Yesterday I did something fantastic. I mean really mind-blowing, from a personal perspective.
I bought clothing from Old Navy.
This is mind-rendingly awesome for two reasons: primarily, I was amazed I found clothes there I liked. Secondarily, I fit the clothes.
Let me put this into context for you. Price for clothing goes by tiers. Everything between size “air” and size “high average” costs average price. For a pair of pants in the late 90’s, this was anywhere from $15 to $40 – and that’s if you wanted the good pants. When you’re the size I was in high school, you’re not even in the “Dear lord, what do you eat” category – I spent most of the end of my school days broaching a 50 inch waist, wearing size quadruple-extra-large shirts, and taking whatever I could get for under $100 per article.
That’s right. When I was in school, most guys bought cars. I bought pants. That’s a big difference.
I haven’t fit 42″ waist pants since I was fifteen. That’s 1997, folks – twelve years of paying well over $70 per pair of pants I needed to replace. Clothing quality is going down, and prices are going up. This means if the average person of my size bracket buys five pairs of pants per year, they spend between five thousand and seven thousand dollars on pants alone in fifteen years. Someone in the air-to-average bracket spends theoretically three thousand dollars buying the same amount of clothing. That’s a possible difference of $4000, in fifteen years.
Some people buy cars. We buy pants. I won’t even mention shirts, socks or, gods forbid, underwear.
When you’re overweight – or even just large, I’ll never wear anything smaller than a 38, due to bone structure alone – you don’t get certain choices. Yesterday, I bought the largest size available in both pants, and shirt. I happened to be lucky enough to have noticed the relative sizing, try the clothes on, and be happy with them. Shirt and pants cost me what a shirt usually does. A shirt, one shirt. Singular. The pants were basically free.
When you’re looking at financial choices, it’s easy to feel hosed into certain corners – credit cards, vehicle maintenance, housing costs, personal or student debt. It’s worth remembering sometimes, that some financial considerations we really don’t get visible choices on. I now get to cut a basic cost of living in half, just because I’ve been active, eating better, and paying attention to myself.
Now that I’ve got pants, maybe I’ll finally be able to buy the damn car.