How a Fat Guy Shops at Macy’s

August 23, 2009 · 17 comments

I received a $200 gift card for Macy’s that I’ve been holding on to for a couple of months until last night, when I finally spent a little time shopping for myself. There were a lot of half-off deals on clothing so my plan was to stock up on some new outfits. While I have a dozen pairs of pants hanging in my closet I’ve been reduced to wearing the last two that fit. When I had some weight loss success earlier I donated all of my “fat pants” thinking I wasn’t going to be needing them again.


So I figured I’d be able to load up cheaply on some good quality clothing. I grew up shopping at Dayton’s, which in some convoluted way that I can’t remember is now effectively Macy’s, and it was always a treat to buy clothing there. So I was excited, or at least excited as a normal guy can be, to load up on some good clothing to round out my wardrobe while I wait for whatever motivation I need to try to lose weight again.

As I started to browse the racks of the Men Store at Macy’s I started to realize a problem - there were hardly any size XL anything, only a smattering of XXL and forget about finding any XXXL, the size that I really need. I can fit into most XXLs but the problem comes after washing where all it takes is a little shrinkage and my Polo Ralph Lauren shirt would become a rag.

I took a look at the dress shirts where I require a 19/34/35 - only to find that their largest size was 18.5/34/35. So close but that extra half inch makes all the difference.

Not wanting to take a chance on some shirts that wouldn’t quite fit I started looking at pants. They had a ton of pants on sale at great prices, but after trying a few pair on I was bummed to see that I was going to need a 42/30 size and there wasn’t a pair I tried on that I liked. For one thing almost everything had front pleats, and I’ve learned that is just not a look a fat guy should be going with.

In the end my trip to the Men’s Store at Macy’s netted me a new belt and some socks.

So what does a fat guy do? Off to the kitchen store where I bought an All-Clad Stainless 11″ French Skillet (darn, I just noticed it is $10 cheaper on Amazon) and a Wusthof Trident Classic 5″ Tomato Knife ($20 cheaper at Amazon, drat!).

I rounded out my shopping buying a memory foam pillow that I am hoping will aid my sleeping with the CPAP machine I’ve been struggling to use (another post for later there).

So that’s how a fat guy blows $200 on clothes at Macy’s - a belt, socks and some other non-clothes stuff. So many nice looking clothes I couldn’t even try on. Really depressing. Almost depressing enough to do something about it. I hope.

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Petra Weiss August 23, 2009 at 8:31 am

Doesn’t that sound like something that’s happened to me before! You go out to get something in particular and come home with lots of things you didn’t even knew you needed, but not what you went out to buy. I can feel with you, John!

Small Steps to Health August 23, 2009 at 1:07 pm

This is the first time I read about an overweight guy’s experience with buying clothes. I guess it doesn’t matter what gender you, just that when you are overweight, clothes shopping is still a painful experience. Sorry you had such a lousy time John.


AndrewE August 23, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Time to get back on the wagon John!

Greg at Live Fit August 23, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Sounds like how my wife shops! I don’t think that has anything to do weight… *grin*

Fat Daddy August 23, 2009 at 4:03 pm

I hope it is depressing enough to give you some real motivation. If it were to me I wouldn’t have 9 zillion frequent shopper points at the local big and tall shop.

But sometimes you just catch fire, even for reasons that have not motivated you in the past.

Glad to see you back in our neck of the woods.

Hanlie August 23, 2009 at 5:12 pm

I think it’s time to get back on that wagon again… Use your kitchen utensils for good, not evil!

Derek August 24, 2009 at 4:59 am

I can relate all too well. I gave up on the “mainstream” department stores, because it was just too damn depressing. Instead, I would visit the “big and tall” shops.

What’s worse is that once getting to the big and tall store, I would think I was one size, only to find out those clothes were too tight. It definitely stunk to find out my actual size.

Anyway, I like how you dealt with it. Belts and socks are easy. Plus, it just feels great to get something new for the kitchen.

Rottie August 25, 2009 at 4:13 pm

John, just 3 words



Michelle August 26, 2009 at 2:36 am

Oh man, I could have written this…I think I may HAVE written that…except with Bloomingdale’s. I think it’s worse for women, I swear those sales girls look at you like they’re thinking ‘What is SHE doing here?’

Rex Harris August 26, 2009 at 5:18 pm

Man, I can so relate to that. I remember when XXL was running to small on me, what a wake up call. It’s kind of sad when you think about it now… that there are more 2X and 3X clothes available, says something about the way people are taking care of themselves. I’m glad those days are over and I’m on my way back down to XL! Great post!

Kimberly August 29, 2009 at 9:05 pm

You’re certainly not alone! I think we’ve all been there. To echo Hanlie’s sentiments, use those cooking utensils for good - not evil!

Keeven August 29, 2009 at 10:20 pm

I totally understand how it feels. Guys too face difficulties when it comes to shopping for clothes. From where I’m from, I can hardly find any XXL clothes. And when it comes to pants, ouch! The waistline will be either too small or huge and the length is too short or long. Is difficult fulfilling this 2 criteria.

Usman August 31, 2009 at 6:47 am

I thought ‘JOHN IS FIT’ so why does John count himself as a Fat guys? :P

Weight Loss Weapons September 1, 2009 at 9:31 pm

Man that sucks. Free $200 to spend and all you got was socks and a belt. I would have bought at least 1 really nice XL shirt and used that as a motivator.

I got 6 new shirts for my birthday back in July from my favorite store. All large which I’ve been wearing for a while, not a single one fit. I was going to return them but I refuse to go to the XL size.

They are hanging in my closet and they will fit me soon (down 8 pounds since the end of July).


Zoe September 7, 2009 at 6:27 am

Hi! I hope that you get back on the wagon again. You and only you have the power to change your life. Think about what you want, what is your goal, and then every day only carry out actions that align with that goal. And eventually, some day, that goal will happen. But, the longer you wait, the further away it gets…..

I am on a weight loss journey too. At my heaviest, I was 275 and now I am down to 199. It was so hard at first, with the incredible cravings and loathe for exercise and vegetables. But, eventually, that goes away and you start to feel great and look great and your life starts changing before your eyes. I hope that you get back on the wagon!


Petra@Healthy Diet Weight Loss September 11, 2009 at 7:15 am

John, I am wondering how you are going now as we haven’t heard from you for a while…

Dr. Kal September 20, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Hey John,

Why don’t you take back the skillet and the knife and buy one of those 18.5/34/35 shirts. They are cheaper at Amazon anyway.

Instead of using a scale or measuring tape to monitor your weight loss progress, use the shirt.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Losing weight is hard and the only thing harder is keeping it off.

Stay positive and focus only on losing one-seventh of a pound today.

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