work it out

White tuxedo-pleat button-up, H&M; dress, H&M;
super-tall socks, American Apparel; boots, Aerosoles.

I'm feeling a bit like Kelly Rutherford during the second season of Gossip Girl. Not in the blonde botoxed Birkin mode, clearly, but in the "must hide this belly through moderately successful camouflage" mode. (See also: Sarah Jessica Parker during the fifth season of Sex & the City.) Except that I am not pregnant, but merely showing the effects of my fondness for cheese, cookies, cocktails, cake, and chorizo. (Plus I haven't gone running in four months, and my yoga has fallen off to once-weekly practice. Yeah, this is my own fault.)

That is to say: I have gotten rather suddenly and unacceptably* chubby around the midsection lately. I am never of the svelte-and-willowy ilk, and I always have a nice little layer of protective cushioning around my waist (or, um, lack of a waist due to said cushioning), but it's become more prominent over the past month or so. And yes, I am that deadly combination of superficial (dude, I take photos of what I wear and blog about it. No shit I'm more-than-occasionally superficial.) and rather insecure about my appearance at times, so this is like a perfect storm of body-criticizing and trying to figure out new ways to look nice despite it all.

Note: in this quest, pants are the enemy. Naturally, right as winter hits, I'm trying to find new and inventive ways to wear dresses and skirts through the snow and slush and legitimately cold days. Thank god for new tights and super-tall knit socks, eh? Dresses and skirts with some room in the midsection are my standbys here, but I have learned something very important over several years of this vicious cycle: I can distract from the belly with another part of the body, but if it's via a cleavage showcase, I run the increased risk of being asked if I'm pregnant.
Seriously, this is not an isolated occurrence. In 2006, I kept a running tally of how many times I was asked when I was due. I think it came to seven, and on five of those occasions, I was trying to draw visual attention away from the stomach and up to the cleavage. There's a thin line between "titacular" and "pregnancy boobs" in most minds, I suppose, and that line is too easy to cross. Maybe don't pair an empire-waist dress with serious cleavage, lest you find yourself explaining that no, you are not pregnant, but merely falling for the charms of apricot-mascarpone danishes.

This is all to say: I'm expecting to get a lot of wear out of my super-tall sock collection for a while here. Distract with legs and heels and hope for the best, I think. Also, get my lazy ass back to yoga or running, or, I don't know, away from the damn plate of brie already.

(*and dude, when I say "unacceptably", please don't think that I'm some Karl Lagerfeldy judgey bastard, scorning anyone above a crazy-skinny sample size. I say "unacceptably" in this case because the new layer of insulation means that lots of my clothes don't fit, and damn, I've spent a long time collecting things I like to wear, so having a big chunk of that currently unavailable is totally unacceptable. I like those pants, dammit. I want them to button again.)

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