The Clothing Conundrum

Left: Sending fat clothes to Goodwill. Right: Clothes to fit in to. Those green shorts are from 1993, size 12. I'm keeping them just to be able to put them on again.

Losing weight is causing a clothing conundrum.

I do not want to buy new clothes! I am not at my goal weight!

It’s a fantastic problem to have, but it is a problem indeed.

As I’ve packed on the pounds these past fourteen years, I kept some of my favorite old clothes (size 12 to 20 pants, medium to extra large tops). Fortunately I’ve been able to pull some pieces out of storage bins and wear the items that do not look too dated. And I’ll have more to wear as I continue my downward path.

But critical pieces are needed. A few weeks ago, I had to go out and buy a couple of bras because I went from a size C to a B. Ain’t that just my luck? First place I lose weight. Sheesh.

Pants are another problem. I’ve been wearing the same two pairs of pants to work for the last month or two, and they are getting downright sloppy.

I have to make a formal presentation at work this week, so I needed to find a pair of trousers that fit me right.

Lane Bryant Right Fit Pants

So off I went today to Lane Bryant, one of my usual plus-size places to shop.

Lane Bryant has a fantastic brand called “Right Fit” with different cuts to fit your shape: Red (moderately curvy), Yellow (straight), and Blue (curvy). For the past ten years or so, I’ve been a Blue 3 (the equivalent to a size 22 or so). I’ve had about seven pairs in my closet—both jeans for weekends and trousers for work. They’re now in a box that will soon go to Goodwill. Nope. Not keeping them as a safety net. No. Nope.

So today I’m standing in Lane Bryant, flipping through the racks of pants. Where do I start? A sales clerk approached me. I told her I’ve been losing weight and didn’t know my size.  She replied, I wish I had that problem. She brought me some 16’s and 18’s (short length).

I tried on the 16’s. They were so big, they fell off my hips.

I stepped out of the dressing room and said to the clerk—somewhat formally, because it was a momentous occasion—“I am happy to say that these are much too big!”

After much ado, I learned that… GUESS WHAT? None of their “Right Fit” pants fit me. They were all too big! Even size 14! I had three extremely friendly, helpful, enthusiastic salesgirls helping me, running to the back of the store to try to find my size, coming back with options for me in all three of the “Right Fit” cuts.

I was starting to feel a bit giddy. I have sized myself out of Lane Bryant!!!

Lane Bryant T3 Tighter Tummy Technology

One of the sales girls recommended I try on the T3 trousers. That’s “Tighter Tummy Technology,” mind you. They basically have a girdle built in to the pants.

She brought me a size 14. I tried them on, then stepped outside the dressing room to look at myself in the full length mirror; all three of the sales girls were looking on. I was tiny compared to them. The pants fit me like a glove. I was shocked to see how well they held in my tummy and shaped my hips, butt and thighs. I wanted them, bad.

They cost $70.

I couldn’t do it. Not for a pair of pants that wouldn’t fit me in a month or two. Just couldn’t do it.

I bid farewell to the girls, thanking them and feeling guilty that I was leaving empty-handed after how helpful they had been.

I headed over to JC Penney. They were having a big sale, plus I had a 20% off coupon. I smiled to myself. I haven’t purchased pants at a regular store in so, so long.

I grabbed a bunch of size 16 and 18 black trousers. Short length. I had a feeling that size 16 at Lane Bryant and Size 16 at JC Penney would be very, very different.

None of the pants had a built in girdle that miraculously shaped my hips, butt and thighs. I’d have to suck in my gut with these ones. And most all of the “short” pants were not even close to short. I’m 5’1” and all of them were several inches too long.

I found one pair that fit. Size 16. Perfect length. A bit snug. But I’ve learned that even when you’re overweight, it’s better to wear clothes that fit. Baggy clothes just make you look bigger and sloppier.

They cost me $17.23 with tax. Regular price was $36.

They’re just temporary pants.

When I get to my goal weight, I can buy high quality, permanent pants that will fit me like a glove.

I forced myself to walk out of the store as soon as I found what I came for. I so, so, so wanted to look at blouses, sweaters, and all manner of fun girly clothes.

Nope. It’s not time yet. That time will come.

I was texting my husband the whole time. He was so excited for me.

New wardrobe, here I come. In about 6-9 months. I can wait. Anticipation is a beautiful thing.

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8 thoughts on “The Clothing Conundrum

  1. Thanks Meg! It was a milestone I wanted to record and remember forever. It feels fantastic! You’ll get there, too! : )

  2. That is so fun isn’t it. I have had to purchase quite a number of clothes only to give them away. I try to buy as little as possible and on sale, because it just doesn’t make sense. My shoes are giving me fits now–most of them don’t fit!!!! Lovely problems to have.

    Congrats girl! It is so fun to buy clothes at a regular store. I am still reveling in my latest purchase of size MEDIUM regular womens sleep wear. I am freezing now and need nities with legs. hehehe!

  3. When I got too small to wear anything at Lane Bryant, they told me that Fashion Bug uses the same “right fit” technology in smaller sizes.

    I’ve also found great prices on pieces at Kohl’s too.

    • Thanks Barbara! I like Kohls, too. And I’ll check out Fashion Bug! Thanks for the tips! I ended up returning the size 16 pants I just bought at JC Penny’s because I later found 2 pairs of 16’s in my storage bin that fit just right. Yey! They are over 10 years old, but you can’t go wrong with a classic trouser… : )

  4. Hey Jen…I’m waiting for the twins to wake up in Bellingham to help with midnight feeding and was catching up on reading…

    Thanks so much for sharing your journey. It is so inspiring to hear the joy behind your words. Your openness and honesty really are inspiring.

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