have to tell you, we have soooo much in common my dear 😛 I always felt that way about fashion as a child and well into my teens and early 20s … I was all about function, rather than fashion … I wore whatever fit, was comfortable, and cheap (I also didn’t have my own money to buy clothes until I was 18 and older). I was always overweight as a child (and still am). I was teased and taunted mercilessly, constantly told that I was fat and ugly, etc. It was a nightmare growing up, right from kindergarten to high school graduation. Things got a lot better after that, although I have still had some people criticize or ridicule me for my size or my looks. Sometime around my mid-20s, I started to get into fashion a little bit, even though I’m overweight. I had a bit more money to buy things that looked nice and I started playing with colors and different styles, etc. In high school everything I wore was black, brown, or blue, because I didn’t want to be noticed … any time somebody noticed me (outside of my small friends group), it was so they could bully me. But I did find that once I started to get some confidence and play around with fashion a little bit, and put some effort into my hair and make-up, it made me feel so much better about myself. I’m not suggesting that one has to do that to feel good, just saying that it worked for me. I respect your decision to wear what makes you happy and comfortable. I’m so sorry that you were made to feel bad about yourself from an early age as I was. Just know that you are truly a beautiful person! 🙂

    1. We all take different paths. My choices are about rebellion as much as anything else. It makes me feel good to wear what I want. Fashion designers are complicit in making women feel bad about themselves, and so I refuse to play their silly game.

    1. I’ve shopped with them before, but I can never tell what the clothes are going to look like on me because all their models are stick figures. Pretty stupid for a plus size store, don’t you think?

    1. And I mourn beloved items. I was looking in my closet today and realized that some of my pants are several years old, and it might be time to add to my wardrobe. So maybe sometime in the next couple of years, I’ll do that.

  22. A very interesting post, Jen. I did see a recent pic of you not so long ago! I thought you looked lovely 🙂

    I don’t know many women who are happy with their body image. I was a small skinny kid with a pale face and big nose. Then I grew up and became a tall overweight shy young woman with a pale face and big nose. Now I am a skinny, still tall, old woman with a pale face and big nose. It was illness not dieting that made me lose weight BTW! I live in jeans and sweater or cotton tops and my cat loves me unconditionally …. well, he loves me cos I feed him 🙂 But he doesn’t care what I look like! Nothing else matters.

    1. I’ve never had Rumpy stop me and ask me to change clothes before we go outside for a walk. I HAVE had to remind him that I can’t walk him until I put some clothes on! LOL

  23. Jen, does Rumpy care what you wear? Whenever I start to criticise myself over how I look, I remember animals love me & small children are fascinated by me – neither have been taught social expectations yet. I lived with a family of thin people once & the smallest child loved me, cause I was cuddly. Those of worth love me beyond how I look. I think you are amazing for all your achieve. Mwah mwah xoxoxo

  24. I do have to say one thing – I am just in love with how honest and up front you are. I have been following along with your blog for some time, heck it was you and Rumpy that got me thinking about starting my own blog, which I did, and love it!!! It is hard to find a friend in this world that is so honest about life and lifes situations so it is most refreshing!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  25. Thank you very much for sharing your true confessions with us, Jen. I like you whatever you’re wearing and whatever kind of fashion you like. Look! Our precious animals don’t wear anything except their fur, do they? But still, they are cute enough and attract us so much, aren’t they? All of three pictures are adorable and especially the first one that you are with a kitty is lovely! Hmmm…my confession…..oh! Too many to tell……*hem hem*

  26. Kudo for this post! At the end of the day, when you look in a mirror you should like the reflection, that’s the bottom line. Honesty with others isn’t complete unless we’re honest with ourselves and I’m inspired by yours. Good for you! 🙂

  27. I hate having my picture taken! I feel really uncomfortable in anything besides a black shirt & jeans, though I’ve started to add colored scarves since I chopped my hair off. I wanted to cut my hair short for years, so glad I finally did and wish I had much sooner! Makes me feel more like myself, if that makes sense. 🙂

  28. We’re not real big on having our pictures taken, either. I will say this, Jen … Who cares what people who don’t know you think? We know you a little bit, and we think you’re awesome! Thank you for sharing.

  29. I’m the same way — I’ll wear stuff til it gets holes in it or falls apart before going through the torture of clothes shopping. My body type is hard to buy for – the big on top, short waist, child bearing hips (never had kids) and the rest long arms and legs. I think women’s clothes , the ones I can afford, are cheaply constructed . My mother-in-law took me to a store we have here called Cato and I got rid of all the blouses because the material doesn’t breathe and makes my pits stink. Cotton and comfortable for me. I usually end up in the mens section lol. The last time I went blouse shopping I found almost the same exact blouse, better quality, in the mens section. Same manufacturer! If people need to determine my worthiness by my clothes…not people I need to hang with. Great topic! Reblogging.

  30. Reblogged this on As I see it and commented:

    I’m the same way as Rumpy here, I’ll wear stuff til it gets holes in it or falls apart before going through the torture of clothes shopping. My body type is hard to buy for – the big on top, short waist, child bearing hips (never had kids) and the rest long arms and legs. I think women’s clothes , the ones I can afford, are cheaply constructed . My mother-in-law took me to a store we have here called Cato and I got rid of all the blouses because the material doesn’t breathe and makes my pits stink. Cotton and comfortable for me. I usually end up in the mens section lol. The last time I went blouse shopping I found almost the same exact blouse, better quality, in the mens section. Same manufacturer! If people need to determine my worthiness by my clothes…not people I need to hang with. Great topic!

  31. My confession is that for all the public-loving person I am now, for most of my life I hid too–behind my hair and wearing big baggy clothes even though I was actually underweight. I had my hair cut in bangs and never pulled it back because I hated my face and didn’t want anyone to see me, and wore big baggy shirts and jeans that hid how I looked so no one would pay attention to my body. I grew up with such speech impediments that I could barely say my own name and even my own family made fun of me. It’s been a long journey, and I am still changing, even past 50. I finally had years of speech therapy in grade school. I also had issues with learning, and still do, but I learned how I learn and work with that, even put myself through college and graduated with honors. I still lose control of my speech now and then, but by putting myself in situations where I had to talk I got a lot of practice, including hosting poetry readings to share my words in the past decade. And I wear whatever I want whenever I want, and every day is different, one day I may wear the old ripped clothes when I’m working on things, or old jeans and an untucked blouse, or a big foofy colorful skirt and top that I made with a scarf I crocheted and pull my hair up into some sort of do and wear big earrings. It’s the every day different that I love the best because I’m different each day. Of all the things I do, I am also one of my own creative projects.

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