Fit, Fashion, and Ms. Frizzle

Fit, Fashion, and Ms. Frizzle

by Eva St. Clair
July 12, 2019
5 Comments

At 38, I have spent possibly years of my life (weeping) in dressing rooms. I can now tell just from how a garment looks on a hanger what will happen when I put it on my body.

I have a checklist in my mind of things to avoid when choosing whether even to try something on. Here are the things that are an automatic disqualification - with illustrative examples of why.  I am 5' 3" tall and weigh 165 lbs.  I'm in size 14 or L/XL in all these shots:

1. Waistband, Empire waist, or Belt


So, when are you due?

2. Wrap Dress


So much for the style that "fits everyone."

3. Patterned Fabric


The camera is adding ten pounds but the pattern is adding twenty. Plus I always feel silly wearing flowers - and most women's and girls' patterns are florals. 

4. Buttons down the Front


Mind the gap!

5. Floor Length


In 3" heels and it's still too long.

6. Fitted Wovens with Zippers


That zipper ain't going anywhere but down.

7. High Neckline


Behold! The Uni-Boob!

8. Plunging Neckline or Plunging Back


You have got to be kidding me.

9. Strapless or Thin Straps


There is no strapless bra capable of redeeming this situation.

10. Any shirt that ends at the waist


Instantly, 5" shorter

11. No pockets

No picture necessary. It's harder to find something WITH pockets than without. In fact, so few women’s garments have pockets that when they're present, they're enough to tip something from the vetoed pile into the "well, actually that's not completely terrible" pile.

12. Anything in a color I can’t wear


Like turquoise, ice blue, mustard, or mauve. I'm a warm autumn and we haven't been fashionable in awhile so I wear a lot of black and dark gray. 

So, as long as I manage to find a magical garment that complies with all my requirements, I’m a happy purchaser. Or so I thought.

In April, I was required to go clothes shopping due to a series of shrinking, staining, and mangling disasters caused by assigning my 13 and 10 year old sons to be in charge of the laundry. I spent in total about 15 hours looking for new clothes, and I did manage to find six new outfits.  Here are three of them:


None are terrible. But none really make me feel like me.

But after a few weeks of wearing these new clothes, I discovered that I was unhappy. I didn’t feel like myself in them. The linen pants were comfortable but made me feel old. I had broken my no-plunging-necklines rule for one of the shirts and found myself constantly adjusting it and feeling awkwardly overexposed, especially when my purse pulled it to the side. And one of the dresses was just such a blah, boring, ugly shape and color it made me feel blah, boring, shapeless, and ugly too.

And then our first Princess Awesome adult sized clothing showed up at my door, direct from our factory in Hong Kong. Rebecca and I tried on our new dragon shirts together. It was an immediate mood lifter! I felt powerful, confident, and comfortable.


With Rebecca the day our dragons arrived.

After our photoshoot that weekend, I began wearing my dragon and pteranodon outfits on a regular basis. I found myself reaching for them whenever they were clean, and avoiding sending them down the laundry chute so I could wear them another day (and I care enough about them to do my own laundry!). I just felt so much more like myself in these new Princess Awesome clothes.

Now, Rebecca and I have been saying for years that the problem with making adult sizes is that even if we did make them, no one would actually want to wear them because they would put them on and realize immediately that they look just like Ms. Frizzle. And who wants to be Ms. Frizzle?!

Well, it turns out that I do.

A few weeks after the dragons arrived, our new Moon Landing dresses showed up. They break two rules I always follow - waistband and patterns. But an amazing thing happened. I didn’t care that my body didn’t look perfect in the silhouette. I loved the patterns and how they looked on me - and more than that, I loved the message they sent: I’m a nerdy, feminine feminist. Just like Ms. Frizzle!

So huzzah Ms. Frizzle, and huzzah to all of you who kept asking for Ms. Frizzle clothes. I’m so very glad you convinced us to make them. You’ve helped me find myself again - to feel comfortable and confident, and powerful - to give me the self-expression I really wanted to have, achieved through clothing that reflects who I am. All this, and pockets too.

 




Eva St. Clair

Eva St. Clair is a co-founder of Princess Awesome. She and her husband are raising four children outside of Washington, DC.


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5 Responses

Theresa Armstrong aka Terri Allaire
Theresa Armstrong aka Terri Allaire

August 15, 2019

Eva you look stunning and happy! I love your clothing line and am so glad that my little girl gets to wear these awesome outfits. You are talking me into some of my own!!!!

Beth
Beth

August 13, 2019

You and I could be body twins! I have a nearly identical checklist, except I am more of a “winter” so I can pull off those colors. I sometimes feel like stores don’t make clothes for me, makes for very quick shopping trips.
Love seeing you in the dresses, next time I order for my daughter, I’ll have to try it for myself!

Annika
Annika

August 12, 2019

And if you have things with 3/4 sleeves with lots of space I would buy them regardless of pattern.
Sincerely
Annika

Carrie
Carrie

August 12, 2019

I absolutely agree. I started wearing science themed clothing about five years ago and I don’t care what others think (although it’s usually positive feedback) because it makes me so happy!

Maria Fehr
Maria Fehr

August 11, 2019

I thrilled: I got to wear my Moon Landing dress to church today because it is stretchy enough for me to nurse in! And I matched my 3 year old daughter. What fun!

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