The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Clothes

Every morning when I climb out of bed, I stretch my arms above my head until they almost click, then glance down at my belly where, from this angle, and for as far back as I can remember, the large round mound of flesh has dominated my vision.

These days it’s not as big. In fact I still get surprised when I catch sight of myself side on in a mirror by how much less is there. Yes my belly still protrudes; I am still an overweight man; but it’s not vast; it’s not as huge as it used to be.

With the exception of new 10 inches less round the waist jeans, I now live in a world of excessively baggy clothing. The chest pocket on every shirt sits much further down my torso; the sleeves are all too long; and the collars are far too wide, which has led to me becoming very aware of my neck. I probably don’t have a particularly long neck, but it’s definitely narrower than my head these days; it clearly separates my ears from my shoulders in a way that continually catches me by surprise.

The fleece I wear like an old cardigan in my study, so I don’t get cold when I’m writing in the only room in the house without central heating, was big when I bought it: XXXL from a company that was generous with it’s measurements to begin with. I was determined to own at least one item of clothing that wasn’t too tight and threatening to burst at the seams when I did it up. But now it’s quite ridiculous: I can fasten the zip with Maggie and me both in it together. Yesterday morning I turned round to see Meg wearing it, giggling at the way it went down to her shins while the sleeves dragged on the floor. She looked like she was wearing a small fleecy tent.

Last month I had to look smart(ish) for a meeting for the first time in over 2 years. My old business suits were all tailored for a man nearly 100lbs heavier, so were completely un-suit-able (sorry) for the purpose. We went to M&S where I was able to buy a jacket off the peg, which not only fitted, but wasn’t even their largest size. I still haven’t really got my head around that. I also bought a shirt with a collar size 4 inches narrower than I used to buy, but my body is still clearly mismatched with standard sizes. The sleeves were too long and the buttons bulged and stretched around my belly. I have never figured out why designers seem to believe you can judge a man’s shape purely by the size of his collar. Unless I tensed my stomach, the tighter fitting shirt seemed to accentuate my bulges and I found myself yearning for my ultra-baggy clothing again. I seem to have become comfortable living half-lost in large swathes of material.

At some point I would like a whole new wardrobe but, quite apart from the fact that we cannot afford it, I have absolutely no idea what would suit me these days. When I was last this size, big hair and shoulder pads were all the rage. I wonder if they’ll be coming back into fashion soon?

23 comments

Rebecca said...

Just stopping by to wish you a happy World Down Syndrome Day.

3:21

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

I didn't know it was but have a happy one!

Now take all you've said about sizing men's clothes and subtract collar concerns but add boob and hip measurements, and what you get is the average woman's problem.

I range across 3 different sizes depending on what store I'm in.

Attila The Mom said...

Hey now! Quit yer bitchin'! You don't have to shop at Omar the Tentmaker's anymore! LOL

I hope at least you bought new underwear when you got skinny. The image of you and Maggie being able to fit in one pair of drawers together is too freaky! ;-)

Congrats!

Gyrobo said...

How odd that you would write about baggy clothes during the vernal equinox, when the Earth itself is at its largest.

PI said...

How that illustrates the difference beetween the sexes. Regardless of impecuniiousness a woman would have been treating herself to new garments with each loss of half a stone or less. Even though you are a man I do hope you are enjoying the rejuvenation,you have earned it.

savannah said...

you may have figured this out by now, but check the style of the shirt..some are cut as formfitted and others are looser in the body, as in straight from the armpit down...the neck sizes are the same either way. re the jacket, it is neat buying off the rack and having it fit! *hugs*

fatmammycat said...

Hugo Boss Suit, except no subsitute.

fatmammycat said...

And naturally just jammies the rest of the time.

Kim Ayres said...

Rebecca - thank you! Happy WDSD to you too!

Sam - but are you still wearing stuff with shoulder pads?

Attila - yes, underwear was something I had to get a new set of. They kept falling down of their own accord.

Gyrobo - I hadn't made the connection - that's just too freaky!

Pat - I've never been in the running for best-dressed man - clothes were always functional.

Savannah - I just grabbed the first one off the shelf that looked like it would probably fit and was the right colour.

FMC - Hugo Boss? Not on my income. I'd need a rich widow to indulge me, but my wife wouldn't be happy with that set up.

Haven't worn jammies since the days of big hair and shoulder pads wither, now I come to think of it...

fatmammycat said...

Seriously, I know it's expensive, but there is nothing more attractive on a man than a well cut suit, and now that you're a slim Jim it might be the treat you deserve after all that hard work.
I have a theory about expensive clothes, it's that in the long term they work out cheaper than disposable clothing becasue you keep them, wear them, look after them and you can wear them year after year as opposed to something you wear a few times and after a couple of washes it turns into a rag.
Bah! Ignore me, I'm just itching to buy a new suit for myself and I'm projecting.

Kim Ayres said...

I don't object to the idea of having a smart, expensive suit, other than a) I can't afford it, b) the times I need to wear one these days are so rare it don't need it, and c) I'm still losing weight so it would be silly to fork out a lot of money for something that will be too big in 6 to 9 months.

But I am getting a bit fed up with looking like a tramp.

Pendullum said...

Big hair and shoulder pads? What band were YOU in Kim?

; )

DeRogatis/Frilingos Household said...

Hi. I visit your blog often but never leave a message. Congratulations on losing so much weight.

Also, happy WDSD! Mind if I link you to my blog?

-Amy
http://emmajoseph.blogspot.com

BStrong said...

Keep on wearing your baggy clothes. Sooner or later it will catch on as the new trend and you will have an entire hip wardrobe.

I was thinking about you the other day and no not in that way. I have a Da Vinci Code Sudoku game that is just collecting dust at my house. Would you like for me to mail it to yah at some point in the near future.

Mary Witzl said...

I've saved all my working woman clothes from six years ago, determined that I won't buy any more until I have lost the requisite 10 kg that I need to get rid of. By the time I do, though, they'll be way out of style.

As for your wardrobe problem, may I suggest charity shops? There are some great pickings out there, and they will tide you over until you can afford to go and buy some new things. Plus, you'll be making a charitable donation, an added plus.

Kim Ayres said...

Pendullum - I was actually going around with long hair and a Motorhead t-shirt in those days, but the prevailing fashions...

Amy - welcome to my ramblings and thank you for taking the time to comment. A belated Happy WDSD to you! Of course I have no objection to you linking here. I'll be across to say hi when I've finished replying here :)

BStrong - The game sounds intriguing. You've got my email - give me a shout :)

Mary - I have no objections to buying from charity shops, but I still have no idea what would suit me. Zero dress sense.

Stinkypaw said...

It is such a nice feeling to look at yourself and see less of you - you must be sooo proud! And you should be!

As for the cothes, maybe try to have some of your clothes alter - know anybody who sew? Would be a cheaper option than buying all new, but then again it wouldn't be as much fun! (woman's view!) ;-)

jotcr2 said...

Now you mention it, what is with the collar measurement to work out a guys size. Where did that come from???

Kim Ayres said...

Stinkypaw - I don't feel proud all the time. It's ongoing and I'm still needing to lose a few more pounds if I want to move out of the overweight category. And sometimes, like last night, it can be still be an extreme battle with the parts of me that are yearning for fatty sugary foods for comfort.

Jo - I would have thought that above a certain level they should be looking at cup-size for overweight men too. Man boobs seem to come with the territory.

Fat Lazy Guy said...

Ah, clothing. A personal interest of mine. Well, not quite, but when it takes a lot of fabric to cover yourself up, you tend to look into things :D

restaurant gal said...

RG Daughter is my fashion consultant and personal shopper. I, too, have shifted down a couple of sizes since starting work in the restaurant world. She insists that I always have one pair of jeans that really fits (she shops for me in Colorado and ships what she finds--crazy kid) and tailored suits that flatter. You need that one dress-up outfit--it'll hold you for a while, and a tailor can take it in as you continue to lose weight. But what a nice, healthy problem to have!

PI said...

functional clothes are fine. At one time I would go weak at the knees at men in Polo necks and gum boots. Weird ai know!

Kim Ayres said...

FLG - It's true - once you reach the point where you can no longer buy sizes to fit off the shelf in high street stores, clothing takes on a whole new meaning in life.

Restuarant Gal - unfortunately I don't have any friends or immediate relatives with any fashion sense either. At least not one that can see what would suit me.

Pat - Polo necks and gum boots... hmmm... now you've got me thinking...

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