Dressing a Changing Body – Size Matters

Dressing a rapidly changing body due to successful weight loss can be a real challenge. Imagine that you’ve built a functional and attractive wardrobe to fit you and your lifestyle, your body and it’s unique and special characteristics, and then you get the exercise bug, or like me, you get a health epiphany and realize you’ve got to change.

During weight loss, you won’t always lose inches in the places you think of as your ‘target areas’, nor will you lose it in a predictable fashion. One fitness and exercise plan I followed prior to my successful loss indicated that women can take as much as 6 – 8 weeks to show significant results from a eating and exercise plan (I really don’t like the word diet)…

If you’re like me, however, and you have the lap-band surgery (or another weight-loss surgery) then your body may change faster than that 6 – 8 weeks, and you’ll find yourself struggling a bit to dress this changing figure. I’ve got some ideas for how to make your wardrobe more versatile and longer-lived while you’re on the weight loss journey.

Incorporate the principles of Capsule Wardrobing in your plan – Capsule Wardrobing is a concept I learned about many years ago that allows you to create multiple outfits by mixing and matching separates. For instance, using three harmonious colors (light, medium, dark) and 10 pieces (3 jackets, 4 skirts / pants, 3 blouses / tops), and then mixing and matching the pieces, you can create 20 different outfits – enough to get you through a standard working month.

If you incorporate adjustable waistbands (not necessarily elastic) into this equation, you get clothes that can go with you for a couple of sizes. Jackets may still fit you well enough after dropping a size or two, and tops / blouses, especially if they pull over your head, can move with you through a couple of sizes.

Get organized first – see what you have in your closet that will adjust to fit you through multiple sizes, and use the wardrobing plan to add pieces when you need them. Skirts can often be adjusted inexpensively by a dry cleaner, but jackets are best left to the experts. Pants are also a little tougher to adjust for an amateur sewer – beyond tightening the waistband by moving a hook or buttons, they are harder to wear when they are two sizes too big.

Dresses, while slightly less versatile than separates, will also move with you through multiple size ranges – the more fitted the dress, the easier it can be adjusted, because a fitted garment will have multiple darts and seams that can be adjusted in small amounts.

What I will strongly encourage you NOT to do is to wait until you’ve reached your “goal weight” or get close to a “goal size” before updating your wardrobe. Choosing a smaller size and dressing your changing body are important milestones – you need to exercise changes in your self-perception and