I just lost 90 pounds. Part of what kept me from losing weight sooner was knowing I couldn’t afford new clothes. What fun would losing weight be if I had to wear the same old clothes only baggy and cinched up with belts?
My solution was to buy used clothes every time my size changed. This happened about once a month for ten months. I had a lot of unexpected fun buying a “new” wardrobe every month. Money was limited, so I only bought two pair of pants per size. I was able to wear my shirts longer because big shirts don’t look as funny as big pants. I also bought second hand pajamas and sweats.
I could have hit garage sales for even more savings, but I stuck to the thrift stores. I had moved recently and hadn’t known where the thrift stores were in my new city, but I just put “Thrift” in my GPS. I found some unlisted thrift stores while driving around town, too.
In all, I spent $150 on used clothes over the ten months it took to lose the 90 pounds. On average, each second hand pair of pants or sweats cost $5 and each previously worn shirt cost $3. None of these clothes were dirty or scummy in any way. The thrift stores launder all clothing before putting it out for sale. I only bought gently used items that still looked nice. More than once, I got a full outfit used for the regular price of just one item of clothing.
In fairness, I admit I spent another $150 on new clothes in my target size, as a motivator. I could have lost the weight without buying these new clothes, but having them in my closet worked really well to keep me focused on my diet. I also had to buy a smaller winter coat, which cost me $40 new. The cold wind blew right into my extra large old winter coat, so it no longer kept me warm.
I also received donations of used clothes from my mom. She had recently lost weight and had a lot of clothes that were too big for her. I bet if I had asked other relatives I could have gotten even more hand me downs. My point is that clothes are no excuse for not losing weight. Where there is a will, there is a way.
It was not easy to lose 90 pounds, but at least by buying second hand it didn’t break my bank. I hope my experience gives other people the confidence they need to slim down. As proof that it can be done, I blogged my weight loss. I posted photos of how I looked before, during and after my diet. I also posted pictures of most of the second hand clothes I wore.
Video: Thrift Store Shopping Tips for First Timers
African Exports gives great tips in this video including: wear form fitting clothing to the thrift store so that you can try on clothes in the aisles if need be because some thrift stores don’t have dressing rooms. She also suggests women look in the men’s section, which is something I have done with success. I want to add that even though used clothing stores are organized nowadays, I always look at everything. More than once I have found something gorgeous in my size that was mixed in with another size on the wrong rack.
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