Wardrobe Malfunction

Unfortunately, there were times when I was living the obese life when I had to buy new clothes. Sad to say, it wasn’t because my clothes got worn out, but usually because I had outgrown my clothes. I hated shopping for clothes. It was embarrassing to stand in the plus size department, which inevitably seemed to be located either next to the petite department or the lingerie.  I hated crossing the vast divide from clothes made for regular sized people to clothes made for people like me. 

The holiday was Easter and the year was 1992. The weight was around 270, give or take a few pounds. I had no appropriate dress to wear to church on Easter Sunday, so upon John’s insistence we headed to the mall.  I just wanted to go into Sears, pick something out and leave. But no, John wanted me to have something “pretty” to wear for Easter Sunday, so he dragged me all over the mall in search of the perfect fat person’s Easter dress. He kept holding up dresses for my approval and I kept turning them down, until finally we found a black dress with big gold buttons down the front and even bigger shoulder pads. I know black for Easter isn’t traditional, but I felt thinner in black so I tried on the dress, found it fit reasonably well (or so I thought), purchased the dress and went home.

Easter morning came and the three of us were dressed in our Easter finery.  I put the baby in her car seat, sat down in my seat and proceeded to drive to church. While driving, I noticed that the buttons on my dress were having a hard time staying fastened properly, but I attributed it to the fact I was sitting a little crooked in the car and kept driving. When we reached the church, we dropped the baby off in the nursery and went to the service. I sat down, preparing to enjoy Easter and discovered that the button problem on my dress wasn’t due to my position in the car, it was due to the fact that I was too big for the buttons. From the upper abdomen down, no button was staying together. Each and every button was straining to pop from it’s little button hole. I grabbed my purse and hugged it to my chest. Then I took two hymnals and put them on my lap in a vain attempt to cover up the problem. John looked at me and whispered, “What are you doing?” I looked at him and whispered back, “The buttons are coming undone.”  He said, “You mean they are coming unsewn?” No, I shook my head, slightly uncovering my lap covered with two hymnals, “I’m too big for these buttons.” He looked mortified for me, and said he was sure no one would notice. 

Fortunately, if anyone did notice they didn’t say anything to me. I spent the whole service trying to suck in my thighs, which you can’t do, and keep the hymnals balanced on my legs, which was almost impossible. I’ve never been so glad to get up and leave a church service in my life. I couldn’t wait to get out of there, go home and put on a jumper where the only buttons were the ones way up on the shoulder. I put that dress in the goodwill box, and swore I’d never again buy a dress with buttons down the front. I also made a mental note to always sit down in the dressing room to make sure the clothes that look one way when you are standing up will also look good when you are sitting down!

Have you ever had a wardrobe malfunction? Did it make you more committed to getting healthy? Diane

26 thoughts on “Wardrobe Malfunction

  1. Marcelle says:

    This entry makes me remember so many of my own situations…my reply is YES…but dont want to go there as it hurts so much how I tried to hide being overweight in so many ways with clothing..

  2. Alissa says:

    This post just breaks my heart- all the more reason for me to keep losing the weight. I can relate with you how felt, and I don’t want to go back there either!

  3. kwithme says:

    I remember the same thing happening to me. I bought a princess seamed button front dress and it looked pretty good. Took it home, got ready for the wedding and popped off the button just above my navel while in the car. Fortunately, I was stopping at my parents and I could sew it back on and pin the dress shut but like you, I never bought another button front dress.

    I try to remember to sit down in all the clothes that I am buying at my new smaller size. One thing, I am excited to be wearing trimmer clothes but I also know that it is easy to pick those pants that skim your body but bind when you sit, or gape in the back. Fortunately, I am not forced to buy those clothes because they are the only thing I can get on.

  4. Diane says:

    I have had a few, but in the opposite direction. Most memorable was after I had lost about 50 pounds I was still trying to wear my same clothes, simply because I still had over 100 lbs to lose and I did not want to spend a lot of money on a transition wardrobe, so things were swimming on me and I did my best to keep them on. One day I went to retrieve a package from the UPS man, reached to sign for it and my pants fell off ! Embarrassing to be sure, but also proof positive that I was moving towards my goal !

  5. Tara says:

    My biggest “wardrobe malfunction” was when I went shopping for clothes and noticed a sign by the register that proclaimed the store was introducing a new size! They were going to start carrying a 6X.

    The reason it was a malfunction for me, was that I was relieved and glad that I wasn’t going to have to make my own clothes any time soon. Then I realized that if I went up a size every time I shopped, it wasn’t going to be long before I WAS making my own clothes.

  6. Marsial2010 says:

    Diane, that was a very sad story, and made me feel the pain of that (you) young mother just trying to look nice for a Sunday service.

    My worst moment in clothing (besides wearing rags for years because I refused to buy anything new in XXX sizes) was when I was at my largest — probably about 220, and my 115 pound sister had a part-time job in a clothing store. She called to tell me she had sent me a beautiful dress that was marked down to almost nothing — she knew it would look beautiful on me. Well, the dress came — I don’t remember how many XXX’s there were on it, but it was huge even for me. Worse, it was this big, splashy print that manufacturers seem to reserve just for larger-sized women. I tried it on and looked like….a circus tent….I swear!! All I needed were some little mini elephants and tigers running around at my feet and people would have been lining up to buy tickets.

    I’m laughing about it right now as I type, but that was the ONLY time in 20 years that I cried about my weight (I’m not a crier at all, so you can imagine how hurtful this was). Well, it wasn’t really even my weight — I guess it was my sister’s opinion of me. And I know that in her heart she thought she was doing something nice for me, but it was awful!

  7. Jane says:

    Clothes shopping is often a miserable, demeaning experience for those of us who are overweight. I also find myself spending more money because I have to buy more expensive things, or shop more often, to get things to look good–and you know what??? They never do look good without the weight loss. Thanks for your “right on” blog. I need the inspiration and understanding from those of you what have “been there.”

    • Jane says:

      Sorry for the “typo.” Sometimes editing can present a problem, if I don’t take my time, and I leave words in the text where they’re supposed to be deleted.

  8. Emergefit says:

    Nice. Thank you for being brave enough to just throw it out there. I know that’s not easy, and I appreciate that you do it regularly — that’s why I return.

    During my heavy years (thank god I’m a guy) it was easy, I just wore big baggy things — shirts the size of tents and so-on. To this day though, even though I’m “in-shape”, if I have a bad eating day or two, I usually break out the tent “tent” shirts for a day or two until I feel I have undone the damage.

    The scars of obesity are so deep….

  9. Cynthia (It All Changes) says:

    I had one of those recently. With a bit of weight gain and some bloat with new medications my uniform was a bit tight. I didn’t want to buy a new one for the short time so I tried to suck in all I could and was very uncomfortable. It made me resolve to get back on track very quickly.

  10. Tami says:

    Oh my goodness how horrible for you. I can’t think of a wardrobe malfunction do to being overweight at the moment. If I did have one I may have blocked it out!

  11. Leah says:

    Yes, I’ve had wardrobe malfunctions at my heaviest, but unfortunately they never lead me to real change. They just lead me to realize that I should never wear certain items of clothing (like you, buttons in front), or items that were too small.

  12. 'Drea says:

    I never really had any wardrobe malfunctions because I always went with clothes that were bigger — couldn’t stand to have on anything that hugged me…

    I like it that John didn’t want you to settle for something *blah* for Easter…

  13. Jill says:

    OH gosh yes, I incorporate the “sit test” with every dress or skirt I buy these days. I think everyone should do that no matter what their size, because some clothes are particularly cantankerous that way (yes, button down dresses included!). 🙂

  14. tina says:

    I’m sure after living the life of an obese person you’ve discovered the worn out thighs in your “favorite” jeans while wearing them out in public. I use that term loosely because how can any size 20 something jeans be favorites really! 🙂

  15. Tiff says:

    I don’t think this has ever happened to me- THANK GOD- but I can relate in many other ways. Being fat sucks- plain and simple. It seems like you rehash the old stories of embaressment to serve as a reminder to yourself as to why you never want to go back to that old way of life- is this true? I think it sounds like a good plan to me!

  16. Tish says:

    Diane, I feel for the young you that suffered the wardrobe malfunction. I’m struck by how kind and sympathetic your husband was. My similar tale was at my daughter’s wedding. I’d tried to lose weight and got off about 12 pounds and bought my mother of the bride dress. It was a bit snug, but I thought I could lose several more pounds in the three weeks before the wedding. Instead, I gained a few pounds. Even though I bought some Machiavellian inspired shape undergarments, the dress was very tight. I put it on for the wedding and the nylon zipper up the back came apart. I took it off and made my sister sew me into the dress. I had one reasonably dressy little jacket that didn’t match, but I carried it along just in case the zipper did its split again while I was showcased on the front row. Fortunately my sister is a very good seamstress and the zipper held all the way through the reception. I tried on that mother of the bride dress a month or so ago–it was way large for me and I gave it to Goodwill.

  17. Laurie says:

    Yes! Being on dance team in high school as a bigger girl was the worst. Never sure if the costumes and/or travel uniforms we’d get would fit and/or if I could dance in them. I liked when we got measured for custom made costumes but HATED getting measured because I know I had THE biggest measurements.

  18. fittingbackin says:

    you poor thing!! I hate that. Thankfully, no malfunction on my end (although I did show my butt to a crowd last night when i was jumping over a fence to take shortcut to our parking deck. My dress got caught on the fence and I was standing there in my underwear. Lovely!

  19. Cammy@TippyToeDiet says:

    Well, thank you very much. I had managed to bury the memory of my own button dress “event” until now. 🙂 I was in high school and had borrowed the dress from my mother, whose bust and belly were smaller than mine. I wasn’t obese then, but I was a little on the chubby side. The dress looked fine standing up, but sitting was an Olympic event.

  20. Alan (Pounds Off Playoff) says:

    Thanks for your revealing story. Gosh, no pun in intended!

    This brought to mind for me the last time I tried to buy clothes at a regular department store. I had my son in tow, probably about 4 at the time. He was a little impatient with shopping, but trying to be a good sport. I was trying to inconspicuously search for a dress shirt in my size, to no avail. Suddenly, a salesperson appeared and before I could utter a defensive, “Just looking,” my son asked, “Do you have any shirts that fit my dad?” I wanted to find a big hole to crawl into.

  21. Shawnee says:

    I’m sure I’ve had many. Recently, I’ve had my own button problems. Luckily they’re with shirts that look cute with a cami underneath and I can have the buttons around the girls undone…oh for the art of making it look like my clothes fit!

  22. MB says:

    At my highest weight I had a wardrobe malfunction almost every morning when I tried to find something to squeeze in that wouldn’t dig into my flesh all day. I ended up wearing the same pair of fat pants almost every day. I have so many more options now and must start getting rid of all these fat clothes. It’s a great feeling.

Leave a Reply