Fashionable Changes

Tonight at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on CNBC there is a show called: One Nation, Overweight. Here’s a clip in case you are interested.

It’s spring and here in the south the weather is getting hotter by the day. It’s the time of year when I do a lot of spring cleaning, which I dislike a lot! Necessary but not so much fun. One thing that I do when I spring clean is switch out the children’s clothes from winter to summer ones. People ask me how in the world I do it with so many kids, but it really isn’t that hard – just time consuming. We have a really large closet in our rec room which houses all the boys clothes in various sizes. I hang all the shirts in size order and have the pants/shorts/pajamas in bins. Then we just do a switcheroo, with the boys trying on clothes so we can see what size they are. And in a few hours, it’s done. In case you are curious, here’s a picture of the boys closet!

My clothes all fit in one closet so I don’t have to change anything around – just switch from the winter side to the summer side. In switching around clothes I thought about how my fashion sense changed after I lost weight. Before I gained all my weight I enjoyed shopping and wore fairly trendy teenage clothes. When I started gaining weight I stopped tucking in clothes and began buying oversized shirts which I hoped hid things that were growing. They did not. Here’s a picture of me my second year of marriage. I had gained about 30 pounds. The top I was wearing wasn’t flattering, but it was loose and I felt like it hid my weight gain. Which I now see it did not.


When I went from merely overweight to morbidly obese I started wearing clothes like this. These jumpers accommodated my growing girth and it didn’t really matter if I gained another 10 pounds because the clothes seemed to fit the same.

Matching Jumpers

As I lost some weight (finally) I started buying cuter clothes. This outfit was one of the first ones I wore that made me feel stylish.

Cuter Clothes Coming

 And as I lost more and more weight I cared more and more about the clothes I wore. I stopped buying knit pants with elastic waistbands and instead bought pants with a waistband and a zipper. How novel!

To this day, other than my workout pants I don’t own a single pair of pants or any skirt that has an elastic waist. All my clothes have fitted waistbands. I didn’t know Dr. Oz at the time, but that is one of his 10 commandments. In fact, it’s number one. Don’t wear stretchy pants! I agree with him, because stretchy pants are very easy to wear and it can be very hard to tell if your waist is getting bigger!

Question: How do you feel about your clothing style as you’ve lost weight? Has it changed, and will you wear elastic waist pants ever again?  Diane

43 thoughts on “Fashionable Changes

  1. Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman says:

    I love your shoes in that last photo. I’m always on the hunt for good flats and those are exactly what I’m looking for. I agree with the stretchy pants rule. They’re comfortable, but it just makes wearing regular pants that much harder.

  2. Rachel says:

    I’ve enjoyed being able to zip and button the pants of mine that used to be too small…even my workout gear, which has elastic waistbands, is loose! That’s the fun part! The other fun part is putting on clothes you just bought only to realize they are already too big. Whether it’s because the weight is coming off or because my perception of my body has changed for the better doesn’t matter…both are good things. It just gets expensive!
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..Weight loss week 17 ~ Dave =-.

  3. Susan says:

    I don’t remember wearing “strechey” pants back when I was 197 my clothes were just “plus” size. Now I wear what is comfortable daily due to being at home.I have controls built into my life such as weighing daily, measuring food portions, taking my measurments monthly. I do have clothes that have zippers and buttons for going out in but I am all about comfort when working/hanging out at home.
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Saturday A Favorite Poem Of Mine =-.

  4. Marcelle says:

    wow…yes I can see why you enjoy the clothing you are able to wear today…
    I live in my gym gear during the day and its all elastic in the waist pants…I cant bare the thought of being home in my jeans…..does that pass or also a no no??

  5. Heather says:

    I don’t have much clothes right now. It was hard to find anything that I liked on. Now that I have lost 30 pounds, I can find things that fit me better and look nice. (I’m still very over weight but I’m working on that. I’m now 299) I love it when I wear my pants with a zipper. My older pants I can pull right off even when I have them zipped. The last time I bought pants, 2 months ago, I just picked up one pair at a smaller sized and it fit! I love clothes but I hate “fat” clothes.
    By the way, I love your site. I found you from Shape a few months ago! When I read people’s stories about losing weight, I feel better about myself trying to lose it.
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..TGIF =-.

  6. South Beach Steve says:

    Stretchy pants were never an option for me, simply because they don’t make stretchy dress clothes for guys that I am aware of. The big change for me has been having clothes that actually fit. As a bigger guy, I just had to take what I could get. Most of the time it didn’t fit right. It sure feels good now to be wearing clothes that actually fit my body.

  7. Jody - Fit at 52 says:

    You look awesome in your last pic Diane! SO TRUE! Our weight & basically how we feel about ourselves determines that dress. I know that even when I was not fat, if I still saw/see fat, I dressed/dress differently.

    And yes, stay away from those stretchy pants unless you are working out! It is a recipe for over eating!!! I did wear the tight legging things when those were in style though…
    .-= Jody – Fit at 52´s last blog ..Weight Loss/Fitness/Workout Help! Happy Bday Linda! =-.

  8. kwithme says:

    I am coming to the end of my journey and gearing up to re-wardrobe myself. My favorite shorts for the last three years were some elastic waist linen shorts from J.Jill. Part of me would love to buy them in a smaller size but I will be sticking to non-elastic this summer. I don’t want to slip back into old habits and sizes.

  9. Diane says:

    Your boys closet is so sensible ! It reminds me of the system The Duggar family uses for their 19 kids. They have one closet and everything is sorted according to size and gender, and other than the individuals underwear, clothes are community property according to what fits . My feelings with clothes are very different from most peoples of any weight it seems. I believe clothes should be functional , and any concept of fashionable is way down the list because fashion is totally subjective and too changeable for sustainability. I have a very strong feeling about clothes needing to be modest as well. That one has nothing to do with weight, but makes it very difficult to shop at the majority of retailers these days !If it is a choice between elastic waisted “mom”pants and something that allows my navel to hang out enough to be used as landing equipment, stretchy pants win. And I have no desire to show my bra off to the rest of the world, or make public the exact line of the curve of my hips or bustline for that matter.
    .-= Diane´s last blog ..I will no longer be feeling my Wheaties =-.

  10. Emergefit says:

    Not relating to clothing, this is a good reminder that gaining weight takes time, and losing weight takes time. I hope those reading this that are journeying to a lighter self, can recognize that as well.

    RE clothing: During my 3 years of obesity, I wore nothing but big baggy clothes so I did not have to feel my reality. When I got back in shape again, I continued to wear big baggy clothes for fear of feeling fat after any meal. Now it’s been 13 or so years since the weight came off and though I send most of my time in gym clothing, when I’m not in gym clothing I wear big baggy every-day and even dress-up clothing because all these years later I’m still afraid — not of becoming obese, but of feeling obese.
    .-= Emergefit´s last blog ..Blue Zone Thoughts… =-.

  11. Tish says:

    One of the benefits of having two of our three out of the nest is more closet space. It makes it much easier to organize. When I got well into my journey of weight loss, I had one night when I couldn’t sleep. I went into my walk in closet and turned on the light and spent the night sorting and organizing. It was great culling out the too-big stuff and it made my other clothes look somehow much better. I gave away the super large things, but kept a few nice pieces in slightly larger sizes and put them in a bin in our attic. I’m fighting hard to keep that bin in the attic and not to have to pull it down.
    .-= Tish´s last blog ..I did it! =-.

  12. julie says:

    I’ve always been a thrift store shopper, but now I can buy clothes based on whether they are flattering and fit well, not just that they fit on me, it’s a lot more fun. Also fun is that I can go into any regular shop, and almost everything will fit me, likely size medium. One-size fits all (changed to most, I notice in the last few years) fits me. Way better! So, now I wear tightish clothes, because they look and feel better, and baggy gives me daymares (ok, not a word, but it’s not a sleep thing)

    Since it’s prohibitively expensive to heat my house, I live in thermals/sweatpants when cleaning, laying around. Those and my elastic workout clothes are even getting silly big. When I go back to work, I’ll have to start buying smaller things.
    .-= julie´s last blog ..My Toxic Mind =-.

  13. asithi says:

    Only my workout pants have elastic in them. But my dress pants for work are plenty accommadating too. They have gotten a little tight lately, but rather than buying new clothes, I rather try to first figure out what I am eating that is causing the problem. In general, I do not like shopping for clothes. So it is much easier for me to only drink water for a couple of weeks and exercise one extra day to get rid of a 2-3 pound weight gain.
    .-= asithi´s last blog ..Caloric Intake from Drinks =-.

  14. Lori (Finding Radiance) says:

    My only elastic waist items are my workout clothes. Of course, I do wear those around the house sometimes cause they are just comfy 😉

    All of my other pants have zippers and no elastic! It’s funny how when I was really overweight, I called my clothes “tight” because they just didn’t fit well. Now I call my clothes “fitted” because they do and they look good that way LOL!

    We call elastic waist band pants “buffet pants.” 😀
    .-= Lori (Finding Radiance)´s last blog ..Liftin’ love =-.

  15. Stacy says:

    I do have stretchy pants, but they are mostly for lounging around at home. Most of my work clothes in the past few years were elastic waist skirts, though. I grew out of my fitted slacks, and thus they hung in the closet unworn. It is nice to get them out and wear them again! Most of those skirts don’t fit all that well anymore, but that’s okay. I can always make more. 🙂
    .-= Stacy´s last blog ..Manual labor =-.

  16. Fran says:

    That are a lot of clothes 🙂

    I haven’t changed the way I dress except for a smaller size. I never wore clothes to hide my size, the only thing I paid attention too was that they fitted. I believe that wide clothes just make you look bigger that’s why I never wore them.
    .-= Fran´s last blog ..A day in my life: Saturday May 15, 2010 =-.

  17. Babbalou says:

    I’m not working so I can wear jeans every day. They make me feel thin which I enjoy, and if they are a bit snug it reminds me to eat properly. What has changed for me is that I no longer wear baggy t-shirts. I used to think lose was more flattering but now I realize baggy shirts add weight. When I venture out to do my walking wearing my jeans and a T-shirt that fits me, I tend to stand up straighter and hold in my stomach. No more slouching around in baggy clothes for me.

  18. Bree Watson says:

    I am SO looking forward to buying cute clothes. I hate shopping for clothes now. Everything my size is SO UGLY. Why are they so ugly….it is a great motivator to me….I want so badly to wear the sweet, feminine dresses. As I lose my weight and my clothes don’t fit any more, I am going to burn them ALL in my back yard. I am going to have a party and just burn them ALL!!! hahahaha
    .-= Bree Watson´s last blog ..Here We GO…… =-.

  19. LAF says:

    Fat clothes aside, you are a terrific seamstress. Wish I had that skill!
    Totally agree about the stretchy pants, leave it to Phil to make it a “commandment”. He’s so authoritative, lol!
    .-= LAF´s last blog ..Feline Supervision =-.

  20. Cynthia (It All Changes) says:

    I have a few summer skirts with stretchy waists. But everything else is fitted and allows me to know when I’m overdoing it.

    My clothing changed drastically when I started loosing weight. I’d always been the fat teen wearing big clothes. SO when I could finally fit into the cute clothes with zippers I was all over it. I became addicted to shopping for a bit and loved when I could fit into something I never thought possible.
    .-= Cynthia (It All Changes)´s last blog ..Scenic View =-.

  21. Laura Jane says:

    I feel it’s so important to wear clothes that fit you nicely! I find this makes such a big difference in how I feel and my confidence level. The better I feel, the easier it is to stick with my eating/exercise goals. I don’t think I’ve ever had elastic pants (other than workout ones), thankfully, but I’ve definitely stuck to very plain, blah, dark colored clothing. I think it’s really important to start wearing nice fitting clothes that you like as soon as you can.
    .-= Laura Jane´s last blog ..Week 1 Summary =-.

  22. says:

    I never wore the elastic waist pants but I did wear the jumpers that I felt hid the fat!

    I wear tailored fitted clothes that show my shape and they don’t allow for any weight gain!

    My work out shorts are elastic waist but that is the only thing I own like that.

    Even though I have been a stay at home mom for over 20 years I always look nice every day, I don’t go around in sweats and t shirts. If I look better I feel better. It works for me!

  23. Taryl says:

    The only clothes of mine with stretchy waists that aren’t workout clothes are maternity, and I like it that way! Even skirts, I’d rather have a zipper than an elastic waist, because elastic can be a slippery slope of weight creep if I am not careful!

    One thing I love about losing weigt is the shopping! Unfortunately we’re on a tight budget so I cant indulge, but when I get down to my next big goal, post-baby (180’s, I think) I am treating myself to a bunch of new basics in what will likely be size 14’s. Since I lose weit slowly I am not too worried about shrinking out of them too quickly to justify the purchases.
    .-= Taryl´s last blog ..Boring check in #43 =-.

  24. Lisa says:

    That’s a good question. I definitely do not wear elastic clothes anymore. After I lost all my weight, I struggled to find the right sizes for things. That was difficult. I was always between sizes.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..What I’d Do Differently =-.

  25. Cammy@TippyToeDiet says:

    Isn’t it interesting that we actually thought certain clothes “hid” our size? Aren’t we otherwise intelligent people? 🙂

    I’m all about comfort, but when I was able to wear pants with a zipper, I swore I’d never wear elastic waist slacks or jeans again. Maybe when I’m in the nursing home. 🙂
    .-= Cammy@TippyToeDiet´s last blog ..Shaper Shoes: Remarkable…or a Rip-off? =-.

  26. John says:

    As I lose this time I find myself going with things I normally wouldn’t have felt I’d look good in. And it feels great. Before it was just t-shirts and boring colors.

  27. Jess says:

    BUT I LOVE SWEAT PANTS! They are the ultimate college kid addiction. And the ultimate “get fat but stay in denial” pants. I love them but I don’t hide in them any more. I have jeans from when I was smaller and I’m trying my hardest to fit back into them, and then ditch them because they’ll be loose. I need to go shopping but at the moment, I just have other things I want to save up for (like buying a road bike).

    I usually wear cuter clothes and dresses when I start losing weight. The heavier I get, the less I enjoy shopping because nothing fits and I hate going to the plus-sized section because I hate admitting that I’m plus-sized.

    But now that I’m back to a more manageable weight, I think more shopping will be in the picture 🙂 I have a few goal outfits that I want to fit into.
    .-= Jess´s last blog ..Weigh-in #15 =-.

  28. Sandy says:

    I love shopping when I feel thin. On a day when I am feeling fat I don’t want to try on anything. Since I lost 15 pounds I have much cuter, more stylish clothing. I won’t even try on things at Coldwater Creek because I feel frumpy even in their smaller sizes. I am 55 but love Ann Taylor and J Crew. I spend my days in fitted clothing, except for my workout gear and even then I have gone to the right fit so no baggy tops and shorts there either. After dinner I hate being in jeans so in the winter I love to take a warm shower and put on sweat pants for TV watching. In summer wearing fitted shorts at home doesn’t bother me and I pretty much live in a swim suit by the pool in the afternoon.

  29. Mia Jones says:

    I can totally relate to these pix, I had very similar clothes at one time. Laura Ashley (or her lookalikes) was my best friend! But as I lost the 40 pounds or so, the clothes got more close-fitting and the hemlines got shorter. It was pretty great. I’ve creeped up a bit and it’s true…those elastic waistbands can keep you in denial, but not the jeans. I have some great clothes in my closet that I want to wear again, and they are a big motivator for me. Thanks for the post.

  30. Mia says:

    When I was at my heaviest I wore sweat pants and a hooded sweatshirt! I just shudder when I think of that now.

    Today, I love nice clothes. I am not a Clothes Horse by any means but what I own are simple things that fit well. No elastic waistbands! Even my spandex shorts for biking are not forgiving!

  31. Don Doornbos says:

    I LOVE being able to tuck in my shirts and not feel embarrassed!

    And COLORS! I’ve rediscovered COLORS in my clothes…no more muted earth tones as my exclusive wardrobe choices! I enjoy contrasting something bright with something neutral.


  32. Cari (aka Gastric Bypass Barbie) says:

    Not a single pair of draw string or elastic waist pants in the bunch! Not a single top that doesn’t fit properly. Even (gasp!) things that have NO SPANDEX in them. I wore an extremely fitted dress on Mother’s Day that felt like I was wearing a corset. It sure did keep me honest. My biggest clothing joy is this: I can wear the same things this year that I wore last year. Whatever I stored for Winter 2008 fit me in Winter 2009. Summer 2010 will be even better…except that I’ll have NEW bathing suits. I guess my feelings on clothing are simple now: Everything still fits…even after a year. 🙂
    .-= Cari (aka Gastric Bypass Barbie)´s last blog ..Bariatric Blessings in the California Desert =-.

  33. Cari (aka Gastric Bypass Barbie) says:

    Oh, I forgot to mention, I actually bought a pair of WHITE JEANS from Costco — without trying them on first! White jeans. Me? And I have three pair of khaki capris and some khaki Dockers. I have successfully broken free of the “Black or Blue Pants” uniform restriction and branched out into things like plaid Bermuda shorts (!) and sarongs. Wow. Miracles happen in the smallest ways. 🙂
    .-= Cari (aka Gastric Bypass Barbie)´s last blog ..Bariatric Blessings in the California Desert =-.

  34. Cari (aka Gastric Bypass Barbie) says:

    Oh, crud…forgot to mention the 4-1/2″ stilettos. Yes, I love real shoes now, too. Not sensible shoes. Not tennis shoes with orthotics insoles. Not Birkenstocks (not that there’s anything wrong with these) — it’s just lovely to have options! In my obese days, the only thing stylish about my feet were the adjustable toe rings! They *always* fit! I’m done now 😉 Thanks for the fun exercise, Diane.
    .-= Cari (aka Gastric Bypass Barbie)´s last blog ..Bariatric Blessings in the California Desert =-.

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