Seasons and Scarves

Back in February of 2018 I did something that I’d toyed with for a very long time – I started covering my hair. (Note: I typically cover tichel-style, not hijab-style.) I can’t really explain why I did that, or what I was hoping to achieve. Some of it was playing with beauty expectations. Some of it was an acknowledgement of the ritual and spiritual work I was doing. Some of it was because I’d followed Wrapunzel for years and been interested in scarves and covering and just finally got up the guts to try it out.

Altogether, though, it’s been an interesting process and one that I’ve gotten a great deal of satisfaction out of. I’ve flown with my head covered (no shaper), driven across the country, gone to Jury Duty – it’s just been my life.

And then, suddenly, sometime around last fall, I stopped. Part of that was because I was doing yoga, and it’s hard to do yoga with more than a very basic scarf on. Also I was feeling a lot of pressure to “blend in” at my yoga studio (which… is problematic but that’s a story for another day), and that meant looking as much like everyone else as possible – which didn’t include scarves except as loose flowy wraps that accentuated how boho my style was (eyeroll). Anyway, from yoga and then to a couple of trips where I wasn’t feeling up to covering and then I was only wearing scarves when I was getting “dressed up” to go places.

That lasted close to a year, with my scarf wearing dropping to maybe 30% of the time at some points.

And then… all of a sudden, a few weeks ago, I got dressed and put a scarf on again. It felt right to do so – probably again as a symbol of my increasing spiritual and sovereignty work. I’ve always covered sporadically at home, but now I’m back to scarfing-up most days, even getting out some of my bigger shapers for that poofy look that I love so much.

I even ordered a few solid, DYT Type 4 colored scarves, one of which I’m wearing today. Bold hues look great on me, and I’ve settled into a few styles (crown wrap, shira tails, fan wrap) that I think are most flattering.

Will it last forever? Who knows! But right now covering feels better than not covering, and it definitely lets me get away with bad COVID hair, so there’s that too.

Product Review: Shapermint Shaper Shorts

Okay – so the ads are ALL OVER THE GODS DAMNED INTERNET. And I had a fancy party for New Years. So I bought a pair of the Shapermint High-Waisted Shaper Shorts to see how I liked them.

For reference, I am a fat woman. I am 5’6″ tall, and weigh about 210lbs. I wear a size 18 in most clothing, or a 2X, but of course we know sizes are bullshit so sometimes that’s wrong.

I took my measurements, and ordered a size XL-XXL, which is the first thing you should always do when you’re ordering shapewear. Do not be a dingus and order a smaller size, thinking it will make you slimmer. It will just cut off circulation to your legs and you’ll get deep vein thrombosis. Also swollen ankles aren’t stylish.

Anyway, I helpfully ordered my correct size in “tan” (which is darker than my skin color, I am so very very white), and waited for them to arrive. Reader, I was VERY dubious about this. Because shapewear the last time I wore it was at my wedding (in 2007), and it was SHITTY and rolled down and didn’t fit and I was a skinny-minnie anyway and only weighed about 145 pounds so I really didn’t need it.

ANYWAY.

It arrived, and I put it on, and I was pleasantly surprised! It came all the way up to my bra-band, and the legs were around mid-thigh. It stretched comfortably, and felt snug. It did not appear to be cutting off circulation to my legs. It was – dare I say it – comfortable.

So I put on a dress, admired my shapelier figure in the mirror and set about wearing it for the rest of the day. I was comfortable. I worked at my desk. It improved my posture because it was slightly constricting, but it did not roll down, the legs did not roll up, and altogether I was feeling very happy about my purchase.

And then I burped.

I burped FIRE and DEATH.

You see, dear readers, I have acid reflux. I take Pepcid for it, twice a day, and on your average day I have zero problems with it. I can even eat hot peppers on my pizza and so long as I take my little pill twice a day I am fine.

Except, apparently, if my guts are all squished in, making my silhouette much more svelte but my stomach considerably constricted.

I took it off – pleasantly surprised to see only the lightest of elastic marks on my skin – and ate half a box of Pepto Bismol. The reflux did not calm down until after I’d taken three doses of Pepto, my evening dose of Pepcid, and drank a bunch of water.

So this is my review:

If you want well-made, well-constructed, comfortable shapewear that does exactly what it says it does in the advertisements, I cannot recommend the Shaper Shorts highly enough. Unless your stomach is made of FIERY DEATH. In which case, they’re pretty good still, but I wouldn’t wear them for more than an evening out.

**Note: I did wear them to the New Years party, for about 3 hours total. At that party I delicately sipped seltzer with lime, sat precariously on a bar stool, did not slouch, and was fine. But I think I would have had a better time if I’d been jigglier but able to have a couple of mojitos.

Style Grumbles and Thoughts

So I mentioned in an earlier post that I was doing this Dressing Your Truth thing, and that I was a Type 4 – Bold Striking Woman in that system.

Which – okay. I definitely have a lot of Type 4 tendencies, and there’s lots of expressions of type 4 energy that seem very familiar.

Thing is, I’m getting to where I struggle with how I look again, this time just with better clothes and makeup. Type 4’s are “stunning” and “striking” and “classic” and “refined” and those types of keywords. And I’m a dumpy looking fat woman 95% of the time. I’m learning to wear makeup differently, which has been … sometimes a little scary (but every experiment will have failures), and that does help. And I’m learning to appreciate contrast in my face with bold lip colors to match the bold hues in my clothes.

But I don’t feel “stunning” most of the time. I just feel… like me, just maybe with better clothes.

Car buying selfie. This lip is fantastic.
Pearls are the wrong color, but everything else is good. Well, maybe not the eyeshadow.
Substantial necklace. Hot pink lip gloss. Fuzzy, unkempt hair.
Ready for Yule. This lip is hot pink, but looks neutral on me.
Okay, here I look stunning. The neon orange and black, and the orange lip? Yeah.

So I guess when you come down to it, I can see it sometimes, but most days I’m the “nothing” side of “all or nothing”. I work from home, so it’s not really a thing for me to get dressed to makeup every day – I live alone, and it doesn’t make enough of a difference for it to feel worth it when the only people who will see it are the cats and my reflection in the mirror.

Thankfully, “classic” and “simple” and “reflective” are all Type 4 style words. The words I’m mostly trying on for myself are “competent” and “simple” and “refined” and maybe “deliberate”. As I look through my old Pinterest board (which is not DYT compatible at ALL), I see that I like comfortable outfits that go easily to many levels of dress, but which are not too fussy and yet still pulled together – they look like outfits, not like just a shirt and jeans.

And I think that’s what I need to perfect. I’ve often just worn a dress and a coordinating head scarf and called it good. I often wear the same jewelry for years on end. But that doesn’t lend itself to “outfits” that feel like I’m put together in any meaningful way.

What I like about all of the pictures I featured in this post is that they feel like they’re pulled together – even if it’s just by a neon orange scarf. So I think that’s what I’m going to shoot for more of the time. Not every day (some days I barely manage to get out of my pyjamas), but I’d like to start feeling like I have on clothes that look competent and pulled together.

Maybe that’s my expression of Type 4, rather than “striking” or “stunning”.