3/31/2009

The Weight Loss Secret Weapon: Thrift Stores

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Thrift shops are a weight loss secret weapon.When you are in transition to your new life by losing weight, the thrift store is your ultimate secret weapon. One of the good things about dropping pounds is that my clothes are suddenly looser. One of the bad things about dropping pounds is that my clothes are suddenly TOO loose. When that happens to me, I just go to the local thrift shops and buy to my heart’s content.

Since the clothing is a fraction of the price of new clothes, I feel no guilt in buying a whole new wardrobe that will only last me a few months until I get down to my goal weight. Here are my thrift store shopping tips:

  • Try on EVERYTHING: Clothes vary in size. You can’t go by the size on the label. We all know that different brands are different sizes, but sizes can vary within the SAME brand depending on the year that the clothing was made. A size 14 dress from 1969 is VASTLY different than a size 14 dress from 2009. Try on everything just to make sure it fits.

  • Be kind to yourself: A corollary to the fact that clothing sizes vary is the request that you be kind to yourself while trying on clothes. When you are so proud of the fact that you finally got down to a size 18, it can be devastating to try on a pair of size 18 jeans that won’t pull up over your thighs. Remind yourself that clothing sizes can change through the years and don’t let the number on the label define your self worth.

  • Be patient: If shopping in normal stores is difficult for you, shopping in thrift stores will be even more difficult. You pay for those six dollar designer jeans in TIME. You have to be willing to look through EVERY pair of jeans in the store to find the ones that fit you and look good. Patience will pay off.

  • Wash everything when you get home: Even if the clothing still has the original store tags on it, wash every item when you get home. Thrift stores rarely wash the clothing they receive. Most people donate CLEAN clothes, but sometimes they have been sitting in closets gathering dust for years before they go to the thrift store. Make sure you wash your new finds before you wear them.

Losing weight is a journey that takes a while. Don’t swim in clothes that are two sizes too big just to save money. You deserve to look good at EVERY point in this process. Take a trip to your local thrift stores and find some clothes that look good and fit you right now.

Photo via: Found in Mom’s Basement: Vintage thrift store sign

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3 Responses to “The Weight Loss Secret Weapon: Thrift Stores”

  1. Renee Says:

    Thank you for the good advice! Not that I’m complaining but I’ve spent more money than I wanted on beautiful clothes that I know I won’t wear next winter because i’m still losing weight.

  2. Val Says:

    Washing the clothes is a great idea but you want to wash some things things bought reg stores too. Many people try on those clothes and thrift store clothes can be cleaner than new clothes.

  3. Elaine Says:

    Yes, absolutely! The thrift stores have been my savior; I think pretty much my whole wardrobe now is thrift-store clothes, and I think I went through two entire wardrobes in losing weight. And yes, it does take some serious patience to get the right clothes, but it’s nice to spend $20 or $50 and come out with an armful of things to wear!

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