Is Your Dream Off-the-Rack? Or Tailor-Made?

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You have to be careful who you let define your good. Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign, 1999, US science fiction author

Tape_measure_amanda_bel Source: A. Bel Studio

Have you ever had the experience of going clothes shopping, and trying on one, two, even ten pieces of clothing that looked great on the rack, but terrible on you?

I have.

Did any of the following then cross your mind?

1. (On a good day) It's no wonder TLC's What Not To Wear is so popular — women really do have trouble finding something to wear;

2. (Ok day) I think I'll stick with buying shoes or jewelry — they usually fit;

3. (Not so good day) I'll dress my daughter instead of myself. She's two — clothes still look good on her;

4. (Bad day — disconsolate, having dissolved into tears) Something must be wrong with me, not just my body, but with me. Otherwise, these clothes would fit, and they would look good.

Yup, me too.

Which is why, when I needed something to wear for a black tie event, for the first time in my life, I had a dress made.

It was a liberating experience.

I chose fabric that matched my skin tone, hair, personality.

I selected a pattern that would look good on my body.

But most lovely of all was the moment when the seamstress (who I found on craigslist) sized the skirt of the dress to me.

My waist. My body. My measurements.

It wasn't about my fitting into the dress, but about the dress fitting me.


So here are my questions:

Are we pursuing our dream, a tailor-made dream, or what we think should be our dream, and in effect buying our life off the rack?

Instead of asking do I measure up to this dream, are we asking — does it measure up to me, and my strengths? Does it fit me?

And just to get into practice, if you see a blouse, or pair of pants that you love, and they don't quite fit, buy the piece in a size too big and have it altered!

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