Coming Apart At the Seams

That would be my clothes, not me. They are quite literally starting to fall apart on me.

I am still wearing, for the most part, the clothes that I brought over with me to Kaua’i in 2014, and some of the pieces are more than five years old. They have been worn day in and day out for all these years – they don’t get put away here for a few months like they did back on the mainland in exchange for a fall/winter wardrobe. The elastic is wearing out or worn out on a couple of pairs of the linen capris I wear, the fabric is getting thin, and even outright disintegrated in one case. To tell the truth, I am beginning to look somewhat shabby, although that’s not a big deal here on the island. Thankfully no one here really cares what you’re wearing.

I do have several pairs of smaller-sized pants waiting for me, if I can somehow get rid of a few more extra pounds. I’m getting close, but am not quite there yet. In the meantime my current everyday linen pants that are still wearable have become very baggy and look more and more like something a clown would wear (although they are very comfortable).

So, why not buy some new things? Why not go to a thrift store and see if I can find some pants to tide me over until I can get into my smaller-sized wardrobe?

Money isn’t the issue, but there are things I have to get before we travel next year, like walking shoes and such, and I’d rather save my money to purchase those items. And, because we’re trying to save as much as possible anyway this year, I’m having a hard time justifying an expenditure on what would be for the most part “temporary” clothing.

So, I’m currently in a frustrating in-between spot where I know there are nicer thing waiting for me if I can hold out another two or three more months, and where I hope that what I have left to wear now doesn’t completely fall to pieces before I can get into those smaller items. It’s very much a first-world problem, but I do feel like things are (literally) falling apart around me.

An added note: My smaller pants are just one size smaller than I am wearing now! I can get most of them on but they are tight. I just want my current pants to last until I can comfortably wear the smaller size (all eight pairs of them). I’m willing to be a bit shabby at times rather than buy pants that I won’t need in two or three more months!

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14 thoughts on “Coming Apart At the Seams

  1. tpol1 says:

    Do you try the smaller size clothing every once in a while? You may know them by sizes, but some may be comfy to wear even now due to their cut. You may be pleasantly surprised if you try them on.

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  2. Snoskred says:

    I’m all for frugal and completely support those efforts. If you think you can wait more power to you. Having said that, I just went through this same process myself. I had some clothes where I was ok with saying yep, I will keep wearing that until it falls off completely.

    Where I think it was important to invest some $$ was in fitness wear that fit. I had 4 pairs of workout leggings in a size 16 (more like 18US) which I could use for much of that journey but there came a point around size 12 (14US) where I spent more time hoiking those things back up than I did focusing on exercise.

    I think it might be worth going to look at the thrift stores and see if maybe there might be items there with a drawstring that will work at your current size, and also any smaller size you might end up at eventually. I had a lot of linen pants and capris that did have a drawstring. 🙂

    I also had my most favourite Adidas Climacool track pants which I got on Oahu for $20 a pair at Waikele (these cost $99 in Aus!) and those had a drawstring which kept them going for a long long time. I can still wear them now, which is great. And they were so amazing for the hot weather in Hawaii, they are equally awesome for hot weather here.

    My other option was to have items tailored which I felt was more like an end point option when I got to the weight I wanted but if these are items you won’t be using long term perhaps getting them altered slightly might get you a longer life out of them for less $$ than buying new things.

    Everyone always thinks tailoring will be expensive but most of my quotes were less than $10 per item to get things reshaped to fit better. Obviously living in Rural Australia we do have slightly more seamstresses than you might have available on your island, our local dry cleaning shop does alterations and there are a couple of other places, and when I asked on the local community group I discovered quite a few ladies who do this stuff at home as more of a hobby or because they love to sew.

    I would hold off on shoes right to the last minute, because I lost 1.5 sizes in my foot. I went from an 11 to a 9.5 – bizarre but true. 🙂

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    • Laura says:

      Believe it or not, fitness wear would be too hot right now. Loose pants made of breathable fabric is the only thing I can tolerate right now.

      I love drawstring pants – two of the smaller pants have drawstrings. I can get them on, but they’re still too tight to be comfortable.

      I am very afraid of damaging the smaller pants too. One of the pairs I’m wearing now are in pretty good condition . . . except for a very noticeable bleach stain on the back of the leg. The back! I have no idea how it got there. And so it goes.

      Target date for walking shoes is November. The weather should have cooled off by then and I plan to add a daily walk to my routine.

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  3. Tamara / My Retirement Project says:

    I’m thinking this might be a case of frugality gone a bit far just ‘because.’ For goodness sake, take $20, or $40, or whatever and get thyself to a thrift shop for some better fitting clothes! ☺

    You’ve earned it, and seeing yourself in your new trimmer state might be just the incentive you need to cross the finish line in a few more months. Think of it as an investment in your future self!

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    • Laura says:

      I know I am being stubborn, but it’s also very motivating to hang onto the old pants as long as possible. I’m afraid if I got more/new pants that fit me now I wouldn’t be as motivated to watch my portions or exercise. If I lose one more pair though before I can wear the smaller pants I am going to have to buy something from somewhere.

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  4. Chris N says:

    I agree with Tamara, for goodness sake, go buy some thrift pants. Even if they’re a size down and look nice you will feel better about working so hard to lose weight. I think being austere is okay to a point, but I think you are taking a bit too far.

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    • Laura says:

      I have pants a size down!! Eight pairs of them, actually – I just need to lose a few more pounds to be able to wear them. I can wear one pair of them now, so have at least one pair of pants in good condition. I just want the few pairs I have to last until I can switch over completely into the smaller size. As I said above, if I lose one more pair of my current pants, then I am going to have to head to the thrift store.

      I think I’m going to have to reveal what our big adventure is next year so that people know why we’re so adamant about saving!

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    • Laura says:

      We just have small thrift stores on Kaua’i, no Goodwill stores (they’re on Oahu). We shopped at Goodwill all the time back in Portland – at least half if not more of my wardrobe came from there!

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  5. Barbara Bomberger says:

    Being of the “buy the best quality you can afford and then wear them out and wear them out again and then turn them into something else” school of clothes aquisition, I’m not likely to send you out to spend money on yourself. IF, IF mind you, you are comfortable in what you are wearing. If youre thinking about those pants throughout the day, having to pull them up at awkward times and who knows what, then please do go out and buy a pat least a single pair of pants. At least one. If you dont know what to do with them at the next weight loss juncture, send em to me and I’ll make upcycled clothing.

    I’ve replaced pants for thinner ones at a much greater rate than tops, it seems-but I like flowy, kind of in between a tunic and a top type clothes so that helps as well.

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    • Laura says:

      The fact that these pants have lasted as long as they have, with day in and day out wear, speaks to their quality. The pair that disintegrated were the ones I had had the longest. Although they are baggy, the bigger pants are soft and comfortable, except for the pair that has lost elastic, but I pin the waistband up and they work just fine.

      The number of comments I got today inspired me to try on my smaller sizes again and lo and behold, three more pairs can now be comfortably worn! Five pairs however still are way too tight/small. Still, it looks like I am out of the woods. I will probably continue to wear the old pants until they wear out or something else changes but at least I know I have choices now. My tops tend to be like yours – tunics, or longer t-shirts, and they are doing fine (for now).

      I just may take you up on your offer to take the old pants for upcycled clothing!

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