Today is my first shopping trip since I started recovering from an eating disorder. I could really use some advice.
I developed anorexia in middle school and have basically been the same size or smaller since then. After over ten years of that bullshit I finally decided to pursue recovery. I’m six months in and not fully weight restored yet, but I’ve put on enough weight that the only comfortable clothes I have are sweatpants and knit tops. I was trying to hold out on shopping until I was done gaining weight, but seeing how much tighter my clothes are has become really triggering for me.
At the encouragement of my therapist and lovely boyfriend, I’ve decided to make the most of memorial day sales and get a few basics. I guess I’m just a little lost on what I should do.
– I’m a 23-year-old grad student and I’ve never been able to shop in the women’s department. At what age are you supposed to be done with the junior’s department? What the hell does a grown-up dress like? (I have a work uniform so I’m okay there.)
– I haven’t really bought clothes since twee was in style. [This is my pinterest](https://www.pinterest.com/coleyfelix/fashion-inspiration/) that I made a few years ago. Are these things still in style? Can I find clothes like this? Will I look like I’m stuck in 2011? Honestly I don’t even know what I like anymore but I don’t exactly have the time to seek my ~true style~. I need clothes, like, *now.*
– As far as triggers go, I don’t mind wearing shorts so long as they’re not too short. Exposing skin doesn’t bother me too much. But I do get very upset when I notice things getting tighter. I know things are going to keep getting tighter as I recover, but ideally I’d like to notice it as less as possible.
– For anyone that has dealt with eating disorder recovery, how did you handle picking out sizes and being in the dressing room? I barely look at my body when I shower, how will I assess if my clothes fit? Do you think stores would be okay if I had my boyfriend come with me into the changing room?
– On that note, how do you objecitvely know if clothes fit? I’ve always bought things baggy (not by choice). I’ve been really struggling to tell if my old clothes are *really* too small or if I’m just freaking myself out because they’re more fitted now.
– I like the minimalist, invest-in-a-few-nice-pieces-that-will-last concept, but I don’t know if that’s a good approach right now. I’m not exactly flush with cash, and there’s a good chance I’ll have to do this all over again in another six months. Is there a middle ground here, or should I just embrace Forever21?
Ahh, sorry this got so long but tbh I’m kind of freaking out. Any general advice or anything would be awesome. Thanks. <3
EDIT: Whoa! Thank you so much everyone for the replies. My most got flagged and didn’t get approved until after the shopping trip was over, but all of this advice and support means so much. Not going to lie, there were some tears on this trip but I got through it! I only got two pairs of shorts and one pair of pants today, so I’ll definitely be using this advice on future shopping trips. <3 <3 <3