When I moved back to Wisconsin in 2009, after five gloriously warm winters in Las Vegas, I was horrified when I went shopping for a winter jacket. And even more horrified with the one I eventually purchased. At the time, I was a solid 3X, working my way toward the need to shop in a specialty shop. Target, which usually has pretty cute clothes, does not cater to the 3x crowd, at least where winter jackets are concerned. I tried two other shops and found the same problem. Yes, I finally had to settle for a jacket from Walmart, as they do indeed cater to the 3x demographic, and had offerings in my budget. (I hadn't yet discovered the joy of thrifting at that point).
There she was, the hugest, reddest, quilted/padded jacket, with inconsistent zipper functioning. Oh, and the best part, reversible. The other side? Light grey. So, red if you want to indeed look like the broadside of a barn (which I did) and light grey if you want to look as vast as the veil of snow covering the city. I never wore it grey. I complimented "Big Red" as my husband and I referred to her, with such accessories that I am amazed I never had the fashion police called for harassing people's eyes. What torture it must have been for my children to be seen with me. The hat was a brown knit, with faux fur inside. It had a huge pom at the top, and flaps to cover my ears, and long strings with more poms. One girl at my son's bus stop told me it looked like a pineapple. Fair enough. I finished my "look" with a rastafarian red/yellow/green and black stripped scarf. I was a sight!
By the end of winter last year, I had already lost a considerable amount of weight, and Big Red was starting to fit so loose on the bottom, that the chill air blew right up under her, keeping me freezing all the time. In faked sad tone I explained to my husband that I would not be able to wear her another year. A twinkle gleamed in both our eyes.
So, it is with profound (profound!) joy that I say goodbye to Big Red and the likes. This year I am donning a 1x, black suede with intricate ivory stitching (dry clean only, thank you very much), a gorgeous soft fluffy cream scarf and a cream wool hat. I almost look better in my winter gear than out of it. It was a very proud moment to be able to throw Big Red to the back of the abyss that is my closet, never to be used again. It is so symbolic of all the positive changes that have come about since I began this journey. I used BR's zipper pull to repair one of my son's jackets, so it is not usable or donatable, so I might just save it as a reminder of why I am never going back to that place in my life. Shudder. Good riddance, Big Red!