Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Delicious Apple

Inspired by Manolo for the Big Girl.

Don't be fooled by the Bratz-ish avatar I always have up on this site: In reality, my body is quite top-heavy. "Apple-shaped," as they call it. I have broad shoulders, D-cup boobs, and a belly pooch that, strangely enough, also has the middle "cut" signifying that, if I ever get the chance to work a lot harder on my body, I might be able to sculpt out some flab. I also have some seriously doughy upper arms, cellulite-ridden thighs, and a rear view that can be best described as "semi-perky" (read: not too cushioned, not too flat, but could definitely use the definition). And while my reflection in the mirror is good about pointing out the angular structure in my chin and cheekbones, my face has shown up in recent pictures as a round, overstuffed moon pie.

Which is not to say I hate my body. On the contrary, I am surprisingly agile, and can perform an entire yoga sequence from a video without the need for a spotter. I may lose my breath easily on long hikes, but that doesn't stop me from pushing myself further and working every muscle. While my legs will never be mistaken for Heidi Klum's, I've found that I can get away with wearing heels and a short skirt without looking trampy or doll-like. And just try to keep up with me when I walk - I've been known to dodge blind spots and changing signals while crossing the street.

So of course I'll have problems finding clothes that fit - and more so, since I'm all this and only 5'1. That's why I have this wish list for things I hope would work for me.

1. Pants that don't sweep the floor. Like many a juicy babe, I have nothing but unequivocal praise for Gap's Curvy Pants. I own a pair of Curvy jeans (size 16 petite) which I adore a lot, even more so now that I've lost the "muffin top" that threatened to deviate from the way my butt looks ten times better in said pants. If only the rest of my pants would follow likewise! Yes, it sucks to not have the budget to distinguish between pants I can wear with heels and pants I can wear with flats. Yes, I know I should drag my Old Navy pants to the tailor now that the hems are getting stepped on when I walk to school - but do I really want the tailors to tinker with them and leave me with (gasp) high-waters that break before they cover my shoelaces? The last time I had a decent pair of "flats" pants was a pair of Levi's I got at Ross for $9.99, and even those didn't last on me. Waaah.

2. A decent top for sports. I love V-necks, especially the ones that are cut low enough to show off my collarbones without plunging into scandalize-your-mother territory. Same thing goes for collared shirts, as long as I can keep the top unbuttoned without exposing my bra. But put me in a crew-neck T-shirt and I will look like a barrel... and if that crewneck has one of those waist bands at the hem, there's a guarantee that I will look like an especially puffy barrel. At this point, I'm this close to giving up on shopping in the men's department because I cannot stand seeing myself looking like I've thrown a bag over my body. So if anyone here knows where I can get a hoodie or rash guard in my size that looks more sporty than tacky, let me know.

3. Shorts! Too long, and I risk looking like Kevin Federline; too short, and I risk chafing myself in all the wrong spots (not to mention being one pole-dance away from Amateur's Night at the gentleman's club). Also, they must be in a material other than denim that drapes nicely around the belly-button area (no super-low rises), is soft enough not to chafe, and won't fall apart after three washes.

4. Knee high boots that are not Uggs. I have no luck with these whatsoever. Even when I went to Las Vegas and saw "full figure" boots that were supposed to fit. I'll say it again: It's definitely hard to have muscular calves and narrow ankles. Weirdly enough, however, I have better luck with calf-length boots - but still, if I ever find a pair with two-inch heels, I can totally rule the world.

5. A dress that isn't matronly. Dresses are especially problematic for me since I seem to be two different sizes on top (US 18) and bottom (US 16); what I really need is a dress that fits up top, doesn't bunch around my midsection, and/or doesn't tent out all around. I've already been reminded several times to buy a body shaper, but I feel that getting a dress that circumvents all the problem areas is a lot easier than squeezing myself into a piece of Lycra that I may never wear again. It's only now that I'm being introduced to online outlets other than Lane Bryant, Torrid, or the other retail staples for these sorts of things.

Nonetheless, here's what always works for me:
- Empire-style dresses and tops (oddly enough, I can wear these without looking pregnant)
- Tunics
- Scooped yoke tops for blouses and mu`umu`u
- Sweetheart necklines
- Tanks and camis as support wear under blouses or skimpy shirts
- Low-rise pants (they always come up to my belly button, more often than not)
- A-line shifts, skirts, and maxi-dresses
- Not tucking my shirts in
- Jackets with darted seams
- Underwire bras and low-rise undies
- ...and, of course, confidence!

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