Sunday, July 19, 2009

Skirting: The Issue

The day after I bought the Club Monaco denim, asymmetric, button down mini skirt, I joyfully wore it to work (with the champagne gladiators - very good look). I said to my husband: How do I look?, and with nary a hesitation he advised that it was pulling over my hideous stomach lump - I mean, he didn't call it that, to clarify. That's me editorializing. He called it - kind of boringly - "your midsection".

At first, I cursed him for his meanness. Then I considered that perhaps he's learned a lesson or 2 from me, the woman who doesn't mince words when he asks how I like what he's wearing. A bad lesson. Then I had to concede he was correct - there was a slight pull over the space between the button at the waist and the first button below that. That space encompasses the entirety of my stomach lump. I'd like to tell you it's the result of childbirth but I'd be lying. It's just a feature of my proportions.

I should mention that it is not a terrible thing. When I'm naked, I actually think it's a nice curve. The top part of my stomach - from breasts to belly button - is flat, even toned. The fleshy lump, well that's just genetics. And cake. It makes me feel connected to my latin roots. Of course, in this respect I'd be just as happy to feel connected to WASPy flat stomach roots I don't have.

If there's one part of my body I'm willing to speak negatively about, it's the tummy. And that's stupid, as all the "love your body" bloggers would have you know. If this is my biggest "flaw" well then I might as well shut up because it doesn't impinge on my ability to enjoy fashion, eating or my life in ANY WAY.

Let's get back to the point of this post, shall we?

I wore the skirt to work. I fretted all day about the pull. I held file folders in front of me as I talked to co-workers. They asked why I was holding file folders strangely in front of my stomach. When I took the folders away, everyone commented on my great new skirt and then - on observing the asymmetry at the hem - said: Did you make it yourself?

I mean, WTF? Of course I didn't make it myself. It's the style peeps. Have you not looked at any fashion blogs in the last 12 months?

I don't want you to think that these brief setbacks undercut my love of the skirt in any way. I don't care what people think of asymmetry. I bought it because I think it's great. I suspect a different crowd will respond to it differently. (PS - I know without a doubt, that no one was aiming to insult me in any way...)

I knew exactly how to solve the problem of the pull, naturally, it's not like I just got off the boat with this stomach. The key - and you may know this if you have a little lump type of stomach typical of latin culture - is to put a snap (a sturdy one) - between the buttons. I didn't do this myself. My DIY skills are limited to chair reupholstery. :-)

I took the skirt to Julie, my alterations person, and she fixed the problem in 5 minutes. For $5.00. And, while I watched her, I learned a key new lesson: If you have "the tummy", put the snap towards the inside of the place where the buttons join. If you put it flush with the buttons, the pull will persist because that's the zone of "highest tug" (technical term, you realize).

I got home and tried the skirt on again. The pull was entirely gone. The denim fit smoothly (and snug-ly) around my waist and below. It was just as if the thing were made for me.

Note, I said "for me" - not "by me". Just so we're clear.


  1. That's a novel idea, that snap button thing. I wonder if it would work for shirts that have become too tight in the bosomular region?!

  2. I knew this was going to be fixable! :-)
    Just knew it from the start.

    BTW, I'm bringing 10 things to my super seamstress Jean tomorrow -- should pay her rent for the month!

  3. I thought it was fixable, and am so, so glad that it was.

    When I sewed clothes, and I like to make tailored things, it always struck me that people always asked me if I made something when I had purchased it, usually looking for cool fabric or great design details, and always assumed the things I made were purchased, especially when I had managed to pull off something that looked really fabulous. I always wondered about that.

    It is the made "for you" part that is critical anyway.

  4. You're going to have to do a followup post with pictures. I can't visualize this snap thing. And pictures of you in the skirt would be nice too. :)

  5. Alterations are a Godsend, right?


  6. ahhaha! this is so cool! what a fantastic fix!

    i have a zillion body flaws and just try to make the best of them (meaning: try to hide them and emphasize the better areas). it is a hell of a job, but whaddya gonna do short of eating less, working out more, or getting plastic surgery? i don't like those options, so the disguise game continues!

  7. Alterations are a god send. It's never about the cut of the cloth or the right strategically placed assistance!

  8. So glad you've got a good alterations woman - now you don't have to hold file folders funny.

  9. Glad to know it is fixed now. =D Looking forward on your next post. Have a good day. =D

  10. You're so efficient! And such a good problem solver. I would have thrown the thing in the closet and never worn it again!

  11. Iris: I'm glad you mentioned that. It totally works. I'm big on that one!

    Wendy: As we know, it's money well spent! And relationships well-forged...

    Mardel: Learning to sew is my next big project. I want to have the vocabulary and the skill to at least improve the things I buy. You are very fortunate to have so much ability!

    Raven: I know. I will. I'll show the snaps and model. Give me time!

    CC: Unquestionably!

    J: I love your attitude. It's all about camoflauge! And enjoying food at the same time!

    Kate: Such a Godsend.

    I: :-)

    Thanks Summer!

    Tessa: Oooh, I love to be thought of as efficient. Throwing in the closet wasn't going to work this time. I needed the skirt!

  12. When I read the first half of this (it has been that kind of week) I went away cursing Mr - and citing Marilyn Monroe for one thing. Tummies can be fertile and feminine and gorgeous for chrise sakes! - all in my head of course as I ran down the stairs to stop flood,fire and snot.....

    Now I have finally finished it I am v.impressed. Just the kind of thing a small waisted, big bottomed woman should know about, tummy or not!

    (I don't mind my latin tummy or tushie anymore. And neither does my Mr) xx

  13. L: I'm sure he doesn't! And yes, you should so know this trick. It'll save you so many times. xo