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How to Afford Clothes That Love You Back

Intersection Cross Section, Garment District -...
Image by mdpNY via Flickr

What a difference the right clothes make! When you’re overweight, it can be hard to find clothes that make you feel good. So how can you maximize your budget to afford good clothes when you do find them?

First of all, go out and find them. Many different stores carry plus sizes, each with a slightly different vibe or style. If (like me) you are pear-shaped, some brands will simply hang all wrong on your body and make you look like you wrapped yourself in some random fabric.

So, step one is: Go window shopping. Ok, a little more than window shopping, because you’re going to try on lots of clothes— whatever you like, on sale or not, but you’re only going to try them on and maybe take some notes. You’re looking for: Colors that flatter you (and that work with your current wardrobe), cuts, styles, and brands that suit your body type. Chances are, once you find a clothing brand whose current line really suits you, other items of the same brand will do the same, and you’ll have a lot of chances to mix and match. Here’s where a notebook comes in handy. You’ve probably noticed that no two brands seem to agree on sizing. A 16 here is an 18 or 20 there… so when you find something you really love, note the brand name, the cut (the tag might say something like “classic” or “contemporary” or “sits at waist,” you get the picture), and the size. Include the “W” or “P” or “R” or whatever comes after the size number.

I used to think it was pointless to spend a whole day shopping without actually buying anything, but I found that when I bought without being thoughtful and prepared, I ended up buying things I didn’t need, or that didn’t flatter me, or that were so basic I couldn’t tell them apart from everything else in my closet. You may find that purposely “window” shopping takes some of the pressure off, besides saving you money on impulse buys!

Once you have a good idea of what you’re looking for, right down to the brand, size, cut, and perhaps even color, head over to eBay and run a search. You will instantly have lots of clothing to choose from, mostly in very good condition and very deeply discounted! I like eBay for this step because it’s searchable, and you don’t have to actually wade through racks upon racks of clothing, but it works equally well in consignment shops and in discount stores like TJMaxx and Ross Dress For Less. If you have a local consignment shop, call ahead and see if they have anything in your size or brand. (Note: The new http://fashion.ebay.com makes it easier than ever to find exactly what you’re looking for! You can shop by brand, lifestyle, designer, popular items, etc.)

You save money in two ways by using this method: 1. You buy your clothing at a discount, and 2. You only buy the things you need and will actually wear. No more impulse buying and buyers remorse! Another great thing about eBay is that, once you get the hang of it, you can easily re-sell items when you don’t need them anymore (i.e. when you’ve lost weight) and then you’ve got more cash to reinvest the same way.

Have you tried this? I’d love to hear your comments.

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April 11, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , ,

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