Monday, July 21, 2008

New Week, Same Pants

The hardest part of my day, besides wrapping my head around the Pretermitted Child statute, is figuring out what to wear to work. No one officially told me I had to wear business clothes, but my study office is right in the midst of regular offices in my future section and I'd feel inappropriate showing up in jeans and a t-shirt. Besides it's about 65 degrees in there and work clothes tend to be warm. I enjoy wearing nice, dressed up clothes and heels, so wearing a suit and pumps every day while I study would not normally be a problem. The problem is that I have no clothes that fit.

I feel like a jerk whining about the fact that all my clothes are too big- I mean, don't most people wish they had that problem? I certainly spent many years wishing for it and would be rolling my eyes in a big way if I were reading this. And if we weren't on a "we haven't had a paycheck in 3.5 months and just bought a new house and our savings account is dwindling faster than it was supposed to" budget, I would just go buy a few new basics and be done with it. But we are on the aforesaid budget and when you look at my closet you do not come away with the impression that I am in desperate need of clothes. I did go to New York & Company during their big sale a few weeks ago (you know, the one they have every other week) and pick up a pair of size 2 khaki colored linen like pants for $15. I wear them 4 times a week- the other day I either wear a pair of pants that bags at my butt or a skirt that makes my legs turn purple while I freeze to death.

So I have a dilemma. I have some really nice work clothes that I carefully and slowly accumulated from Ann Taylor sales over the past few years- do I get them altered? Altering is expensive too, though less than what the clothes would cost to replace. Plus I don't really trust this new weight. It's been steady for the past 5 months or so and I'm not putting any great effort to maintain it, but I've just never been this size and I don't trust it enough to invest in it (even if I had the money to do so). So, every morning, I stand in my closet for at least 30 minutes while Landon crawls around exploring my shoes, trying on different combinations of old clothes until I give up, rescue a heel that's about to be shoved in Landon's mouth, and put back on my khaki colored linen like pants for yet another day.

And in other news, one week from today I will be driving to Houston to take the Bar. I'm not sure it's a good thing that I'm more concerned about my pants than the fact that this Exam is 8 days away. Denial, perhaps? An admirable and steadfast refusal to give in to the panic? An unhealthy love of the sartorial? Probably a mix of all three. OK, back to Wills and pretermitted children... if you know of anywhere giving away free pants, let me know.


  1. If there is one thing I have learned from watching What Not To Wear (yes, I know, it's an addiction), it's that you have to dress the body you HAVE. Frankly, you are always going to buy new clothes; you have this body right now, and you need to dress it. Since you have some really good stuff in your closet that you like, just spring for having it altered. It's already bought and paid for, the alteration will cost something, but not as much as new stuff, and if you need to dress a new body in a year or two (or six months or whatever), then you'll just have to get some more stuff and/or have the altered stuff let out.

    Plus, having pants taken in at the waist is a pretty simple alteration. (Suit jackets are a bit more involved, I think, of course. Just wear a sweater instead.) I never found a truly spectacular tailor in Austin (unlike Where I Live Now), but I think the guy I went could probably handle taking pants in. (He altered a swimsuit for me once, so I figure he's got SOME skills.) I honestly don't remember the name of the company, but they have a storefront in Barton Creek Mall.

  2. Just a suggestion, but my lesson learned is that the tailors in the stores are pretty expensive. I'm not from TX of anywhere near, but here at home, I've found a few ladies that do alterations at their homes. Very quaint I know, but they only charge a few dollars to replace a zipper, etc. Very inexpensive. Maybe if you ask around your office or some other business professionals you could gather a few names of some well known tailors in the area and see if any of them are more reasonable than what the stores have to offer.

    Good luck!

  3. I have been having this problem myself - none of my pants fit. And you're right, not a single one of my friends wants to hear about this "problem." :) Never the less, it is an issue. I solved it by thrifting a few new pairs of pants. Particularly if there is a high-end thrift/secondhand clothing store in Austin, you might be able to score some great deals on work pants that fit. Places like Goodwill are a little harder - easier to find slightly less formal stuff there, and you have to work a little harder to find it, but I was pleasantly surprised when I popped in to my local Goodwill two weeks ago.

    Good luck - with the pants AND the bar!

  4. Maybe just choose a couple of pairs of pants that perhaps like the least, and get them altered to fit what you have now.

    Then, if you end up not fitting into them at some point in the near future, it won't be a huge loss since they weren't favorites. Or, if you end up maintaining this weight over the next couple of months (like once you start work), you can have the rest of your wardrobe altered to fit. And in the meantime, you'll have more than 1 pair of pants to wear. :)

  5. Perhaps you should send out another email asking about a good alterations place. I use a cheap dry cleaner that also does cheap alterations. I checked the austin listings on and there are several people advertising cheap alterations. . You might also try checking ebay for clothes. I found some good deals on items with the tags still on. Oh and while in Houston check out the Steinmart there. They have been having lots of sales and I found a ton of work clothes there last summer when I went back to work.

  6. This happened to me a few years ago, and while I didn't stay skinny-minny forever, I did remain at that weight for 2-3 years. If I hadn't altered my clothes, I would have never worn them again because they were so outdated. Pick two or three items that maybe aren't your *favorite* and get those done first. Kind of a test run - and then you'll end up taking everything in.

    I always got my clothes altered at Ivory Cleaners on MLK/Rio Grande - but this is probably because they were the cleaners that I'd been going to since college. No idea if they're the cheapest.

  7. Well, I know you don't want to buy, but I'm the same size as you, and I recently bought some really fabulous dress pants (suit pants, really) at Banana Republic, and they were only $25. And it wasn't one of those "there's only one pair left in the country" situations. The sale prices at Banana were fantastic when I was there a week or so ago. And by fabulous I mean dress pants for well under $50. Whole suits for less than $100.

    I also think the Ann Taylor outlet is fabulous, if you live near one. I have purchased an entire suit for as low as $40 there. With lined pants!

    I think if your pants are lined, you run the risk of them being relatively pricey to alter.

  8. what about shopping at Ross if you cant resist? they have some nice clothes..although you usually ahve to do some browsing and luck of the draw and they are reasonable prices.

  9. Hmmmm... I agree with those who suggested just getting a couple pieces altered for now. You like them, it's cheaper than buying new... makes sense.

    Erin has a good point though, too, that you are at a size where you could probably find some good stuff in the last stage of clearance - it seems like all I ever find on deep discount racks is size 2 and 22!

  10. also, figure out what size you are in banana, j crew, etc and check ebay - you would be surprised how many times people auction brand new suits, still tagged and all (probably bought them on sale but they don't actually fit, etc) - i've gotten two j crew suits for like $75 or less on ebay, brand new and tagged :)

  11. I would say, 1)alter a few things you have already, 2) try to find some good/cheap things at sales (I just got 4 pairs of pants at Banana, all for less than $30) and 3) buy some new stuff right before you actually start working full-time to get you through the first few weeks, when you will have a pay check come to the rescue soon. You only have one more week of sitting in the office while you study, so don't stress about clothes until you start working.

  12. I agree; alter a few and leave the rest. Not to freak you out, but once you start working late many nights and eating the food they bring in for the attorneys, the pounds can pack on pretty quick. If you have a facebook for your firm's incoming associates, check out their "before" pics and you'll see what I mean. It's like the Freshman 15 all over again. That and the desk spread problem from sitting still for 10 hours straight in your office, meetings, etc.

  13. (sssshhhhh I have the same problem of my clothes getting too big for me)

    I just get stressed and don't eat or get busy and forget to eat.

    So I stick with very very ridiculously classic cuts and styles and go to the dry cleaners to get them altered (cheaper than the seamstress at the dept. stores).

    Once I had to go back to work after each of my kids, I wore the same 2 or 3 pairs of pants for weeks on end until more weight fell off until I could get into my pre-pg pants...and sometimes went thinnner than that. So I know what you're going through. It's annoying and hard to complain about. ;)

  14. I actually have several pairs of size 2s that I have no intention of ever wearing again... but they're all "short" or "ankle" length. Want some capris? :)

  15. Hi Lag Liv, hope the bar went well. I was thinking of you. In fact, I remembered the source of some of my favourite wardrobe items, acquired on a budget.

    A friend organised a clothes-swap party.

    On a nice fine day she and her sister hosted a party where people brought clothes which were still good but they didn't feel like wearing or fit any more.

    We hung them from the clothesline, and I went home with 3 great pairs of shoes, a skirt and two cute tops.

    There are so many women whose weight fluctuates - if you have friends in a similar position maybe you could swap!. In Texas, I am sure any such party will have margaritas!