As you lose a significant amount of weight, one of your challenges becomes managing your weight loss wardrobe. You need to purchase new clothes and get rid of the old ones. And if you’re not careful, this process can be quite expensive. So I’ve created this Ultimate Guide to Managing Your Weight Loss Wardrobe without Breaking the Bank.
Weight Loss Wardrobe: Buying New Clothes
Can you relate to this?
Much of my adult life as I put on my clothes I frequently discover that another article of clothing no longer fits. I sigh, put the clothes back in the closet for when I can wear them again “someday” and purchase a larger replacement. This meant that I would often stand at an open closet door and see a space stuffed with clothing and still have almost nothing to wear.
But since discovering and following Bright Line Eating, my someday has finally come!
And I’m willing to bet that your someday has also arrived or is just around the corner. I know because I see so many of my Bright Line Eating buddies posting pictures of themselves wearing something they haven’t worn since High School or their wedding. What a great accomplishment!
However, like me, you may have resigned yourself along the way that your “someday” would be a no-show. So you got rid of most of the things that didn’t fit anymore. And now as you lose weight, you go to the closet and discover that the thing you just put on is too big and you need something smaller. And while this is a rewarding experience on many levels, it does put you in a bit of a pickle. (But good news, a pickle is a Bright Line Eating approved food!).
The pickle? You now need to spend money on new clothes. And, if you’re not yet in your right size body, these new clothes may not fit you in a month or two!
But you hate to spend money on transitional clothes you’ll only wear for a short time.
So here are some things that we discovered to help you bridge this gap:
A Ratchet Belt
I love this belt! My wife and I first saw this presented on Shark Tank during my weight gaining years and we knew then that it would solve a problem for me as this eliminates the need for holes on your belt. Putting on a belt and having one hole be too tight and the next one too loose is very frustrating. The ratchet system eliminates that.
As you lose weight, you just trim the end of the belt down so that it is always a right sized length. No spending money on another belt. Genius!
The other thing that eliminating holes does is that it eliminates the visible wear and tear around those holes so the life of the belt is actually lengthened. This is a fantastic investment. And they have styles for both men and women.
(Another popular ratchet belt brand now on the market is SlideBelt.)
And the other thing I like about a ratchet belt is that it can make going through airport security a breeze. Because the buckle detaches from the leather belt, you can just remove the buckle and put it in a tray. No having to reloop your belt in a room full of strangers.
As our kids grow, my wife’s rule is to check Goodwill first. It is surprising how many quality items we can find there, and since the kids will outgrow it in a few months (or even weeks!) it makes sense for the budget. But I never liked shopping there because the selection for my size was 2 shirts and maybe 1 pair of pants.
But as I needed transitional clothing, I decided to give it a go and see what I could find. Being a more “normal” size meant that I now had a vast selection of items from which to choose. And I found several things that worked quite well. (Bonus: Sign-up for their Rewards card, shop on customer appreciation day, and receive a discount on your purchase.)
This became my secret weapon for my weight loss wardrobe since I only needed a few key pieces to help me transition to smaller sizes. While I still had some of the larger, smaller sizes (I had been an 3XL and my wife still had many of my XL items in a box), once I passed that and needed even smaller things, we wanted to move forward as economically as possible since we knew these would only be worn for a small time.
Enter, swap.com, the largest online consignment and thrift store. Here’s what I liked:
This is true for quantity of choice as well as quality of choice. Swap.com has ample filters for narrowing down what you are looking for. Click on men’s items and it shows over 96,000 items. Filter down by type and size, and this becomes 407 choices which you can filter down further by condition (New with tag, Like New, Good, and Fair). As you scan those choices you will discover that many of them are brand names you will recognize from department and high end stores.
One summer we had built a family vacation around a work conference I was attending. As we settled into our room, I realized that my dress pants were still hanging up on my closet door at home. So I headed to the first session in nice shorts, snuck in just before the session started and sat in the back of the room so I could sneak out just as quickly. And then I was publicly acknowledged for something from the stage and asked to stand up. I got some grief about my shorts, so immediately after the session we walked a few blocks downtown to a men’s clothing store to purchase pants at well over $100. Now my wife was giving me grief because she knew that these pants would not fit me in a few months and this was money thrown away.
So on Swap.com when I recently narrowed my search for dress pants down to “new with tag,” nothing showed for over $14. That’s a far cry from over $100 and an inexpensive way to manage your weight loss wardrobe.
If you sign up for their emails, you’ll discover that Swap.com often has sales which discount these prices even further. And you might also find some of these include free shipping on smaller orders. (Shipping on orders over $60 is always free.)
If the item you purchase doesn’t fit correctly, Swap.com has made return process very easy. Notify them in the first 30-days and they provide a shipping label. Once they receive the items back, they issue you a refund or a credit on your account.
This has been the main source of my transitional clothing, and even some of my new items for my right size body. For the same new with tag item, why not check here first?
So now, I open my closet doors or my dresser drawers and the freedom I feel knowing that every item of clothing I see is an option that I can wear comfortably is amazing!
Weight Loss Wardrobe: Getting Rid of Old Clothes
So now that you have lost weight, what do you do with all the clothes that no longer fit? It can be hard to let them go, not because we hope to wear them again, but because of all they represent. We have great memories tied to certain pieces. We think about the events where we wore each iten. Or the person who gave it to us. And we think about the money that it cost to buy the mountain of clothes sitting in front of us.
Some for profit thrift stores may purchase items you bring in. We tried this and took in 4 boxes of clothing. We were able to sell about 1/3 of our items and we walked out with $50 in our pocket.
Online sale pages
There are a variety of places where you can sell or give away your clothing including Facebook Marketplace, Letgo.com, and OfferUp.com. These options all give you the ability to sell locally or ship across the country. You can post by outfit or in lots grouped by size or type of clothing. Make sure you take good picture and provide lots of detail like size, color, brand, and so on. This might garner more money than other options, but it also takes more time to post and sell.
If you have something that you love, altering it to fit a smaller size body is an option for sure. But this can add up quickly, so you might want to reserve this option for truly special or expensive items.
Goodwill is not only a good place to shop, it’s a great place to donate as well. They make it very easy for you across the board. Most locations have a designated door to which you pull up and someone will unload your bags or boxes. Then they ask if you want a donation receipt and they will hand you what looks like a receipt from a credit card machine.
But here’s where it gets cool. Before you take in your donation, inventory the items. This doesn’t need to be extensive and can be as simple as 6 pairs men’s pants, 12 shirts (all types), etc. (If you have something that is particularly high end or unique, note that as well.) Then, when you get home, login to your Goodwill account, enter your receipt number, enter your donations, and you have created a detailed tax donation receipt. Come tax season, you no longer have to guess or hunt for details – it’s already done. (Bonus tip: grab a quick photo of the pile before you donate it. Occasionally the IRS asks for proof of donation and this will help.)
Check out charities near you to see what they might want or need. For example, women’s shelters are almost always looking for clothes. They usually run job training programs and need business clothing to provide to the women for interviews.
But what about the things that just have no life left in them and you feel guilty donating to Goodwill? (Who wants that t-shirt with a hole in it anyway?) USAgain is a textile recycling program that will take your tattered clothing and recycle them. They have bins across the United States which can be found at http://www.usagain.com/find-a-collection-bin. Bonus: Find one situated outside of a charity and chances are that USAgain is making a donation to the charity based on the volume collected from their bin.
So I hope these tips will help save you time and money when it comes to managing your weight loss wardrobe. And not only can you save some time and money, but when done the right way you can bless others in the process.