Body Shifts

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Around the time I graduated from college, my body shifted. I hadn’t gained any weight, but I noticed that my clothes were fitting my curves differently. They were snug where they’d once been loose, loose where they’d once been snug. I mean, I didn’t go from an A cup to a D cup and suddenly lose my hips altogether, but there was definitely some shifting. And it wasn’t weight-related, and it wasn’t immediately visible when I looked at myself naked, and it wasn’t particularly troubling or worrisome. I’ll admit that I can’t remember the specifics of the shift, but I remember the sensation of realizing that my physical form had changed. Markedly. It struck me as odd because in the past, any body changes I’d experienced were mass-related. In this case, mass remained the same while shape shifted.

About ten years ago, my body shifted again. My legs thinned out a bit and my bust rounded somewhat. Again, no drastic change in weight, but my clothes began to fit differently and styles that one suited me looked odd while others I’d long shied away from started to appeal. Once again, I was perplexed. I talked to girlfriends and asked if they’d had similar shifts, and many of them had. We chalked it up to aging, hormones, changes in activity that we weren’t hyper aware of.

I can feel my body shifting again now. I’ve stayed at a pretty steady 150 pounds for many years, but somehow my size 10 pants are becoming ridiculously uncomfortable and I’m having to trade up for 12s. I haven’t noticed any softening of muscle or even a noticeable difference in the size of my hips and thighs, but wow. Pants fit differently now. And several pairs have been donated once that realization sunk in for good.

Although I do my best to love and accept my body, these shifts are a little unnerving. I don’t feel the need to control everything my body does or even keep careful tabs on its various statistics and measurements, but when it does change I like to know why. And although I’m sure that hormones, aging, and activity shifts could be contributing factors, it still feels strange to observe changes that aren’t the result of purposeful action or inaction. I feel detached and disconnected observing these shifts, like my body is making decisions behind closed doors while my brain waits outside in the lobby.

But because I’ve gone through several rounds of body shifts, and because my doctor assures me that I’m in good health, and because many of my women friends have been through similar changes, I am trying to look at this as an exercise in trust. I do my best to listen to my body and respond to its needs, but also know that some changes are silent by nature. I have no idea why this could be important, but perhaps there’s a biological reason why some of my personage needs to settle in around my lower body. So I’ll trust that my body is making informed decisions, and head for the size 12s.

Image courtesy Steve Maher

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Dressed for: The Best Autumn Ever

Already Pretty outfit featuring military jacket, camouflage dress, cognac belt, Frye Harness boots, fringe handbag

Jacket – thrifted – similar look
Dress – Alternative Apparel
Belt -thrifted – similar style
Boots – Frye Harness 12R
Bracelet – thrifted – similar look
Sunglasses – The Mexican Shopsimilarbudget
Earrings – Corset – similar look
Bag – Amazon/DIY (post here)

Minnesota provides its residents with ample and justifiable reasons to complain about the weather. This is the land of the six-month winter and the 15-second spring, people. Usually, autumn is around 15 seconds long, too, and full of rain and gray skies and general ominousness. But this autumn? It has been warm. It has been sunshiney. It has been nearly TWO FULL MONTHS LONG. And even though I’ve been sick for most of it, I have been grateful for every bright, 60-degree day. I did bare legs and boots, got some use out of my vast collection of mid-weight jackets, and soaked up the loveliest MN fall I can remember. It’s in the 40s now, but I’m still riding high on the gorgeous weeks we’ve had all season.

How’s your season going? Are you getting the weather you hope for, or just pushing through?

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Insomniac Sale Picks: Zipper Cardigans

*In this late-night feature – which will run on Tuesday and Thursday of each week – I’ll gather up three fun items that are currently on sale online and share them with you! I would LOVE suggestions: Stylish wide-width pumps? Classic v-necked sweaters? Chandelier earrings? Petite dress slacks? What would you like to see featured?*

Chris requested a few picks for zipper cardigans, preferably cotton or wool, so here we go:

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Land’s End Drifter Cardigan – was $50, now $28
with code DEALS and pin 1588

This style is a Land’s End classic, although this particular iteration is slightly lighter weight than past ones. It’s washable 100% cotton with a grosgrain zipper pull, and knit to fit instead of cut and sewn. Available in this burgundy as well as black, navy, yellow, and red in sizes S – XL. Size availability varies by color. Surprisingly, this particular sweater doesn’t come in any size variations, but this acrylic blend zip-front sweater is available in regular, petite, and plus sizes.

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St. John’s Bay Cable Zip Cardigan – was $42, now $24.99

How cozy does THAT look? This cardigan is a cotton/acrylic blend, but gets high marks from customers for fit, design, and softness. And it comes in loads of gorgeous colors: This black as well as burgundy, red, heather brown, chocolate brown, ivory, heather gray, cobalt, citron, or navy. Available in sizes S – XL. Size availability varies by color. Also in tall and plus sizes, though in fewer colors. Need pure cotton? This LL Bean zip cable cardigan is 100% cotton and comes in regular, petite, and plus sizes, though not currently on sale.

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Wool Overs Lambswool Shaped Zip Cardigan – $38

I know – not on sale. But SUCH a great price for 100% wool, and having ordered from Wool Overs myself I can vouch for the quality: I have two button-front cardigans that are cotton/silk blends and although they’re lightweight, they’re sturdy and well designed. This cardigan is well reviewed, though be aware that it runs a bit big – a small fits a U.S. size 6-8.  This company also does several zipper cardigans in unisex sizing – including the Lincoln Cardigan style which fits a size 22-24 in XXL. (Correct size chart here.) This unisex lambswool hoody is a customer favorite, too.

Other not-currently-on-sale resources for zipper cardigans:

  1. Nordstrom – Lots of cool and classy options from motos to boyfriends. How cute is this long length fuzzy zip cardi?
  2. Land’s End – Several cute options in addition to the one above, including this ribbed-panel hoodie.
  3. eBay – More than 2,000 results in a huge variety of styles and sizes.
  4. And, of course, THRIFT STORES! With a style like this that isn’t currently trending, always worth checking your secondhand options. (thethriftshopper.com can help you locate stores near you.)

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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