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Plenty of ways to get new clothes after shedding pounds

Updated: March 18, 2014 4:15PM

Today we have more advice for DESPERATE DIVA JUST WAITING TO SHOW OFF. She lost 102 pounds and wants to flaunt her new figure, but she can’t afford new clothes. In the last column readers gave her great advice about thrift shops, garage sales, and eBay. Some other thoughts . . .

NANCY: You need to come up with a monthly budget and a clothes plan. Bankruptcy or no, you can still set aside an amount — $10? $20? — for new clothes. Every few months, buy one outfit or two separates. For example, I wear jeans to work, so the first thing I did after I lost a significant amount of weight was to buy close-fitting jeans.

If your office doesn’t allow jeans, buy a nice fitting pair of pants and a skirt or two pants or two skirts. The bottom half is generally where most people lose the most weight, and wearing fitted clothes there will start to show off your curves.

Then, buy a good (good!) close-fitting jacket or two sweaters. Pair them with your great bottoms. Make sure everything you buy matches, so whatever you buy, you can wear with what you have. Everything doesn’t have to be black. Neutrals like beige, gray, and white go with everything.

Clean your closet. You can continue to wear some of your “fat” clothes if they’re altered. A good tailor can save you hundreds of dollars. Items to alter: a good jacket, wool coats, and skirts. Don’t keep fat clothes around “just in case.” Donate.

Don’t spend too much on the cheap stuff. It’s better to save and spend on quality clothes. While I’m not always a fan of thrift shops, I do buy most of my formals there. (I have several because I go to the opera a lot.) Most people only wear them once or twice a year and then they get rid of them. I bought a formal gown at one thrift store for $25. In the stores, it would have cost at least 10 times that.

Other good things to get at thrift stores: quality handbags (I bought a Dooney for $12), good scarves (I got silk ones at Value Village for $2.50 each!). Don’t buy shoes at thrift stores. It’s not worth the wear and tear on your feet.

Finally, have fun!

MADDY: Major kudos for the weight loss! How did you do it? There are millions out there who would pay good money to hear your story and learn from it. You may have stumbled into a new career that’s much more rewarding than the one that left you bankrupt.

Here’s how to get started. Buy one good outfit at a thrift shop. Then arm yourself with “fat” pictures and go around to the health clubs and weight-loss centers in your area and ask for a job. I’m sure you’ll find at least one that will hire you as a weight-loss consultant. They’ll probably bid up the compensation package to get you. Work out a deal that pays you commission on the clients you bring in.

Have you achieved a major life goal? How did that affect your relationship? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to And check out my new website


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