Hello, and good afternoon from my little corner of the world! Today I’m going to write about something that has been very relevant for me recently… Clothes shopping! Sounds like fun right? Clothes shopping in recovery is often NOT fun for somebody in recovery from an eating disorder, because there is often weight gain and body image issues involved. You are most likely not going to leave the store looking like this woman in the picture! With gaining weight, you will indefinitely come to the obstacle of outgrowing clothes. Due to my bulimia, I have gained quite a bit over my set weight and I’ve been clothes shopping quite a lot recently. It’s nothing to be ashamed of though! Think of it as expanding your wardrobe and treating yourself! Also, it’s perfectly okay to still fit into most of your clothes and just want a few more items to boost your confidence 🙂 Here a few of my tips/findings for clothes shopping in recovery…
Try on EVERYTHING.
What to Do About Numbers: Numbers, numbers, numbers… For such a long time, my life revolved around numbers: The number of calories, the numbers on your clothing, your grades, your days binge free/purge free, and of course the number on the scale. It’s nearly impossible to just say, “Oh yeah, just ignore the number on the clothes tag.” That’s a little far from realistic. My best advice is to be aware of the way the number on your clothes change, be mindful of what number you may need, but mainly to hold the clothes up and see which will work the best for your body. Honestly, I’m much more comfortable in clothing with a little wiggle room because I’m not entirely comfortable in my body yet and also sometimes I bloat (as I’m sure you do too!) Also, clothing sizes vary from brand to brand! For example, my two favorite stores are American Eagle and H&M however American Eagle’s sizes run a lot larger than H&M’s sizes. I wear a size x in American Eagle pants but when I buy pants at H&M, I have to buy the next size up which honestly used to cause so much anxiety I wouldn’t but something that looked good on me just because of the size… That’s crazy talk! Don’t be crazy, buy what you think looks best.
Dresses and skirts are your friend if you’re in that in-between stage of weight restoration. Get way more to try on that you intend to buy (you never know what you’ll end up liking!)
Who to Bring With You: I definitely see pros and cons in both bringing somebody with you and shopping by yourself. As a primarily introverted person, I prefer shopping by myself, although it is a comfort to have another opinion to make you feel good. This could mean texting a picture to a friend asking if it looks okay, bringing a friend or parent with you, or using your own wise mind to reason whether to buy something. You most likely don’t want people (cough cough my mom cough cough) overwhelming you by bringing too many clothes to try on, but it is important to keep in mind that having a person with you can help you. It’s really going to be a trial and error process.
It’s OKAY to get upset. It’s okay to leave the store. It’s not okay to give up forever though.
Feel good about the price too: I don’t think there is anybody in the world who doesn’t like to save money. I love to look at a receipt and see that I’ve saved a lot of money. I love going to upscale resale stores because they truly have great clothes for good prices (we’ve got a place named Plato’s Closet near me and I love it).
Play peppy music and eat yummy food before you go.This should be fun and you should be in a good mood when you go!
Lastly, buy accessories too! You can never outgrow a scarf or ask somebody, “Does this necklace make me look fat?” For the record I am the unofficial scarf queen of the world.