My husband always tells me I wear my clothes way too big. He says I’d look thinner if I wore tops that are form-fitting. It’s not that I mind when he’s giving me constructive criticism, as he is one of my biggest supporters in life but honestly, every time he says that, I think…are you crazy? I intentionally search for clothing that is non-committal, the antithesis of form-fitting. The last thing I want is for my shirt to grab on to every one of my nooks and crannies, for goodness sake. I’d rather someone say the clothes I wear are too big than the clothes I wear are too small. I’m not the only woman who feels this way, am I?
Even though I usually tune him out when he talks such nonsense, there are times when his words haunt me, echoing in my mind until I think about addressing them. Maybe on some level this happens when I agree with him.
Let me give you some background. The hallmark of my winter attire is a North Face jacket I bought about 6 or 7 years ago. It’s black, as are most of my clothes. I know it’s probably at least one size too big – it’s an XL (and I’d venture to say that a L in this style would have been sufficient). It’s cozy over the short-sleeved scrubs that I wear to work and it’s also perfect when I wear a heavy sweater.
It’s pretty ratty now. My doggy chewed off a piece of each of the two arm snaps about four years ago when he was just a few months old, and I’ve been telling myself ever since that once I find this jacket on sale, I’ll purchase a replacement. Maybe I would consider a smaller size, assuming I don’t expand too much by then (I'm always allowing for some growth…just saying).
One night last winter, I went to REI after work in search of my new black North Face, stopping first at the CLEARANCE rack. No black, only purple. Hmmm….this color would be a huge departure for me, but I was willing to consider it. First I checked the size: XL. I was conflicted whether this was good or bad news given my husband’s objections over my generously-sized wardrobe, but I was secretly happy inside. I checked the price tag: 50% off. I felt my excitement mounting. I was starting to hyperventilate.
I tried on the jacket expecting it to be quite roomy like my other XLs, but it wasn’t. It was much daintier yet I actually liked it, so I ended my own debate over the matter knowing my husband would be so pleased that I now have a jacket that fits. Sold.
It was love at first wear just a couple of weeks ago, not last year when I bought it (don't ask), and I haven't taken it off since. It’s already my new favorite jacket, right up there with my favorite blue jeans (which are stretch, by the way).
Now on to the story. So last night, as my husband and I were leaving for the restaurant to have dinner, I grabbed my new go-to jacket for our ride home. Something very strange began to happen as I tried to put it on. I found myself squirming about as the sleeves of my big black sweater were bunching up underneath the new North Face. Once I got that under control, the next hurdle was lining up the two sides of the jacket to zip up, which again was a struggle. Was I on Candid Camera? Had someone switched my jacket with a smaller version? Had I pigged out even more than normal this time?
I glanced at my husband, who looked puzzled too, bordering on disturbed. He asked me when I purchased the jacket. I am certain he must’ve been thinking I bought it when I was 50 lbs. lighter. I proudly told him that it was 50% off (I thought he’d appreciate that) and that I chose this petite style knowing he’d find the fit more appealing than my original very spacious North Face.
After a moment’s hesitation - he was probably thinking how he could delicately respond - he said the new jacket would look fine over my scrubs as it wouldn’t be so snug, but he wouldn’t recommend my wearing it again over a sweater. I could feel my disappointment and am sure I looked like a wounded puppy when I asked “Why?”
He then said that dreaded 8-letter word that no woman my age or any age, really, would want to hear: “Because it makes you look…P-R-E-G-N-A-N-T.” Yikes. Maybe I really did.
Talk about hyperventilating. He crossed the line. Doesn’t he know a man should never say that to a woman?
I should have congratulated him. Let him hyperventilate for a minute.
Well one thing is for sure. You most likely won’t be seeing me in my new purple jacket unless you also work at Marlton Pediatrics.