The Importance of Fashionable Fit At All Sizes

I am not a fashion plate, as evidenced by this candid shot of me taken last weekend picking pumpkins with the family. We didn’t actually pick pumpkins out of the field, but did pick them up off the ground. That counts, right?

Anyway, you can see that I had on a very large, very unflattering fleece that would have fit me if I weighed 100 pounds more than I do right now. The fact that I had my wallet in my pocket did not help the line of the fleece at all.

When I was very overweight, I had certain clothes that were more flattering than others. Notice in the picture on the left I look slimmer than I do in the picture on the right, even though the pictures were taken within a few months of each other.

No matter what your weight, I’d encourage you to not do as I often do, and wear whatever is comfortable, but to really think about comfort and fit. As a demonstration, I had my daughter take my picture in the same shirt and shoes but with different jeans on. The lighter colored jeans (in the first picture) are one of my favorites but even I have to admit they are not very flattering.

These darker jeans are the same size but a different cut and a different manufacturer. I think they make me look slimmer.

Β It’s easy to automatically reach for clothes that are loose and cozy, but in all honesty, they don’t always flatter your body. I’m as guilty of it as the next person – just look back at that first picture.

One thing that I have learned over the course of my weight loss journey and beyond is the importance of finding clothes that make you look and feel good. They don’t have to cost a fortune either. As I was losing weight, I bought smaller sized clothing at Goodwill or garage sales. It took a little bit of hunting but purchasing a pair of smaller sized jeans or shirts that fit me properly instead of hanging off of me was rewarding and good for my psyche.

I’d encourage you to look at your wardrobe objectively and determine whether the pieces of clothing you have flatter you and make you feel good about yourself. I often find that when I feel good about my appearance I have more of a motivation to treat my body well. And in the interest of practicing what I preach, I’ve put my light colored jeans in the Goodwill donation box!

How about you? Are you a person who tries to dress to flatter your body or do you hide behind too big clothing? Diane

If you missed the post about criticism of other people’s weight loss efforts, be sure to check it out. Amazing discussion.

25 thoughts on “The Importance of Fashionable Fit At All Sizes

  1. Sarah says:

    I’ve also found that having clothes that actually fit me at my current weight keeps me from overeating! I tend to notice if I’ve overindulged when my jeans fit me properly, as opposed to wearing larger ones around and having that extra room to “relax” into…Its like going to a buffet in sweat pants, so not a good idea…

  2. Sharon says:

    I’m going out on a limb and saying I kind of disagree with parts of this post. For the record, I think you look terrific in ALL the pics your posted. You are in the country in a pumpkin patch….being comfortable is more important than being fashionable and that fleece with its pockets and room to move around in was appropriate for that setting. Heaven knows, I’m not a fashion guru either (and have no desire to be), but I loved the more casual look of the lighter colored jeans and since you stated they were the more comfortable, then my thoughts are YOU are going to ACT more comfortable in what feels best. To me, the best clothing at any size is that which we put on appropriate for the occasion, do a final mirror check and then forget about it. Being comfortable will always trump being fashionable in my book.

  3. vickie says:

    You might be right about the cuts being different between the two jeans, but I wanted to mention the wash itself. I think darker usually looks better. I do not buy any light wash jeans any more. I buy as dark as possible.

    I got rid or altered of all my baggy stuff when I got down to my final weight. Even my fleece are fitted. My workout clothes are very fitted. I no longer own even one baggy T with an emblem on it. Not one.

    I spent a lot of time trying on clothes when I got to my final weight. Not buying, just trying on, lots and lots. I learned. To this day I usually bring things home in different sizes and styles and try on several times before committing to my purchases. I simply return what is not closet worthy. I only keep gems these days.

  4. KarenJ says:

    As I’ve gotten older, comfort has become more important to me. That being said, I still want to look fashionable, so try to find clothes that fit and flatter my body. Pants and jeans that have a little bit of spandex in them fit your curves without being tight. I network for business and image is very important, especially as a weight loss coach. I want people to see me as a role model for how they could look, or how they could dress if they were at their goal. If you watch the fasion shows on television, they always say the darker wash jeans are more flattering for everyone. I usually buy most of my clothes at a neighborhood consignment store. I get brand name clothing for about 10-25% of the original cost and can update my wardrobe with the latest styles. One of the reasons I lost weight was so I could dress more fashionably and I enjoy it.

  5. Emergefit says:

    Angry male perspective: When I’m not in my best condition, I often challenge myself to wear clothing that does not flatter me. That discomfort alone, can be enough to motivate me to eat better and workout more intensley. When I am in my best condition, I work hard at showing it off with grace, but don’t flaunt it.

  6. Jody - Fit at 54 says:

    I agree Diane. I used to & still do try to dress to cover certain areas of my bod I am not fond of even after watching What not to Wear all these years! πŸ˜‰ They really show you how dressing for your figure & not trying to hide it actually makes you look slimmer & better! πŸ™‚

  7. blackhuff says:

    When I was overweight, I tend to dress to hide my weight but now I like to dress to flatter my figure. I too think that the darker jeans flatter your body more.

  8. Marc says:

    Hi Diane:) I mainly dress for comfort. But now that my belly isnt as big, I am wearing more slacks, shirts with collars and light jackets when I leave the house, versus the 6 different sets of matching athletic sports wear I have. I have a retired neighbor and we go out for lunch once a week. I’ve known him for over 2 years now and have never seen him wear anything except for what I call his “fat” uniform. Baggy blue jeans, held up with wide red suspenders, with big denim blue shirt, tennis shoes and ball cap. Why do we still call them tennis shoes? I’m assuming he has other clothes. He has a truck and a boat on a boat trailer. But to your point…a lot of fat people dress for comfort and not for style. The only ones that I find disturbingly funny are the young adults that wear their pajamas shopping at Walmart.

  9. Michelle says:

    This is something I’ve been thinking lots about lately. I have been a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal for my whole life. Your lighter jeans are what all of my jeans are. I wear them and t-shirts for comfort. I’ve spent some time watching “What Not to Wear” and, while I don’t necessarily agree with all of their methods, have learned from it. I can wear clothes that are comfortable, flattering and stylish if I put the effort into finding them. I’ve been wanting to up my wardrobe for a while now and it is part of my motivation to lose weight. I want to look good in more fashionable clothes. I want to be able to go into any store and, while I know that not everything on the racks is for me, find something appropriate that fits well. I believe that fashionable clothes are more likely to be comfortable if I’m thinner.
    As I’m losing weight, I’ve been putting off shopping for clothes though. I have a mix of t-shirts and nicer clothes that I wear, but it is still all jeans all the time. I have always found thrift shopping for clothes to be depressing as I don’t fit most of the clothes that are there and what is there in my size are often sacks. Finding the time to thrift properly is difficult for me with young children too. I don’t want to buy much for clothes that fit me now as I hopefully won’t be wearing this size long. I look forward to doing more thrift shopping after I get out of the plus size bottoms. I do need to get out there and get some smaller pants as my current jeans are getting too big.

    I look forward to being a bit more fashionable in a couple sizes πŸ™‚

  10. Lisa says:

    It may be shallow, but one of the best things about losing 100 pounds was being able to wear CUTE clothes! I always wore big, baggy clothes when I was 250. I thought it hid my weight, it really didn’t. But at the time there wasn’t a lot of options for my size. Now, I can wear cute, stylish clothes and feel good about how I look!

  11. Joy says:

    I totally agree I think it super important to dress what is fitting, not too loose or not too tight. It bothers when I see people who are walking down the street wearing a size or two smaller. It makes them look bigger. If only they would where a size that fits they could look 20 pounds smaller. I also think people should try to show off their best asset at any size. It could be your waist, hair, legs etc. I have always been a person to wear clothes that flatter my body. I have my sister and mother to thank for that.

    I love the picture of you wearing the dark jeans and pink sweater you look beautiful!!

  12. I ❀ 2 Eat says:

    You look so nice in pink! Absolutely agree that it’s important to find the right fit in clothes…lately, I find myself looking for comfortable clothes more often than clothes that are more fashionable. I was just discussing this with my husband yesterday, and although we both think it’s cool that people in Texas are generally more laid back about how they dress than elsewhere I’ve lived, I think that I need to pay more attention to how my clothes fit and what looks better.

  13. Siobhan says:

    I was guilty of wearing clothes that were too big all the time. Once I started losing weight and buying new clothes, I bought clothes that actually fit and I looked SO much better. I still go for the comfort, but I think you can have fit with comfort. I’m a minimalist when it comes to the number of pieces of clothing I owe, but I find I’m more interested in clothing the more I weight I lose.

  14. Cindy says:

    I work in the financial district of a large city. We have an 8 page dress code we have to follow. In addition to that the uniform for success for women is pretty well known. Black, Navy, brown or grey suits preferable with pants. You can wear bright blouses, but don’t be too flamboyant or have too much jewelery. Almost everybody has a bunch of black suits and a hundred blouses to go with it.
    I don’t agree with all these rules but I have also seen the gal in the purple suit for example find she can’t get anybody to listen to her or take her seriously.
    It does make getting ready for work easy! That is one upside!

  15. KCLAnderson (Karen) says:

    I agree….when you can find clothes that both LOOK and FEEL good, that’s a win-win. Not all cuts flatter all shapes. One thing I know for sure however, is that while certain styles may look good, if I don’t feel good in them, then it’s not worth it. And I have to second Sharon’s comment…you look great in all of the photos.

  16. Megan says:

    As a younger person (early 20’s) fashion is something that is important to me. I have alway been very conscious of making sure I flatter my body no matter what size I am. That being said there are several things in my wardrobe bought for comfort not style. As I am losing weight however, I have made an effort to throw out anything old, unflattering or slightly baggy/big. I don’t want to go back to being able to wear those things ever again. I also added 1-2 smaller size clothes that I would LOVE to fit into and wear but can’t at the moment. I try these on every month or so to add to motivation. The other weekend I wore a (size smaller) dress that I had bought at the beginning of the year and never worn. It was an amazing feeling, and just motivates me even more!

  17. Lindsay says:

    I know that when my clothes fit well and look good (no matter what size I’m currently at) I feel much more confident, and this confidence motivates me to keep up all of my hard work. Also a great resource for clothing, especially when you’re constantly going down sizes, is Savers. I’m not sure if they’re all over the country (we have them in NY) but they have really high quality gently used (and sometimes brand new!) clothes.

  18. Rachelle says:

    I agree that it’s easier to make good choices, and to notice when I make bad choices, when I have properly fitting clothes. I found that I hid behind baggy clothes for so long that when I got close to my goal weight I really wanted to buy fitted clothes. I started dressing in much tighter clothing and I think that is something that we have to watch out for too. Just because you find your skinny self doesn’t mean that skin tight clothing is always a good thing either! You have to find size and fit that is appropriate and flattering. I have seen many women who are very skinny wearing clothes that look like they have been painted on and I don’t think that’s all that flattering either.

  19. Jeanette says:

    Looking back now that I wear more flattering and fitting clothes at a smaller weight, I can see how I tried to hide my body under larger clothing for years. I am so glad I found it inside myself to understand I DESERVE to look and feel good!
    Thank you for your great post as always Diane!

  20. Stephanie G Travis says:

    I wear loose fitting clothes for comfort but also to hide as much as possible. I’m not hiding that I’m fat, that’s pretty obvious. I just don’t want people, who I’m imagining are already thinking bad things about me, to also think, “Not only is she fat, she dresses like she doesn’t know it.” I feel intrusive for just being fat and want to respect others around me.

    I also think fat people have a harder time presenting as clean and neat due to their size and the perceived “disgust” others think about them.. Tight fitting clothes don’t help.

    I have thought about what I’m going to wear when I lose weight. I’m not into provocative clothing. I still want to look neat and professional. I think I’ll add more color. But I am also prepared to “lose my mind” when I lose weight. Who knows what personality is lurking (I say this in a good way) underneath!

  21. L says:

    Yikes, pajamas at Walmart–I agree, not a good look. I also agree that those darker jeans look pretty good on you, Diane. Thanks for the post. A good reminder that there are still tweeks I can make to my recovery.

  22. Sara says:

    I have found that many clothes in my size are either fit for “Granny” or are cut for people with a large chest. I don’t fit in either category so I have a hard time finding things to help me feel confident and that fit well.
    I hate the feeling I get when I go shopping and leave stores hating myself and complaining about my huge hips, thunderous thighs, and ugly arms.

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