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:
So, when are you due?
So much for the style that "fits everyone."
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.
Mind the gap!
In 3" heels and it's still too long.
That zipper ain't going anywhere but down.
Behold! The Uni-Boob!
You have got to be kidding me.
There is no strapless bra capable of redeeming this situation.
Instantly, 5" shorter
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.
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.
by Eva St. Clair November 15, 2019
I love to watch and help my children create things, because it teaches them how to think logically. That’s why creative maker kits are such a great gift for kids. And I admit I feel a some schadenfreude every time my kids rip open a box thinking they’re about to get a fabulous new toy, only to discover 82 disparate pieces that they then have to figure out how to put together. It’s not just a gift for their amusement. It’s a gift for their mind. The picture on the box shows the completed project. They have the parts. And that’s where all the fun begins - they must use logic to figure out how those parts become the whole.
by Eva St. Clair November 15, 2019 13 Comments