Monday, October 19, 2009

Losing weight is expensive.

Well, it CAN be expensive.

I have gotten a few comments and some e-mails from you guys about how difficult it can be to shop for clothes when you're on a weight loss journey. We already know how women's sizes can be a bitch to figure out, but this is about dollars. When you're dropping sizes over the course of months, it's kind of overwhelming to think about the money you could spend on new clothes. None of us want to look like homeless people or bag ladies because our clothes are so baggy. None of us want to bend over to pick up a penny and have our ass cracks show themselves to the world because our pants are so big. We also don't want to drop hundreds of dollars on clothes because we're getting thinner. So, what to do?

I'm going to share with you my biggest clothes shopping secrets.

First of all, you need to discover Old Navy and Target. But Old Navy more than Target. Old Navy has really affordable and CUTE clothes. Plus, their clearance section is amazing and you can pick up a wide range of styles. Target is also great (we already know this.)

But, even better than those two places is... the Thrift Store. Now, you might be thinking "Eew, really?" Or, "No way." But I'm telling you guys, it's the BEST way to find clothes for your transition weight. If you don't know where a good thrift store is, ask friends, or ask some locals around town. There is most likely one, two, or more kick ass, clean thrift stores to go to.

Thrift stores also have TONS of variety. What I picked up today, I found in about 15 minutes of searching through the racks. I could have spent a few hours there. And there are tons of sizes. Granted, if you wear a 24 it might be somewhat harder than my wearing a 12/14, but I saw all sizes up to 28, xxl's and down to small/petites, 00. If you think about why people get rid of their clothes, weight loss is one of those reasons. So, the folks before you lost weight, donated their clothes so they could buy new ones. You can do the same thing! Also, if you find a thrift store in a nicer area, you're more likely to find brand name/designer clothes.

To illustrate my point, I have some pictures for you guys. (of course!) :) I'm also going to show you what each piece cost me, compared to the average price for one of these pieces, new.


Green The Limited, size L: $2.99 (retail $50)
Grey White Stag, size 16/18: $2.39 (retail $15) (big on me but so soft and comf I had to buy it.)
Tan Banana Republic, size M: $2.99 (retail $69)
Grey GAP fleece vest, size M: $2.39 (retail $45)


Blue Liz Claiborne, size L: $2.39 (retail $30)
Cream Ann Taylor Loft, size cut out: $2.39 (retail $16)

Casual Dresses:

Jean Tommy Hilfiger, size 14: $2.39 (retail $75)
Brown Simply Vera Wang, size M: $2.39 (retail $58)

Work/dressier dresses:

Brown plaid off brand from Russia, size 10: $2.39 (I didn't buy this one.)
Black Briggs shell dress, size 12: $2.39 (retail $40) (a little tight but will be perfect in about 10 pounds)


Black New York and Company, size 14: $2.39 (retail $30) (I didn't buy this one)
Maroon Harve' Benard, size 12: $2.39 (retail $25)


Brown Ann Taylor Loft, size 12: $2.39 (retail $70)
Black New York and Company, size 12: $2.39 (retail $50)

So! I got:
  • 2 pairs pants
  • 1 skirt
  • 2 casual dresses
  • 1 work dress
  • 3 sweaters
  • 1 fleece vest
  • 2 sleeveless tops
I spent a grand total of $31.55. Had I bought those items or ones similar, new, it would have run me around $543.

Convinced yet? You should be. :)

Also, is a really cool website where you can trade clothes for free. And don't forget about the Bloggerhood of the Traveling Not So Fat Pants! :)



Carly said...

Cute finds!

Yuki Bara said...

You look really cute in the pictures! There's another way you can save on clothing, too. You can take up sewing and make your own like I do... Buying materials is cheaper than buying clothes and it's much more rewarding!

Ainslee Kardisco Kroenke said...

Thanks for this post! I know it's easy to be timid of thrift store shopping, but your post totally shows the advantage of it!

TheBorman5 Plus1 said...

I love love love thrift stores!!! I also love Old Navy. I am on my own weight loss journey, so cheap is best for me. With 4 children, I never spend money on myself, so when I need clothes thrift store here I come! And I have no problems buying jeans for the kiddos there too I mean they grow so fast, most of the jeans are in excellent condition anyway, family shopping in one place, extra points!!!

Dorn said...

Rock the Cream Ann Taylor top...looks great!

Christy said...

I was an avid thrift shopper until I got to be above a size 14. Then, I couldn't seem to find anything for me, anymore. Still, I'll be thrifting again soon!!!


Erin said...

I had no idea there were such cute (and brand name) things at thrift stores! I'll have to check some out!

Heather said...

I love this idea! I've been hitting up Target and JC Penny sales and clearances for my new smaller clothes. Or I ask for clothes as presents for my birthday and Christmas. I've been selling my bigger clothes at consignment shops, but I've never really shopped in the store.

Anonymous said...

I love thrift stores! Here in Japan they are called recycle shops. Japanese people take such good care of their clothes (because they're so expensive) that the recycle shop clothes look like new. Unfortunately, I can't buy anything from theses stores because Japanese women don't have the same proportions as us, Westerners...

kimert said...

I have to admit that Old Navy is my fave place to shop while losing weight! :)
But girl you totally rocked out the thrift shop! And inspired me to (eventually) hit the local one here up.

'Drea said...

Very nice post. I wasted too much money while in transition.

I can't believe that you found so many $2 dollar items. Now that's talent.

Geeta said...

Nicely done :)

Marsha said...

Thanks for being such a positive influence for so many. To give is to receive back many times over.

Lizz said...

I love Goodwill, and places like that. Find a Plato's closet. They sell designer and up to date fashions for a couple bucks!

Sara said...

I got one of my favorite jackets of all time at a thirft shop...I love them, and Old Navy, right now I am trying to shrink to fit into my winter clothes before it gets to cold. I also really really really want to figure out a place to find knee high boots that fit my giant calfs (19 inches). Great finds, keep up the good work.

lovewithlife said...

Yes Yes Yes Yes! I actually have an entire blog post about thrift stores as well and how incredible they are for when you are going through a weight loss!!!! I don't know what I would do without thrift stores. They are absolutly amazing!

Anonymous said...

That cream top looks amazing on you!

Slop -n- Goulash: Dinner of Champions! said...

I have loved thrift stores and garage sales my entire weight loss journeys and all the time. You sometimes really have to look but we have a Salvation Army store and it is organized down to the size, color and style - you can actually go in looking for a short sleeve white shirt in a certain size and go right to the area which houses all of that style/size. Not to mention jewelry and housewares like frames, cast iron cookware (which is better old and well seasoned) and Target even donates new items to Goodwill - they have some kind of contract. But Jennifer, you did great! Congrats!

The Expatresse said...

There's a New 2 U type shop near my US house (we're expats in Moscow) and whenever I'm there, I go. I usually spend about $40 and come out with real treasures. Big name labels (it's near an upscale neighborhood) and generally fun stuff. I recommend it highly.

My husband lost about 90 pounds several years ago, and it was tough keeping him in suits (no New 2 U for that when you are 6'6").

But losing weight or not, in this economy, resale clothing stores are the way to go.

MB said...

WOW! You got some great deals. I love the jean dress. I could open my own consignment store with the sizes I have in my closet ranging from 8 to 18. I'm always eager to give away the larger sizes as soon as I lose a little but never want to give up the smaller ones hoping (knowing?) I will get back into them. *sigh*

Jasmine said...

Love the new clothes! You look great! I really like shopping at Good Will. I have found some good deals and actually gotten a suit for like $10.00!!!

nancy said...

Great way to encourage folks to find yet more positive angles on losing weight, a new wardrobe at an affordable price.


Lil Mac's Momma said...


OMG, you are hysterical! I started following you blog about three weeks ago and LOVE every minute of it. I usually get to read it once a week and can't wait each week to see to amazing weight loss progress and funny life stories.

Keep it up girl!


All Together Dead said...

what a total SCORE... way to go

D. said...

Love it! I am with you. When I was dropping weight month after month I needed clothes. I think I have jeans now in about every size and I always think..."should I get rid of the bigger ones? What if I put on a few pounds again...?"
so, I keep them in case. It is really expensive but rewarding at times. However, I agree with you on the fun finds at 2nd hand stores. I purchased name brand jeans that retailed from anywhere to $75 - $150 and I paid no more than $25 for them...and they are my most favorite pieces still. So, keep up the good work!!

Carlos said...


Quincifer said...

Right I need to get this a thrift store like a charity shop? Because we don't have thrift stores in the UK and thats closest thing I can think of. If so then you haven't some damned good charity shops over there! We have nothing like that over here...and if they are in nicer areas the prices go waaaay up too!
If only more US places did worldwide delivery, I'd be sorted!
You totally suit the Banana Republic cardigan top, camel is a good colour on you!

GirlBoyGirl said...

hey Jenn!

I know all about that inbetween transition stage. I am there right now. There are a few thrift stores in my area but since I work all the time I just don't bother buying new things. I'm trying to stick it out until I am at my goal weight then I can go wild!

You found some awesome stuff!

(^_^) ♥ said...

Great finds...I love the thrift store, but it's harder to find good stuff up here (Ottawa, CAN) I guess people a lot less keen to part with great clothes. lol

NatureCat said...

freakin' awesome! my fsvorite is the tan banana republic top. size "M" - could you just die? you are doing so GREAT!! :)

Anonymous said...

OH I love trift stores!! But since I am a 24 its a bit harder. But I strive to get to a 12. :) Anyway, goodwill is always good.

Julie, The Wife said...

Oooh, Oooh, I LOVE Goodwill - love the tan BRepub top too, you rocked out all of that stuff.

I've found J Jill and J Crew pants there for $2.49 each, tons of Gap stuff, Silver jeans, Seven jeans, Abercrombie stuff for my middle cheap, and there is the thrill of the find when you make a discovery! Love the photos too, it's like all 1600+ followers crammed into your fitting room with you.

Anonymous said...

i love all your new clothes! i especially love that price!

Carolyn said...

Congratulation on losing you weight you have offically inspired me to get off my butt and go workout. Maybe one day I will do the same ting as you and blog about how to lose weight, my progess and even have cute pictures of myself trying on some new casual dresses. Thank you for all of the inspiration, I cannot wait to get started!!

Anonymous said...

I know this is an older post but I was so thankful to find this today. I JUST had a talk with my husband about how my "big" clothes are falling off of me and my "goal" clothes are nowhere even close to fitting and that I kind of wanted to sit and cry. Im going to give the thrift store a shot before I have my temper tantrum. :)