How do you dress for success while you’re trying to shed a few (or more) pounds? Let’s face it, most of us have tried one or more diets in the past. For those of you seriously committed to a diet and exercise regimen, you might find that your shrinking waist line might lead to a shrinking choice of clothes in your wardrobe.
When your body is in ‘transition’ mode how do you dress for success and look your best without rushing to the mall and emptying your wallet every few weeks?
The Times Herald talks to image consultant, Julie Maeder, who offers some helpful advice and tips on how you can continue to dress smart as you shed those pounds:
Maeder said many of her clients come to her because they’re losing weight and don’t know what to wear. She serves men and women across southeast Michigan, including the Blue Water Area.
“It’s so psychologically true — if you feel frumpy, you lose motivation (to lose weight) because you don’t feel good,” Maeder said.
Wear clothes that show off your new, skinnier shape, she said.
That doesn’t mean investing in a wardrobe full of new clothes. Maeder suggested many ways men and women can dress their best for less while dropping pounds.
You can buy a few new outfits in your current size, Maeder said, suggesting women buy two pairs of pants in neutral colors, as well as three to four tops in the same color palette that easily can be mixed and matched.
Accessories can help change up the look of an outfit if you only have a few pieces that fit at the moment.
When searching for slacks, seek out comfortable ponte-knit pants — a fine-gauge knit that has a little more weight and holds its shape well, Maeder said. They can be worn with a pair of simple ballet flats, or tucked in to tall boots and worn with a flowing top and a belt.
Also look for fabrics such as knit blends with Lycra that offers some give, Maeder said. Avoid stiff fabrics such as twill, cotton or wool.
Buy stretch jeans in a size that is snug now. As you drop additional weight, they’ll adjust for the difference — up to about 10 pounds, Maeder said.
Some brands of jeans have a wide, flat elastic waistband that can help in transition periods, she said.
Flowing and fashionable
Women should look for soft silhouettes that are forgiving to their changing size, Maeder said. She suggests long cardigans or soft knit capes with sleeves.
Blouses that flow over your waistline with ease also can work well as your size changes, as long as they fit you in the shoulder seam, she said. The blouse should be paired with a wide belt to cinch around your waist to give you definition.
Avoid structured, tailored clothes such as blazers and jackets during the weight-loss process. Because they need to fit to the body exactly to look good, it’s hard to keep up with the changing sizes without buying a new blazer every time you drop 10 pounds, Maeder said.
Rather, head for wrap blouses and dresses that are “universally flattering and adjustable,” she said, as well as A-line skirts in jersey knit that can accommodate for fluctuating sizes.
Dresses in your former size also can be tricked into working for you now. Buy a wide, woven leather belt to wear around your waist.
“It will see you through several sizes,” Maeder said. “When you first put it on, make sure it just barely fits you so you have room to make it smaller.”
Around the house, try a pair of yoga pants instead of sweat pants. Yoga pants have a flat front and are more flattering at the waistline, Maeder said.
“You want to feel good about yourself especially at home. … You want to feel good no matter where you are.”
Armed with some of the above tips, I hope you’re motivated and ready to take on the world with your new look! If you’re looking for one-on-one advice suited to your personal needs you might find that a few sessions with an expert image consultant can help make the ‘in-between’ transition phase super smooth and easy for you.
Remember, dressing for success is not a cookie-cutter, one size fits all solution. Getting the help you need to look your best will work wonders for your self-esteem and confidence and help you get ahead in your personal and professional life. Read real-life testimonials on how dressing for success has helped others like you!