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Shopping While You Shrink

By Lisa Spodak (ResultsNotTypical@worldnow.com)
Provided by WorldNow

Week 31

This week:  -3 lbs.
Change overall:  -59.5 lbs.

I feel a little guilty complaining about this, but, I’m losing so much weight that my clothes are becoming an issue.

This morning, while I was excited that a sweater I haven’t worn in years fit just fine, I was also incredibly frustrated by my jeans situation.  Every pair I own is either falling off of me or is embarrassingly tight.

Nothing fits right.

I’m very lucky – my brother has been providing me with incentive for losing weight by giving me money for clothes at pre-determined milestones.  But I’m always stymied by what to buy.  If I buy clothes that fit me now, they’ll be too big in a month.  If I buy clothes that are too small, I’ll have nothing to wear now.  It’s a perplexing conundrum.

I’ve gotten by just focusing on the bare necessities so far, but, that’s no fun!  And it doesn’t feel good to wear ill-fitting clothes when I’m working so hard to look better.

My friend Laura, who lost more than 100 pounds, can commiserate.  “It’s the worst,” she says, “because you want to have adorable clothes, but you don’t want to spend all this money on stuff you just plan to size yourself out of in the next couple of months.”

Her tips for getting through the transition times:

  • Buy one pair of stretchy jeans you can shimmy into now and then wash in hot water later to shrink
  • Stock up on skirts with elastic waists
  • Look at shirts that tie in the back – you can keep tightening the tie as you lose weight
  • Find creative uses for safety pins – “I’ve been known to safety pin everything from work pants to party dresses… just a couple of pins around the waist at the seams can save the day!”

She also has a great suggestion from another friend of hers:  quarterly clothing swaps:  “Every few months, invite all of your girlfriends to bring their castoffs to your house and then everybody ‘goes shopping.’  At the end of the swap, everything’s that left over goes to Goodwill.  It’s a good way to feel like you have new clothes, save money AND get rid of old stuff that doesn’t fit.”

I also spoke to Simple Style expert Shahnaz Khan about this challenge and she and her co-workers in the wardrobe department at the Broadway musical Wicked had some great suggestions as well:

  • Invest in some belts. You’ll be able to adjust the size as you go and you can belt just about anything: dresses, sweaters, jackets, etc.
  • Focus on knits. The sizes, generally S/M/L/XL, are more forgiving and cover a larger range. You can buy them a little snug and they’ll still look good when they’re a little roomy.
  • Wrap dresses are flattering for all sorts of body types and can be adjusted as you lose weight.
  • Don’t neglect your underwear! You may think your bras and underwear are less important because nobody sees them, but, they’re actually more important – especially the bras! The right support will make you feel better and look better no matter what you’re wearing on the outside.
  • Explore less expensive stores like H&M, TJ Maxx and Target. Try thrift shopping at Goodwill or The Salvation Army.
  • Pick a few trendy things you like and just buy them to fit now – you won’t want them anymore once the season’s over anyway.
  • If you really love something in your closet, don’t despair that it doesn’t fit anymore – find a tailor to do some alterations.

Shahnaz adds that you should spend money where you’ll get the most bang for your buck and save elsewhere:  “Spend more on the things you wear all the time.  For example, if you wear jeans every day, spend the money on jeans that fit and get new ones as needed.”


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