April 1, 2010

Thrifty Threads

It's Thursday, time for another installment of Thrifty Threads, AKA Most Stylish Compact-y outfit, where readers model their favorite secondhand clothes.

A Compact-y outfit is from Goodwill, a thrift store, consignment shop, ebay, craigslist, a yard sale, garage sale, or anywhere else you find secondhand clothing.

Today's model is Cynthia, who at a size 16 just barely qualifies as the very first plus-size TT model. And since she's on her way down from a size 22 after losing 50 pounds, she deserves a big congratulations! Cynthia says she's always liked buying clothes at thrift stores, and this is what she wore for St. Patrick's Day.

The green sweater, blue cardigan, and Chinos are all from Goodwill. The earrings were a gift, the green and blue necklace is from the thrift store Savers, and she got the Cole Haan shoes from ebay. Cynthia says the whole outfit cost less than $30, and all of the pieces are versatile and can be used over and over in combination with other items.

What great finds. The cardigan sets off her gorgeous blue eyes, and I love the pretty necklace. And Cole Haan shoes cost hundreds of dollars new, plus they're super-comfortable, so those were a smart purchase. I was able to buy a pair of Cole Haan boots in 1996 that were on sale for $100, marked down from $300. They're so comfortable that I still wear them every year to the Jane Austen Ball.

I asked Cynthia how she lost the weight, and here's what she said: "I made a lifestyle change that included eating healthy, real food, cutting out sugar, white flour and salty crunchy snacks. I allowed myself an occasional treat, but stuck to my plan pretty well. In addition, and this was super important, I made exercise part of my daily routine. Weight resistance 3 times a week, treadmill the other 3, usually one day off exercise. Using motivational mantras was also key (like "Yes I can, no matter how hard it is. Don't give up"). It wasn't quick, it took a year, and I'm not done yet, but it has really been worth it. I feel so much better physically, stronger, and like myself better. The one other thing was accountability. I have my nails done every two weeks, and weigh in with my nail lady. Then my trainer would ask how I did, I didn't want to disappoint them. I should be more concerned about disappointing myself, but that wasn't how it worked for me."

Cynthia, thanks so much for sending in that photo and congratulations on losing all that weight! You look great! And I have to add, so does your house. I love all the beautiful wood and the river rock wall. Readers, it's your turn. Put on your favorite thrift store score and send it to me at barton.angela@gmail.com.

Isn't it fun to see what people are discovering in their local thrift stores? I think secondhand shopping is a great way to be fashionable for a lot less money, and it's particularly useful for anyone whose size is changing rapidly, whether they're losing weight like Cynthia, gaining weight due to pregnancy like last week's model Nicolle, or growing out of their clothes quickly because they're a toddler like Simone.

Please share your favorite tips and advice for buying secondhand clothes, plus compliments and kudos for Cynthia, in the Comments section. And click here to check out previous installments of Thrifty Threads.


Alea said...

What an inspirational thrifty threads and Cynthia looks fabulous as well, proving that you can look great at any size if you pick items that work well with your shape! She is so smart to buy second hand clothing as she is losing weight, since she won't be in one size for very long.

Non Consumer Girl said...

Congratulations Cynthia!
It sounds like you have worked very hard to lose weight and you are looking good.
And as Alea said above, when you are losing weight you aren't in one size for very long.

Those Tricks said...

What a great story.
Well done, Cynthia!

jill said...

Angela, were you aware that the average dress size of women in this country is a 14?? Size 16 is far from a plus size!!

Marie-Josée said...

Cynthia you look great! Thank's for sharing the photo. And congratulations on your weight loss. I'm also on that journey too, and I find it really hard.

Angela said...

Sorry Jill! I think it was Cynthia who referred to herself as a plus size when she sent in the photo! You're right- she's hardly a plus size now. But I think 50 pounds ago she was.

Sorry for the error- I think you're right.

I think Cynthia's story is very inspirational, because she's successfully losing weight with a plan in a healthy way, so she'll be able to keep it off. She's a smart lady, about weight loss and shopping, and I'm sure a lot of other things!