Jul 18

Post Weight-Loss Surgery Clothes Shopping — Are You a Fashionista?

For years, hell decades, I:

  1. Bought big shirts that hung out over my elastic waistband pants
  2. Never bought a dress

    LLD speaking at a podium one year before weight loss surgery

    Then, I hated myself and how clothes looked on me. Every outfit was elastic-waist pants with a huge tent-like shirt over top.

  3. Lost all desire to wear makeup or try to look great
  4. Hated to go to outside events — unless I could wear stretch jeans and a big denim shirt

I felt this way, right up to the day of my weight-loss surgery, Sept, 19, 2013. Even though I’d lost 25-plus pounds during the six-month surgery prep period, I was still mighty big. I still hated the way I looked and what cloths looked like on me. I remember wishing, “If only I could get down to a regular size 16 as a result of this surgery, I’d be ecstatic.”

Post surgery, weight continued to fall away. I started getting excited. When I pulled a regular size 16 pair of pants from the back of my closet and they fit, I was elated.

For the first time in 15-plus years, I had the urge to shop for clothes.

Start Shopping at Bargain Locations Like Goodwill and Salvation Army

So, I took off for the stores, but not Macy’s, Penny’s or Walmart. I headed straight to Goodwill (GW) and the Salvation Army (SA). I was afraid I might gain the weight back and didn’t want to spend a lot on new cloths. It was a brilliant decision — not because I gained the weight back, but because I kept losing.

The cloths I found were awesome. Many items had the original tags on them. Others were barely worn or nicely broken in — especially jeans. Each time I dropped another size, about every two weeks, I’d donate back my prior purchases for a tax deduction, then buy more fun cloths.

After weight loss surgery you'll love what you see in the mirrow

Recently, I actually took a selfie of myself through a mirror. I wouldn’t even look in the mirror before. And, don’t you just LOVE this dress. Being a fashionista rocks.

Today, 10 months later, I’m still a GW and SA shopper  — because of course I still think I’m going to gain the weight back, which scares the crap out of me. But also because I find steals.

Stepping Up to Bargain Chains Like Ross, Marshalls and TJ Maxx

I have however added a few stores to my list of shopping locales. Now, I also head to Ross, Marshall’s or TJ Maxx for “nice” cloths. When I shop there, most often I buy one pair of black slacks or a black skirt, that can get me through important work or social events, that I can wear with different tops. Because, as you know, I’m terrified of gaining weight back.

But, some of those fear chains that bind me, seem to be loosening. I’ve also branched out and have started buying some great dresses, something I never thought I’d do.

Check Out Consignment Stores

Other awesome bargain fashion haunts are high-end consignment shops. Head in, get one fab outfit for an occasion and then take it back for them to sell again. Just have pay for dry cleaning and/or laundering the clothes. Or, of course, keep the outfit.

I call my shopping plan the Post Weight-Loss-Surgery Fashionista Racket . . . and it’s all so much fun, not depressing. When I try on the cloths and look in the mirror, I get excited.

No more elastic-waist pants, sweats or massive shirts for me. Now, I want to look nice all the time — even if I’m fishing, geocaching or hunting, because I feel great.

Am I happy I had gastric bypass surgery? Over 105 pounds later and after a journey from a size 22 to a 4, I can say, “Heck yes,” at least until I look at my bank account balance.

So many cloths, so little time.




About the author

Laurie Lee Dovey

LLD is a writer, photographer, marketing and media consultant, hunter, angler, RVer, sports nut, poker player, and wife.


  1. Susan

    You are a real inspiration. I have had a lap band for over 7 years. Initially lost lots and have gained it all back plus some,,,,,, Recently my doctor recommended I convert to gastric bypass. I am ready to do this, but as you know jumping thru all the insurance hoops. I live in southern Delaware and would love to go to the beach with my grandkids but have not been there in years due to my size and embarrassment. I have all but made myself a recluse. Did I say I am an Operating Room retired nurse and scared to death……. Wish it was post surgery and I was home recovering.
    Thank you again for your words of encouragement. Where is the best place to see your blog?

  2. Mary

    I had bypass surgery Dec 31, 2014. I had already lost 29 lbs before surgery. I have lost a total of 107-1/2 lbs so far. My question is…….I have lands to fly to Europe in August. Has it been long enough after surgery to be safe. ( blood clots?)

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