Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Fat Lady Clothes and Maternity Clothes

It's not so much the jump between "Large" and "Extra Large," though that is part of it. The main problem is that things don't fit under the arms. A so-called "Extra Large" can fit everywhere else, except under the arms. And, if something is too tight under the arms, I'll be worried (by the end of the day) that I'm having a heart attack. It causes a dull ache up and down my arms, particularly the left. Don't tell anyone, but I think I'm fatter on that side.

So, considering my budget, and the fact that I really don't care as long as the naughty bits are covered (and the saggy arms), I was off to Wally World to find something that actually fits.

Well, Dearly Beloved, what actually fits looks like maternity clothes! The only saving grace is that modern maternity clothes don't look like maternity clothes. As a matter of fact, there appears to be no such thing as maternity clothes any more. Everything we wear is so stretchy that the tops just stretch further to cover a baby bump and the pants just roll down below it.

Back in the days of Queen Victoria, women stayed home from the time their pregnancies began to show until after the birth. In the years before that, women wore their regular clothes...they just fit a bit differently, that's all. There are countless ancient folk songs along the lines of, "When I wore my apron low, I could not keep you from my door; now I wear my apron high, I never see you passing by."

In the 40s and 50s, the object was to disguise the fact that one was pregnant. The adaptations were sort of ludicrous; skirts with large holes cut out of the front, worn with tops that came well below the hips and were cut like tents. By the 70s, we were proud of our lumps, and the clothes reflected this. The trend has continued, through the overalls of the 80s to the spandex of today.

Fat lady clothes look much like the maternity clothes of twenty years ago. T-shirts gathered a little in the front, cut a bit larger under the arms and a bit longer at the hips.

I still miss my waist.


  1. I love the folk song quote about the apron! Thank you for keeping us informed about clothing and its connection to the cultural morality/mentality of the times.

  2. I still have a something of a waist, but it is invalidated by the big pouch of fat underneath it. AND the big fat spread behind me! Very frustrating. It's just gravity, man. The food we eat these days, the fact that we don't walk/run/hunt and gather the way we used to, even as recently as when we were children. Plus the food we eat here in the states... wheat, lots of carbs, lots of corn and corn syrup, white rice, barley sweetener, etc, not to mention the sodas and coffees full of sugar. That wheat flour is vitamin-fortified, and in many ways has made the general population both healthier for the fortification and perhaps unhealthier for it's main ingredients. The gluten in wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes oats can cause extreme weight gain or loss if one is gluten-intolerant. The inability to digest gluten can also cause similar symptoms to ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, even a similarity to Crohn's disease. Ask your doctor if you could have a simple blood test for it, but DON'T stop eating bread before the test. You have to give your body the chance to build the antibodies if you have it. Otherwise, you'd have to have the the much more expensive intestinal biopsy. Of course, you could just do the easy and sensible thing: lay off all gluten coming from wheat, barley, rye, and oats and any of their by-products. It takes a while to adjust, but if your stomach was hurting before, you'll probably feel better with a few days.

  3. When purchasing your trendy "maternity" clothes, use your JCPenny coupons for great deals!

  4. Just because I mentioned maternity clothes does not mean I purchase them. And J C Penney would be one of the last places I would purchase anything.