For Black Friday today, people will leave the comfort of their warm beds to venture out into the extended darkness of a November morning to stand in line behind equally ambitious sales hounds. This effort is for the privilege of buying goods in quantities that test the limits of their savings (or credit). The sheer amount of money to be spent by all today reminds me of the amount of money one could spend on buying a new wardrobe after weight loss.
As I mention here, many (myself included) believe that you should ditch your “before” clothes as you lose weight, to remove a convenient way to stay mired in a weight gain, and also to further bolster your confidence as you lose weight. But if you do this, you are faced with the prospect of having to start from scratch on filing your closet.
I give advice here on clothing staples to focus on first, and ways to extend the life of big clothes, but another way to save yourself is to not get caught up in expensive clothes to start out. I absolutely encourage you to splurge every now and then if you have the means, but you’ll have plenty of time to stock up on extravagant clothes once you reach your goal weight.
Because I have expected to transition to progressively smaller clothing sizes, I make a point of shopping at places like Old Navy, K-Mart, Walmart, Fashion Bug, H&M and Target to save money. My philosophy on fashion can be summed up by a line in a song by Theophilus London: “The clothes don’t make the man; it’s the man that makes the clothes.” I buy things that appeal to my sense of style and flatter my body, but that also fit into my budget.
One thing I’ve enjoyed about losing weight is being able to reinvent myself. Obviously weight loss results in a physical makeover, and I’ve been in the throes of a mental and spiritual makeover as well, but I’ve also been making myself over when it comes to the clothes I wear. I’m more likely to wear bright colors and patterns, to mix ladylike features with edgy flourishes, and to top things off with a really cute pair of flats.
Now, with you living in a smaller body, is the perfect time to do a gut check on how well who you are inside matches who you are on the outside. (And if you are being frugal with your clothing purchases, it won’t be quite as costly to experiment.) Take the time to develop a fashion philosophy to guide all the clothing purchases you’ll make as you continue to lose weight.
Where do I get my inspiration from? Here are some ideas:
- Magazines: my favorite is Lucky, but I also like checking out the fashion spreads in Essence and Glamour.
- Web sites: I used to like visiting Boutiques.com, but I just learned that the site was shut down. (Google, who managed Boutiques.com, wants to funnel Boutiques user into searches of Froogle, the shopping-focused portion of Google’s search instead.) I haven’t found a good online fashion magazine; if you know of one, do tell!
- Store Web sites: not only do I find ideas, but it makes my time in the store more efficient because I have determined beforehand what I want to buy. Because Boutiques.com is dead, I think window shopping at Zappos.com may be the next closest thing in some ways.
- Other people: It’s always helpful to look at how others have put themselves together. You never know when you’ll gain a new perspective on how to wear something you have.
If you are one of the brave people to venture out early on Black Friday, consider starting your trip with a quick assessment of your style preferences to guide your purchases. And if you go out later shopping today, or during any of the other times of major sales before Christmas, have fun and be safe!