South Beach Diet - Making ends meet with your clothing?




beachgal
09-01-2004, 11:42 AM
Hi, all!

I know I can't be alone in finding my supply of clothes that fit dwindling. (Thankfully this is due to my getting smaller, not the other way around, as it usually is. ;) )

Since I know I'm going to get smaller still, I hate to spend money on lots of clothes that fit. But our local consignment stores and second hand stores (of which there are few) do not carry really large sizes. I rarely see even a 16 there. :(

I'm currently resorting to swimming in my tops, hitching up my sleeves so my bra doesn't show, and using quilting pins (curved safety pins) to take in my waist line. I also bought a cheap belt at Wal*Mart that I'm using to cinch in the few pairs of pants I have that have belt loops.

Sure, I don't look very fashionable, but so far, it's been working.

I am currently in a size 24, but I'm starting to shrink out of that. I don't fit into the one pair of size 22 Lee jeans I still own, so I'm not there yet, but I'm getting way too small to keep pinning my Lane Bryant size 26s.

So, what to do? Does anyone have any creative suggestions? What are you doing to deal with this?

Like many of you, I work in an office, and need to wear office attire. So I need five outfits for the week.

Has anyone taken their clothes to a tailor? Was it more expensive than buying new clothes? Did you resort to buying a couple pairs of pants in the right size? Any great stores you can recommend for a bargain?

I'd love suggestions!

Thanks! :goodvibes:


wendyjo
09-01-2004, 11:58 AM
Well, I've been doing my weightloss in stages for just this reason. Started SB in April, lost some weight, bought my summer wardrobe and maintained my weight throughout the summer. Then went back on Phase 1 August 1st, am currently losing, and will stop in another month or so, go shopping for winter clothes, and then maintain for a while again. It's the only way I can afford to do it, and I don't mind losing more slowly. But I know that not everyone (or even anyone) will want to do it this way.

I'd say just go to Kmart or someplace cheap and get what you need to get by. You ARE going to have to replace your wardrobe periodically as long as you are losing - there is just no way around that. Getting clothes altered is sometimes just as expensive as replacing stuff with cheapo clothes, and I've found that some tailors don't want to alter clothes that have an elastic waistband (can't remember why, but it doesn't turn out very nice) which alot of plus sized clothes have.

AdiaFaith
09-01-2004, 12:02 PM
Laurie,

It's tax free week. I would defintely skip the tailer and hit Fashion Bug. Great for plus sizes and if you shop the clearance racks, you're doing ok. I'm a clearance shopper, never pay more than 10 bucks for a pair of pants or skirt. JC Penny was having some really good sales the last time I was in.

I know how it feels to be stuck in business casual, I'm currently wearing one of Bryon's shirts! Trying to be fashionable, yet not let on that I still haven't sorted out the laundry this week.

BTW, yesterday you looked great! So I defintely disagree with "Not fashionable, but it works".


Barb0522
09-01-2004, 12:07 PM
I've bought one new pair of pants and a pair of shorts, size 16, to replace the size 20 I wore before. I have been continuing to wear the size 18's that swim on me. I've poked extra holes in my belt (4 so far and I need to add another). It is really getting ridiculous but I'm hoping to wait at least a few more weeks before I pick up another pair of pants. My shirts are extra larges and I can still wear most of them although I can now wear the few large shirts I could find in my closet.

Unfortunately I had a garage sale last Spring and got rid of most of my 16's and all of my 14's! I think the next thing I am going to have to buy is new bras. I picked up a few new ones but I really need more. I've gone from 42DDD to 40D and they are swimming on me.

jenne1017
09-01-2004, 12:23 PM
I tried to get a clothing swap going here earlier -- that's an option. But I am with you Laurie in that I am at a loss!

KristinJ
09-01-2004, 12:35 PM
I think Jenn has a great idea and it was what I was going to suggest -- a clothing swap.

On the WW boards I know that people were alway offering to give away their "too big" clothing. I'm sure anyone here in need would gladly pay at least the shipping to get something that may fit better than what is in the closet.

We have a consignment store in Winnipeg that is solely plus sizes. That's likely where I will take my dress clothes when the 28s are too big (hopefully by Nov!) unless someone shows up on SB and could use them more. I'd gladly send them on to someone else.

I think that this is one thing we will all have in common -- finding clothes that fit!

Kristin

a broad abroad
09-01-2004, 12:37 PM
Have you ever seen a fashion/style segment on TV where they say "travel light with 5 basic garments but have several great outfits" or something to that effect?

What I mean is have you thought about getting a few coordinating pieces from the same line and doing the mix-n-match scenario? You can wear the same things all the time but pairing different pieces together to get a different look. Also, changing the accessories will help with this too.

Another idea is to try ebay. I typed in plus size clothing and got 365 hits!!

AdiaFaith
09-01-2004, 01:23 PM
a broad, you said my favorite word. We actually bought a wholesale line of plus sized clothing and it sold quite well. It's getting to be one of the bigger catagories on eBay.

nelie
09-01-2004, 01:54 PM
Lane Bryant is my normal stomping grounds, but the other day, I went to Ross to see if I could find some things. I found a couple pair of size 24 pants that should last me for the next 30 lbs. I also mean to go to Marshall's sometime this week to see if there is anything there as well.

Fashion Bug is definitely an option for inexpensive clothes and since you don't plan to be at that size long, you don't have to worry about quality ;) Avenue and Lane Bryant often have awesome clearance sales, so I would definitely go in and check their clearance racks.

I actually have a huge pile of clothes that I plan to give away sometime before the end of this year. If someone is a size 22/24 top and/or size 26/28 pant, let me know if you would like some clothes and I could go through and see what I have.

fuzzy324
09-01-2004, 02:34 PM
I use a broad abroad's (nice name :) ) strategy of keeping to basic garments and then mixing and matching. I'm trying to only buy one new pair of jeans, khakis, and dress pants per each new size. I've also been supplementing old pants in smaller sizes as I begin to fit into them, though, I'm beginning to run out of old sizes now. With shirts, I've been able to make due with the 18/20s for quite some time, but they are now starting to hang a little too much. Just bought my first 14/16 shirt last week, which was awesome!

My problem seems to be that I don't like the style of what's fashionable now. DH and I went into Lane Bryant last night, and I freaked! Everything is so...funky and 80s lookin'.... There was pink and patterns everywhere I looked! I'm really more of a simple, classics kinda person, and it's just about impossible to find anything that qualifies right now. It's just a little discouraging that, now that I'm beginning to be able to fit into cute clothes, the cute clothes aren't so cute.

PS--Thank you, Ruth, for the chickie help!

Merrylegs
09-01-2004, 02:35 PM
Look for a local consignment store that specializes in plus sized clothing. I've found some terrific deals on nearly new stuff - you're only going to be in it for a short time anyway. I just got a pair of brand new never worn Manager jeans for $10.

Heidi
09-01-2004, 03:09 PM
I bought a few T shirts at end of season sales and plan to pair them with cardigans or shirts during the winter. Since these were really cheap, I bought my current size and the next one down.

My DD wears my outgrown large T-shirts as nightgowns!

Goodwill is a pretty good place for T-shirts and work-type clothes like skirts and dress pants.

kvixen
09-01-2004, 03:49 PM
Ladies, how about my ultimate favorite place- Target, which I like to pronounce with a French accent. (Someone once actually said, "I have never heard of that designer.) :lol:

They have amazing deals, and a plus size section. And I know they have some cute suits, and then you can have two pieces that go together, or separate, and maybe even pants, skirt, jacket sets.

Laurie, since you can quilt, can you put a few darts or seams to make things fit a little better? I have found that sometimes I am better at it than a tailor. Or perhaps a friend who could do it in exchange for some service that you can provide?

Adia, I like the idea of using the DH/SO's shirt as our own. Menswear on ladies is very in this year. ;)

wendyjo
09-01-2004, 03:52 PM
I used to like Targets clothes, but this year it seems that they are in kahootz with the folks that make Spandex, cause all of their clothes have spandex in them now. And I hate spandex - girls with cellulite and tummy bulges and rolls of flab all over should not wear spandex, imho.

smilintwins
09-01-2004, 04:04 PM
I have been buying a few key pieces to get me through. I am lucky in that I only have to dress for 2 days of work, my 3rd day is casual. I promised myself after the embarrassment of wearing too big clothes that I would only wear one size too large. So I buy one pair of jeans and a couple pairs of pants and work with that. I wear a LOT of the same clothes over and over.

I actually have a big pile of work clothes (from when I wore them more often) that I can no longer wear. Been debating what to do with them? Do you really think they would sell on eBay? Got lots of name brands...Ralph Lauren, Jones of New York, etc. in sizes 18-22. And TONS of sweaters. I dunno, maybe consignment. Anyone here interested in them?

AdiaFaith
09-01-2004, 04:51 PM
I used to like Targets clothes, but this year it seems that they are in kahootz with the folks that make Spandex, cause all of their clothes have spandex in them now. And I hate spandex - girls with cellulite and tummy bulges and rolls of flab all over should not wear spandex, imho.

I'm with YOU sista! :D

AdiaFaith
09-01-2004, 04:54 PM
Do you really think they would sell on eBay? Got lots of name brands...Ralph Lauren, Jones of New York, etc. in sizes 18-22. And TONS of sweaters. I dunno, maybe consignment. Anyone here interested in them?

Hey you never know with eBay. Most of the time clothes NWT (New with Tags) sell best, but more clothes sell in the women's plus catagories than anywhere else. My younger siblings buy a ton of clothes on eBay. I'm more of a try it on first kinda gal. If you liked the clothes, someone else will like them. Give it a shot!

sarahyu
09-01-2004, 05:02 PM
The JC Penny outlet is great for large sizes dress clothes. I used to buy all my business clothes there. Sometimes it's hit or miss, they put out all the "teeny bopper" stuff.

I'm lucky now because I can wear what I want. I work in a lab and wear a lab coat most days so nobody really sees me much. I finally decided to get new clothes a couple weeks ago and imagine my surprise to find that Sears was having a great sale, 70% off their sale items. I got 5 pairs of jeans-blue, black and beige for $6.70 a piece and a shirt for $7.00. I was quite happy! :D I got them in size 12 and 10 so I'd have something to wear when I lost more.

Walmart, Kmart and Target are good sometimes when the seasons change and they want to get rid of stuff. Not the highest fashion stuff mind you. But hey it fits and it's cheap.

I'm afraid to buy too much.

beachgal
09-01-2004, 05:32 PM
Laurie,

It's tax free week. I would defintely skip the tailer and hit Fashion Bug. Great for plus sizes and if you shop the clearance racks, you're doing ok. I'm a clearance shopper, never pay more than 10 bucks for a pair of pants or skirt. JC Penny was having some really good sales the last time I was in.

I know how it feels to be stuck in business casual, I'm currently wearing one of Bryon's shirts! Trying to be fashionable, yet not let on that I still haven't sorted out the laundry this week.

BTW, yesterday you looked great! So I defintely disagree with "Not fashionable, but it works".

Thanks, Sarah! I forgot about Fashion Bug! I'll need to check that out. Have you tried the store next to Sam's and Linens and Things (or is it Bed, Bath and Beyond?) that has plus sizes? Wonder what their prices are like?

And thanks for the lovely compliment! :o I was swimming in that shirt! I love it, but it was really big...wow! I love that you're wearing Bryan's clothes! I can't wait to be small enough to wear one of DH's shirts! :D

beachgal
09-01-2004, 05:36 PM
Unfortunately I had a garage sale last Spring and got rid of most of my 16's and all of my 14's! I think the next thing I am going to have to buy is new bras. I picked up a few new ones but I really need more. I've gone from 42DDD to 40D and they are swimming on me.

:lol: Barb, I am so with you on both! DH took all my small sized clothes to Salvation Army, right before I spent $600 on new size 26/28s :yikes: and started SBD. Can you tell that we have AWFUL TIMING??? :lol3:

Barb, how did you figure out your bra size? I know there are calculations out there, but I have tried them in the past and they never seem to fit right when I use those measurements. I usually just try a ton of bras to see what works. Still, I'm used to Lane Bryant, and if their bras are just slightly bigger than the norm, like their clothes, I'm not sure if I can fit into the sizes at places like Vicky's (DH's name for Victoria's Secret). :shrug: Help?

Barb0522
09-01-2004, 05:57 PM
The calculations never seem to work for me either. I've just tried on a bunch to see what would work. I wear Playtex Cross Your Heart because I cannot handle an underwire (cuts into my arm) and theirs have wide straps that do not slide off. I went to Kohl's to buy a pair of pants a month ago and they had bras on sale. One style I needed a 40D and another I needed a 42D. And some of the styles were not comfortable no matter what the size.

I'm just glad that I'm not a DDD any more! It was hard to find them in the store in that size and I would usually just order them off the internet in the one style that I knew fit!

I shopped in Victoria Secret a long time ago when I was smaller but I haven't been there in years. Usually I get bras in Foley's or Kohls.

sweet tooth
09-01-2004, 06:01 PM
Hmmmm. Might be time to start a clothes swap here... :D

chick_on_the_beach
09-01-2004, 06:06 PM
I am fortunate that I work from home a couple of days a week so can get away with wearing the same few outfits to work all the time and just jeans and stuff at home. I recently got together with a couple of girlfriends and we passed on a lot of clothes we had outgrown. Unfortunately (or fortunately I guess) I was the smallest so I came home pretty much empty handed. I can fit into stuff I haven't worn for years but a lot of these clothes are really casual so I have shopped at the outlet shops and cheaper department stores (only when the sales are on) to get a few things to get me through. I tend to stick with black bootleg pants because nobody can tell that you only have two pairs that fit and they go with everything.

beachgal
09-01-2004, 06:08 PM
Wow, everyone has great suggestions!

Jenn, I still think the swap is a great idea, but I do feel guilty taking someone's clothes if I can't give them anything in return. You know? :o Perhaps it's just a service we're providing?

A part of me wonders, too, if I might be able to use my old big clothes for maternity...what do you moms think?

Otherwise, I'd be more than glad to get rid of them...and remember, most of them were bought four months ago during my crazy shopping spree! :rolleyes:

I guess I'm going to have to get used to the idea of purchasing a couple of basic separates that I can combine into outfits. If I can find something at TJ Maxx or on sale, that might be my best bet.

I wish I knew how to take clothes in, but unfortunately, I'm not very gifted in that department! My mom is, so I might take some clothes to her on my next trip to CA to see if she can mess with them.

I love how this thread has blossomed! :goodvibes: Thank you so much for the wonderful suggestions, ladies! :D

Jenn, if I can get over my reluctance to be beholden to others, I think doing your clothing swap idea is great! Maybe you can post the web address here for everyone?

Thanks!

chick_on_the_beach
09-01-2004, 06:17 PM
The first time I set foot in the 'bigger size' departments was when I was pregnant. I never bothered with maternity clothes, just bought a couple of sizes up then stretched them in the belly area. As long as they are long they are okay. If they are short (like the current fashion has been for ages) they will ride up as your belly enlarges. But bigger sizes are usually designed to hide these areas. Hang onto them for the time being. You may be too small for them by the time you get pregnant enough to show anyway.

Barb0522
09-01-2004, 06:20 PM
Laurie, I would think you might want to hang on to some of your larger clothes to use when you get pregnant. When my sister was pregnant, she couldn't find maternity clothes in her size (she was a tiny teenager) so she wore larger size loose fitting dresses. This would especially work for shirts or dresses but I guess it could also work for pants if they were the stretch kind.

I was in my mid 30's when I was pregnant with Brian and mostly wore maternity clothes except for pajamas/nightgowns where I preferred oversized ones. You might want to keep some of your old bras too since you will get larger in pregnancy. That way you will only need to pick up nursing bras. Even my shoe size went up when I was pregnant but it never went back down! :lol:

AdiaFaith
09-01-2004, 06:24 PM
The calculations never seem to work for me either. I've just tried on a bunch to see what would work. I wear Playtex Cross Your Heart because I cannot handle an underwire (cuts into my arm) and theirs have wide straps that do not slide off.

Barb,

Have you tried a brand called Werner's? My mom is a 42 DD and she absolutely abhors underwire. Me, I'm a 36B so I love ANYTHING that will make them look normal! But anyway, she loves Werners bras, she has a real hard time buying anything else, especially since the quality of them is so great she buys bras once every couple years! I actually bought one for myself and I love it too, really really comfortable! We got ours at JC Penny's. I defintely recommend them!

Barb0522
09-01-2004, 06:31 PM
I'll pick one up when I get a chance and try it. Thanks!

beachgal
09-01-2004, 06:37 PM
Barb, that makes sense to me. I'll pack some of them away for later. ;)

Thanks! :)

nelie
09-01-2004, 06:45 PM
Laurie,
I wouldn't feel guilty about taking someones clothes, they don't fit anymore and they won't give them away if they didn't want to. Although the amount of clothes in my closet is quickly dwindling, I love the idea of giving my clothes away. I currently have 2 big bags that I have to go through for give away and I expect more before the end of the year.

sweet tooth
09-01-2004, 06:47 PM
I have been fortunate with the secondhand stores...I have purchased a number of outfits that are high quality and paid almost nothing for. I do have to agree with you, though, there aren't a lot of large sizes available.

I also take my good quality jackets to a tailor to have them taken in. I just can't part with silks and fine wools...my Scottish background just won't let me. :D

By the way, I know that I have three pairs of jeans - Size 14 Petite that I bought about 3 - 4 months ago. I have not worn them at all for the past 2 months. If anyone wants them, let me know.

I will go through my large clothes and see what else I have to offer as well. Someone is welcome to whatever I have. Hope that it will help out but just a bit, anyway.

weezle
09-01-2004, 07:33 PM
Here's my problem: midget + pants + losing weight = pants dragging on the ground. I used to do the safety pin/paper clip thing to mock-hem them, but it doesn't look "professional," so sayeth my boss. I just spent $37 on a new pair of black dress pants for work, that are already getting too big in the waist for me.

AdiaFaith
09-01-2004, 09:18 PM
Grab that iron on hem stuff. Works great for my 5' mom!

ellis
09-01-2004, 09:52 PM
This may seem overkill to some of you, but I definitely recommend getting a sewing machine. Even if it's just a cheapy. I'm not a big sewer (although I've made clothes, unholstered furniture, etc in the past), but I couldn't live without my machine for doing alterations to my clothes.

Laurie, if you keep any of your clothes for maternity wear, make sure you don't blow up to fit into the stuff! I gained 80 pounds during my second pregnancy. :rolleyes:

wendyjo
09-02-2004, 10:55 AM
LOL at getting a sewing machine. I have chainsaws, table saws, drills, you name it, but a sewing machine will never be in my house. In home ec class I broke 2 of them!

ellis
09-02-2004, 11:14 AM
:lol: What a nightmare you must have been, Wendy.
I'm with you... I've got every tool imaginable, and I know how to use them. I hate that stereotypical "woman's tool" thing, but I think I'm over it. ;) One of my best friends (a male) has a sewing machine, and he's just made himself some gorgeous roman blinds for his verandah. He once took a sewing class, and was the only male there. They had to each make a skirt. :lol3: He still has his, although he's a little stouter than he was, and it no longer fits. :rofl:

sweet tooth
09-02-2004, 11:59 AM
I agree - men's work is laundry, cleaning, cooking, etc.; women's work - the power tools. :D

When our boys were small, they decided that they wanted some of those patterned knee length shorts that all the boys were wearing at the time. Since it was summer and they were bored most of the time, I took them to the fabric store where they each picked out several pieces of fabric for their shorts.

I showed them how to cut the fabric, use the sewing machine, sew the shorts, press everything as they went and finish them off. They each made 5 or 6 pairs of shorts that summer. Although they don't make their own clothes anymore, they both know how to hem their pants, mend their clothes, sew on buttons and generally upkeep their clothing.

One of the kids is in the military reserves. A couple of weeks ago he needed to stitch something in his beret down before he could put his cap brass on. I came home from work to find him sitting at the sewing machine doing the job. It was good to know that, if they really have to, they can manage some of those skills on their own. BUT clean their rooms OMG!

ellis
09-02-2004, 12:07 PM
ALL RIGHT, PEGGY!!! :hat: What a great Mom you are!!

beachgal
09-02-2004, 05:53 PM
Amen to that! Peggy, I think that's fantastic! :cheers:

My dad can sew basic things, like buttons, and I think that's great! DH, on the other hand, tried to throw out a shirt because a button he doesn't even use (on the collar) fell off. :yikes: No way!

ellis
09-03-2004, 07:40 AM
When Mom was a young woman in England, she had all her clothes tailor made. She still has trouble buying "off the rack". She can't stand to buy an article of clothing when there are twenty more of the same on the rack. :rolleyes:
She used to make Dad's dress shirts for him. They were BEAUTIFULLY made! And I remember as a child... every year she would make herself a new Christmas gown for parties. One year she made the most divine, green sparkly mini-dress, and she even dyed a pair of spikes (the shoes in fashion at the time) to match.
Now she mostly just buys clothes and alters them as soon as she gets them home. :D

Ruthxxx
09-03-2004, 07:45 AM
I used to love to sew and made all my clothes. Now I really have a hard time settling in to do it. Alterations are especially low on my list. I have pants to shorten from last summer that don't fit me now!

Sewing is one of the great lifeskills - for both men and women. Cooking is another. As to housework, fergedaboudit!