Friday, April 07, 2006

“Only great minds can afford a simple style.” - Stendhal

This is a photo of normal me, dressed to hang out with the boys, go to the park or coffee shop, go grocery shopping, what have you. Just as a benchmark of sorts. I admit I am frumpy, but I am comfortable and don't think I look too awful. (This is starting to sound an awful lot like the poor souls in the three-way mirror in "What Not to Wear.")(Also, gotta say, taking photos of one's self in the mirror is incredibly difficult, hence the weirdo angle. Sorry. Pretend it's intentional and artistic.)

I need a dress for this wedding in June. I found this:
Cute, yes? I need to do some work on my biceps perhaps, but with my open-toed little black heels and this black/silver wrap I already own, perfect for a Friday evening summer wedding.I think.

Photographing yourself makes you realize what exactly your problem areas are, and other than incredible impatience with my children, I realize that my hips and butt area could use some work. ("I know that now!") They are a leetle lumpy.

Primo did not like this dress. The black was ok, but the yellow-y dots frightened him. Why did I ask him? Read this. Segundo's reaction: "You pitty, Mama." Terzo got no say, he'd have just barfed on it anyway.

Now, the dresses at the horribly named Dress Barn (mooo-oooo-ooo-oooo.....) were Buy-One, Get-$5-Off; Buy-Two, Get-$10-Off-the-2nd. So after I tried on every. single. dress in the store, I settled on this as my second one. Because, you know, they're saving me money. Heck, they're practically giving them away! I think the pattern is pretty if a bit psychedelic, it helps hide my tummy, and it can be dressed up or down. Most of the other dresses were either very dressy - beaded and strapless and things like that - or business-suit-like.

Then...I found this black tulip skirt. I LOVE it. I personally think it makes my legs look fabulous, no mean feat considering I have my grandmother's sturdy peasant legs.

I like the top. I like the fit, I like the style and color, I can wear it with black or tan or possibly even brown, maaaaayyyyybbbbeeee olive.
Primo liked it, too. He dubbed it "cool." Segundo's reaction: "You pitty, Mama."
I liked the top so much that I tried this one on too, against my better fashion judgment. But it's the same cut (hides the stomach bulge). Once it was on, I found I liked it. A bit pattern-y for me, but I think I can pull it off. And I think the detailing is cute.Don't mind me as I give you a very close-up of "the girls" as Stacy calls them, or "the wee ones" as I call them normally.

So, the jury is out. But here's the real trouble. Can I be the lipstick librarian? Is this waaaaayyy too much cleavage to wear to work, or at all? I am sooo self-conscious about my boobs at the moment because they are huge (for me) and I know once I am done nursing Terzo, they will shrink back to their previous AAA minisculity (is that a word? It is now.) So I am not used to dealing with bosoms.

It's so so so much simpler to grab my trusty grey or navy t-shirts and khaki cargo pants and Tevas, and all the baggy things that are comfy and hide my flab, than to try to pull off some sleek and fashionable little ensemble. That might expose some FLESH. Which is a sure way to begin down the road to perdition, as every good Baptist girlie can tell you.

I need Stacy and Clinton, and for the love of God, if you cared about me AT ALL, you all would nominate me for "What Not to Wear."


Carolyn said...

Your breasts look really nice in the patterny top. I love it.

And no you're not showing too much cleavage.

AND you have a great figure. I would be happy to be your size. I am starting to sidle into a 2X. Help me stop the insanity!

All the outfits were pretty! The third one with the skirt was my very favorite!

Suse said...

I love ...

the patterny top
the second dress
the shoes in the first shot.

Lazy cow said...

And here I was thinking you had a WEIGHT PROBLEM!! I need to come over there and smack your skinny arse.
Also love the patterned top, the second dress especially, and the wedding dress is lovely too.
Definitely not too much cleavage, but you could always wear a black or white camisole to preserve your modesty.

Lazy cow said...

You knew I was joking right? I've been in a very angry mood today, terribly sorry if I offended.

BabelBabe said...

Um, hello, LC, have you MET me? Oops, I guess you haven't : ) I don't offend easily, dear. You made me laugh.

Joke said...

All those diagonal pictures threw me off.


BabelBabe said...

Jke, You? Are a pain in the ass. Because I could really use a guy's input. My husband is useless. Well, not useless, just not interested in fashion of any sort.

Joke said...

See? The fact is the diagonality DID throw me off. Which would throw off my opinions.



P.S. Really!

Joke said...

OK. I'm going to see these on my laptop, that I may tilt the screen, Mrs. Lorenzo Semple, Jr.


BabelBabe said...

Haha. I SAID it was hard. And Primo would not cooperate and take the pics for me. And I tried to straighten them in Photoshop but could not make it work.

andrea said...

the funky pattern top is delightful.

blackbird said...

Dress Barn?
Did you say Dress Barn?

I need the top dress for Wednesday night!

Joke said...

I wholeheartedly approve of:

1- 1st dress
2- Tulip skirt

I am refraining from judging dress #2, on account of the lack of visible detail in the picture of the pattern.

I didn't care for the "tulip skirt's" top. In my considered opinion, its cut threw off your bust-to-hip proportions giving you an unwanted pear-ishness.

The cleavage is about what I'd feel comfortable having my wife reveal.



BabelBabe said...

Yes. Thank you.

BabelBabe said...

also - I know who Lorenzo Semple is...but why Mrs? Is it my mysteriousness? Or my weirdness?

Joke said...

It was the diagonal photography that reminded me of the old Batman TV show.





Badger said...

Okay, first of all, you don't need Stacey and Clinton. You need me.

Second of all, I see no flab whatsoever in any of those pictures, so shaddap about that.

In the first picture, are those cuffed pants? You should not wear those, as a general rule. They shorten and stumpify the legs. And also, the ones you're wearing there are too short for you unless you wear them with sandals.

I like BOTH dresses.

I agree with Joke about the first tulip skirt/top combo. The reason it makes you look pear-like, which you appear not to be ordinarily, is that the top is sleeveless. Look at yourself in the mirror in this and then squint and see where your eye goes. It's kind of drawn to the big blob of color around your midsection/hips.

The second top/skirt combo is better, because you have a tiny bit of sleeve to work with. It balances things out. A little flutter sleeve balances a tulip skirt very nicely. So does a cap sleeve, especially if it's got a little poofiness to it.

My calves are bigger than yours, and so are my ankles. You can wear shit that I could NEVER wear. Bitch.

Oh, and your cleavage exposure is FAR from indecent.

MsCellania said...

Well, I can't say it any better than Badger.
I love my Tevas but only with shorts or shoe-skimmin' jeans. Capri length needs a more-bare foot.
Your figure is fine! You looked nice in the dresses.
I agree 1000% about tulip skirts and cap sleeved tops.
I REALLY love that paisley cross yer heart top.
Not too much cleavage, really and truly. Enjoy those mammaries while you have them.

Badger said...

Oh and P.S. baggy, oversized clothes do not hide flab. They ADD flab. Stacy and Clinton would tell you that, too.

Dammit, you are just going to have to fly down here and go shopping with me. We'll buy you some work clothes so you can write the whole trip off as a business expense.

BabelBabe said...

Those pants are actually full-length but I had just returned from the park and the bottoms were wet so I just...cuffed 'em. I won't do it again, I promise.

Can I wear the black and white top with a straight-ish skirt? Or khakis? Or is it just bad?

If you were coming to Bethlehem, you could help me with this, Badger. Ahem. We could shop.

andrea said...

yes, there are outlets nearish to there, if i remember correctly.

Katya said...

You are always talking about how fat you are and here I find out that you are skinny! I'm going to join Lazy Cow and come up there and slap you>

That said -- that patterny top looks really cute on you -- I could never wear something like that because of the humungousness of my "girls" but you look really cute in it. And the black dress is very pretty too.

MsCellania said...

Hmmmmm, I like the trim on tht top, and it fits well, but either the photo creates a bit-o-belly look, or the diagonal stripes of the dots (got it?) create that look.

Were I you, I would be pickled tink that I found so many finds, as a place called Dress Barn, and had shoes to choose from, as well. Are those shoes with your NOT capris Danskos? I Love my Dansko Mary Janes. But I Love my Keenes more. Butt ugly, but oh so comfy. Beachable, mountain climbable, but not wear with dressesable.
WV is wlszdrack which is well sized rack in any language. AMen!

BabelBabe said...

No, sadly, I do have a bit o' belly. Like I look like I might be a healthy four months pregnant kind of belly. And while I think the pattern of the brown top hides that, the pattern of the black and white top accentuates it, or at least it does in that pic.

The shoes are Thom McAn, purchased at Kmart three years or so ago. They kinda remind me of a pair of Doc Martens I loved, so I bought them and they have turned out to be very versatile. Even in that reddish color, surprisingly. They work nicely when I can't get away with my Tevas or flipflops.

Kim said...

I have the four month pregnancy belly, but on you? I see no frumpage at all - my goal is to look like you! (I think we have quite similar body shapes)

I love all of them. The dresses are stunning, I completely agree on that kicky skirt and the tops - not too much boobage at all. You go girl. Knock 'em dead.

Suse said...

I just looked again to check, as I didn't have the photos in front of me as I commented. It is the FIRST black dress I love. Still love the pattern top and shoes. And I'm afraid I agree with the others about the tulip skirt top it's paired with, I just didn't want to say it out loud. What a wimp. Sorry.

And I neglected to say first time round that the cleavage is not disturbing at all.

Katy said...

I am not the queen of fashion. So you shouldn't really listen to me. In fact, pretty much everything I own is at least one of the following:
-picked out (and purchased) by my mother
-picked out by my sister (and generally purchased by my mother)
-a hand-me-up from my sister
-a hand-me-down from my roommate

If I had anything to do with the purchase of the clothing, besides not returning it, it comes from Target, because I hate shopping alone and its not much of a committment.

In my non-expert opinion, you have a very good figure for having three children under 5, that is definitely not too much cleavage, but I understand your concern, tulip skirts are awesome and it looks good on you, anything that you liked when you tried it on is a winner, because it makes you feel good.

Enjoy your new clothes! You'll get lots of compliments when you wear one of those new outfits to work.

Joke said...


Badger agreed with me.

1- This goes to show how much I have learned from my 8 years "listening" to women on Usenet.

2- If this keeps up, Badger will be listening to the kind of music I like.


Badger said...

1. Well, it took you long enough.
2. I am never going to like Gwen Stefani and you can't make me.

Joke said...

So, I guess collecting Goldwater memorabilia is out of the question?


Sarah Louise said...

BB--you look gorgeous, dahling, gorgeous. I'm not too too crazy about the paisleys, but that's just me.

I adore the black thing that has the *O's*. Not too much cleavage, at all!

Someday, when we have time *ha!* to shop at Ross Park, we must go to Christopher & Banks. I think you'd like it, and like I said, sales sales sales.

Jobs? We don't need no stinkin' jobs...oh, you mean, to pay for the clothes we want to wear to where we work?

jess said...

Out of the dresses, I like #1 best. I like both shirts, but agree that the paisley one is best with that skirt - the other one is super but it does draw the eye unnecessarily towards your hips.

And, what lazy cow said. You look fabulous. In all seriousness. Have another chocolate bar. And the cleavage is appropriate.