Friday, September 25, 2009

My Lot in Life

When I was in high school, I was in a gym class with a foreign exchange student from Sweden. I still remember her telling me in a thick Swedish accent that I looked like a chicken. When I pressed her, she told me that basically, I have a big body and skinny legs, just like a chicken. I was flattered. No really.

And such has been my lot in life. I tend to put on weight on the top half of my body. My pear-shaped friends think I'm lucky. They don't want to hear me complain about putting on weight in my chest. But believe me--it doesn't look good. Along with it comes a big face, lunch lady arms and no waist. When I get pregnant I look like a linebacker (or free-safety as Sam likes to say.)

So naturally, shopping for shirts is not easy for me. I could buy jeans every day of my life and have no problem. But I have very specific rules for shirts, especially short-sleeved shirts.

First and foremost, the shirt must not be 100% cotton. 100% cotton is of the devil and will completely stretch out and look like a faded tent in a matter of weeks. I went shopping with Ashley last weekend when she was in town and she forbade me to even try on a shirt that was 100% cotton. She believes in this rule even more than I do. As a side note, Ashley suffers from the same "chicken issue" and we laughed our guts out in the dressing room telling each other the rules and talking each other into buying shirts.

I do think Ashley is mad at me for talking her into buying a certain blue and white striped little number that Jennifer Anniston happened to be wearing in Love Happens later that evening (this is not Ashley):

Second, the shirt must not have short cap sleeves that are fitted. I am very specific on this one because I have found that I can wear short sleeves but they must either poof or be flowy. This is to camouflage my fatty upper arms. I do prefer an elbow length sleeve though.

Third, and finally, they must not cling to my jiggly little post-baby belly. This one is imperative.

So, these are the three shirts I picked up (as a side note, I think self-portraits are so awkward--do you smile? Do you not smile? Whatever--I picked the first because I loved Ryan in the background!):

The first two are from Ann Taylor Loft and the third is from Macy's. I paid good money for the ones from the Loft but I know I will wear them a ton and it takes me so long to find a decent shirt that when I find one, I buy it.

So, where do you all find good shirts? Do you agree with my rules? If you have skinny arms and a flat stomach, don't even bother to comment.


Liz said...

Well, I SO don't have a flat stomach, so I can comment. I love the black shirt, so flattering. Love Ryan in the back. I can't wait to shop for real clothes again.

Lisa Cannon said...

Love your shirts! Where is that blue/white striped one from? I need new shirts! I should try ATLoft. I never go there. I'm a Gap girl, because of the discount, but I'm not loving it lately!

The Mostess said...

I suffer from "hourglass syndrome" which means I have huge boobs and some crazy hips. No dresses fit me. Well, I have this syndrome when I'm 10 pounds less and not on fertility meds which mess with my stomach. Ugh. Right now I'm just a puffy balloon.

In any case--yes on sleeves with a little length. It flatters everyone. I love Ann Taylor and Banana. They have great tops, though I can't do any with buttons.

All three are cute!

lindsey said...

I don't know what you and Ashley are talking about because every time I see either one of you, you're TINY.

I love all four of those shirts...I am truly pudgy so all those rules are good for me to follow too. I need to bookmark this one. My favorite one is your first one, then the blue and white striped. Where is it from??? So adorable. But seriously, all three that you got are like the perfect shirt.

Ashley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashley said...


I could write a book on this. It would be a tragedy. I took the Loft shirts back--both of 'em. The sleeves on the blue striped one made me look like the free safety and the other one just hung like a tent. I am not able to tuck it in like you did in that picture. I think my issues are more exaggerated than yours. That's why I weigh more than you but I wear smaller jeans. I am built like Dad (when he's huge) and our Uncles. It's awesome. What every girl wants. I bought 3 more shirts yesterday and they are all going back. Yours all look fantastic--I really love the black one and wish you had alerted me to it so I could have gotten one. My problem is I am trying to find a way to make a cube (my torso) look like a cone. Or at least a cylindar. (Sp?)

Ashley said...

Just looked at those pictures again and you have a waist!

Em said...

Luckily I have the same problem so I can comment!

First, I have a deathly fear of birds. In fact, I almost closed your blog out when I saw the picture. Good thing I didn't. Thus, it scares me to even TYPE that I may have a chicken-shaped body. Shivers.

But, I do. A thick upper body, no distinguishable waist, but skinny forearms and legs that carry absolutely no weight or muscle. It stinks.

I like your rules. I don't hold so hard and fast to them, but when I think about them seriously, I should. They are GREAT rules! Lucky you have Ashley to consult with on this.

My main rule is it have some sort of fitted stomach or else I'm all boobs and nothing else. No tent shirts or smocks for this girl. Oh, and no horizontal stripes. They do nothing for chickens, so why would they help me?

You are smokin' hot in all three of those shirts. I especially like the black one. That's another one of my rules: buy a black version of every shirt I buy.

I should just blog about this instead of writing such a freaking long comment.

Ashley's comment is hilarious.

Em said...

PS. I re-read my comment. And do not want it to be interpreted that I want muscly forearms. I'll keep the skinny ones I have, thanks. I just meant to imply that my upper arms are flabbier than I'd like.

Jill said...

The shirts look great on you! I don't see anything chicken-like in your appearance. I wish I could buy jeans every day of my life with no problem!

brooke said...

The blue and white shirt that Ashley bought is from the loft as well. It was cute on her. I'm sad she returned it. She is more serious about the rules than I am.

Scott said...

Sadly, I think all of us Warner girls have this same problem. Big barrel chests, and small legs. My problem is, that I got the bit barrel chest, but didn't get the long skinny legs! I got completely ripped off!

And seriously, you and Ash are like size 2's so enough with the fat crap! Try being 8 inches shorter, then we'll talk fat!!!

alexandra said...

I like the elbow-length sleeve, too. I will wear a puff sleeve if the rest of the shirt is properly fitting, but it is always with regret that they screwed up the sleeves.

I think that a well-fitting pair of jeans or pants is way more key to looking good than the shirt.

As for Loft, I am so torn. I think all those shirts are so cute, but they wear out so fast and thus seem to me to be too cheaply made for the dollar.

I have reached a point in life where I think I am just going to stuff my bras. So it is hard for me understand the too-big chest issues.

Jen (and her men) said...

ooh, cute! I have the EXACT same criteria for my shirts. Will you take me shopping with you next time? I have such a hard time spending money on clothes, but I know it's worth it for good choices!! Take me, we'll do our life coaching therapy at the mall!!

Kimmie said...

Sorry aint getting no sympathy from me as far as your "chicken" complex goes....I'd take a well endowed chest and skinny legs ANYDAY over what I got girl!

Kimmie said...

Brookie...JoJo (Alexandra) and I go WAY back to grade school days in Virginia. We were in the same stake, had girls camp together, and went to highschool together until I moved here. Isn't she great?! She loves Ashley and I always tell her you two are so the same! We bumped into her a few times freshman year, not sure if you were ever with me or not??? She was on the other side of John Hall.

alexandra said...

Kim grew up in Great Falls, Va before moving to Sandy. We were in the same stake and met at girls camp when we were going into 7th grade. We then attended the same high school. I think it was the saddest event of my high school experience when she moved away. I must have met you in the dorms because Kim and I hung out a few times (and I went to her wedding shower) but the only friend I seem to remember of hers is Summer. I love Kim.

alexandra said...

That's funny. I didn't see Kimmie's comment until after I posted!

j3and12002 said...

You look great in all your shirts. You always look perfect, I don't know what your talking about with this "chicken" business (try being just over 5 feet, my body is shaped like a freaking brick).

I want to know what jeans you're wearing, they look amazing.


brooke said...


I'm wearing Rock Revival jeans from the Buckle and you have no room to talk about being a brick--miss. doesn't even weigh 100 pounds!

Melissa Walker said...

I love those shirts on you--I am a square body with the potential for good legs, so I think you have rules for me! I just keep hoping one day beautiful arms will develop. And--what kind of jeans are those?

Marni said...

I love your new shirts. I seriously don't have any rules except for jeans that they can't be the least bit floody. I wish I had some rules...better yet maybe I need someone to tell me what I look like honestly, since I don't have a sister to do it, so I can know that all these years I looked like crap with not knowing any rules. The only time a rule with the shirt applies is post prego.

Linde said...

I am one of your oval shaped friends. :) Those shirts are darling!! So very cute.

I have found that I do not enjoy shoping much anymore. It takes time and Jacob usually doesn't want to hang out in a mall too long. :) I also have a hard time weeding through the overly trendy stuff to find something that fits me. So I rarely go. I do need to break out of my t-shirt mode and try something new. :)

Mandee said...

I think it's critical that every woman be educated in how to dress herself- and I am still learning.

You know how to accentuate the good because I think you have a great body! And I covet your long, skinny legs.

I CAN'T wear anything hip-slung, or shirts that have puffy sleeves or t-shirts that are white- which used to be my favorite. I recently discovered that they exaggerate my mom arms and broad shoulders.

Cute pictures!

sheryl said...

1. Invest in a tripod. You could take some great photos of yourself...for Sam. I am sure you are all he thinks about as he runs his miles and miles. It must be nice to be tiny.
2. You are nuts! But sooo funny! If your are pretending that is a jiggly belly... @!#*. I remember the day Stan told me he wished my boobs stuck out more than my I was not expecting. The worst part is that most would consider me well endowed. What does that make my tummy! Better endowed?
3. I like the shirts. All of them! I think it is unfair that you are so thin and eat like crap!
4. I wish I had a conslultant who could tell me how to mask my body. I say I don't want to look like an oatmeal can and keep buying pencil skirts and smock tops...hmmmm Insanity!

Heather said...

I love all the shirts. In fact, I'm going to Ann Taylor Loft tonight. They won't look as cute on me, but I will try not to stand next to you wearing the same shirt, and it will be fine.

By the way, I always look like a linebacker, no pregnancy needed. What can I say, I was built to take a hit.

Lorzzz said...

Honestly, Brooke it's a bit of a stretch to say that you are big anywhere! I love this post though.. Everyone has their issues. I love all the shirts but the first one is my favorite. By the way, you are genius to figure our how to do such great self portraits in the mirror.

Amanda said...

OMG- the black one is incredible. I, like you, have banned cap sleeves from my wardrobe!