By Charlene Bazarian
Everything looks better on you when you feel confident and comfortable. Many women, however, often don’t feel their best when it comes to what to wear and often wait until they are at their desired size to buy something fun or special. There is a tremendous correlation between how you feel and how you look. Whether you have recently lost weight or are trying to lose weight, navigating fashion choices can be stressful. Often, even after successful weight loss, it takes a while for your mind to acknowledge your smaller frame when choosing what to wear!
I consulted with Susan Kanoff, a style influencer and blogger @TheMidlifeFashionista www.themidlifefashionista.com and also the founder of Uncommon Threads, a nonprofit that empowers low-income women using fashion as a tool for building self-esteem and self-confidence, to get her top tips for how to look your best. Her background both in social work and fashion gives her a unique insight into the interplay between self-esteem and body image. Kanoff encourages women to dress their best at every age and size.
Here are some of her tips for women who are going through a weight loss transition.
- Don’t wait until you have lost weight! You deserve to look and feel beautiful all the time. There’s a researched psychological connection between what we wear and how we feel about ourselves. Use clothes to your advantage and own your power!
- Don’t get caught up in sizes. Size, like age, is just a number…and neither number should define us! Instead of obsessing oversizes, shift your focus to lines and styles that work for your body shape. And remember, every clothing line runs differently!
- Choose fabrics that are comfortable and forgiving. Stretch is your best friend as you shed pounds and will give your clothes an extended lifespan since you’ll be able to wear them longer.
- Find a great seamstress. He/she will quickly become your best friend! Alterations are key for a perfect fit.
- Your wardrobe should only contain clothes that fit you NOW! Pieces that no longer work for you should not take up valuable real estate in your closet! If you want to revisit clothes that don’t fit, just pack them away to get them OUT of your closet.
- Wrap dresses and tops are incredibly flattering and can be easily adjusted during weight transitions.
- Let’s get back to basics! Trends are fun to experiment with but make sure that most of your wardrobe includes core pieces such as a simple dress, great-fitting jeans and pants, fitted tees, solid tops, and a few fabulous blazers or jackets. Basic pieces can easily be accessorized and worn in many ways. I’m a big believer that less is more and simple is chic!
- Invest in quality undergarments. Well-fitting bras and smoothing shapewear completely change the way clothes fit and even give you a more slender appearance. I highly recommend bra-fitting at every stage of weight loss as your size will most likely change.
- Be open to trying new styles. It’s fun to experiment with fashion! I call my own personal style “chameleon” as it changes frequently according to my mood.
- I adore accessories since they can instantly give a basic outfit multiple looks.
- Don’t forget that your hair and make-up are also accessories! Play around with new cosmetic colors and hairstyles.
- Get style inspiration from Instagram, Pinterest, and magazines.
- Most importantly, wear clothing that makes you feel happy, confident, and beautiful, and be kind to yourself!
About the author: Charlene Bazarian is a fitness and weight loss success story after losing 96 pounds. She mixes her no-nonsense style of fitness advice with humor on her blog at Fbjfit.com and on Facebook at FBJ Fit.