A Cardinal Rule

March 18, 2012

Okay, so I broke a cardinal rule.  Many of you know this rule: never get rid of your “fat” jeans.  As we head into Spring, and I’m packing for a trip, I’m reminded that a year ago I weighed about 15 lbs less.  This weight gain is not unexpected.  I like to eat; my idea of exercise is jumping into bed with a good book.  Most of my clothes are pretty forgiving, but jeans are the exception.  It’s that pesky “menopot”.

But did I really make a mistake when I let go of those jeans?  I’m inclined to look a little deeper into the whole notion of holding on to things because of “what if?”  How much baggage do we have (literally and figuratively) because of that idea, how much do we hoard?  In hedging our bets, are we denying ourselves the pleasure of the present?

I’m also looking at my stress level regarding this trip!  (What if it’s cold/hot/rainy?  What if I don’t have the perfect outfit for any given day for any given mood?) It’s making me crazy.  My fears are ruining this moment and therein lies the real lesson.

I think I’m going to rewrite the rules.  I’m going to accept the fact that if my “fat” jeans are gone, I’m supposed to wear something else.  I’m going to pack what I love, embrace the body I currently have, and leave it at that.

But say a prayer for me.  I just hope I don’t trip on my maxi skirt as I run for the train.

(All of these outfits feature upcycled pieces.  I’m going to have links to more detailed descriptions and how-to’s very shortly.  If you just can’t wait, let me know and I’ll give you the rundown!)

It’s MONDAYMONDAYMONDAY.  You know what that means…PATTI!!!  Also, Tammi would love to hear from you as well!



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46 Responses to A Cardinal Rule

  1. Melanie on March 18, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Jean, those are beautiful pieces! The first one is my favourite with the colourful bits at the bottom. I’m guessing that the leather layer was once leather pants that you upcycled into a skirt? No matter what you did, you did it superbly. Yes, bye, bye jeans! When you have stuff like this to wear, not a bad thing! I will keep an eye out for your how-to’s.

    • Jean on March 18, 2012 at 11:42 pm

      You are right! It was a pair of leather pants thrifted for $10. The bottom piece has enormous sentimental value, a handwoven skirt my mom purchased the year I was born. I just need to find the picture of her wearing it!!!!!

      • Sis on November 13, 2015 at 3:06 pm

        Now you have the picture of her wearing it!!
        love you

  2. Terri on March 18, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    You wear the maxis so well. Like you, I keep a couple pair of “roomier” jeans just to cover the winter months. Although I’ve grown thicker in the middle, I still have pounds that come and go.

    • Jean on March 19, 2012 at 1:04 am

      Yup, just wish I’d kept my roomiest!! But that’s water under the bridge, isn’t it!

  3. Wendy on March 19, 2012 at 2:19 am

    All three these outfits are fabulous. I think there’s a point where we all have to accept the changes in our bodies, as hard as it is, and get on with enjoying the moments. Hope your week is awesome.

    • Jean on March 19, 2012 at 9:57 am

      As I pack, I’m thinking I could use those black boots you featured. Oh, but then I really couldn’t walk!

  4. Sis on March 19, 2012 at 6:17 am

    I thought I recognized the fabric on the skirt! I’ve always loved the colors and the texture of it.
    Many memories.
    I know you’ll make more with Alex this trip.

    • Jean on March 19, 2012 at 10:00 am

      If you look at the post called Out to Lunch you’ll see the last little tidbit on the shoulders of the upcycled denim jacket. It really is exquisite fabric. I’m going to have a great time, I’m sure. I’ll think of you as I’m there!!

      • Sis on March 19, 2012 at 7:10 pm

        Oh my! I hadn’t noticed but there it is..
        What a beautiful skirt it was and what stunning additions it’s made to you’re new garments. I do love them.
        All that being said, I don’t know what I’ll do if/when I can’t/won’t wear my jeans anymore.
        Oh dear.
        I guess I’ll just garden in my scrubs!

        • Jean on March 19, 2012 at 10:54 pm

          I think you’ll be looking good in those jeans for a long, long time!! Can I be like you when I grow up? I love you!!!

          • Sis on March 20, 2012 at 4:38 pm

            We are both beautiful in our own fashion! Thank goodness.
            I love you too!

  5. Serene on March 19, 2012 at 7:23 am

    I ADORE so much that first skirt!!!! What I like about your style is the touch of drama that you add! I’m feeling you on the weight thing, but you’ve ABSOLUTELY got the right idea….I try not to keep ANYTHING in my closet that I can’t put on and wear right now. No more “maybe one day”, because you’re right. Anxiety over some of this stuff really does steal the joy of what should be a great moment! Hugs! ~Serene

    • Jean on March 19, 2012 at 10:03 am

      Thank you my dear! I’m feeling better already.

  6. SACRAMENTO on March 19, 2012 at 8:33 am

    You are very wise: embrace the body I currently have, and leave it at that.
    I did that a long time ago, yeahhhhhhhhhhhh
    Enjoy your trip, and every single moment of your life.

    • Jean on March 19, 2012 at 10:13 am

      I’m committed to it! I think it’s going to be a good one.

  7. Patti @ NotDeadYet Style on March 19, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Your maxis are so gorgeous, who’ll miss the the jeans? And I adore your new, re-written rule: wear something else, something you love! Thanks so much for sharing with Visible Monday too : >

    • Jean on March 19, 2012 at 10:16 am

      Thanks Patti. Come to think of it, have I ever seen you in jeans? You know I really like that long skirt you’re sporting, too!

  8. Rose on March 19, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Bless you Jean! Don’t worry about the loss of the “fat” jeans. It was never going to be as great as these looks are. Think about it: how many other people are going to be wearing jeans? You are going to look so marvellous, no one wearing jeans is going to get a look-in.

    Maybe this is just my own prejudice, having stopped wearing jeans more than 10 years ago. Wasn’t a deliberate decision. Just happened.

    Much love from your twin in England,
    Rose http://www.foreveronthecatwalkoflife.com

    • Jean on March 19, 2012 at 10:20 am

      Did you have a wonderful birthday?! I know I did. I also know that jeans (on me) never look as good as I think they’re going to. So this is a blessing in disguise, right?

  9. The Style Crone on March 19, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Your upcycled maxis are so beautiful. I love the colors in the first photo and the multiple layers in the third. Who needs jeans when you have these options. I have difficulty ‘letting go’ of items, so I understand the anxiety of remorse.

    • Jean on March 19, 2012 at 10:26 am

      I still dream about shoes I had in the 70’s and wish I hadn’t let them go. But then I imagine that they’re adorning someone else who hopefully loves them, and I feel okay

  10. Vix on March 19, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Those maxis are stunning, especially that sexy leather number. Why confine yourself to jeans when you have so many gorgeous options? You’re a beautiful woman, show yourself off without fear. xxx

    • Jean on March 19, 2012 at 11:56 am

      Yes, although when I’m thinking jeans, I’m thinking of the way you’d wear them, as in I’d have to “vixify” them!! Surely you’re familiar with that word?

  11. Louisa on March 19, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    I think I have a pair of jeans. Granny jeans with elastic waist! Can’t remember when the last time was I wore them though. Camping maybe? I’d rather wear knits, skirts, dresses or just about anything else instead. But that’s just me. My husband on the other hand rarely wears anything else. Oh for the days when I could fit into his jeans! Sigh!

    As for getting rid of stuff, I still wear some items from the ’80’s and ’90’s, mostly me-made. If I still love it, it still fits and it’s not worn out – it stays. I do need to get a little serious about cleaning out the actual junk though. I’m cursed with an abundance of attic storage space so stuff can lurk much longer than it has any right to. It’s kind of fun rediscovering treasures though. Who needs to shop the thrift store?

    • Jean on March 19, 2012 at 3:49 pm

      I agree with the “me-made” stuff. I tend to love it pretty much forever. Aren’t we lucky!

  12. tammy @ silverstyle on March 19, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Your upcycle styles always inspire me! Thank you so much for linking up.
    Have a good week:)

    • Jean on March 19, 2012 at 11:12 pm

      I’m planning on it! Just hope the weather holds out; it’s supposed to be nice and my wardrobe is calculated accordingly. Have a good one!

  13. Debbi@SheAccessorizesWell on March 19, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    You are so thin! I cannot imagine you 15lbs thinner. You look so extraordinary in your upcycled outfits and they are so lovely that I am sure you will look marvelous on your trip.

    • Jean on March 19, 2012 at 11:18 pm

      Ahh! That means my fashion strategy is working. If you look carefully, you never, ever see my waistline highlighted. Why? It’s nonexistent. If you pay any attention to those silly body-type assessments, I’m the apple on toothpicks. Very long toothpicks. I’m extremely short when I sit down. Sometimes it’s startling, to me and others, when I stand up.

  14. Jeannie on March 19, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Ah! So beautiful!! I can’t imagine you 15lbs lighter…you must have been a stick!
    I’m like you before a trip…I always overpack thinking “what if”.
    With that said, I hope you have a wonderful trip!

    • Jean on March 19, 2012 at 11:33 pm

      Thanks so much! I’m finally packed, I think!

  15. Danielle Grigsby on March 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    The first skirt pictured is my favorite. The pictures are so small, though. It’s hard to see them.

    • Jean on March 20, 2012 at 11:49 pm

      Yes, they are. However of you click on them once or even twice, you’ll be able to see larger versions!

  16. Sheila on March 21, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    I’ve gotten rid of the “fat” jeans a couple of times, but then I always find better ones later! Have a safe trip.

    • Jean on March 21, 2012 at 11:26 pm

      So far so good! I’m going to try to squeeze in a little shopping. Wish me luck!

  17. Kiah on March 22, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    You only live once, enjoy life and don’t concentrate on the small things! There are people that would love to gain 15 lbs! I love the skirts! Kiah

    • Jean on March 23, 2012 at 8:21 pm

      So true. Now just to remember that as much as possible.

  18. Ariane on March 23, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Well Jean even if you put on 15 pounds you look pretty amazing
    I am the same when i am travelling, i pack too much, i look at my wardrobe and say should i bring this or that, i make combinations of what i will be wearing and when there i were it in a complete different way!

    Have a great weekend Jean and thanks for your comments!

    Ariane xxxx

    • Jean on March 23, 2012 at 8:23 pm

      You described the process perfectly! I am currently wearing everything as you said “in a completely different way”. So funny, yet it always happens much to my surprise.

  19. Bella Q, The Citizen Rosebud on March 24, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    It’s a balance to hang on to things but not horde. I’ve noticed that I need a few sizes of jeans to cover my varying figure. But when to get rid of? I’m not sure. I’m glad you look great in your maxi’s. They look so much chic’er than your fat jeans ever would. Have a fun vacay!

    • Jean on March 24, 2012 at 10:20 pm

      Thank you Bella!! I managed to get it all figured out. Now, on the the next pressing fashion conundrum…whatever that may be!

  20. creativefashionglee on March 24, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Dear, this post just reminded me of all the jeans I´ve left in Bangkok Thailand when I moved to Germany 5 months ago. Those jeans used to fit right and really flatter my figure but I had lost weight due to a very tedious job, so when I left, I decided to leave them behind. now I´ve gained weight and I need those jeans, how I regret that I´ve lost them. I always think of them. :)

    But these outfits are great. Loving how you pulled off long skirts. It´s something I´m not really good at – long skirts. :)

    • Jean on March 24, 2012 at 10:17 pm

      Hopefully you’ll find some new ones you like even more. That’s what I’m hoping for, anyway! Your blog is so full of great styling ideas, maybe I won’t miss them at all.

      • creativefashionglee on March 31, 2012 at 9:46 am

        Hi Jean, I do hope to find some really good ones to embrace. Right now, my struggle is finding jeans that really fit well on a petite like me, but usually, the smallest size here is a one size bigger than me. This is true even with shoes. But I´m sure I´ll find my way out.

        Also, thanks to that wonderful email you´ve sent me before commending me on my blog, I did read it and was flattered by it, but was too sidetracked to reply. Thankk you! :)

        • Jean on April 1, 2012 at 8:23 pm

          I totally understand being too busy or sidetracked!! Thank for visiting and commenting, I really appreciate it.

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