Friday, June 1, 2007

Off The Rack

Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of shopping options for big people to take advantage of. For men, Casual Male is the most ubiquitous of stores. They sell basic needs. There are some upscale shops, like Rochester (owned by same parent as Casual Male), every big city probably also has one or two local places, but they are few and far between. Wal-Mart and JC Penny go up to 3X shirts and low 50's pants, but if you're beyond that, the options are very limited. One byproduct of this short demand is limited discounting. You're pretty much stuck with paying no lower than 80% of retail, as the sales rarely go much below this. Casual Male and their ilk don't have to discount and it just kills me to walk through the mall and see 50% off all over the place or Wal-Mart type prices.

Buying clothes since my loss has been an enjoyable, but a constant and expensive endeavor. Deb regularly reminds me that my jeans are too lose and droopy, even though I'm always trying to get an extra wear or two out of them.

I've lost an inch off of my waist about every 10 lbs. Over the course of the last 10+ months, I've owned pants in sizes 58, 54, 52, 50, 48, 46, 44 and some 42's that don't quite fit yet. Goodwill and the Salvation Army have been the beneficiaries of my losses as well! Some of these donated clothes have been almost brand new, having only worn some things just two or three times.

Back in November, Deb encouraged me to buy some dress clothes. We went to the local Men's Wearhouse and bought a hot sport coat, dress slacks, a couple of shirts and ties and shoes. I was psyched to dress up for a couple of functions, but alas, all but the ties and shoes are now ready for charity.

Buying clothes "off the rack" has always meant to me walking into a mall department store and buying shirts or pants with all of the "regular" size people. This has always been more of a dream than an objective, one that I had personally conceded would likely never happen. This would represent a significant milestone, but oh so far away.

In early January, just after reaching my 100 lb loss milestone, I was walking through the local Macy's and decided to look at dress shirts. The last shirts I had bought in November were 20" neck, down from 22". I bought a sporty blue pinstripe oxford, 18.5" shirt. I couldn't wait to give it a try.

I got home, ripped open the package and tried it on. Still snug in the belly and not close enough to get away with it. I hung up the shirt in the closet. About once a month since January as I've culled out the newly now-too-big clothes from the closet, I'd try on that shirt.

Today, I tried it on again. It buttoned nicely. I had plenty of room. The real litmus test: would the buttons pull when I sat. Today, they did not. TODAY, IT FIT! Just one more milestone on the path to my goal, but it sure felt good! Officially, now and forever, an I'm an "Off The Rack" guy.


1 comment:

GR8R84U said...

Wow Jeff... Great story! You are an ispiration to many including me. Hearing the determination in your voice and seeing your willingness to work for it, I have no doubt you will reach your goals. To say that I am proud of your accomplishments would be a tremendous understatement.

A bit of advice... Inexpensive, high quality shirts you can easily resell on eBay :-)

Remember, hold back some of the good stuff for the movie.