How do I rebuild my wardrobe?

Without access to unlimited funds, with a deep, unfeminine hatred of shopping and a need to make my wardrobe work for both work and home?

See, I’ve lost some weight. When I hit that 10% loss where Weight Watchers gives you a nice keychain, I bought three pairs of new pants 2 sizes smaller in celebration. That was about a year ago.

Since then I went off WW (for medical reasons) gained some weight back, righted myself and have been losing steadily, yet in increments too small to measure or notice (Yay me!). Only people did notice. Oh, they don’t notice that I’ve gotten skinnier ('cause, honestly, I’m still BIG girl. Ain’t no skinny over here.) but that my clothes, especially my pants, don’t fit. Not only do they not fit, but they look really bad. Bad enough for me to notice-- and that’s saying something.

It’s my turn for the su-su money. It’s a little over 250$ What I really want to get is a new MP3 player, some PC games and a mess of CDs. I have been literally threatened with bodily harm from both friends and family if I do this. Now I’m asking for help, hints and fashion ideas for a fat, clueless geek on a clothes shopping spree.

How’d this end up in CF? It’s supposed to be in IMHO. Ima a clueless geek in more ways than one.

i thought perhaps you were trying for a “what not to wear” tie in.

speaking of which give trinity and suzanne a go at bbc america, they have quite a few tips on what to wear.

First, make sure your wardrobe doesn’t contain a gate to some fantasy-parrallel universer . . .

I’ll move it for you.

Congratulations on the weight loss! Slow and steady wins the race.

I have NO tips on clothes shopping, sorry. I’ve always hated clothes shopping. About the only thing I can think of is wrap skirts, since those are pretty adjustable.


Shop Sally Army Thrift stores for disposable wardrobe! (disclaimer- I work at one, but I don’t get bonuses for sales or anything, I just think it’s a good option) I hate clothes shoppin too, but getting a whole wardrobe for $75 bucks all at one store (this includes jeans, work outfits, dresses) is sure to get anyone interested!

Also, donate all the ill-fitting stuff when you get your new clothes, to free up storage.

To get your money’s worth, get some key “good” classic pieces in neutral colors. Black, navy, maroon, etc.

“Fill in” the rest of your wardrobe with mix and match fairly inexpensive pieces.

Visit Value Village, Salvation Army, other thrift stores and/or Garage/Church sales.

You’d be surprised how often people donate brand new things. Perhaps they got them as a gift and they were too big/small, or the wrong color, or, they just didn’t like them.

Sewing is another way to get value for little money. Or, you can get someone to sew for you by trading work for it, maybe they hate to clean? Or they need minor work done on their car?

Also, if you’re in a WW group, have you considered “hand me UPS”? As my daughter got older and soon was 4 inches taller and a bit bigger in size than I am, she donated her too small, but still nice, nearly new clothing to me.

Maybe some of your fellow WWrs, who might be slightly smaller than you, but whose size(s) you are soon able to get into, would be willing to sell, or donate their too big clothing??

Congrats, and good luck.

Sorry I can’t help you on the “love to shop” part, I think some of us girls are just born with that genetic coding :smiley:

I am all for the thrift store scene.

All you have to do is swing by there on your way home from work now and then. Look around if you find something its only going to be a couple bucks. If you buy it here and there you wont miss the money.

If you’re having a hard time finding work clothes specifically pants drop by walmart or another major department chain.

I can buy on clearance nice black slacks that for around 10 bucks.

I also shop online at old navy they have clearance or reduced items and they are for larger sizes too.

I think I got a pair of dress cargo’s in black for $9 bucks.

I get comments at work all the time that I am dressed up.
I never spend high dollar for my clothes and I just randomly shop clearance.

Biggirl, I just gave away a ton of clothes. Unfortunately, the person that got them can’t use them. If you would like to email me and give me an indication of size, I’ll see if they’ll fit you.

I’ve been thrifting. I’m not buying anything new until I’m DONE.

The Old Navy on 34th St in the city has a basement full of nice stuff at discount prices. I got a nice pair of pants there yesterday for $12, and a wraparound sweater for $9.

karomon, omg I LOVE that store. It’s freakin huge! A friend picked up a great pair of grey pants there for about $10 not too long ago.

I’m probably the biggest Old Navy advocate there is. I should be their poster child, I shop almost exclusively there. My point is that even the new stuff isn’t expensive, and there’s always great basics.

I second CanvasShoes’ idea of getting a bunch of good basics and then pieces to fill-in.

Also you can always get things tailored and adjusted if there’s items that don’t fit well anymore but are worthy of saving.

Get classic, never-goes-out-of -style pieces in neutral colors like black, charcoal gray, navy, and khaki. A couple of pairs of slacks, a long skirt, a knee length skirt, maybe a blazer if it fits into your work wardrobe. Whatever tops you want to mix and match with the bottoms. Spend the majority of your money on those pieces, and use whatever is left to get a few “trendy and disposable” items. I love clothes but refuse to spend a fortune on them, so I do a lot of shopping at WalMart, Target, Goody’s, Old Navy, Burlington Coat Factory, and TJ Maxx. The last two are especially good about low prices, but a little harder to find specific items.

Chadwick’s of Boston and Lerner are great for online shopping, as they have both career and casual clothes and their prices are pretty reasonable. This is a good time of year for buying clothes, too, because lots of places are having clearance and “in season” sales.

Good luck and congratulations on your weight loss! sighs I only wish my clothes didn’t fit because I’d lost weight.

With your wallet.

I’m in a similar situation as you. I’ve lost about 50 pounds over about 18 months. Even my shoes are too big. I also don’t have a bit clothes budget.

My solution is pretty much a rehash of what’s been said here.
Check out thrift shops and consignment stores a few times a week. A good time to go is later in the day, on donation days.
As has been mentioned, buy the basics–pick a neutral tone that enhances your colouring, and build on it. I also buy from Target, Old Navy and Kohl’s for pieces I can’t find at thrifts.

I used to be a re-sale snob. No more. There are great quality clothes and many designer labels. Look for the stores that only put out clothes in nice condition, i.e. gently used. Consignment shops tend to do this in my area, though there is one thirft store that does the same.

It is hard for me to find pants that fit well, too. Slacks with a cotton/spandex (5%) mix can give you a better fit.
Best of luck!

The biggest thing you can do to avoid disappointment and wasted money and time is to rule out what doesn’t look good on you before you even set foot in a store. For instance, most heavier women has been told that “black is slimming”. If you look good in black, this is most certainly true. But if you have delicate coloring that gets overwhelmed by black, or warm coloring that looks better in brown, you look like a large woman who’s trying to hide behind black because she thinks it makes her look skinny. Better to go with a color that looks good on you.

Similarly, some women look best with a clear break at the waist, like a belt or a radical change of colors. Others would do better to tone things down at the waist and call attention to another part of the body.

Look at the clothes you’ve been wearing until now. Some probably were favorites that you pulled out often. Others were of the “I feel like a cow in this, but it’s the only thing clean” variety. The colors and cuts of your favorite pieces are a good indication of what looks good on you - look for more things like that in your new size. The “feel like a cow” pieces are your What Not To Wear primer.

For me, for instance, I look awful in brown. My mother insisted on buying brown shoes for me all through school to compliment my navy-blue based school uniforms, and I know she meant well and was following the fashion rules she’d been taught. The problem is, I kept buying brown shoes after I graduated. D’oh! :smack: I now will not let myself buy anything navy (even though it’s a good color on me) until I find a decent pair of grey shoes to wear with it. (I have Shoe Issues, so this is taking a while. Erm, three years and counting, actually.)

One final tip: Well-fitting clothes make everyone look better. Wearing clothes too big makes slender people look emaciated, large people look larger, and average sized people look sloppy.

Good luck with the shopping, and congratulations on your happy reason for needing to do it!

Just repeating what others have said here. Thrift stores, and “classic” styles. You seem like the type of person who is sensible and won’t get any trendy clothes (I so don’t see you doing that! ;)) but it bears repeating: simple and classic styles. They’ll last you a good long time.

Oh, this was over 10 years ago, but one of my most fun thrift store experiences was in New York City. I couldn’t tell you where it was in the city, but it had some nice things and they were cheap.

It bears repeating: thrift stores are where it’s at, baby!

Could someone please tell me what “su-su” means?

The reason I ask is, in India, “su-su” is an oft used euphemism for urinating. It also means “milk” in Malay. Neither interpretation fits here obviously.

I’m curious.

Don’t worry, aasna. Nobody else around here understands Biggirl either. We just pretend we do because she’s delightful. I’m thinking in this instance that su-su means ‘mad’ money.

I got the “mad” money context.
I just wanted to know if “su-su” money was in common parlance.

But since you say nobody else understands Biggirl