How to Dress When You’re Losing Weight or Gaining Mass

woman shopping for dressDo you dress to impress, dress for comfort, or just try to get by on a budget without much trouble? When it comes to wardrobe tastes, we tend to fall in our own camps.

However, if you’re in the process of transforming your body through weight loss or muscle gains, you have another challenge: what to wear all along the way to your goals.

Here are five smart wardrobe planning and shopping tips for you to keep in mind as you make your way to a new shape and size.

  1. Decide on your personal style, regardless of your shape or size.
    If it’s been some time that you’ve been bigger or smaller than you used to be, or a different shape than you always wished you could be, chances are your wardrobe reflects that.

    Do you have loose or boxy clothes you don’t really care for, because you haven’t made peace with the body underneath them? Have you been hanging on to tight old clothes because you really don’t know how to show off your changing shape? Change your mind. Now is the time to commit to your own tastes about what you wish to express with your personal appearance. Define your outward style, regardless of shape or size.

  2. Begin with a couple basics, with a little wiggle room.
    You don’t need to overhaul your entire closet in one fell swoop. Some of your favorite wardrobe pieces now may have to be worn a little roomy for a while (belts and scarves help with that) if you’re losing weight, but the right jacket, pants and skirt can be your first stop to re-wardrobing.

    If you’re getting bigger, you’ll need new shirts—you won’t want to be popping buttons up top. But perhaps your jackets, vests and jeans can last you a bit longer while you work your way up to the next step.

  3. Add a few more basics at major milestones.
    This might be something as simple as every two sizes, or a couple of inches gained or lost in a certain area, or every 15 pounds.

    You’ll have to be patient if you’re making a major transformation. But if you stick with your lifestyle needs and your personal style, you can look good at all your in between stages, especially if you heed the next tip.

  4. Invest in timeless, signature accessories.
    If you’re going to be needing to be resizing your wardrobe over the next year, there is one trick you can use to bring your style through from start to finish: accessories. Most of the time your shoe size won’t change as you build your chest and shoulders, or trim your waistline and hips.

    Once you’ve identified the look you like for yourself, you can choose shoes, as well as bags, ties, jewelry and watches to coordinate with the type of wardrobe you’ll be building regardless of size.

  5. Choose fabric that gives, and conserve where you can.
    A bit of stretch in your chinos will help you stretch out your interim wardrobe sizing phases longer, so you can invest more when you get to your goal weight or size. Knits are nice, and they don’t have to be droopy to give you a little room to grow or shrink.

    Also, be selective on the clothing you’re replacing for fit along the way. Do you really need a new workout wardrobe, or can you make do with those baggy sweats and a teeshirt for a while longer?

    While you should feel good in your clothing no matter what shape or size, it makes sense to save up to replace the pricy tailored items you need for your career, versus the summer clothes you wear to run out to the store.

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