Day Nine: Daisy Fuentes

I don’t remember Daisy Fuentes well. She hosted a show on MTV, right? Sandblast or something? And was she a model? I knew her name because she was relatively famous, but I didn’t become a Daisy Fuentes fan until sometime in 2008. This is that time I’ve written of before. I was about 30 pounds heavier than I’d ever been, just out of college, after a long stretch of partying and taking poor care of myself. I was also working my first professional job that required professional clothing. I had become too heavy for the professional clothes I’d worn in college, and those were mostly just the remnants of the “professional” clothes I’d worn in high school. The first wardrobe I put together was awful. I didn’t know how to shop for my new size, I was embarrassed by my weight, and I thought heavy people couldn’t wear trendy clothing unless it came from Lane Bryant.

I was shopping at Kohls for new work clothes one day when I came across the – at the time still relatively – new line by Daisy Fuentes. I was able to find a well fitting pair of black slacks that weren’t terrible and it was a game changer. For the next 2 years I got most of my new clothing from the Daisy Fuentes collection. My partner’s mother would shop for me in Madison from among Daisy’s clothes and then mail them to me. I finally started feeling comfortable in the clothes I wore to work each day. I felt it was okay for me to want to look good in my clothes, even at a larger size. I felt I deserved to be fashionable. When I could finally start fitting into the clothes of other designers, I still often purchased from Daisy’s collection because it just feels right for me.

I don’t shop many places. I get many things from thrift stores. When I want one or two high quality items for a specific purpose I shop Nordstrom Rack. And when I lose or gain a significant amount of weight and need to replace half my work clothes on the cheap, I shop at kohls. And whether my weight is up or down I know I can find something I like by Daisy Fuentes. After my August Whole 30 I literally had only one pair of work appropriate pants that weren’t 2-3 sizes too big. Soon, I shrunk out of all of my skirts too. I finally put some money aside in my budget to find some new clothes. This past weekend I spent considerable time combing through the pant racks at Kohls and tried on several pairs that didn’t fit or look right until I found the right pair, again by Daisy. Then I bought two. (Along with a dress by her and two others by Chaps.) I’ve already received compliments from co-workers and even been told I had a new positive energy about me by the company president.

It sounds insignificant but it matters how we feel in our clothes. It affects our confidence and our self esteem. For all of my life, I’ve struggled to find stores or designers that sell fashionable clothes I can fit into. It’s a wonderful feeling to know I can buy clothes almost anywhere now, but it was so important to have the clothes by Daisy Fuentes when I couldn’t. There was a brief time when Kohls stopped carrying her clothes because of a minor (read: major) sweat shop scandal, but whose counting that anyway?

I’m kidding. It’s terrible that she uses sweat shops to produce her clothes and it’s terrible that I over look that so I can feel good about myself. It’s also terrible that heavy women have a hard time finding cute clothes at non-specialty stores. But this is about gratitude not terribleness. I’m thankful for the access to and resources to purchase clothes that make me feel beautiful at any size.

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