Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Wardrobe Nemesis

When building our dream wardrobe or just shopping for everyday clothes, many of us encounter obstacles. Clothes are out of our price range, they are not within a dress code, they don't fit properly... or they're not black. ;)

Issues with fit have plagued me all my life. My particular banes (not to pun my own name) are my wide shoulders and extra-long arms.

To accommodate my wide shoulders, I wear stretchy knit tops. In shirts with no stretch across the back, I feel like my shoulders are locked in place. Blazers and coats feel like straitjackets.

To accommodate my extra-long arms, I buy tall sizes. Alas, ladies' talls are not readily available like petites or plus sizes. They're available only online from a few stores, such as Old Navy and JCPenney, and only in limited styles.

I must pause here to showcase one style which, as a tall woman who has spent her entire life trying to find sleeves that actually touch her wrists, I find hilarious: the tall size 3/4 sleeve top.
from JCPenney
So unnecessary. If I want a 3/4 sleeve top, I'll just buy a regular size long sleeve top. XD

Anyway... combine the need for stretchy knit tops with limited styles in tall size, and I wear a lot of t-shirts and cardigans. In fact, I have been wearing t-shirts and short sleeve cardigans almost exclusively for ages. I'm stuck in a style rut.

I want to get out of this rut, but I encounter an insurmountable obstacle... my absolute nemesis:

Overheating.

I get too hot too easily. I don't know why, but my temperature tolerance is very different from most people. Except maybe Elsa; like her, "the cold never bothered me anyway." ;)

In summer, I'm too hot outside (of course), but also too hot inside because there's not enough air conditioning. In winter, buildings are heated to what normal people consider comfortable temperatures, and they feel like an oven to me. People are comfy (or even chilly!) wearing sweaters and layers... and I'm roasting in a t-shirt.

Layers and sleeves aren't the only factors that determine whether I'm going to suffer or not - fabric type makes an enormous difference. Almost all of my clothes are cotton, with a few in polyester/cotton blends. Nylon makes me too hot, and I absolutely cannot wear acrylic without roasting.

So... I am left with few options other than cotton knit t-shirts and cardigans. One possibility is woven button-up shirts. I picked up a few from the thrift store...


And removed the sleeves.

This past weekend, the temperature outside was about 5F / -15C, and I was removing sleeves from shirts. What a bizarre scenario. :P

Not all the shirts are 100% cotton, so I'm not sure if they'll work for me. I will just have to give them a try. I really want to wear something different!


Do you have a wardrobe nemesis?


26 comments:

  1. I have the same overheating problem! I spend summer lying in front of a fan or sitting under an air conditioner, whatever I can get!

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    1. I would be miserable without air conditioning. My house has a central A/C unit, and that was a big selling point for me. Forget the stainless steel appliances or double vanity... I want air conditioning! :P

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  2. Holyclothing has sleeveless rayon dresses that breathe well and come in black.

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    1. They're gorgeous! Sadly, I can't wear off-the-rack dresses because of my long torso. The waist seam sits up on my ribs or the tie is halfway up my back. :(

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  3. I have the opposite problem... I'm always freezing! I'm also short, so everything is super long on me. Total opposites, you and me!

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    1. Freezing is no fun either. I have always wished I could voluntarily transfer my heat. I could probably warm up at least three people, and cool myself down at the same time.

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  4. Wear shirts without sleeves in winter if that's what you feel like doing, because why not? Your comfort is much more important than the looks people will give you. You can try getting long armwarmers (by long I mean the ones that reach armpits or so) and wear it with sleeveless tops if cold will start to bother you (. Also you can try removing sleeves from thin stretchy cardigans, you'll have a layer of clothing (and these are always a good idea), but won't really give you extra warmth. And these removed sleeves can be be reused as armwarmers after simple alteration to make them hug your arms.

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    1. I've grown mostly immune to the stares of others. I occasionally get the "Aren't you freezing?!" question. And when I answer, "No, actually, I'm too hot.", I have to stifle a laugh at the resulting look of confusion. I can almost hear them thinking, "Is she insane?! Or was that sarcasm?" XD

      I always wear sleeves outside to protect myself from the intense sun. In summer, I wear a light cotton cardigan. In winter, I wear a heavier cardigan... because when the temperature is well below freezing, even I need a sweater. ;)

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  5. It's good that you know what style fits you well. I hate some fabrics because they either itch or are too warm, I can't imagine wearing a synthetic tight buttoned shirt, that'll make me go nuts! Any kind of formal wear is a no go for me, so restricting and tight not in the comfy kind of way i guess

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    1. I'm very picky about the feel of fabrics. I can't stand itchy or stiff fabrics.

      I see photos of women wearing tight, high-neck, long-sleeve shirts in satin or velvet... they are beautiful, but all I can think is I would absolutely suffocate!

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  6. My temperature tolerance is the same as yours! I can wear acrylic if it's a thin knit or if we get a burst of Siberian winter. What I loathe is polyester, if I wear it once I can never get of the sweat smell :(

    As far as fit is concerned, I have two problems: breasts smaller than the smallest bra and a big butt. My bottoms are two sizes larger than my tops and I always have that awful waist gap. No dresses for me, either, unless they are very flared. As a taller than average girl myself, I recommend armwarmers/gauntlets.

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    1. Winters here are super dry, like below 20% humidity, and polyester becomes a nightmare because of the static electricity. When I take my dogs' fleece blankets out of the dryer, I feel like I'm going to electrocute myself. Pulling them apart produces LOUD crackling and visible sparks. :O (I have now learned to greatly reduce the static by using vinegar in the rinse cycle.)

      I have that fit problem as well, with a bottom half two sizes larger. It's frustrating.

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  7. I am also long-limbed, with a disportionately small waist. If I want my sleeves to reach my wrists, I need a size large and have to take it in everywhere else. My opinion matches yours on 3/4 sleeves. Hence why I sew.

    I'm totally the opposite in terms of warmth though. Summer is actually worse, because I'll dress for the outside weather and then the air conditioning everywhere is set at Arctic temperatures. You would faint if you saw my office: slippers, fuzzy socks, gloves, a fleece jacket, a microfleece blanket, and a tea maker.

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    1. Yeah, I buy shirts large enough to fit my shoulders and arms, and then have to take them in along the sides and front. Being tall or long in any way is a good impetus for learning to sew.

      The reverse is true for me - winter is worse. When it's 10 degrees outside, even I need a sweater, boots and gloves... but then it's 78 degrees inside buildings. I always feel like Mr. Rogers when I arrive at work, peeling off my sweater and changing my boots for flats.

      I wish there were so many things to help with overheating! I have two fans, but there's not much else I can do.

      For a brief, blissful time, I had an office with its own thermostat. I kept it at 66 degrees in the winter. People would walk in and say in a hateful tone, "It's freezing in here!" I put up a large thermometer with the 32 degree freezing point marked and a sign that said, "No, it's not." so that I could just point to it in reply. :P

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  8. My wardrobe nemesis is finding shoes that are both stylish and comfortable.

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    1. Ugh! Yes, shoes are a challenge for me as well.

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  9. I can understand your issues with mainstream shopping outlets. I have issues but I'm the complete opposite to yourself. I'm a 5ft1 and pear,so I have slim waist but a huge bottom and large biceps meaning I need go for the next size up and its too large. So I find wearing woven tops a nightmare prefer stretchy fabric and so glad I can sew. Also. I often avoid man made fabrics and prefer natuel fabrics.

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    1. Thank goodness for stretchy cotton knit! I would be miserable if I had to be confined into snug woven tops.

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  10. My personal nemesis? Trousers that are waaaay too long. Sure, at less than 5'2" I could shop in the Petite section, but Punk Rave don't have one, so I'm screwed.

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    1. I don't wear trousers, but jeans certainly seem to be unusually long in general. Even I typically need the regular length instead of long.

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  11. My body shape is pear, I'm plus size, short-waisted with long arms and legs. I have to buy to fit my hips first. So if I buy a 5x shirt, it will fit my hips but be baggy and lose at my shoulders which would be fine with a 2x or 3x depending. I've rarely had long enough sleeves and while I don't have the issue quite to the extend that you experience, it is a pain.

    My fiance is just a few inches taller than I am but she has a longer torso and shorter legs, and no butt. Her pants and underwear often fall down and we have to hem up her pants else she walks on them. She also has a horrible time finding comfortable bras. She's in an H cup right now but we suspect she would be more comfortable in a J cup. However just trying to find H cups are so difficult. She'd basically stuck getting them from Lane Bryant and they are expensive.

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    1. I have a similar issue. I buy a shirt to fit my hips and broad shoulders, and the chest and waist are so baggy I could carry cargo. :P

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  12. I actually am the exact opposite, always freezing, let's throw our body temperature things together *lol*

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    1. I wish I could transfer body heat... like some sort of heat ray that would warm up other people while cooling me down. That would be so wonderful!

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  13. I also have the overheating problem, especially in the summer! I prefer to wear tights, skirts, boots, jackets, blazers, and scarves so I like fall and winter as I can actually wear these without sweating to death....until I go inside....as you mentioned, people CRANK the heat in the winter so I will be dying when I go inside most buildings. I LOATHE summer clothes like shorts and strappy shirts so I usually boil to death in the summer.

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    1. I don't like summer clothes either. I don't wear sandals, and I prefer to keep my legs covered. Because it's arid here, I bake instead of boil... but it's just a different way to cook. :P

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