I Ripped My Pants: 3 Tips to Deal with Clothes that Don't Fit
Earlier this month, I met with a CPA.
As though taxes weren’t enough bossy boss lady fun, I made the executive decision to put on pants. If you work from home or from a gym, you know how rare an event this is.
I went to put on my favorite pair of jeans,—soft, well-worn-rarely-washed denim, the kind that fit just Goldilocks-level right—and as I realized they’d been folded in a drawer for 6 months, I squatted down, and, riiiiip.
Years ago, this would have sent me into a tailspin.
I would not have been above rescheduling my tax appointment, taking an even older pair of jeans and making a patch, and devising my next diet while sewing uneven stitches in disintegrating denim. I’d curse my thighs for rubbing that spot so thin (again) that this would even be within the realm of possibility. Upon knotting the last crooked stitch, I’d head straight to Google to look through the first 50 or so macro calculators, wondering how I would get so many grams of protein with so few grams of fat in so few calories, but determined to do it anyway.
Taxes? Who cares, I’m not successful while I'm ripping jeans. Don’t you see that’s more important?!
(I’m not one to interrobang often, for the record.)
I’m sure you’ve been there. If not with the exact pair of ripped pants, with the gaping buttons of last year’s favorite blazer, with your tank-top arms not looking the same as they once did, or even with your wedding dress. Clothes can be devious imps that seem to mock our earnest efforts at wellness, usually right when we feel like we’ve got things down, asking if we’re sure we know what’s best for our bodies.
Suddenly, after days, weeks, or months of us saying, “hey, I’ve got this,” a collection of threads looks over our shoulders with a smirk, saying, “…well, do you?”
These manufactured crises usurp the throne. We’re left standing in the shadows of turrets that have real bearing on our lives—our livelihoods, our relationships, our passions—as Ripped Pants and Ill-Fitting Clothes reign supreme.
You deserve better.
If you’re spending a morning cursing a body part or a zipper as you jump and hop and squeeze into an uncomfortable outfit, please know:
⚡ Clothes are designed to fit you, not the other way around.⚡
A revelation! So simple, yet so easy to miss (as the best revelations often are).
Understanding this was a personal revolution, leaving me asking, “oh, wow, what can I get rid of that makes me feel like I can’t breathe? What pants can I give away that I can only wear if I solemnly swear to waddle all day long?”
Releasing clothes no longer right for my body has become an homage to the maturing process. Bodies change as we do: they add and subtract, ebb and flow, as we push our edges and discover our strengths.
Our passions and our activities haven’t remained stagnant over the years, so why should we expect the same of our bodies? Why should our wardrobes outlast the seasons?
To get you started on releasing the crisis, I’d like to offer you three tips you can use right now, while your ripped pants are staring up at you from the floor:
Take a deep breath.
Obvious, I know. But, have you done it?
When we’re caught up in a patterned response—in this instance, the one in which you’re reviewing all of your failures encapsulated in a poorly-fitting garment—our bodies have a physical reaction. If you stop to notice, you’ll probably take stock of some shallow breaths, tensed muscles, and the physical sensation of shrinking yourself in towards your center in shame.
You can stop. You didn’t do anything wrong. Take a deep breath.
2. Name the thing.
Our minds have trouble processing emotional spirals and logic at the same time (read: they don’t, effectively). Want to interrupt the, “oh my glob, these pants don’t fit, and it’s because I love chips, and my stomach has spilled over the sides, and I know that’s fatphobic, and I’m working on dismantling my biases in all areas, but how can I do that while I don’t have anything to wear?? What does this mean about me? Does it mean anything? Does it have to? Why can’t I let this go?” spiral?
Do it. “These are my pants.” “This is my stomach.” “These are my thighs.” Moving on.
(Because it’s likely you have other pants in your closet, to which you can also say, “these are my pants.” And they’ll be unripped. And, “these are my pants,” is true either way. Did you change? Did you become a success in one pair of pants and a failure in another? No? Then perhaps it’s not about the clothes or the body part or anything external after all. ;) )
3. Choose clothes that fit.
They don’t have to be your favorite. Or they can be. You don’t have to punish yourself with some too-small, ill-fitting, stomach-pinching consolation prize. You can choose another article of clothing that makes you feel good! It’s likely you have several.
Squeezing ourselves into clothes that don’t fit for the sake of an arbitrary number has kept all of us hostage for years (by patriarchal design, but I digress). Want to take your power back and remember the BAMF you are?
Put on something that reminds you of that, not something that calls for you to shrink further and further into oblivion.
It’s truly a wonder what happens when I’ve asked clients to do this. It’s like all of a sudden, someone turned on a light in a dark room. “You mean I can always feel this way??” I’ve been asked.
You can choose clothes you like, in styles you like, in sizes that feel good. I mean, have you looked at pictures of yourself from when you were 17? Do you have the same taste in clothing? Like, we all looked ridiculous, at least for some period of time. Do you really want to put all of those outfits back in your regular rotation?
Choose new favorites, and breathe free.
PS- we work through some of these patterns in my signature group coaching program, The Bold Body Initiative, and I’m SUPER excited to announce…
Enrollment will be opening for the next round in just a couple of weeks!
Learn more and grab your spot on the waitlist here.