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Muumuus and back to school clothes shopping. Not a great mix.
Old 07-23-2018, 06:20 PM
  #1

Recently I've been getting myself together in terms of clothes for the school year starting next week. Yeah, you see why I'm emotional today? I went all out this year and picked up three pairs of jeans. Yes, jeans. I know some had a heart flutter at the thought of teachers wearing jeans, but it's what many of us do in the more casual parts of the country. The trying on and buying process was very uneventful.

On our recent road trip my wife and I stopped at a Dr. Martens store in Portland and each bought a new pair of shoes. She bought some with a really neat floral pattern. I wasn't confident I could pull that look off so I went with a solid color. That part of back to school shopping was easy too. Later I put in an order for more Darn Tough socks and felt like I was really getting prepared for the year. All I needed to think about are shirts, but I put that off for a while.

Today I saw the title of the thread here in the lounge about muumuus and it took me down memory lane thinking about my mother. I don't like memory lane and I never like thinking about my mother. She was a large person and she only wore muumuus. Today I've been picturing her in one particular muumuu that she must've had for years and years. Those memories were okayish. Not too traumatic. At least not until I decided I need to get on to buying shirts today. I've hit a wall.

I'm ultra particular about shirts. I basically just like t-shirts. The material has to be a certain feel and thickness for my comfort and the shirts have to sized to leave lots to the imagination. I know that makes me look really sloppy and I decided maybe this year I would get something more reasonably sized. Therein lies the problem. I can't stop thinking about clothes shopping with my mom or even getting dressed in house most days when I was a child.

As I mentioned, my mom was a large person. That made things even harder for me to accept. I could never dress in a way that pleased her. Her comments were brutal. Whatever I chose in the store would elicit the inevitable criticism. "You look really fat in that shirt." Belts? Don't cinch it up tight enough to keep my pants up because if I did I not only got the fat comment, but it was accompanied with a very pained expression. Shoes and socks were the only thing I could buy and wear without comment and thus are the only things I can buy without stress.

Now with the thought of muumuus in my head I'm having trouble moving forward on buying shirts. I don't have the first clue how long my mom's been dead, but it's not long enough to get her out of the space she occupies in my head. There needs to be a lobotomy for that.


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Old 07-23-2018, 06:39 PM
  #2

That was quite powerful, Mr. Hifiman, and I sense it took guts to write. It's okay to wear whatever you want, you know that. Thank for feeling safe enough to share such a personal moment.
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Old 07-23-2018, 06:58 PM
  #3

Oh, Hifi, youíve alluded to your mom and I inferred childhood wasnít great for you, but this is downright heartbreaking. How strong you must be to have turned out to be so kind and caring (under loosish t-shirts).
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Old 07-23-2018, 07:23 PM
  #4

Thank you. You just explained why I hate clothes shopping. The criticism left scars that still need healing. Hifi, I have never met you, but from your writing I know you are a beautiful person. Good luck finding your favorite comfy shirts!
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Old 07-23-2018, 07:32 PM
  #5

I'm sorry, that's hard.

It honestly might be worth getting a personal stylist one time. I did it a few years ago, it cost a couple hundred dollars plus the cost of the clothes but it was well worth it. A good stylist won't try to make you into someone you are not and will not push you into buying expensive clothes. They will just find the best look and fit so you can look your best. Then your confidence will get a boost and hopefully you can turn your back on your mom once and for all!


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Old 07-23-2018, 07:45 PM
  #6

I get it. I didnít have the greatest relationship with my mom either. I hope you can get her out of your head so you can get some t shirts. Did you know Kohls carries some big/tall sizes online? My husband loves their t shirts and heís big, tall, and picky! 😁
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Old 07-23-2018, 07:46 PM
  #7

What about some comfy golf polo shirts? They look nice but are still lightweight. Nike golf shirts are what my ds likes.
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Old 07-23-2018, 07:54 PM
  #8

These are the ones my husband likes. They make them in crew neck also. The fabric is very light and soft with a little bit of stretch, and they wash beautifully.
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sorry that my inquiry about muumuus
Old 07-23-2018, 08:19 PM
  #9

brought up so many painful memories. Shopping was no party for me either. Those harsh comments stay with us a long time. I say wear what you want, be comfortable. You have turned out to be a compassionate person.
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Old 07-24-2018, 02:28 AM
  #10

I can see why shopping would be hard. ďSticks and StonesĒ...words DO hurt and can linger far longer than expected. Iím sorry youíve hit a road block in your back to school shopping. Youíve had a tough week!


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Thanks, everyone. The funny part about this
Old 07-24-2018, 04:00 AM
  #11

that occurred to me long after posting is my nickname for our dog Molly. I call her muumuu (long story). I never made any connection with her and my mom but now that I think of it she does often just stare at me from a distance in a very judgmental way.
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Old 07-24-2018, 04:53 AM
  #12

Childhood was not easy for you Hifiman. I admire your sense of humor and honesty as you share such painful memories.
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Old 07-24-2018, 06:34 AM
  #13

I understand. My DH could have written your post. I'm sorry you both had mothers that didn't appreciate the men y'all were to become.

(hugs)
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Because I may be old enought
Old 07-24-2018, 07:01 AM
  #14

to be your mother..I know typing that is just a reality shock for me, but I have a DGD in college..so let me post something I had on the wall of my classroom..

Mirror, mirror on the wall
It doesn't matter if I'm short or tall
If I have skinny legs or my hips are wide
It only matters who I am inside
Blue eyes, brown eyes, black or green
What makes me most beautiful cannot be seen
When you look at me, don't judge me by my parts
The most beautiful thing about me is my heart.

As far as help with clothing, go to a *small men's store or a store that caters to tall men etc. They love to give customers advice and they usually know what looks best on different men. They often can steer you to trying on only things that will fit and look okay, so you avoid the..OMG shock we all have had when we try something on and find it is horrible on us. You only need to buy one item there, if that, and then buy similar items in less expensive stores or online.

I can slightly relate to your experience with your mom. I had a mom who didn't always criticize my looks like yours did, but she did sometimes. My mom never once gave me a compliment. She never told me that I looked good, not even on my wedding day. I do like to buy clothes, but to this day I can not be okay with having my photo taken. I was quite old before I realized what my mom did was not normal, as I found it so easy to compliment both of my children.

BTW- your post made me realize that more and more ads, magazines etc. are showing larger woman as beautiful, yet I don't see any ads or men's magazines etc. doing that. I think that we need to move on to that as an agenda.

* reread my posts.."small men's store" meaning a privately owned custom shop, not a store for "small" men.
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Old 07-24-2018, 07:51 AM
  #15

I can relate hifi.....my mom put big baggage on me too when it comes to appearance...

She was a real piece of work and I don't miss her....

Crazy how that stuff stays with us....hope you have an amazing school year!
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:34 AM
  #16

Quote:
She was a real piece of work and I don't miss her....
Iím glad Iím not the only who feels this way.
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Old 07-24-2018, 01:24 PM
  #17

I hate that you went through that. I know how hard clothes shopping can be without those kinds of comments in my memories. My daughter is critical of clothing my granddaughter tries on at the store. They get so frustrated with each other that my daughter started asking me to go shopping with them. My daughter is huge and my granddaughter is huge for her age. My daughter's motives are good, but I think she is too critical about the clothes she tries on. I have talked to her about relaxing about it a little, allowing her daughter pick what makes her happy, dressing like kids her age. Now we will talk about some of the comments in your post and some of the responses. My daughter means well but she is a very negative person and her attitude and comments do hurt my granddaughter. I want her to see that she is causing more harm than good.

My husband has similar memories of his father at home, commenting on his clothes, how fat he looked, and being made to change when there wasn't anything better to change into.

I hope you can feel better about shopping for clothes.
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Old 07-24-2018, 04:11 PM
  #18

chipmunky, I love the poem!

Quote:
...to this day I can not be okay with having my photo taken. I was quite old before I realized what my mom did was not normal...
Same here.
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Old 07-25-2018, 12:18 PM
  #19

Doesn't matter what you wear. Are you comfortable and presentable? follow dress code? Your past shaped your future to be a compassionate person today.

What I know about you is that you are kind, funny, and understanding. I will always remember you being the first to reach out to me when I was hesitant of going to my own son's wedding when I posted here. Your answer was full of understanding and compassion. You don't know how many times I visioned my purse full of pennies through the evening. (and even carried about 25c worth to feel them as a reminder)

Have a great school year.
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