How to Shop for Clothes During Weight-Loss

Recently Carolyn posted the following question on Facebook: "For those of you who have lost a lot of weight...what are you doing about your wardrobe that will not break the bank? I know this is a terrible problem to have :)"

Indeed it is a good problem to have! WTG Carolyn!

When I was losing weight, I was still in school so money was impossibly tight. I tried not to buy new clothes until I reached my goal weight but I eventually got to a point where I had to buy some in-between sizes. Most of my old clothes were just too big and wearing them looked sloppy (not an impression I wanted to give to potential employers!) or they fell off.

My advice: While working towards your goal weight, try buying items that are very cheap or on sale (i.e. hit up stores like TJ Maxx, Target or Kohls, esp. if they are having a big holiday sale) and get acquainted with your local thrift store. (Some towns also have clothing swaps!). If possible, look for items that will work for your changing body, too. For example, when I was still losing I found a black skirt that was pretty stretchy, and it gave quite a bit, so I was able to wear it as my body went down 6 sizes. It wasn't until I was at my goal weight that it was too big to wear and by then I'd worn it to shreds. I also found a few dresses that were a little tight, but wearing them was still flattering, and they only looked better as I lost so I got great use out of them. Also, stick to basics -- black skirt, black pants, brown capris, a few basic tops that you can dress up with items you own (i.e. necklaces and scarves, or ties for men) so it looks like a new outfit.

I also recommend sticking to a color palate so you have many combinations and options. That "minimalist" approach to clothing is great when you're losing and even better for saving money on your wardrobe in general.

Dozens of comments from others also poured in-- here are some of the highlights:

"I like repurposing clothes. I made the cutest skirts out of old Tshirts. So comfy and forgiving with sizes since they are soft and stretchy."

"I'm relying on dresses and leggings. They're pretty forgiving and can usually fit one or two sizes either way."

"A friend lost a lot of weight in the last year so I asked if she had any old sizes lying around. She gifted me two garbage bags filled with her old clothes in my new size, and some smaller sizes. It never hurts to ask for what you want or need!"

"Host clothing swaps. I get a bunch of friends together for the evening, and everyone brings clothes they're done with, and leaves with new-to-them things. Anything left over gets donated."

"I find great bargains at "Ross, Dress for Less." They seem to be in most parts of the country now. And Tuesdays is "Senior Discount Day," 10% off for anyone 55+"

"Check out free cycle - look for a group in your area. You can post items you have to give away and post requesting items you are looking for. I've given and received so much through this site."

"I've lost 20lbs and I still have a LOT of pants that are pretty loose but I wear a belt!! Unless they look reaaaalllly bad or won't stay up at all..."

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