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Family Matters Blog: Muumuus and Comfortable Shoes

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2011 – Guest blogger Karen Nowowieski is the founder of “Work It!” — a home business that provides free style makeovers to service members transitioning out of the military. This former soldier and current Defense Department civilian has offered to share her fashion know-how with Family Matters readers through a series of guest blogs. In the coming months, she’ll cover everything from appropriate interview and work attire to what to wear on a date or girls’ night out.

By Karen Nowowieski

When did YOU decide to give up? This morning? Last week? Last month? For me, it was when I gained about 30 pounds in a week (seriously!).

Now, I did grow up heavy, and I’ve been this heavy many other times, but this time was different. I suddenly didn’t know how to dress this new body. I had bigger EVERYTHING. No more button downs -- my top region made sure of that. Pencil skirts, even with the strongest shapers possible, still made me look like 10 pounds of sausage in a 5-pound casing – not so hot.

So rather than dress the body I had, I covered it up in as many shapeless muumuus as I could find. I called these “dresses” my work uniform. Every day was a “bad scale” day (my husband’s term), and trying to stuff my body into my smaller clothes was so depressing, I’d have to eat a pack of Ho-Ho’s just to get through it. But one day I said, “No more.” So with chubby arm raised and with an Amazonian scream, I attacked my closet.

No more trying to be something I wasn’t (a size 6) and being unhappy with the body I had to work with. I cut a swath through that closet a mile wide. No more pretty clothes in the wrong size to smirk at me in the morning as I desperately tried to find something to wear. Out went those pants with the stapled hem, the bra that never fit right and any underwear older than my children (both 12) -- right in the garbage.

I felt energized, powerful and strong. I knew that I could go forth and shop, secure in the knowledge that everything going back into that closet would never smirk at me again. Eleanor Roosevelt said it best. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” That goes for your clothes, too!

So, say it loud and say it strong: “I will no longer be bullied by my wardrobe!” Grab some garbage bags and ATTTTAAAACCCCKKKK!!!!!!

Have a fashion question for Karen? Post your comments or questions on the Family Matters blog or email them to Elaine.sanchez@dma.mil. 


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