Since I broke my foot I have lost around 12 or 13 pounds. I haven’t been on what I call a “real diet”. I’ve just cut down on portion sizes and cut out sweets and fatty snacks. I’ve actually added more nuts, fruit, and yogurt to my diet after seeing the study on foods that are associated with gaining and losing weight long term in adults.
I’ve also been gradually increasing my exercise, but I did have a set back one week when my right foot started hurting. I was afraid I may have broken it, but right around the time I was getting ready to call for an appointment with my foot doctor, it stopped hurting. I’m doing one day a week bike riding and one day walking with a friend at the mall and am about ready to add some light weight training.
So I have been shrinking. I now have five pairs of jeans I can wear: the two new ones I bought plus three I had outgrown. More importantly for my budget, I can now fit into a misses size 16 again instead of a woman’s size 16, a change that not only expands my selection of clothing but also saves me around $5-$10 per item of clothing in the places where I shop. The corduroy 14 wale pants I just bought would have cost $5 more in plus sizes. A pair of ponte knit trousers costs $10 more for plus sizes. A cashmere cardigan costs an extra $20.
I suppose the rationale for the price difference is that plus sizes use more fabric, but that doesn’t explain it once you start looking at numbers. A misses size 18 is actually slightly larger than a woman’s (plus) size 16, but costs less. Tall sized pants use more fabric than petite sizes, but don’t cost more. The size difference between a misses size 2 and a misses size 18 is the same as the difference between the misses size 18 and the plus size 24, but the size 2 doesn’t cost any less.
Besides, the price difference doesn’t hold for men’s clothing. A pair of Land’s End men’s chinos costs the same price whether you buy a waist size 30 or a waist size 46. That 16 inch range is about the same as the difference between a Misses size 12 and a Woman’s size 26 in women’s chino pants, but the woman’s size 26 will cost you $5 more ($10 for some styles). It’s true that a men’s cashmere sweater in Tall sizes costs $20 more than the same sweater in regular length men’s sizes, but it’s strange that men pay a price penalty for being tall whereas women pay a price penalty for being wide. When you consider that some research shows that height correlates with higher income, there’s a least a possibility that taller men can afford the extra cost. For what Precious Ramotswe would call “traditionally sized women”, that explanation doesn’t work.
So it’s not fair that my reduced size is saving me money, but I’m not sure I could drum up interest in an “Occupy the Garment District” movement. Although if I did, I’d at least have a few things to wear.