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Company offers plus-size clothing for rent

| Friday, Nov. 7, 2008

Question: I am in the process of losing a lot of weight. In March, I started out a size 22. I am down to size 18. My goal is size 12. I am doing this through a community wellness program, with guidance from a nutritionist and exercise coach. They estimate it will be eight months to a year before I reach my goal.

Already my clothes are way too big for me. The more I lose, the worse my clothes look. This is not good for my morale, but I cannot afford a new set of clothes every time I drop a size or two. I can get by on weekends wearing drawstring pants and T-shirts from thrift shops. But finding clothes for work and social events is more challenging. Yes, the thrift shops and some consignment shops do have plus sizes, but the styles are mostly too casual for work. It takes hours of driving from shop to shop, in the hopes of finding just one or two suitable garments. What else can I do?

Answer: Congratulations on your decision to get healthy -- despite the wardrobe challenges.

A new company that offers plus-size clothing for rent or purchase might be just what you need to tide you over to that desired size 12. The company, Transitional Sizes, is geared toward dieters who are in transition from large to smaller sizes. You can rent or buy anything from tops, skirts, pants and suits, to evening dresses and accessories. Rental prices range from $3 to about $18 per month. Purchase prices are slightly higher.

Obviously, the rental program works best with clothes you need for short periods -- a suit for a special business presentation, or a dress for a cocktail party. If you plan to wear a garment for a season or two, you'd be better off purchasing it.

All rentals are professionally dry-cleaned before shipment. Only new clothing is available for purchase.

To view and order merchandise, visit online .

At the same time, don't give up on consignment and thrift shops. To save time and gas, get to know a salesperson in each of your favorite shops. Explain to her what styles, colors and size garments you are looking for, and have her call you when those items are available.

Do jeans mean trouble?

Q: I am curious as to your opinion on jeans. I think the color is rather boring and doesn't really match with the full rainbow of colors. I also feel jeans destroy femininity and emphasize the faults of the feminine figure. Jeans encourage women to behave manly, fighting and using bad language and sitting and standing in ways inappropriate.

Women were meant to civilize men, not imitate them. If women gave up jeans, they would be more favorably looked upon and treated more respectfully.

Is price the reason women buy jeans• Do they wear jeans out of laziness• Or because it makes them feel younger• Or because jeans require less laundering and care than finer attire• Am I completely wrong?

A: This is probably not the answer you hoped for, but here goes: I am a big jeans fan. I like the no-nonsense denim fabric, the many shades of blue, the top-stitch detailing. I also like the versatility of jeans and their all-American vibe.

However, to look truly attractive, I also think they have to be the right jeans. The fit should be neither too tight nor too loose, and the style should suit the figure type. And with the right accessories, jeans can look feminine.

I disagree that wearing jeans inclines women to fighting and swearing. For that matter, I don't think fighting and swearing make men "manly." It makes men (and women) boorish -- and that is a reflection of who they are, not what they wear.

As for the price of jeans, that can vary from a couple of dollars at a thrift store to several hundred dollars at a trendy boutique. So I doubt price motivates women to buy jeans. More likely it's the look, versatility and durability. And in some cases, the designer label.

Do we wear jeans out of laziness• Sometimes. Jeans really are the ultimate no-fuss, no-muss garments. To look more youthful• Probably. Because jeans require less care• Definitely.

But are you completely wrong• No. Women wearing ill-fitting jeans can look frightful. And you are right that a pretty dress is the ultimate in feminine attire.

In the end, though, beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.

Lost and found

Lost : Ethel is looking for knife-pleated palazzo pants to wear during the holiday season.

Lacey wants to know where she can find hairpieces called How Do I Look In Bangs?

Linda is looking for a catalog or some other source where she can find clothes for big and tall women. Specifically, she needs an extra-long, size 3X robe. Most long robes reach to just below her knees. She wants one that goes down to the floor.

Another reader wants to know if she can still find a recently discontinued item, Ultima II Wonderwear Longwearing Foundation in Sand.

Found : Marcia can order Bike Athletic nylon coach's shorts for her husband online .

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