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Stretch Your Wardrobe


Sunday Spring began signaling the time to drag out boxes full of spring and summer clothes. Quite frankly it means praying they’ll fit, too.  With my current health some are a bit tighter than others.  Whether the weather’s cramping your wardrobe or a few extra pounds- or a few less – there are many ways to stretch your wardrobe without breaking the bank.IMG_8644

  1. First, assess what you own. As winter chilled you might have forgotten what was locked away in closets and attics.  Now’s the time to take note of what fits, the condition and what exactly you have.  Be specific, especially with tops, bottoms and accessories.  They all work together to mix and match outfits.
  2. Make a list of what you want/need. The first thing I noticed was my lack of pants.  They were numero uno on my shopping list.  Mark whatever you’re looking for: solid colored shirts, cardigans, pants, etc.  Remember this is a wish list.
  3. Shop ‘til you drop. Okay this is probably the hardest part, but the most rewarding. Set a maximum price and stick to it.  Don’t bargain your first-born for a cardigan or jeans even if they are 75% off.


Don’t let this scare you from stepping a bit outside your style comfort zone for something half-price.  I hated the grey cardigan above in September but loved it at 75% off…now the price was right. IMG_8664

I’ve told you the how…now the where.

  • Thrift Stores & Consignment Shops – The Salvation Army Family Stores, Good Will, and local consignments all offer great options and fantastic discounts.  April is the best time for thrift store shopping because spring cleaning increases donations and selection.  Be warned that many thrift stores organize by color so be prepared to spend a good bit of time looking for your size.  Have patience, there are great finds. IMG_8881Look for special deals throughout the week and year.  I purchased this blue and white sweater for $1.49 on a winter-end sale.  IMG_8701Most thrift stores rotate out merchandise meaning fantastic discounts on “older” merchandise and special sales on days for families or military. IMG_8711Accessories are a great deal at thrift stores where a belt will cost you $1.99 instead of $14.99.


Bonus: I found a pair of Nike DriFit Running capris for $4.99!  The search really pays off.

  • Sale Racks – Discounts are everywhere. IMG_8998 Stores are full of sales, clearances and discounts as they switch from winter to summer.  They kind of skip spring. Smile This is your chance to pick up a new dress for work, a cardigan to bridge the seasons or some comfortable casual clothes for the warm spring afternoons.  Stick with you price point.  It’s easy to think $20 is a great deal on a shirt but not if you’ll only wear it once or twice.  Remember layering pieces like cardigans over t-shirts or sweaters over tanks.


Solids and cardigans makes the spring to summer transition easy.  Don’t forget to pick up stockings for chilly legs in early spring.

  • Great Clothing ExchangeOn a the roller coaster of life our weight will sometimes go up and down.  It’s nice to know others are on this journey with us and can share the wealth of extra clothing as sizes are lost.  Anda from Leaving Fatville knows that losing weight can be expensive as you change sizes.  Instructions for giving or taking are all on the website and won’t cost you more than the cost of shipping.

How do you stretch your clothes and budget to fit your style needs?

In another post I’ll lay out what I bought, prices and the outfits I’ve created.

***Hint*** It’s all under $120. Open-mouthed smile

9 Comments leave one →
  1. 22/03/2011 11:13 AM

    great ideas… and that sweater?? *SO* cute!! houndstooth is one of my favorite prints ever… if you ever find a twin sweater at that price I will pay you gladly for it!! 😀


    • 22/03/2011 12:41 PM

      Thanks Kristina….I’m not a huge pattern person but this sweater jumped out at me. I will keep an eye out for you 🙂

  2. lauramich permalink
    22/03/2011 11:31 AM

    I will heartily second the suggestion of checking the thrift stores. I lost ~140 pounds between January 2008 and September 2009, and there’s no way I could’ve dressed myself paying full price through all of those size changes. Even though my size is stable now (8–10, depending on the item and the designer), I got so used to paying thrift store prices for my clothes that I have a hard time paying retail.

    My frustration with thrift stores is the same as yours: I don’t always have the patience to pick through everything to find what I want or need. My MIL swears by TJ Maxx; I found that it offered the same frustrations as thrift store shopping, but without the sweet payoff of paying $3–4 per item. (Also, if you really need a particular item, finding it when you need it at a thrift store is a gamble. I learned that when I needed a job interview outfit on short notice!)

    There’s also something to be said for the charity of friends. When I was at about the halfway point, a friend gave me several pairs of slacks that got me through the winter. Today, I’m wearing a hand-me-down dress from my SIL.

    • 22/03/2011 12:44 PM

      I agree with all you said. I have a hard time paying over $20 for ANYTHING because I am so used to thrift store prices.

      TJ Maxx is always hit or miss for me. I may find one thing one day and 10 the next.

      I’m glad you have friends and family where were able to give you sizes you needed. I was able to do that with some of my clothes for others as I lost weight.

    • 22/03/2011 1:36 PM

      Also huge congrats on the 140 pound loss. That’s amazing. Keep up the wonderful work. You look amazing in your picture.

  3. 22/03/2011 4:06 PM

    ((((this post))))

    I never thought about April being a great time to thrift because of spring cleaning. Thanks so much for sharing!

    All of your finds are fantastic! I never, ever pay full retail (or close to full retail) because it seems like things hit the clearance rack just a couple of months after they’re ‘new.’

    I got an e-mail today for 50% off all AT Loft sale styles. I don’t think you need a coupon code. Just in case anyone is looking for online bargains.


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