Editor’s note: This is regular series in which we help Styling You readers solve a particular wardrobe or clothing crisis with a little advice and some shopping suggestions. If you think you’d like to be considered as part of a Wardrobe Boot Camp post, then please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a couple of photos and a brief run down of what specific help you would like.
Danae lives in Perth and works at a consultancy. She’s been dropping some kgs and wants tips on how to shop for clothes while losing weight.
I live in Perth and work at a consultancy, so wear business casual during the working week. Otherwise I’m pretty casual with my dressing. I’m currently about a size 14.
Well after a year of putting on weight, I’ve decided to kick it to the curb. It’s all going well losing 5kg in five weeks so far and nearly 10kg from my heaviest last year. My dilemma now is how I buy clothes for my ever changing body, so they don’t give me a saggy butt essentially (one place I didn’t have excess weight to begin with). I still want to look good, and feel confident but don’t want to spend a fortune in the meantime (friends love it when I give away nearly new clothes though).
I was so excited a few weeks ago that jeans and work pants fitted without the muffin top, but they are now becoming a bit loose, and the work pants I put on today are falling down, which I can deal with but the saggy butt area I’m not a fan of.
Thanks, and all help is appreciated!
This is a question I get asked quite a lot and thanks to my dodgy thyroid I’m experienced to help with answers. My weight can fluctuate hugely – even in one week – and then takes somewhat drastic measures to reign it back in. Such is the nature of the beast. Most days, I’m accepting of it and my wardrobe has grown to accommodate the fluctuations.
At the core of my advice, though, is that every woman deserves to feel their best every day. Clothes that fit, flatter and bring out a woman’s confidence can make a very big difference.
I’m a big believer that it’s not about the next five or 10kg or more. It’s about now (just one of the statements on the SY manifesto). Feeling good at any weight.
Life is for living and not holding back.
Most of us are constrained by budgets, so I frame my advice around that too. Everyone’s budget is different but it makes sense not to buy complete wardrobes at every stage of your weight loss … to be more mindful of how you shop is always a good thing.
So here goes …
1. Clothes are generally the first thing we notice when losing weight. The clothes we’ve been wearing everyday start to loosen up. And clothes that may have been sitting in your wardrobe from a time when you weighed less probably start winking at you (unless you’ve culled them like I’m always banging on about ). And should you venture into a clothing store, the shiny new stuff is practically begging to be tried on. It’s at this point, I’d like the mindfulness to set in.
2. Establish a shopping plan. The only way to really know where you’re at with your current wardrobe is to do that wardrobe edit and this is even more crucial if you are on a weight loss campaign. You want to establish what you have already in your wardrobe that can work for you as you go. And you need to identify gaps in basics so that you can add to your wardrobe as you go.
3. Concentrate on the basics. If you have the wardrobe basics covered at each stage, you’ll always have something to wear and will feel good. Do embrace colour. To keep within a budget, maybe choose one or two accent colours for your basics so they mix and match together.
4. Treat yourself to new accessories. Shoes, necklaces and scarves will give you a boost and turn your basic outfit into wow.
5. To avoid the saggy baggies, shop for clothes in stretch fabrics. I’m not talking nana-wear, I’m talking good quality jerseys, bamboo, modal and knits. Pieces that fit you now but will still work through to the end. Think tube skirts, tunic dresses or tops, leggings, jersey wrap dresses. Even with jackets, seek out a jacket in a jersey or ponte.
6. At the first milestone, consider having existing tailored basics altered to fit. Even better if you can do this yourself. Experienced alterations people know how to do this so that the garment still looks good.
7. Don’t hold on to pieces that are now too big for you. If in good condition, take to a charity and embrace your new shape. Don’t look back.
8. When you reach your goal, plan out a new wardrobe to suit. There’s a fair chance that your style may have changed or you need to find it again. Follow the steps in my Unlock Your Style e-book and you’ll be able to do this mindfully and over a period of time.
1. 02wear bamboo leggings $39.95 | 2. Sancerre shirt $89 (on sale) | 3. Blue Bungalow scarf $29 | 4. Walnut ballet flats $39.95 | 5. Sacha Drake dress $239 | 6. Seed ponte blazer $64.95 (on sale) | 7. I Love Lola collar necklace $59.95 | 8. Aussie Girls Love Shoes heels $189
Ok, over to you. Have you got any tips for Danae? Have you been through something similar? Would love to hear how you approached this journey?
PS. Personal stylist and blogger Imogen Lamport (Inside Out Style) has co-authored an e-book with Jill Chivers, the woman behind My Year Without Clothes Shopping Program to create this e-book that will help you on your way. Click on the book image below to buy online.