Health & Wellness Articles

Look Great at Any Weight

Forget the Skinny Jeans

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My closet used to be divided into three sections: clothes that fit when I was 20 pounds heavier; clothes that fit when I was  thin but miserable (from my “never-eat-anything-fun” phase); and clothes I could wear at that moment.

Unfortunately, the clothes that actually fit me were the fewest in number. I was tired of either squeezing into clothes that were too small (and feeling like a stuffed sausage) or swimming in big, unflattering clothes. I needed a wardrobe overhaul—I needed to look good right now.

Sound familiar? I bet it does. What women hasn't held on to her "skinny jeans," dreaming of the day she'd wear them again, only to realize that 10 years had passed and they were now hopelessly out of style. Even worse is the woman who holds on to her "fat clothes" because she doesn’t really believe that she will be able to maintain the weight loss she has worked so hard to attain. And so our closets are jammed with clothes that just don’t fit.

Even if you need to lose weight you still deserve to look your best today instead of waiting for the day that you reach your goal weight. Whether you need to lose 50 pounds or just a few, with the right fashion tricks you can look great at any weight.

The trick to looking your best is to recognize your attributes and then play them up to your advantage. Have great legs? Show them off with a flattering skirt and a great pair of heels. Accent an hourglass waist with an eye-catching belt, and nobody will notice that your arms need a bit of toning. It all boils down to drawing the eye away from your weaker areas and calling attention to the parts of your figure that you do feel good about.

Here are some more tips to help you look your best no matter what your size:
  • Clean out your closet. If you haven’t worn an item in a year (or more!), get rid of it. Sell gently used items to a local consignment shop for some extra cash, or donate them to charity. Don’t hold onto clothing hoping you will fit into it again someday. If you do lose weight, go out and buy yourself some new clothing—you deserve it.
     
  • Work with your natural body shape. Even though a piece of clothing is in style, it doesn’t mean that it will look good on you. For example, low-rise jeans aren't flattering on anyone with a bit of a belly, no matter how good they look on the store mannequin or sales clerk. If your bottom is a little heavy, stay away from details like buttons on your jean pockets—they only call attention to your largest part. Instead, balance your figure with a structured jacket with a strong shape.
     
  • Don’t over-accessorize. While one necklace is attractive, wearing it with bangles, earrings and a flashy belt is overkill. Pick one strong accessory for the most impact. The same goes with patterns—don’t combine a strong floral print on top with another equally strong pattern on your lower half. Pick the area of your body that you want to emphasize and play it up with an appropriate print.
     
  • Don’t cover up your body with clothes that are too big. When you're wearing a dress or top that looks like a tent, you're not fooling anyone about what's really underneath. Fitted clothes (not tight or oversized), usually look best. Find a shapely, figure-flattering style that skims over your less-than-ideal areas while playing up your attributes.
     
  • Buy clothes to fit your hips. This is especially important if you’re pear-shaped. If you're one of those women who has trouble finding the right fit in pants and skirts, get the size that fits your hips and thighs best, and then get the clothing taken in at the waist. Don’t squeeze into a too-small skirt just to have it fit around the waist.
     
  • Choose the right bra and panties. The right undergarments can make or break your appearance, while the wrong sizes and styles can cause bumps and lumps under your clothes. Select seam-free panties for a smooth look and make sure you are wearing the right sized bra (most women don’t). It’s worth a trip to a higher-end department store to be measured and fitted by a trained salesperson.
     
  • Think color. Head-to-toe black may be slimming, but it can also be severe. Instead, dress in the same shade of one color, such as blue jeans and a royal blue t-shirt, to create a long, lean silhouette.
     
  • Avoid pleated pants. The extra fabric in the pleats calls attention to your tummy, hips and thighs. Select a flat front style without extra details for a smoother look.
To look and feel your best, don't wait until you're a future size, weight or shape. You deserve to look good and feel great about yourself today! Pick clothes that flatter you, no matter what number is on the label. Make sure you take care of yourself by eating well and exercising regularly too. When you feel good about yourself, you take better care of yourself and the image your project to the world. And always remember that confidence is the best beauty secret of all, no matter what your size!

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Member Comments

  • I'm looking into that one slimming shade idea!
  • I can't get out of the habit off wearing big, oversized clothes. I think I'm hiding myself.
  • Make yourself (and your health) a priority in your life.
  • Gotta say, feeling good about looking good is always a great way to spend your day!
  • Very good Blog and I am going to work on my closet this week.
  • This is one of the best blogs I have read about how to make yourself feel good as you are changing you lifestyle. Every spring and fall I review my clothes and if I have not worn it in a year, it gets donated. I do make mistakes, and have some things I have never worn. Those too, get to live in my closet for one year. Listen to your friends and when they compliment you on something you are wearing, note the color, the cut and style. Thanks for a great blog!
  • Difficult to try to draw attention to your good features when you feel like you don't have a single one!
  • I like the idea of wearing all one color to create a longer looking length. A friend of mine who was older, she said women used to wear all one color all the time, even their accessories!
  • In addition to all the comments above, I would also say don't buy clothes that 'experts' say a twist here or a bow there will draw the eye away from the parts you want to 'hide'. They don't - the actually draw attention to it! I bought two dresses on the say-so of a self styled 'expert'. One had fabric twisted on the left hip which drew attention to my middle which I would rather hide. The other had a bow placed strategically on the waistline - again drawing attention to my middle part. I disliked them as soon as I put them on and they have been in the wardrobe ever since - unworn and unloved.
  • STAYSHEALTH
    For those who need help with this I recommend http://www.missus
    smartypants.com. There is a yearly subscription but it averages to about $.08 a day and will pay for itself overtime. This article is a good start but people like myself who are (were) clueless need a little more than the basics.
  • I don't wear a lot of clothes that go out of style (khaki pants, plain t-shirts, etc.). While I do plan on getting rid of clothes that are too big on me, I only get rid of too small clothes if I don't like them.

    I still have clothes that fit me that are over 20 years old! Mostly t-shirts that were put away in boxes that I later rediscovered and started wearing again.

    I can now wear one size smaller than I could a couple of months ago. I bought a couple of new t-shirts in the smaller size, and a pair of shorts. My other clothes still fit, although much more loosely.

    Assuming that I continue to get smaller, I'll have to rely on clothes that are a little loose, along with old clothes that now fit me, because I don't have a lot of money to spend on new clothes. Probably about one new outfit per size.
  • About two weeks before I decided to get healthy again, I cleaned out my closet and drawers of all of the smaller clothes I just knew I'd never fit in again. I was in a 3X and sizes 22/24. I don't know, maybe that's what prompted me to lose weight again. Now, I can fit a size large and size 16/18 I'm drowning in my clothes and even had a co-worker bring me a bag of the scrubs she's outgrown because "your pants look like clown pants!" LOL! Since I don't have the multiple sizes in my closet now, I'm having to hit the thrifts stores to recreate my wardrobe at multiple sizes as I drop the weight. Wish I'd just left my closet alone and kept my skinny jeans!
  • Funny, I have had to buy two complete wardrobes in the last year. One for Africa, which was an adventure cut short and one for Jamaica. Although the climates are similar my "jobs" are very different. I cannot wear a maxi dress to wander in the farms of Jamaica. The last time I bought a whole new wardrobe was when I got done with my bike trip and all my clothes were basically bike shorts and jerseys, not practical to work in. You would think my closet was over whelmed but it really isn't. Maybe because I only keep the clothes that really look good on me. BTW for the ladies with pant size issues try those nice loose fitting yoga pants, not the kind you actually do yoga in but those that are loose fitting in closer material with loose legs. I love them and with the right shirt they look great!
  • When I went from 350 to 150 I shopped at thrift store. waiting for the goal weight to splurge on a wardrobe. Then I realized I had been buying fantastic beautiful well made, stylish clothes all along. I don't care for some of the trendy clothes. Thrift store many times have expensive clothes , rich women donate. Just what I want.
    Make sure to try on clothes before you buy. It can look great on the hanger, but terrible on you. think of how you will accessorize it. that can make or break a look.
    Dress for now, don't put off till you are that desired weight. You don't have to have a packed closet full of clothes. Some well chosen pieces that you can mix and match will go far.
    Life is too short to play the waiting game.
    Enjoy.
    I post thrift fashion blogs a few times a year. Give ideas what and how to get the look.
    Spark on.
    Tisha
  • I try to get rid of my big clothes and get ones that fix my new smaller size. If clothes are a larger than you need to wear, it does not show off your new figure. I do shop at thrift shops, so I don't feel guilty buying and love to re donating my big clothes. The price is right. I will start paying more for clothes when I reach goal.

About The Author

Leanne Beattie Leanne Beattie
A freelance writer, marketing consultant and life coach, Leanne often writes about health and nutrition. See all of Leanne's articles.

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