Sisterhood of the Ill-Fitting Pants

Sisterhood of the Ill-Fitting Pants

Yesterday morning, I was getting ready for Mass and I noticed something.  The dress that I had just bought a few weeks ago – and hadn’t even worn yet – didn’t fit quite right.

How could that be?  How did I not notice the gap in the buttons on the front when I tried it on?  Oh well, I thought.  It’ll have to do.  Nobody’s going to be looking at my chest, anyway.

Of course, this was better than what happened just the Sunday before.  On that day, I literally tried on 3 different dresses, 2 different wraps, and a couple of pairs of sandals.  Nothing looked the way I wanted it to.  Not one single thing.

Ill-fitting Pants (among other things)

The waist of these pants are too tight.

That button-down gaps where it shouldn’t.

Are these shoes still “in”?

This dress seemed longer when I was thinner.

Huh!  There’s a little stain of some sort right on the boob of this white t-shirt.

If I wear Spanx, I can make this skirt work.  Digestion is overrated, right?

Raise your hand if you’ve said any of these things to yourself recently.  Go ahead, be honest.  I mean, we’re all friends here, right?  (She types while raising one hand really, really high in the air.)

As for me, I am 100% sure I’ve thought each and every one of these things within the last month.  In fact, the other day, I was feeling pretty PMS-y and actually thought to myself, “I just can’t wear anything with a waistband or I might die.  Hey!  This green dress is like a cross between a muumuu and a nightgown — WINNER!”

How do we get to this point, ladies?  How do we get to a place where our style and our attitudes about what we can and should wear go from

I know what I love and I know what looks great!


Oh, well.  This will have to do.

Hi.  I’m a Mom.  I have other things on my mind.

Maybe I have reached a point in my life that a lot of women come to?  And since I’m really hoping someone else can relate, let me lay it out for you.

I have been married a long time to a wonderful man who loves me unconditionally.  We have 4 kids who are bigger and busier than ever before.  Money flies out of my bank account on the regular to pay for things like dance classes and the SAT and class trips and lunch money and medical expenses.  I’ve had to ramp up my skin care regimen to try to fight off the skin cancer and the wrinkles and the sagging.  When I look in the mirror, the body I see is not the one that I remember or even recognize.  My hormones have gone off the freaking rails, thank you very much, perimenopause.  I see life transitions coming at me faster than a speeding bullet and I’m constantly worrying about everyone and everything.

So that fact that my clothes don’t fit quite right or aren’t in style?  Yeah.  Big shocker.

Poor, Dumb, Stupid Younger Me

Confession time.

I remember when I was younger…teens, 20s, heck even in my 30s.  I remember seeing these older women and I would wonder to myself

Gee, I wonder what she looked like when she was my age.  She could still be so pretty!  But I wonder why she let herself go.

Ugh.  Gut punch.

And what’s even more of a gut punch?  Knowing that if younger me would be standing here today, it would be myself (herself?) that she’d be talking about, judging, pitying.

She would notice my hormonal weight gain and wonder why I’d let my hair go gray. She’d not see the skincare regimen that has replaced the full face of makeup I used to wear but now makes me look like a clown. And she would wonder why I insisted on wearing clothes that didn’t quite fit right.

But here’s what I didn’t know back then, back when I thought that age meant money and time, not expensive kids and constant distraction.

I didn’t realize that you come to a place where how you look naturally takes second (or third or seventh or 53rd) place in the hierarchy of needs in your life.  You will wear what you have simply because it is there, it is clean, and it’s easier to wear the too-tight jeans than it is to go shopping for something new.  And I didn’t realize that the confidence in yourself that comes with age can be a double-edged sword.  On one edge of the sword, you know that who you are no longer depends on what you wear or how you look.  In fact, it never did!  But on the other edge of the sword, that knowledge makes the slippery slope of laziness when it comes to appearance just that much…well, slippery-er.

Get a Grip, Girl

Now, here’s where I give each of us (myself included) a pep talk, OK?

Here’s to getting a grip on who we are now.  Not who we thought we would be, who we think we should be.  Let’s not let ourselves fall to the bottom of the list when it comes to meeting our families’ needs.

When our kids change shape and grow and change, we buy them new clothes, right?  We teach them how to care for their changing bodies, so let’s not negate the changing needs of our own bodies.

And for goodness’ sakes, let’s stop talking to ourselves like we are someone we hate. We wouldn’t look into our best friend’s eyes and tell her she’s too fat, her hair too gray, her skin too wrinkled. So why do we do it to ourselves?

Wisdom from Truvy

In the immortal words of Truvy Jones from the iconic movie Steel Magnolias, “Honey, time marches on and eventually you realize it’s marchin’ across your face.”

Truer words have not been spoken, ladies!

Of course, we also need to remember the other wisdom she shared for when the going gets tough and the jeans don’t fit…

Smile!  It increases your face value!

What do you think, should we make that the official motto of the Sisterhood of the Ill-Fitting Pants?

2 thoughts on “Sisterhood of the Ill-Fitting Pants”

  • Where have you been all my life! Or at least for the past decade or so as I’ve struggle many times with ill-fitting pants! Found you from the website – one of your articles about books. Can’t wait to read more!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.