New year, new shoes

In terms of clothes, I tend to make do. In some respects, I’ve had no choice; short of having my clothes custom made, I have to deal with ill-fitting clothes, and have since I was a small child. Short torso, long legs, small upper body, squishy tushy…I’m now in my fourth decade of life, and though the “typical” body shape has changed a great deal in that time, at no point was mine it.

There’s also the brokeness factor. I’ve worn cheap shoes my whole adult life because I can afford them. I won’t wear uncomfortable shoes, so I have been spared the corns and bunions my peers suffer from, but I have tended to put fashion above function, and quantity above quality.
My ankle has been letting me know my sneakers are worn out. It took a couple of years, but they’re finally dying on me. I’ve been halfheartedly trying on cheaper sneakers (Mom took pity on me and bought my current pair), but nothing is as comfortable — even in their current broken-down state.

I have walked the tread off my current shoes.

Finally, I decided to replace them with another pair from the same brand. No — two pairs. One for everyday wear, one just for exercising. They ought to last twice as long that way. And it’s not like I require a vast sneaker wardrobe; two pairs is all I need. If they last 4 years, that comes out to $75 a year. Way cheaper than another bout of PT.

I also sprang for a couple pairs of flats. Usually I wear sneaks, but occasionally I want to pretty up a bit. I’ve been wearing a (quite comfy, really) pair of Target flats, but they don’t provide enough support for my ankle. So I upgraded to a pair of Kenneth Cole and a pair of Born. Those two pair should fill all of my dressier shoe needs for…well, years, really — I’ve been running on this one pair of Target flats since Anya was born, and they’re still in great shape. So in theory, I could wear the new shoes for a decade, even. No way my cheapie flats could last a decade.
Sure, I’ve saved money. But now that my life has changed, my wardrobe needs have dwindled. And I’m tired of wearing unsupportive shoes. I deserve better.
Now, for clothes, I’m content to rock the cheap stuff for a while. Little kids = stains, and also my weight is still in flux. But once the kids are older and I’m back to normal, I want to start buying better quality stuff. I don’t need an entire closet full of clothes for each season; I don’t go anywhere, don’t chase trends, and tend to wear the same items of clothing week in and week out. I’d rather have fewer, nicer pieces and use layers to transition between seasons. 
Which leads me to my biggest current wardrobe woe: Bras. I am the not-so-proud owner of a ribcage deemed too small to nurse babies, or so the nursing bra market has led me to believe. I recently purchased literally the only three bras I can find that come anywhere close to fitting me. None of them fit me well. In fact, one of them has rubbed sores on my sides. And even the one that is my size is too broad through the shoulders, meaning it digs in and leaves marks on me.

That red mark is the imprint of the cup clasp.

But I haven’t found a workable alternative, so I will persevere…and probably wear band-aids a lot. However, when I quit nursing, I am absolutely going to splurge on a collection of bras that actually fit me. Because I have come to realize that ill-fitting bras are as big a damper on one’s mood as worn-out shoes. If you are persistently uncomfortable, it affects your entire outlook.

I am tired of bras that chafe, pants that won’t stay up (and take my underwear down with them), shoes that provide too little (or too much!) support. I am tired of feeling ill at ease in my own clothes, my own skin. It is worth it to me to find things that fit my body, or pay someone to make them fit.
If everything in my closet actually fit, I would no longer have to weigh myself and/or gauge what sort of “body day” I am having before getting dressed. I could just grab an outfit and put it on. If I simplified the range of outfits I own (like Obama and his suits), I’d have even fewer changes to make. (I can’t go full-on uniform, because Anya likes it when I dress pretty, but I could streamline my options a bit.)
I would also love to support small businesses and independent artisans, but that’s a whole other journey. For now, I’d be content to not have to tug at my clothes all the time.

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