Have you ever looked at your closet and thought “I’m going to do a major overhaul in here after I’ve lost all my extra weight”?
I have gotten stuck in this trap before. Do you know what the result was? I never got new clothes and I never lost the weight!
I’ve been working on losing weight since last March, and even though I got slightly derailed during the holidays, I’ve been losing at a reasonable rate. I’ve lost a total of forty pounds.
I have not reached my goal yet, but I will get there eventually.
One of the major contributors to my success, I’m convinced, is that I have been fastidious about maintaining a small, workable wardrobe that makes me feel confident and beautiful.
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I have had to change out this wardrobe every few months because (thankfully!) the clothes became too baggy and then started looking and feeling frumpy.
But because I have kept a few guidelines in place, this hasn’t been overly expensive or time-consuming. The result has been overwhelmingly positive.
I feel great, I look great, and most importantly, I keep losing weight.
Step 1: Decide How Many Core Pieces You Need
I am a huge proponent of the 10 Item Wardrobe that Jennifer L. Scott recommends in her books . However, for a weight loss wardrobe, I think it’s a good idea to have even less.
The most important part of a weight loss wardrobe is that the fit isn’t too baggy. Baggy equals frumpy, and frumpy equals discouraged.
If you are losing between four and eight pounds a month, then you will most likely need to edit your wardrobe every two to four months. So focus on basics here.
In the fall and winter, I keep one pair of jeans, two pairs of slacks, 2-3 nice t-shirts, 2-3 blouses, and 2-3 layering cardigans/jackets. I also keep two dresses for church and going out.
In the 10 Item Wardrobe, technically the t-shirts and the cardigans don’t even count, so that’s about eight core items.
If you prefer jeans over slacks, then have two pairs of jeans, one pair of slacks. And if you prefer the comfort of a knit over woven material, then have more nice t-shirts, and less blouses.
If you rarely wear dresses or skirts, then add another pair of pants and another blouse.
Adjust your basics to what you will be wearing most often, while still having a dressy item available that makes you feel like a million bucks.
Step 2: Well-fitting clothes
Know what styles of clothing look best on your body type. Even if you are not at your ideal weight, your body still has a specific shape that you should be trying to accommodate.
Remember, you want to enhance your best features, while minimizing your least favorite features.
I like to play up my waist to hip ratio, while minimizing my upper arms. For this reason, I rarely go sleeveless right now.
I also use a lot of belts, peplum style tops, cropped cardigans, and dresses that are fitted through the waist, and fuller through the hips.
If you have long legs, enhance them. If you have beautiful arms, go sleeveless. If you have slender ankles, wear skirts or dresses occasionally with heels.
Shop Your Shape is an excellent site that will point you in the right direction for figuring out the most flattering styles for your body.
Step 3: Proper Undergarments
The silhouette underneath your clothes makes a huge difference in how your clothing will ultimately look. You should have a new bra fitting done every time you lose between 10-15 pounds.
If you neglect this important step, your tops won’t look right, and you will end up looking a lot bigger (and saggier) up top than you really are.
The right bra will keep you lifted in the front and smooth in the back. Go somewhere with a wide variety of sizes and a knowledgeable bra fitter. Nordstrom and Soma both do a great job, and if you are lucky, you may be able to find a specialty bra store in your area.
Panties are just as important as bras for your silhouette. If they are too tight, you will end up with really bad VPL (visible panty lines), and if they are too loose, they will bunch up under your clothing.
I’ve found that Target has a huge assortment of panties in all different styles with cute fabric and prints for a very reasonable price. Figure out which panties work best for your body right now and buy the correct size.
Make sure that you keep updating that size as you lose more and more weight.
I am also a fan of foundation garments in the right situations. If I am going to just be at home or on casual errands, I will just wear an outfit that doesn’t require any additional support.
However, if I am wearing a particularly fitted dress, or certain pants, I will pair it with appropriate foundation garments.
If your tummy has some lumps or rolls, and your thighs are not as smooth as you’d like, a high waisted shorts shaper can be a life saver.
If you have back fat rolls that make you uncomfortable, a tank top shaper is a good option.
I have been using the Sara Blakely Assets collection from Target. These are a much cheaper alternative to Spanx, but made by the same company, so they are still high quality.
Step 4: Shop Sales and Consignments
No one wants to pay full price, but it’s especially important not to pay full price for what will (hopefully) be a short term wardrobe.
I buy my pants new because there is a certain brand and style that fits my body really well (Loft Julie fit) so it is worth the extra money. But I always wait for a 50 or 60% off sale to purchase them.
I love purchasing my tops via consignment, either at Clothes Mentor, or Thred Up. I stick to my signature style guidelines for fit, color, and pattern, but there are so many choices available through these two retailers, that finding something that I love is never difficult.
Bottom line: spend as little as possible, while still only purchasing items that you love, that make you feel like a million bucks, and that flatter the body that you have.
Step 5: Accessorize
Accessories are one of the best ways look fantastic, no matter what stage of weight loss or weight maintenance you are in. And the best part…you won’t shrink out of or grow out of your accessories.
You can continue wearing them no matter your shape and size.
Start curating a small collection of accessories to complement your wardrobe: earrings, bracelets, necklaces, scarves, hats, purses, and jackets or cardigans etc.
I love wearing a head to toe color, like black, and then creating three or five different looks with different scarves, jackets, or jewelry. It’s the best way to get a lot of bang for your buck.
For a lot of people, feeling good about your body will spur you on to greater weight loss success. When you are feeling good about your appearance, you will want to continue feeling good about your appearance.
Which means you will be more mindful about what you are putting in your mouth, and how you move your body. Set yourself up for the greatest success possible by taking time and effort with your appearance. Love the body and shape that you have right now.
Don’t wait for the day when your body is absolutely perfect to dress yourself in a way that you love, start doing it right now.