Looking back at pictures from my "skinny days," I just love the way my outfits looked on me. (Don't we all?) My jeans fit well, everything seemed to cling to me in the right place, and even my swimsuit photos don't make me cringe.
But today I dread scavenging through my closet to find something to wear. And shopping? I've almost forgotten what it's like to walk into a dressing room with a rack full of pieces hand-picked by me, excited to try them on. In general, when I'm overweight, dressing is a drag.
But just because I'm working to get back to my desired shape doesn't mean I need to sit and stare at my skinny jeans, longing for the day when I can slip into my favorite looks. This revelation came to me after I had the opportunity to meet Carly Gatzlaff of À La Mode Wardrobe Consulting who has experience working with clients who need help dressing for weight fluctuation. With her advice, I don't have to buy a new wardrobe with every 10 pounds that I lose, and I feel better about the way I look during the process.
Gatzlaff recently came over to my house and took a peek in my closet to see what I was working with. I learned so much during her visit. She came up with outfits and pairings I never would have considered!
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Here are six tips she gave me that are helping me feel and look amazing in my clothes while I work toward my goal:
1. Dress for now. Gatzlaff suggests I don't look too far ahead, but rather put together outfits for my current size that make me feel confident and good in my skin.
2. Stock up on everyday basics. For now, she says, invest in essential day-to-day basics, and save accent items for later. Have at least two of each "basic" that fit you at every weight. That means you should have two pairs of jeans, dress pants, or skirts (depending on the frequency of use) that can be switched up with accessories.
3. Invest in clothes that can shrink. She told me to purchase items that can get smaller as I get smaller. For example, tops and dresses in matte jersey or materials that have some stretch to them are great options.
4. Accessorize. Have fun with accessories! They jazz up any outfit regardless of your weight.
5. Go with prints. When I first met Gatzlaff, I was wearing a bulky black scarf. She pointed out that a better choice would a lighter, printed scarf. Small prints do wonders for hiding lumps and bumps—add them to your wardrobe!
6. Don't be afraid to flaunt your form. Gatzlaff says we shouldn't hide under excess material (guilty!). Instead, make sure your clothes fit well and accent what you do have. (Gatzlaff pointed out that I have a natural waist—news to me! An easy way to accent it: Tuck in and belt.)
I've finally realized that my fashion shouldn’t have to suffer just because I have some weight to lose, and it's okay to have some fun along the way! Plus, trying new styles and tailoring my closet is a great motivator.