Tag Archives: fit

M is comfortable, S is snug

“40% Off, min. 2 pieces.”

Ah ha, just what I was waiting for. For a long time now, as my size shrank, I’ve been slowly hunting for new clothes to replace many years of now-oversized and over-worn clothes. You’ve seen my new jeans, and my gleefully snipped leather belts. Lately I’ve realized that I’ve been wearing the same few t-shirts from Uniqlo because, well, they are the only ones that sort of still fit nicely (they used to be a bit snug around the chest, but are a little loose now).

Yesterday, as I walked past Bossini at West Mall, my eye caught the above offer. It was “$15 rebate for every $80 spent” just last week (savings of about 20%) – and now it’s at 40%. Such is the occasionally beauty of the GSS (Great Singapore Sale).

There’ve been a couple of t-shirts I’d been eyeing. I couldn’t miss this chance. The only thing was the size. As a newly “shrunk” person, it’s been a bit of a (enjoyable) challenge to determine what size do I fit into these days.

L → M → S

I haven’t bought a shirt from Bossini for ages. A long time ago, when I was in my twenties, I remember I owned size L shirts from them. At some point in the more recent past, I could wear M.  I don’t think I shrank, most likely I became less geeky. -_-

Now the M’s are still comfortable, but here’s the thing:  when one is suitably slim, clothes can be comfortable in a different way. Every person of different shape and size has an individual definition of  “comfortable”, but there is a special class of “comfortable” reserved only for those figures that the clothes were designed for.

Overweight, out-of-shape people – like I used to be – always admire and wonder how is it clothes can fit so snugly around nicely figured people. The truth is simple: clothes are not made for the fat. They’re made for mannequins. The irony is that, since many people these days are not in shape, actually clothes “fit” relatively few people (ok, depending on which country you’re talking about). Many people are actually wearing ill-fitting clothes, and it’s not the clothes that are out of shape.

M is comfortable, S is snug.

So I took two t-shirts into the fitting room. One M, and one S (good-bye, L, forever). I put on the M first and it felt and looked fine. It was comfortable. It looked like I still wear M. Then I put on the S. It was comfortable, and fit – very snugly. In short: it was even better. It showed off my figure – a sentence that would’ve made my wife laugh in the past. I checked to see if the shirt might shrink. There was a label saying “Pre-shrunk”. Hooray.

So I can wear M and also S, both comfortably. The difference is this – turn sideways against the mirror and pull outwards the back of the shirt – the M balloons, showing how much extra “space” there is. That’s the deciding factor.

When I used to be fat, it was a given – something I got used to – that shirts  sort of fit and looked ohhhhkay, but I never truly understood that they actually didn’t.  That is, how I looked like in the mirror might be “acceptable” to me but actually it isn’t right. Nowadays whenever I wear my old shirts, I feel a bit like a deflated Michelin man.

If you have been relatively slim all your life, none of these may make sense (and I would be wondering why you are reading this weight loss blog, anyway) because clothes never really hung loose on you.

For me, this has become a reward I never quite anticipated. I can wear S, and it feels and looks good. It makes me wonder who is it exactly who’s supposed to wear L, XL and XXL. Oh.

If you are struggling to lose weight, persist – it’s not just about slimming down and becoming healthier, it’s also about the sheer pleasures of entering a different class of clothes-wearing, the one that used to make you envious and chagrined.

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Making yourself fit the cut of clothes

The cut of a piece of clothing, I’ve always known even before losing weight, is important for getting the right shape out of your clothes. The cut, as I understand it, refers to the way a piece of garment hangs on the body based on the shape and dimensions of the various parts/pieces it is made of.

You may fit into a certain size, but the cut may not fit you – look nice on you, flatter you. Perhaps the upper part of a pair of jeans looks out of shape, or a shirt seems  too round and puffy around the torso, or the sleeves are too big/long.

I realize now that, with a better body shape, clothes are going to do more for you. This may seem like the most obvious thing to say in the world, but I think for someone like me who has been fat/overweight/unshapely for so long, to finally see oneself fit a cut nicely, is a revelation.

Office-clothes_ill-fitting
And this is important, because in the consumer world of fashion, we are used to (1) perfectly shaped models pulling off all kinds of clothes with nonchalant ease in their immaculately photoshoped magazine pages, (2) we know it’s because they have far superior body shapes from us ordinary mortals, and (3) we’ve resigned to being fat and shapeless.

This combination of mental acceptances creates in us a complacency that we can never look like that. We all go into shops, pick out clothes that look great on the hangar, try it on ourselves only to have them betray us in the mirror.  Slowly, we accept that the model adverts are just a lie – or rather, it’s not for you, not for your “shape”.

My point is that, if you feel that clothes never seem to look good on you, it may simply be due to your shape + the cuts you choose. While the latter is something you can hunt down and choose, the former is something you have to commit hard work to turn into reality.

It is not impossible to find clothes with cuts that fits you, even if you’re overweight.  It’s just harder. In my experience, it is also annoying – it’s just so hard to find new clothes. I know this because of the many years of buying new clothes for Chinese New Year. My experience for this year has been the easiest. Two of my favourite pieces this year came from clearance bins. They were relatively small in size – and surprisingly they fit. I’ve never had it this easy before. Just about the only thing hampering me were stock and price.

The lesson is that vanity is not just about having the right figure, it is about the satisfaction that clothes fit you nicely.

Old jeans, new jeans

P21

Old jeans on the bottom left, new jeans below.

I’ve finally bought my first pair of long bottoms since starting my weight loss programme. I was at Uniqlo Vivocity and was looking for a 32″er in the main section for jeans. This based on that last pair of Bermudas that I bought a week or so ago. Along the way to the main section for jeans, I spotted a somewhat messy bin full of light blue jeans – my preferred colour. I checked the stocks but they were only available in 31″ size. I picked one to try anyway.

The main jeans section was filled with jeans… but tellingly (since much of it was on sale, I must be late), there was little choice for size 32. Most size 32″ers were out of stock and the ones that remain were too dark for my taste. I picked one anyway just to test the fit.

In the fitting room the dark blue 32″ jeans looked awful. Even the fit wasn’t right. I tried the light blue 31″er….. And was surprised it fit very snugly! I could hardly believe it. It was a very snug fit for me, for the record, but that’s fine for jeans since they will expand.  I can’t even remember if I have ever fit into a 31″ in all my life!

And it was on clearance sale. :)

I must confess now I truly understand that one of the greatest rewards of losing weight is the thrill of having and seeing clothes actually fit nicely (again, or for me, practically the first time). And while you already know this, reaping the reward is another thing all together.

In the past, even if I picked, say, a shirt that fits my shoulder width, my paunch would make sure my “equator” looked…. well, equator-ish. I used to wear 16″ (collar size) shirts for the simple fact that any smaller and my stomach would show. I needed something bigger to give my stomach some…. “breathing space”. But wearing a 16″ meant that the sleeves tended to be too long, as would the hem. And the shirt tended to look a little big. You know what I mean when you look at people in the “slim fit” category – their clothes look incredibly small.

On the same day I bought the jeans above, I also picked two short-sleeved shirts from G2000. I’ve always bought more formal wear from G2000 as their cutting fits me. I’ve not bought formal shirts from any other brand for many years. In the past I wore 16″ shirts. But when I tried on a 16″ the other day, it felt just a little roomier than I imagined. So, I tried on a 15.5″…. and it was a snug fit, the sort that I’ve never ever fit into before. I actually looked good.

And it was on clearance sale. :)