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Archive for August 30th, 2002

I See London, I See France

August 30, 2002

Do kids still use that singsong taunt on the playground? I see London, I see France, I see Karen’s underpants! It’s been running through my head because I’m having underwear issues. I hope they’re not obvious to the outside world, but it’s hard to know. It’s not exactly polite to talk to coworkers or strangers about their undergarments, so I’m not sure anyone would tell me if they noticed. Because really, what could I do about it? Take my panties off? That’s not appropriate behavior for most of the places where people might be noticing my butt. At home, sure, but not out, not any of the places I frequent.

The root of these underwear problems is my weight loss. I’m skinny enough (hey, it’s all relative) that my biggest pairs are too big now. This manifests itself in one of two ways, depending on which type of undies I’m wearing. The ones that have more structure to them, with individual panels sewn together, tend to bunch up. Instead of visible panty lines, I get visible panty lumps. Not a good look. The ones that are knit all of one piece and are super stretchy seem to want to cover the same total surface area as they did when I had more width, so those end up getting taller and sticking out above the waistband of my pants. Not in an oh-so-hip just-like-the-cool-kids-are-wearing-them way, either.

Surely I could just stop wearing this ill-fitting underwear, right? Well, yes, but some of it is still in such good shape. I bought the super stretchy pairs not very long ago at all, figuring they’d just have to stretch a little bit more than they’d planned on for a while. The whole constant surface area thing didn’t occur to me. The frugal part of me doesn’t want to waste this practically new underwear, and donating used panties squicks me out. I’m just going to have to get over it and turn them into dustrags. Or maybe I could make a panty quilt; no, I don’t want to have to explain that in a show booklet.

I’m having similar problems with pants that are meant to be seen. My size 16’s from Lands’ End and L.L. Bean are getting loose, as are some of my 14W’s I got in the “Woman” department at Parisian. (I’d rant about women’s clothing sizes now, but I don’t have the energy today. When I’m rich, I’m going to have all my clothes custom made so I don’t have to deal with it). I’m trying to decide what, if anything, to buy to wear between now and when I reach goal weight. I don’t have a lot of office casual clothes in this in between size, because the last time I was this size, I worked in a skirts and suits and pantyhose kind of place. I’ve donated most of that stuff in the periodic closet purges I’ve done since I left there.

The arguments for buying a few pairs of twill pants and a couple pairs of jeans to fit right now are emotional. Clothes that fit always look better than those that don’t, and when I look good, I feel better. If I shuffle around in my big clothes until I fit into the small ones, I might feel sloppy, and start thinking sloppy, too. I also might, at some level of my subconscious, think I don’t have to lose any more weight—look how big my jeans are, how much space between my waist and their waistband. I don’t need any demotivators, thank you very much.

The arguments against buying new pants are financial. Surely it’s more prudent to save that money to buy clothes I’ll wear for a long time, instead of things I’ll use for only three to six months. I’m wearing underwear that doesn’t fit, so why can’t I do the same with jeans? Even if I don’t save the money, I could spend it on something else—fabric or books or magazines or any of the many other things on my wish lists, things that will be more fun than clothes.

Before I decide what to do about buying pants, I need to go through my boxes in the basement and see what I’ve actually got. I may be misremembering what’s in the “Skinny Clothes” box. It might not be all goal weight sizes. Actually, the stuff that fit me at goal weight when I got my Weight Watchers Lifetime membership might not fit this time, since I’ve bumped my goal up some, to a number I think I might be able to maintain and still have a life outside of exercise and keeping a food journal. Is seven pounds a whole size bigger? I do not know. I might be buying a whole lot of new pants between now and my next birthday if it is.


I’m calling this my BonusPants entry for Kismet and Jette’s August Journal PantsDown collab event. It is about pants, after all.


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