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End The Vicious Shopping Cyle: LOFT Outlet to the Rescue

loft 1 - CopyI’m in a vicious shopping cycle, fueled by my never-ending yo-yo dieting.

Here’s what happens: I get gung-ho about eating right and working out regularly, lose a bunch of weight, and then go shopping for a new wardrobe, fist-bumping myself every time a size I haven’t been able to wear actually fits. Months later, slowly but surely, morsel by delicious morsel of food later, I regain the weight, beat myself up mentally, and replace those new frocks with my trusty fat clothes. Three words: vicious shopping cycle.

Don’t get me wrong – I love shopping, and always have. It’s just a lot more fun when I actually feel good about what I’m trying on. Cue LOFT Outlet.

Due to the generosity of The Outlets at Sparks, I was invited to come in and learn how to dress for my body type. I have to be honest; the first thought that ran through my head was one of dread. You see, I’m in the fat clothes section of my closet right now, and the idea of someone knowing my size and actually wanting to see hand-selected items on my actual person completely freaked me out. But, I decided to go at it with an open mind, and plus, I love LOFT, and wanted to check out all of their summer styles and see what might work for my self-diagnosed hard-to-fit body.

I went in on a Friday night, and was greeted right away by Christy, the lovely, non-judgmental in the slightest store manager. We chatted about my absolute don’ts – namely, no bare arm or leg – and whether I was looking for work clothes or more casual/weekend type items (I went with the latter) and then she got to work, scurrying around picking out styles that she thought would work for me.

She met me in the dressing room with so.many.clothes, some I was a little afraid of, but Christy was comforting and made me feel completely at ease, reminding me to keep an open mind.

The first outfit I tried on was an A-line black and white skirt with a purple top and cardigan to match. The A-line, Christy told me, was really great at hiding lumps and bumps I might be self-conscious about, and she was right, I was comfortable.  While the outfit was cute, I felt a bit too matronly, so that went in the ‘not for me’ pile. loft 2 - Copy

Next I tried on a cute purple maxi dress with a knotted cardigan on top of it. I do really like maxi skirts and dresses, so this was definitely a contender! I felt comfortable and confident in the outfit, but the colors seemed a bit Fall/Winter to me and I was looking for bright and summery, so I put this particular outfit in the ‘maybe’ pile.loft 3 - Copy

Christy totally had me branch out of my comfort zone for the next two outfits. The first was a midi length skit, paired with the same navy blue knotted cardigan from the previous outfit. One of my biggest body hang-ups are my legs, and I avoid showing them off at all costs, so I was pretty shocked to discover that this style  actually worked for me! It showed a little leg, yes, but I was still completely at ease in the outfit. Definite contender.

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The next outfit, I was completely and totally skeptical about and might have told Christy she was out of her mind. It was a short dress, soooo not something I would ever, EVER pick out for myself. But you know what; I actually ended up loving it. My legs, while pasty-white and in need of a spray tan, didn’t look as bad as I envisioned, and paired with a cute Sgt. Pepper-esque jacket, it was so, so cute. See? Cute! And easily transitional from Summer to Fall. I wavered back and forth on this one for a while, but ultimately, I was looking for casual weekend clothing, or something that could transition from work to play and this one was a bit more professional looking than what I was looking for, so it went in to the “maybe another time” pile.

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The minute I put on the last outfit, I knew it was hands down the winner. Bright, beautiful colors paired with a simple, lightweight denim jacket that could be easily dressed up for work or down for the weekend. I was sold. This entire outfit cost $75, which is a complete steal when you consider how many different uses you can get out of it. Christy had me try it on with a fedora for an even more casual look, and then brought me a beautiful necklace that elevated it a bit for a professional setting. Plus, the length was perfect and I can wear it with flats or heels.

The Loft at The Outlets at Sparks

This whole experience was wonderful, and really opened my eyes to try different styles, patterns, and colors I didn’t think worked for my body. I have to say also, the staff at LOFT Outlet was wonderful to work with, and never made me feel self-conscious about my body. They were supportive and really worked hard to find something for me that I felt comfortable wearing. While I was in the dressing room, I heard Christy talking to other customers about their likes/dislikes, too, so I know this wasn’t a one-time thing – they really act as personal shoppers looking out for your best interests. Next time I get the urge to shop, I know where I’ll be heading!

This post was sponsored by the Outlets at Sparks. 

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About Tracie Barnthouse

Tracie Barnthouse
A Midwestern girl who has laid roots in Reno, Tracie Barnthouse is the mother of two {A (4) and E (9 months)}, and wife of one (Token). Publicist by day, her job keeps her busy, and she’s still learning that tightrope walk of work/life balance. Barnthouse moved to Reno in 2012 from Sicily, Italy, where she lived for four years. Prior to that, four years were spent on the island of Guam, but she’s come to realize that home isn’t defined by a speck on a map. From overseas travel tips with infants and toddlers to glimpses of everyday life, she hopes to share stories that help us realize we’re all on this crazy ride called Motherhood together.

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