I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

My Bargains, My Badges


I found it interesting, randomly, yesterday when my boss said my dress was cute that the first thing out of my mouth was, “Eight Dollars!” *BigProudGrin* “Thank you!” She couldn’t believe the price I paid for the dress and honestly? Neither could I! I actually bought two of the same dress (two different prints, of course), on clearance at Target. I have found that by going to a different Target location, one can come across a variety of different clothing options and clearance section madness.

Later that evening at a work meeting in San Francisco, one of the company partners placed his bag beside him in the restaurant booth. I took note of the style and brand and realized in that moment that his messenger bag cost more than my entire outfit, head to toe, shoes/bag/clothing/jewelry/teggings…The lot of it! Wow! We’re not talking billions here, like $100 approximately (for the bag, not my shit! Ha-ha!). Why did this matter to me, though? Why make such a random and comparative assessment?

I’m the poor kid. Any time I can “fit in” or “pass” I feel accepted. Anytime I can accomplish that and pay way less than retail? It feels like I win! I don’t know what the fuck I win, but it’s a rare feeling and it seems to be hitting my brain’s reward centers and thus the cycle continues. Those tacky red and yellow clearance signs are my beacons of hope! Those awful bins of random shit no one wants to dig through, let alone try to organize, those are my honey pot!

I may never be able to afford to buy a thing from Kiyonna or Igigi or most classy-as-hell plus size retailers, but when I can look fabulous and pay next to nothing and get compliments to boot? That is my fix! That is my badge of honor in some way. It is me, the poor kid, striking a blow to all of the mean-rich girls who picked on me growing up. My $5 Doc Martens? A prized possession! Yes, they are a size too big, but they are so comfy, and go with everything, so I wear them often.

I refuse to suffer for fashion. Comfort is my priority always. But it doesn’t mean I don’t want to look cute, for me. It’s not all about other people or “winning” and whatnot. It’s about feeling good, on my own terms, on my own dime! These insane bargains (same Target trip got me two super-soft and comfy tees for $3 each) feel better than the $90 dress I longed to own for months before buying (and now have to have altered and thus I still haven’t worn). Yes, I must look harder and my options are slimmer because I’m a death fatty, but all the more “win” when I get something that is cute, fits and is at a price I can afford.

I know to some blurting out my dress’s bargain price is tacky. I get that, but there was no thought in it. It came out before I could even think about it or why I wanted to say it. I realize that may be a red flag for something, wev. It was like the ultimate fatty-dress jackpot and I wanted the world to know of my victory! Ha-ha! I want people to know that they, too, can get glasses online for $20 (or less, or free) or that you don’t have to pay $129 for Docs or that craigslist is an awesome place to find a great car at a cheap-ass price! I want people to know that they don’t have to go into debt to get the things they need or want.

For me it was always about access and options. I mitigate these issues with my bargain hunting. It’s not perfect. It’s not for everyone. I have the time and the desire to do it. But damn, it just looks good on me! 🙂

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6 Comments to

“My Bargains, My Badges”

  1. On June 28th, 2012 at 5:12 am Veronica Says:

    I have absolutely no desire to go bargain hunting, probably at least partly fueled by the fact that anytime I try to find something on sale I end up finding something in the full price section. But more power to you, I say! It sounds like it makes you feel good, and it saves you money, so what could be better than that? Maybe it’s a culture thing, or maybe it’s just not growing up upper class, but I don’t see why anyone would find you blurting out your dress’s bargain price tacky, it’s not like you’re asking them what their dress cost.

  2. On June 28th, 2012 at 9:59 am JM Says:

    Gurl, you always look like a million $!!!

    I am often amazed at your bargains, but love that I have learned from you too about better bargain shopping. Its kinda fun…the challenge of the good bargain!!!


  3. On June 28th, 2012 at 12:35 pm Twistie Says:

    Hee! I’m a fellow bargain hunter.

    A couple months ago I told Mr. Twistie that I had bought some clothes online that day. Money has been tight, so I wanted him to be aware of what I spent. Before I could say how much it was, though, he blurted out ‘five hundred dollars?’ No, I didn’t spend that much, not being completely potty and knowing that we’re not in good financial shape. “Three hundred? Two-Fifty?”

    At that point I told him to shut up and let me finish a sentence.

    The truth was I’d gotten a notice in my inbox that a plus size retailer whose mailing list I’m on was running a one-day special where all clearance clothes were something like 30% off. I got seven different shirts for about forty bucks in total… and that was including splurging on one that was still something like sixteen or seventeen bucks with the discounted discount.

    I’ve spent more than that going to the local market to pick up a couple items I needed to make that nights’ dinner! Oh, but only when someone is coming over for dinner and I need both more quantity of general food and a dessert.

    Yeah, the adrenaline rush is kind of special.

  4. On July 3rd, 2012 at 12:42 pm juliette Says:

    I do this too! I was a poor kid too but always loved clothes and was always fat. So I’ve always haunted the clearance racks of EVERY store I could, looking for things to fit me. I spend an in apppropriate amount of time in Macy Woman, looking for things under $20. (I bought an INC top last week for $8 – originally $69.) I love nice clothes but the markup is ridiculous – even more so for plus size things, I think – so I refuse to pay full price even though I’m not so poor any more. I am also amused/annoyed by the fact that the sizing for “nicer” clothing is usually much more generous than it is in items from “Plus” size stores – why do I wear a 24 sometimes 26 at Lane Bryant but wear a 22 in INC? I digress – the purpose was just to say right on for a great post!

  5. On July 3rd, 2012 at 2:40 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Juliette: Every time I go to a Macy’s all they have is crazy-expensive stuff or super ugly stuff or both. I have such horrible luck in those big department stores though. But $8?! Woo! And what is with the more generous sizing? Spending more equals vanity sizes?

  6. On July 3rd, 2012 at 9:30 pm juliette Says:

    NBAA – I usually go to Macys when it’s “1 day sale” which is really 2 days when stuff is 75% off and sometimes there’s a coupon. I also try alot of stuff on – the top I bought is is kind of a batwing styling and I avoided it for quite a while because I don’t like oversized clothes. It turned out to have a seam I didn’t see so that the cut of it was actually close to the body and it looked pretty good. And the color is emerald green, one of my favorites. Of course, everything is a matter of personal taste – I think I have somewhat simple tastes and I’m old (hahahaha) Also, sometimes the tags don’t really reflect all the mark downs so you have to check them at the price check thing. That said, I have to also confess that I spend alot of time “shopping” – I work in downtown San Francisco so I hit Macys/Ross/Marshalls/Forever21 (the one with the plus size dept) at least once a week and often don’t buy anything, I’m just checking out what I want, knowing that it will eventually go down in price. Re the vanity sizing, that’s part of it and the other part is just every is trying to cut corners so they are charging more but giving us less. Ugh. That’s another reason why I refuse to pay full price. Sorry this was so long, I do tend to get carried away!

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