I’m not a style maven or Stacy from the show What Not to Wear, but I have learned a thing or two about fashion while losing weight, fashion while pregnant, and even fashion in weight maintenance.
After all, I lost weight, I had seven full-term pregnancies, and have been in weight maintenance since 1998. For this post, I’m just going to focus on looking your best while losing weight and save the other tips for another day.
I think it is important to pay attention to what you wear when losing weight. Not because you have to be a fashion icon or dress up all the time, but because how you look often affects the choices you make.
Case in point. This picture below was taken on Easter morning at my mother-in-law’s house. Easter morning. We had gone to church and everything and this is how I looked. I didn’t do anything with my hair, I didn’t put my contacts in, I didn’t even wear a flattering outfit. I had hit rock bottom when it came to my weight and my appearance reflected that feeling.
One of the things a lot of people look forward to when losing weight is getting new clothes, or at least fitting back into clothes that used to fit. That was one of my goals and I’ve never met a single person who didn’t want to get out of the plus sized department and be able to have more shopping options.
I’ve put together a list of 10 tips to help you look your best when losing weight. We’ve never had a lot of extra money so I did a lot of my shopping during my weight loss experience at Goodwill, garage sales, and clearance racks. (In fact, I still do. 🙂 )
10 Fashion Tips for Weight Loss
1. Wear the Right Undergarments
I’m not going to put up a picture for this tip, but let’s face it. The right undergarments can make a difference in how you look and feel. A properly fitted bra makes your clothes lay properly and lifts everything up. (Men can skip this step.) Studies show that the vast majority of women wear the incorrect bra size. Here’s a post I found on Women’s Health that explains how to measure yourself for a bra if you are not comfortable asking for help in a store.
2. Pay Attention to Your Waistband Placement
Low waisted pants are popular, but they can be a challenge if you have a muffin top. I recommend finding pants and skirts that come up a bit higher and help hold everything in while you are toning up and losing weight. Because of excess skin that I have after losing 150 pounds, I still look for pants/skirts whose waistband is not super low.
3. Get a Great Fitting Pair of Jeans
I know jeans are expensive but it was the one item that I bought as soon as I outgrew a particular size. I’d start at Goodwill and often times find a pair I loved. If I couldn’t, I moved up the cost ladder and sometimes bought a pair at an actual retail store! Having a pair of jeans that fit me properly whether I was wearing a size 20 or a size 12 made me happy, went with almost everything, and could be dressed up or dressed down.
4. Don’t Wear Your Skirts too Short
Just because they make it in your size doesn’t mean you should wear it. At least that’s what my grandmother often said. Seriously though, we’ve all seen women who might be in the weight loss process wearing skirts that are too short. I think that a skirt that is not too far above the knee is flattering on many women because it hides the upper thigh area and helps to elongate the leg, which makes you look good even while losing weight.
5. Get a Few Belts
I loved wearing belts as I dropped pounds because it was something I had not worn in years. Here’s a picture of me wearing a belt when I was about midway through the weight loss process.
Not only do belts draw you in at the waist, they also can help your pants from falling down, hide a seam if you have taken in a skirt or pants, and allow you to wear a too-big shirt for a bit longer. Plus, they are not elastic and help you feel it if you eat too much at a meal.
6. Wear Tights for a Smoother Look
Tights are flattering, smooth out varicose veins, and allow you to wear a shorter skirt if that’s your style. Also, tights have a natural ability to flatten areas around your body and give you a smoother look. Spanx are in my wardrobe when I wear tighter dresses because of the skin issues. When I was losing weight, I wore regular or plus size tights that were control top and it boosted my self-esteem because I could visualize what I would look like as I continued to workout and get more toned.
7. Watch Your Sleeve Length
This may not matter to you, but I am self conscious about the skin under my upper arms that refuses to shrink no matter how much exercise I do. If that doesn’t bother you, feel free to skip this step! A short cap sleeve can draw attention to your upper arm, especially if the sleeve has elastic or binds your upper arm. Make sure the sleeve band doesn’t pull too tightly or hit you in a place that is not flattering.
8. Make Friends with a Tailor or Someone Who Sews
Not every piece of clothing in your closet is worth tailoring, but there may be some pieces that are worth the investment. A good tailor can alter pants, jackets, and fitted shirts to fit your changing body. If you have some investment pieces that you bought at your highest weight, have those taken in as you lose weight to extend their life. At some point; however, they may get too big to alter.
9. Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize
A nice purse can make you feel better, a pretty scarf brightens up your face and hides that fact the shoulders of your blouse are too big, and nice jewelry is a great reward for losing weight. The nice thing about accessories as you are losing weight is they fit no matter the size!
10. Ask for Help
Like I said, I’m no fashion maven, so I asked sales clerks or friends for help as I lost weight. I felt like I did not know what was in fashion, what clothes would look good on my new changing frame, and often felt overwhelmed when I did move into the “regular” sized clothing area. People are always willing to give an opinion though, so be sure to ask someone whose fashion sense you admire and someone who is encouraging.
I hope these tips help you feel great as you are losing weight. Feel free to email me with your own tips or add them in the comments below! Diane