I always research answers. Looking for the best style advice available. And weeding out the bad! I actually read the suggestion that you should wear a "poncho" while you're losing weight. Say what??? Sure. Let's throw a broad expanse of fabric over our shoulders, hiding any shape, and let it fall down from one of the widest parts of our body, our breasts. Great idea. I don't think they realize that any tent-like shape will just make a person appear larger. A poncho pretty much only looks half-way decent if you're a small person.
One question we have to ask ourselves is, are we talking short-term or long-term weight you're losing? Short-term as in, "I just had a baby and will probably be back in my previous clothes by the end of the year." or long-term as in, "I've been battling this blasted bulge for twenty years and I'm finally winning the war!" Short-termers tend to have "skinny" clothes and little else. Long-termers may or may not. You definitely sound like the latter so I'm going to guess that, like most people, you probably have a range of smaller sizes in your closet. So gird your loins and try on some of those smaller sizes! Do NOT beat yourself up if they still don't fit yet. They will soon! And if they already do, you'll be a happy camper. You might also consider organizing your closet by size - largest to smallest - and work your way through them as you lose weight.
If you do find yourself needing/wanting to purchase some new items, consider the following:
- Wrap dresses! Wrap dresses! Wrap ANYTHING! Skirts, blouses, etc. They get smaller with you by simply wrapping them tighter.
- Tailor a little bit. If you've dropped two sizes, take your best pieces to be altered. It'll be less expensive than buying them in a new size. Check out the recent post about Tailoring.
- Avoid anything boxy. Something that fits your shape now will look MUCH better as it gets a little baggy than something that was boxy and ill-fitting to begin with.
- Don't spend a ton of money. Depending on how much weight you still have to lose, you might have to repeat this cycle a few more times. (Target has excellent inexpensive options!) But don't think of the new items as a waste either. Consider the clothes an investment in yourself (you deserve it!) as well as a donation. You'll wear them very often then donate them where hopefully some other woman will wear them on her way to a healthier weight. Pat yourself on the back for being a philanthropist!
- Don't forget your intimates!! That bra probably needs updating at this point!
- Wear what you have in a new way. Button down shirts that are too big? Go retro and tie them over a fitted tee. Cute! Or leave them completely unbuttoned and wrap them around yourself, crossing the button side over the buttonhole side, and tucking them into pants or skirts that fit you. Very fashion forward!
- Buy neutrals but amp up those shoes!! (Click here for my soap box speech about the benefit of great shoes!) When buying those few items, keep them neutral and you'll be able to mix and match them into many more combinations. Offset the neutrality with fabulous shoes in great colors!
- Think Shrink! Like the wrap dresses, think of pieces that will shrink with you. For example, a light cardigan with not too much structure (as in not too fitted, without a complicated design) will hang straight now, creating a vertical line. As you continue to shrink, you button it, then later, cinch it up with a belt. Make sense?
- Watch those accessories! Accessories (just like prints) should be proportional. Tiny, delicate necklaces & bracelets will emphasize your size in an unflattering way.
Set yourself a time limit. This applies if you have nothing much in your closet that looks good. If at the end of, say, 3 months, you haven't lost the weight you had hoped to, still buy something that makes you look good. If you DID lose the weight you planned on, buy something in your new size. Either way, you'll look and feel better.
And finally, you may ask, "Why not just thrown on the sweats or leggings and stick it out to the end?" What you see in the mirror has a PROFOUND affect on your psyche, your self- esteem, and your attitude. You've been working hard. Rewarding yourself along the way will keep your motivation from waning. Congratulations! Keep fighting the good fight!