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Another Coming Clean Post…

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I know I haven’t posted a lot. It’s because… I hate my wardrobe.

Yes, Alison Gary, author of Wardrobe Oxygen has a closet full of stupid stuff. No staples, no go-to pieces. A bunch of things that don’t fit, don’t flatter, or don’t work with her lifestyle.

Today I am wearing one of my few go-to work outfits – black pencil skirt, white ribbed tank, green cardigan, scarf tied to make a necklace. But the shoes are my black patent t-straps which don’t go as well as the peeptoe pumps but my feet are still hurting from Bonnaroo and those high heels aren’t going to cut it. And the tank has been worn a lot and is a bit stretched out and meh looking. And my hair is a mess because my husband gave me a head massage last night while watching something on the History Channel about real pirates of the Caribbean and I didn’t have time to shower this morning.

Yesterday I wore my Muse knot-front dress.

The day before I wore my blue print Ann Taylor wrap dress.

Last week was a bunch of dresses too, because that’s what I have a lot of. And that’s what fits. I have even tried to figure out ways to make my Bonnaroo sundresses work-appropriate. No luck.

Yesterday I decided, so what if all I wear are dresses. But if all I am going to wear are dresses, I need to get a few more. I don’t have enough clothes to get through the work week without… well without wearing a stretched out white wifebeater with a pencil skirt. I went to my go-to sites – Ann Taylor, LOFT, Nordstrom, Gap. No inspiration. Dresses I liked were not in my size or price range. So I Googled brands I love – Calvin Klein, Maggy London, London Times, Muse. I also hit the other department stores online – JCP, Macy’s, Dillard’s, Lord & Talor, even Saks. Not much luck. So I thought… what store online has a great return policy if I hate these things, doesn’t cost a lot to ship, and will have 14 and 16 but not plus size?


Overstock is where I got our living room rug, storage bins for the shelf on Emerson’s changing table, the velvet quilt on our bed. I have never bought clothes there before, but I know they carry great designers. And even better, they have great reviews by customers.

And even better, Overstock.com is partnered with Ebates. And you KNOW I love Ebates. Seriously, I have made over $500 with Ebates just this year alone. Why shop online if you don’t first hit up Ebates.com? With Ebates, I would get 4% cash back on my entire purchase at Overstock.com. So I went to Ebates, searched Overstock.com, and went to their site.

I ended up getting a pair of yellow espadrille wedges and three dresses. My fingers are crossed, and I will let you know how they work out. I feel good about it based upon reviews and the silhouettes of the dresses.

I have done something else which I know will help my wardrobe situation. I hate to post it, but figure I should because posting it, making it public puts me accountable.

I have signed up for Weight Watchers.

I have been meaning to do this for MONTHS. I did Weight Watchers in the past and had some success. Two readers of this blog that have become virtual friends have had recent great success with Weight Watchers. I was going to start last week but my husband had to sub last-minute for a fellow yoga teacher that evening and with letting him get ready and get Emerson settled and all, I couldn’t get there in time. And I wanted my first meeting to be at the location I plan on going to on a regular basis.

Okay, I just realized that if you sign up for Weight Watchers online through Ebates you get $10.00 cash back.  How cool is that?  LOVE you Ebates!

To encourage me further, I asked my mom if she would like to join me. We did WW together in the past and it was fun to do it together. We would often go to dinner together after, having a nice low-point meal, celebrate losses, discuss plans and menus for the upcoming week.

Today I brought my lunch – brown rice and a fantastic stew-like thing my husband made last night with fresh veggies and beans and lots of spices and no fat. And then I found out we would have lunch at the office – Pizza Hut pizza and salad from Cosi full of gorgonzola and pistachios and sweet dried cranberries. I was thinking… I could keep the brown bag lunch for tomorrow and enjoy my last chance at Pizza Hut lunch today. I went into a conference room to help a member of upper management set up her laptop for a Webmeeting. This is a woman I find very cool and inspiring – we used to take lunchtime yoga together, she recently had a baby, and has been so influential at this company and in her field. Well she opened up her Internet browser and guess what her home page is – Weight Watchers. Yeah, pizza wasn’t going to happen for lunch today after that sign!

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Me and my sister at Dave Matthews Band at Bonnaroo – the only picture of me that I liked from the entire trip.

So anyway, I am trying to make some great strides in loving myself. This body is a great one – it is beautiful – it created and nourishes my child, it carried me miles in the Tennessee heat at Bonnaroo, it loves my husband and treats me well. Well I need to respect it, and treat it well in return by clothing it in pieces that flatter it and match my personal style, and by losing excess weight that it is carrying.

Oh, and Sunday I spent an entire hour tweezing my brows and other random facial hair. Something I took for granted two years ago, but now see as decadent as a weekend at a spa. And it feels good to look in the mirror and see groomed brows. I recently got a haircut and color, and plan to have it be a more regular occurrence. I am making baby steps to bring style and self-love into my daily practice. And with it, my full personal style WILL return!

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. I just read this because I’ve been internet-less for two weeks, but YEA WEIGHT WATCHERS! I love, love, love it–it has made my life so much more awesome and happy and I feel so good. I wish you the best of luck, and if you need ANYTHING (support, recipes, whatever), let me know!

  2. I, too, have recently re-joined WW. It is harder the second time around! It probably doesn’t help that I am older now. I will keep checking in on your journey. Go get ’em girl!

  3. I wear dresses a lot, too, cuz it’s just too much working finding pants that fit, flatter, and are as comfortable as a dress.

  4. Ali, your advice has been invaluable to me over the years. You are the real deal. I have just returned from a two week business trip and having followed your guidelines I have a travel wardrobe that is classic yet funky and versatile. Thank you for being real.

    Kie from Johannesburg

  5. You are awesome and a total inspiration! Go for your goals, but realize that you are wonderful just the way you are. Thank you for sharing and always coming from a place of honesty.

  6. Allie,

    I have been a longtime reader and want to say first that you’re awesome no matter what.

    Second, I also have a little one at home – 14 months – and am struggling with finding my style and shape now that I’m back at work. I have also rejoined the good ol’ WW – lost 50 lbs last time, hoping that I can do it again!

    You have a ton of support from all of us, remember that. And feel free to post the small milestones, they are actually huge ones!

    I recently splurged a bit at Anthro so that I could have a few dresses that I felt great in and snagged the Origami Camelia dress,the High Seas dress and the Rising Vapours dress. Yes it was a splurge for a working mama, but it was so important to feel like me again that it was worth it. I just wear simple cardis with them to make them work friendly.

    Good luck and keep us posted!

  7. It is great that you are doing things to help yourself and being so honest on your blog. It is not easy. I wish you much success.


  8. Allie, I love your blog and so think you are bomb! I love that you share your true feelings with your readers, your words really hit home with me this morning. I’ve so been feeling some kind of way these last couple of months and I feel a little in the dumps about my clothes. I’ve taken to just wearing dresses, because my tummy looks a hotmess in pants. However, I said all that to say you have really encouraged me to take a look into WW…thanks. I hope everything works out for you and you have a wonderful day. Be Blessed!


  9. I order dresses from Overstock ALL THE TIME! That site is so awesome, such cheap shipping, such a fantastic return policy. And I agree, I live by the reviews. I can’t wait to see what you ordered! I am constantly trolling Overstock for dresses, and it’s a bit of an obsession.

  10. I understand where you are coming from with wanting to lose any excess weight – I was VERY resistant for the whole first year after my second child was born, I just felt it was almost unfair – your body has done all these things like bring a child into the world – why should I now have to work hard to lose weight? I eventually joined a gym and started working out harder than I ever had in my life and the weight came off. And I felt great! It was hard to get to the point to admit to myself I needed to lose a few lbs, but once I did the reward was huge. It’s just a personal decision I think.

    You look great – thanks for your honesty, I always always love to read your blogs!

  11. Great to hear from you again, I miss reading your blog. There’s no reason why you can’t post your WW updates as well as your new clothes etc. It’s your blog, do what you like with it, I’ll still be here reading it!

  12. Good for you. 🙂

    As my life daily reminds me, you have a thousand choices to make and (excusing the quote from Michael Pollan) you vote with every one of them…how to treat other people, and how to treat yourself. Best of luck!

  13. Ok #1… I want to share an awesome dress with you I recently got at Loft. Its this one: http://www.anntaylorloft.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=25877&N=1200045&categoryId=280&pCategoryId=3364&Ns=CATEGORY_SEQ_280&Nr=AND%28CAT_SALE_FLAG%3aY%29&Nty=1&No=15&loc=TN&defaultColor=Black&defaultSizeType=Regular

    If online doesn’t have your size, I have seen it in stores as well. I have it in black and am getting it in pink too. Easy to dress up or down.

    Secondly, I just want you to know that it is very hard to love yourself… I know, but know that I think you are very pretty. So try, try, to love yourself, because it honestly does make weight loss easier. That said, I am super proud of you for joining WWers!!! Last week I made it to 100 pounds lost… eeeekkk!!!! It was an amazing day I will NEVER ever forget. It has taken 20 months, but I feel like a million bucks!

  14. You are Very Beautiful ! I have been reading your blog for about a year and a half. You have a great sense of style and you inspired me to go buy colorful scarves. I also think it is great that you are a mom. So am I. My fave store is LOFT and what I love about your blog is that allot of your clothes are from there. I would love it if you would stop by my blog sometime. Thanks for the inspiration.

  15. Allie – I’m a fellow DC-er who always read your blog. I’ve left messages a few times in the past – you filled me in lots about Greenbelt and Target tights. 🙂

    I feel the same about weight loss as you do – just trying to get to the healthiest BMI for my body and respect it. I’m a 14, too.

    Anyway, just wanted to share a few things I’ve learned in the past year.

    The Weight Watchers meetings on Saturday mornings at the Weight Watchers “store” in Bethesda are run by the best speaker/leader I’ve seen. I’m not doing them now, as I moved to downtown DC and don’t like the meetings down here nearly as much. I forget her name, but she’s amazing.

    Also, I know from your blog that you work long hours and want to get home for your sweet girl, but if you ever become interested in trying to go to a gym downtown, the Washington Sports Clubs are generally the best ones. The K Street WSC is $49 per month. Just want to save you the trouble of trying the bevy of dirty, ugly (yet cheaper) downtown gyms that I tried. Best of luck!

    – Kara
    [email protected]

  16. Allie,
    You should see yourself the way the rest of us do. You are lovely, gorgeous and my inspiration. I love your blogs,it makes feel ok about loving clothes, fashion and feeling pretty.
    Here’s to self love.

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