Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Fat Girl Goes on a Budget

I'm a planner by nature and generally follow a budget and try to save money where I can, including clothing, but I've never been good about restricting my clothing purchases.  If I like something I frequently buy it in several colors.  It's really only the one major area of my life that feels slightly out of control.  Starting July 1st I've decided to challenge myself over the next year and try to spend only $1,200 on my personal clothing, accessories, and shoes.  I don't really know what I normally spend annually on clothing but I'm sure it's well over that.   This challenge feels very New Year's Resolutionish so starting it in July might be odd but following arbitrary rules isn't for me anyway.

I'm starting off with a larger than average wardrobe so I know I have an advantage, that's why I decided to go with $1,200 rather than $1,700+.  If things remained constant I could buy nothing over the next year and probably be fine but that's not the challenge; it's can I stick to a modest budget and keep up with the trends I want to, get what I need, and include things for the Ahead of the Curve blogging collective?

The only out I'm leaving myself is if my size changes two sizes or more I will likely have to up my budget to closer to $1,800 but if it does I'm planning to sell my former clothing to cover the $600 difference.

Once a month I'm planning to show what I spent and on what.  Everything, even if I fail or overspend.

I will likely also include more outfits of day selfies, or at least weekly or monthly highlights.  Can I still dress well on a budget?  Follow along with me and see how it goes!

To make this even more interesting my fellow Ahead of the Curve blogger Harper Valley has decided to take the challenge with me.  Somehow us doing it together makes it less daunting and more fun!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Inside The Fat Girl's Thrift Store Trip

Inspired by June's Ahead of the Curve thrifting theme I decided to pop into a local Goodwill for the first time since moving into a new area. 

I was pleased to see the plus sizes were separated from the straight sizes, not all Goodwills do this and it makes it so much easier to shop.  I found a decent selection of items to try on.






In the end I decided to pass on all of them as they really didn't fit my style and I have a general rule when I'm out shopping: I must like what I'm trying on as much or more than the outfit I came in for me to consider purchasing it.  Since I was wearing my new, $14.98 Calvin Klien bargain dress from my previous post nothing made the cut.

However, I didn't leave empty handed:
I got a great little, unused travel wallet/purse for my upcoming travels and a laptop sleeve for my daughter.  Extra bonus: it was 50% purses and luggage day so I got both of these for $4!
If you missed the bloggers from Ahead of the Curve posts on plus size thrifting you can look for those here.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Fat Girl Finds Three Dresses for $20 or Less

It seems like I never have both extra time and extra money.  This month's Ahead of the Curve theme is thrifting.  Let's face it, thrifting almost always takes time but it can be a significant savings.  I used to do a lot of thrift store shopping when I lived in California and in the Seattle area but in my current location the pickings are pretty slim, especially for plus sizes so I attacked the challenge in a different way.  I decided to do three dresses for $20 or less from three different sources.

This is a Vicky Tiel wrap dress I got from an eBay seller for $20 shipped.  EBay has been one of my favorite plus size bargain hunting spot for many years now.  I'm positive this dress is a HSN return so it was likely tried on for a few seconds before it came to me.

Like many thrifted items it wasn't perfect.  It had some weirdly funky, split flutter sleeves that were pretty awful.  I stitched the split together and and the result was so much better.

Like all my previous Vickey Tiel wrap dresses it's fully adjustable. I prefer those because I have a proportionally smaller waist and mock wraps always gap there on me.  Vicky Tiel dresses also have nice, higher end details like the soft ruffle that is made with the bias cut.
I went out to dinner at a posh, edgy restaurant in this and felt totally comfortable.
Unlike my long sleeve Vicky Tiel dresses this one wasn't lined so I did wear Spanx to smooth things over a bit.
This is a Calvin Klien dress I bought on clearance at Burlington Coat Factory.
As you can see the dress was marked down a couple of times before I found it for $14.98.  I'm sure it was tried on several times during its stay at a Burlington Coat Factory.

Following the trend of thrifted or bargain items often not being perfect this dress obviously had a belt attached to it at some point as it had instructions and torn belt loops.  Alas, it was long gone.

Not to worry. I paired it with a wide belt from my wardrobe.  I don't think I would have liked it with the skinny belt pictured anyway because that's where the two patterns meet.  I think it would have looked odd as it slipped up and down on the seam.

Overall it's a nice, quality knit fabric that allowed me to run around all day in comfort.
I got this Lane Bryant dress from a Facebook plus size clothing group, Fattoo, where I've bought and sold a lot of my clothing over the last two years.  I paid $18 for it shipped.

It was new, with tags, but like my other bargains it wasn't perfect.  It was damaged when the previous owner bought it.

It had tear in the seam under the arm a few inches long.  With about 15 minutes of effort I was able to repair the seam enough that it isn't really noticeable when it's being worn.

This dress still had its nice fabric belt attached.
It's a nice, quality dress that just took some time and effort to find and a little bit of work to make wearable.

I think it looks pretty great paired with my citrus green cropped cardigan from Old Navy.

Talk about bargains!  I got this bow headband from Kmart for $3. 
Don't stop with me!  Find out how the other lovely Ahead of the Curve Bloggers take on the thrifting theme.  Plus size bargain hunters! 
We are a plus size blogging collective that comes together once a month to post on a fashion theme.  Please follow us to Ahead of the Curve to check out how we take on plus size thrifting!  Stay in the know with Ahead of the Curve by liking us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram as Ahead_of_the_Curve_Bloggers