Tag Archives: dress

Once Again, With More Cowbell

Yes, I’m thinking of that Saturday Night Live skit from way back when! Why? Well, I was thinking of embellishments on clothing and somehow ended up thinking about the embellishments with the cowbell. At any rate, I was musing over how some of my favorite clothing items are actually classic-leaning trends. These trends often include embellishments on shirts and dresses — ruffles, layers, embroidery, ruching, wild prints or other fun elements that can be our friends.

Now of course there are a ton of trends that are foes as opposed to friends. We don’t need to review all of those since the list would be too extensive. But at least it is a double-edged sword. Along with the bad can come the good!

So, what trends are we seeing now in the stores that could be friends to those of us in the ostomy chic party?

  • Peplums — Peplums often have a higher waist and are loose around the midsection. Huzzah!
  • Fit and Flare — I love that things are being labeled as “Fit and Flare.” Stores don’t want to call it an A-line? No idea why, but “Fit and Flare” is descriptive. Again, another option that is figure flattering and then usually not tight around the midriff.
  • Structured Lace — Lace adds dimension and layers to an outfit. The pattern in lace can help distract the eye. Plus it lends a softer edge when coupled with stiffer, more structured material.

That’s just a few. I’ll let you know if I think of more (and feel free to do the same). In the meantime, more cowbell!

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One step forward, two steps back…

This weekend I attended a friend’s wedding, and got the chance to wear the dress I previously posted about.  You might recall that I wrote about how the persuasive sales lady encouraged me to wear a dress in a smaller size than I am used to. I mused how I probably wear clothes that are too big, and how I need to be aware of my body size and not be afraid to wear the ‘right’ size.

Well, the dress did indeed make me feel like a princess. However, it was very tight across my abdomen. It didn’t pull, but I found myself incredibly self-conscious of if anyone could see the outline of my ileostomy. I kept dashing to the ladies room to empty my appliance. Admittedly, this could have been caused by any number of things. Do you ever feel like your body changes from day to day? Maybe the day I bought this was one of those “skinny” days where everything looks good, and the day of the wedding was one of those “bloated” days where everything feels a bit off.

Even so, I think I learned a few lessons from this. Yes, it is important to not be afraid of wearing properly fitting clothes! But, it is also important to feel comfortable in the outfit. And in my case, that means not worrying that people can or cannot see the appliance. I just cannot relax if I am worried about it. Is it too much to ask to look good AND feel good (physically and mentally that is)? All part of the continuing clothing hunt…

Downsizing

So, I just got back from a trip to the beach. Yay! Although in reality there are limited opportunities for rest and relaxation when on vacation with a 3.5 year old, it was a great trip and wonderful for us to get away.

One evening as we were walking back from dinner, I was able to take a detour for some ice cream while my husband and son headed to the hotel. Although I was on a mission for butter pecan ice cream (yes, I know people either love or hate that flavor–I love it!) a shirt on a sale rack outside a store caught my eye. I was looking for something to wear to the dinner in lieu of a ropes-course-extravaganza, but realized I had little to wear. I thought a nice blouse with some black slacks would do the trick, but don’t really have many “going out” clothes so was on the hunt. Plus I’m attending a wedding in a few months and needed an appropriate dress. So, I meandered into the store and started picking up items to try on.

The store I went to was White House Black Market. This is not a store I’ve had much luck with previously, and I do find their prices a bit high. But I was really drawn to the clothes they were showing. Normally I would walk into a store like this, try on one or two things, shrug my shoulders thinking nothing fit, and leave feeling dejected. Something unusual happened though. A salesperson actually helped me!

Of course I realize she was fueled by the power of commission, but she pulled in all sorts of different clothes to try on, shoes to try on with the outfits, jewelry, the works… Usually this kind of attention, when not done with your best interest at heart, is annoying. Yet she was really good at what she was doing, seemed to be having fun, and appeared to be truly trying to help me. Amazing!

This is where it gets interesting. I tried on many things in my usual size. The cut of their dresses was flattering, but there were still parts that didn’t feel quite right. I fell in love with a particular dress in my usual size, but the salesperson insisted that I  try on a size smaller. I did just that and could see how it hugged my body better. I felt more “aware” of it in the smaller size, but it actually fit me instead of just sitting on top of me. When I questioned the fit, she said “that is how it is supposed to fit.” I realized she was right.

I am still prone to wear clothing that is too big. Self-conscious about my cleavage in high school and college, I practically lived in baggy t-shirts.  And then, with the ileostomy, my desire to hide behind clothes multiplied. It was only about five years ago that I really started to wear my correct size (or so I thought). But, as this experience showed me, I still veer towards wanting things to feel ‘loose.’ I really don’t want to be one of those women you look at and wonder how long the seams on an outfit will last! And I have the fear that my ileostomy will show. Yet, I clearly need to wear clothing that fits my body and is flattering.

I bought the dress, in the smaller size, and also bought the cute cranberry shrug to go with it. The awesome a-line skirt really works well and the belt on the dress hits just the top part of my ileostomy. I also bought this blouse for my “what-do-I-wear-to-dinner” mission. It looks great with the sleeves worn up on the shoulders, by the way, and I didn’t even realize it was supposed to be worn off the shoulders until I found this picture of it online.

A sidenote….at one point I wanted to show the salesperson that a particular skirt was too big. I must have been so comfortable with her that I totally forgot what would happen was I lifted the blouse up a bit to show her my waistline. Sure enough, I flashed her my ileostomy. Just the top part that was peaking above my waistband, but that is enough! I sort of froze for a moment, lowered my shirt, and then just continued on with what I was saying. She gave me a quizzical look, but that was that. It jolted me out of the feeling of playing dress up. Oh well.

At any rate, I ended up staying way too much time in that store and I never got that butter pecan ice cream that night. It was a great experience since it reminded me that I shouldn’t be shy about making sure the clothes fit my body. I guess sometimes it is good to get our your comfort zone to try to find what really works. It really helped to have an outside opinion to give me the proverbial wake-up slap on my cheek. Now I need to revisit my closet and see if I can identify the way-to-big clothes that I know are lurking in there.

Oh yeah…I got that butter pecan ice cream the next day. Yum!