After a week in Belgium and still amazed at how hard the cultural shock can be even after having lived there for more than five years, I’m still recovering. And I’ve entered again into a frenzy decluttering phase. I moved to Belgium in September of 2006 and I had brought there some used clothes but also some new ones, being many of them intended for Summer. That Autumn was mild and sunny and the Winter that followed not too cold. But the year after brought what it’s always expected there: cold and rain. In great doses. My two last years in Belgium we had no Summer. Not that it was a mild one, it was just non-existing. All those summer dresses and t-shirts stayed in the closet for years waiting, in vain, to be worn.
In January of 2012 we moved to Madrid and all those Summer clothes promises came back to life. I wore some during my first Summer here, but just a small part. Now, in our second Summer, I observe that I’m still not wearing all that I should, and yesterday I set my mind to check why. I think I’ve tried almost any single Summer garment that was sitting unworn in my closet and to my frustration, most of them don’t fit. It’s not only that my body changed a lot in 7 years; I think I could have fitted some of these clothes last year. It’s just that Capoeira is not only increasing my thighs, but also my shoulders and back. Many t-shirts and dresses had to be discarded.
It’s not that I’m more fat. I weight a couple more kilos since I arrived here, but I think it’s just muscle what I gained. For a while I had the impression that my breast got bigger, but it was not true. I had to go bra shopping a couple of weeks ago because some of my bras didn’t fit anymore and after trying several bras I’ve discovered that I went from a 33B to a 35B. I also tried a 33C since I thought the change was in the front, but that taught me that the change was more on the back. I also used to have skinny arms and shoulders, and when I look at myself on the mirror nowadays I see a different body: broader shoulders and back, stronger. I am no longer the weak girl with back problems I used to be 5 years ago. I’m strong and therefore my old clothes don’t fit me anymore.
When one tries RTW clothes and they don’t fit, the tendency is to think that one’s grown fat, which makes one to throw the old garment against the closest wall and get frustrated. Since I’ve started making my own clothes, I see that fashion wants us to think that we should all look the same and manipulate our bodies to fit in the determined size we used to fit several years ago. Sadly, sizes vary, not only from among brands, but also from year to year. When I started making my own clothes, I’ve discovered that my body had a language of its own, and that each body and different, and also that if you dress it correctly with clothes meant for your body proportions, these will be more flattering, you will be more comfortable and more proud of yourself. And those thoughts about your body not being good enough that you cannot fit RTW clothes like other people will go away, because, you know, they are just bollocks.
I really thank people like Tasia from Sewaholic for designing clothes for pear shaped gals like me and showing us that being different is not a defect but beauty in itself, and that we are not alone in our journey towards loving our own body.