Thursday, January 15, 2015

Bien dans ma peau

I love the French expression bien dans ma peau – a phrase that means to be content with your body or to feel good in your skin. I will admit that although I had many years when I wasn’t happy with my body, I can now confidently say je suis bien dans ma peau. This may be because with age has come acceptance and contentment but I’m sure that knowing I reached a healthy weight for my frame about five years ago and have maintained it, has helped too. As it is January it is sales time here in France, but you won’t find me riffling through the rails hunting for new clothes as even though I'm a woman, shopping and I just don’t get on.

As many of you will know I am a 43-year-old wife and mother. I have a petite stature at only 1.55m (5ft) tall and would describe myself as a curvy UK size 10 (Euro size 38). Over the years I have been everything from a size 14 to an 18 and then a 10, from plump to overweight and back to plump again, before settling on curvy. I used to believe that anyone lucky enough to be a size 10 would be able to walk with confidence into any clothes shop and have the pick of the items. From the rail to the changing room mirror, it would be a fun, simple and stress free shopping experience. Well, I was wrong. Despite being my ideal weight (give or take a kilo or two) and feeling bien dans ma peau, the disappointment when item after item doesn’t quite fit and all I see in the changing room mirror is despondency staring back at me means I still hate clothes shopping.

French Village Diaries bien dans ma peau petite clothes shopping
My new trousers
Standard fit trousers are too long, petite fit are a fraction too short. Size 12’s are baggy in all the wrong places, but size 10’s can be a little snug in the tummy area. Dresses have more material between the shoulders and waist than I have body to fill them. I could go on! Thankfully fashion really doesn’t bother me. Comfort, practicality and re-purposing are much higher on my list and it was through a recent re-purposing that I made a discovery. I’m delighted to say I am now the proud owner of two pairs of trousers that really do fit. The leg length is my leg length, the waist fits, the zip stays done up and the bottom doesn’t sag (anymore than my bottom sags). I can’t quite believe that after years of not feeling ‘off-the-peg’ I’ve finally found my peg size.

There is however one downside to my newfound discovery and that is that my perfect body size is in fact age 14 boys, but thanks again Ed for having a New Year clearout of your wardrobe, it means I won’t have to go shopping again for quite a while.