by Sally Smith
Watching the shoots of my lilies break through the earth and reach for the sun, I realize that spring has sprung and that summer is just around the corner. A reminder of the changing seasons arrives in my mailbox in the form of MiB’s summer catalog, with its biggest, most luscious collection of offerings ever. As I pour over pages filled with fabulous colors, prints, and styles, I’m reminded of how far we’ve come as a community of plus-size women. But I also wonder how many of us have fully embraced the fashion choices we now have.
Those of us who are of a certain age, and who have been plus- or super-size most of our lives, have experienced the necessity of building our wardrobes around what was available in our size, rather than around flattering clothes that we love. I know I’m not alone in recalling times when I felt disappointed, angry, or even ashamed because I had to wear clothing that was inappropriate for the occasion. One of my most painful memories is when, at 16 years old, I attended my father’s funeral wearing a lemon yellow polyester pantsuit. The one plus-size clothing store in town didn’t carry anything appropriately subdued in my size, and couldn’t order anything on short notice. Thanks to the efforts of MiB and others, today’s plus-size teenagers don’t have to experience the humiliations, large and small, that result from a dearth of fashion choices.
Yet, because many of us have become accustomed to limited selections, we tend to stay within a certain fashion comfort zone. I, for one, am guilty of adopting a “uniform” of sorts. Perhaps it’s because I grew up with limited choices, or maybe it’s due to spending 12 years at Catholic schools wearing plaid skirts and white blouses with Peter Pan collars. Whatever the reason, these days my winter wardrobe consists largely of MiB Easy Pants and Big Shirts, while my summer collection is made up of MiB shorts and tees. Comfortable, reliable, but for everyday I sometimes feel ambivalent or simply a bit bored with my “uniform”…
Because I’m the type who buys the same top in a dozen different colors, MiB’s new catalog struck a chord. With so many new styles, the catalog challenged me to move outside of my comfort zone and embrace my inner fashion diva. This summer, I’m going to supplement my collection of shorts with breezy skirts that will help me keep my cool, try out tops with flirty prints, and take the chance that the earth won’t stop revolving on its axis if I go sleeveless. Bold, isn’t it?
So cheer me on, and if you feel like it, join me in reaching inside to that urge to try out new styles or colors!
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