It’s the time of year when people resolve to lose weight. If you are on such a journey, good for you! There are innumerable health benefits to shedding a few pounds, and so it’s the time of year when people get serious about it – start a diet, join a gym, take a class… you know…
I always say that fit is paramount to good style. As you lose weight, how can you wear your existing clothes (for a while) and still look good? And, when should you finally give up your too-big clothes?
- Invest in tailoring – consider taking in clothes if you have any luxury items in your wardrobe, as the investment will be worth it. Don’t bother with cheaper pieces since their fabrics and construction likely won’t hold up anyway, and the cost will outweigh the benefits.
- Give up pants – as you lose weight, pants tend to sag in the rear. Instead, try leggings, which cling to your frame. If you’re wearing leggings properly (and please do!), you’ll be pairing them with a tunic or longer top that covers your tush.
- Wear dresses – I love dresses as a transition piece because they are more forgiving to shrinking frames. Best silhouettes during weight loss are wrap dresses (which can be adjusted as you go), sheath dresses (which can be cinched with a belt), empire waist (which sits just below the bust) and anything made from a flowing fabric, such as silk, chiffon or georgette. Structured wool, linen or cotton dresses will hold their original shapes and are not as adaptable.
- Wear cardigans, not jackets – Because of their structure, jackets are not as forgiving in fit. Shoulders will look off as will the main body of the jacket, which will crumple. Cardigans, with their soft fabrics and construction, are better able to mold to your body. Button under the bust or add a belt to showcase the smallest part of your midsection. Elasticized belts are great at pulling in a cardigan.
- Distract the viewer – use great accessories, such as a statement necklace or a scarf, to draw attention to your face.
You’ll know it’s time to select a few new pieces when your clothes can no longer be saved by the above tips. Some items have to be donated sooner than others. Here are some suggested guidelines:
- Pants – two sizes is about all you can manage before they need to be replaced. Watch for a sagging rear and a waistband that can’t be saved with a belt.
- Skirts – two to three sizes, depending on the cut of the skirt. Elastic waistbands are helpful here. Pencil skirts with spandex may last longer because of the stretch. Watch for fabric ‘bumps’ at your hips (due to the cut of the skirt) and a waistband that is drooping. Flowing skirts may also last longer because the cut is already generous.
- Dresses – again, two to three sizes, depending on the cut and fabric.
- Blouses and tops – clingy tops that sag will need to be replaced sooner than blouses made of a more forgiving fabric, such as georgette, silk or cotton.
- Sweaters – because of the ability to layer, sweaters can last up to three sizes, especially if you cinch them at the waist or style them as ‘oversized,’ by pairing them with skinny jeans or a pencil skirt. Chunky knit sweaters already look bulky so they probably only last up to two sizes before you look like you’re drowning in them.
If you have less than 20 pounds to lose, slowly replace items in your wardrobe, but shop for quality not quantity. Often there are great deals on quality clothes from consignment shops. Labels don’t necessarily equal quality – so look for well-made clothes, with straight seams and hems, no loose threads or buttons, and made of lux fabrics such as silk, wool or cashmere.
If you’re in the middle of a greater weight loss, you will have to go through a few rounds of replacements, so shop for the best quality you can afford, but don’t go overboard since these will still be transitional pieces. Choose items with my weight loss style tips in mind to extend their wear as long as possible.