Author Topic: Changing body/clothing advice  (Read 5445 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Changing body/clothing advice
« on: May 05, 2012, 04:37:24 PM »
What to do when you lose/gain enough weight to have to change your wardrobe?

I've been slightly shrinking and my clothes are starting to get uncomfortably large. But I'm not positive this will be a lasting change, esp. since I may try to grow a human within the next year.

What have people who have been through this done about 1) obtaining better-fitting clothing (I'll continue working in a professional environment where wardrobe counts to a certain extent) and 2) getting rid of the "fat" clothes vs. storing them for later use?

I really hate shopping in any kind of store (thrift, online, department, etc) so that's an added headache - I'm definitely NOT fishing for an excuse to update my wardrobe.



  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Changing body/clothing advice
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2012, 05:55:55 PM »
When I lost some weight a few years back I gave most of my clothes to goodwill.

I had a tailor take in my sport coats though.  He did a great job at a reasonable price.  A good tailor is an important person to know!

Congratulations on your weight loss...there are worse problems to have!


  • Senior Mustachian
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Re: Changing body/clothing advice
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2012, 06:20:36 PM »
I hear you on the shopping reluctance! My suggestion would be to put the word out among your friends and family. If you can find someone who's about your size, even better. Most people have more clothing than they ever wear and aren't sure what to do with what they don't want. Accept anything that's given, keep what you like and donate the rest (unless they want it back ;-). Should you be successful with your tiny human endeavor, you'll be able to quickly assemble a mommy-to-be wardrobe the same way. Good luck to you!


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Changing body/clothing advice
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2012, 09:45:12 PM »
I dropped a couple pant sizes over the past year and made do with tightening my belt for a while, but I finally broke down and bought some new clothes. I will say that I feel and look a lot better in the right-size clothes. I generally have luck with goodwills / thrift stores in nicer neighborhoods and consignment stores. This time I opted to buy new at outlet stores.

I kept the bigger clothes in a box in my closet for about nine months 'just in case', then donated almost all of it last week. I decided that getting rid of the big clothes would provide a financial incentive to not gain back the weight because then I'd have to re-purchase bigger clothes again :)


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Re: Changing body/clothing advice
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2012, 04:55:44 AM »
(Disclaimer: I have a robust interest in clothes.)

I would recommend the "uniform" and "capsule wardrobe" concepts for workwear. For example, I'm doing well  with 3 bottoms, 8 tops, a cardigan and 2  jackets. As long as nothing clashes, you're set! These methods have helped me create a small and very efficient set of clothes. Pro: I never have "nothing to wear" and get to wear my "best" clothes all the time. Con: weekly laundry and re-wearing of bottoms!

One thing though - if you look for advice on capsule wardrobes online they will try to convince you that since you'll be wearing the clothes a lot, you should shell out for expensive pieces. But whatever your price point is, don't go over budget until you've done some research on garment quality (info usually available in the sewing blogospere) and are sure you'll wear the thing. Also, accessories are entirely superfluous.

Skirts accommodate weight fluctuations better than pants, so look into those if it's practical for you. And if you have the space I would suggest keeping your favourites of the bigger clothes in a box away from your normal wardrobe, just in case you want them back.

Good luck!


  • Bristles
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Re: Changing body/clothing advice
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2012, 05:05:36 AM »
If you're planning on trying to get pregnant, slightly larger clothes can often carry you through the first 6 months, and you'll probably need them for the 9 months afterwards too (sadly, I tend to need mine for several years afterwards--but they do ultimately become obsolete). So think twice about getting rid of them just yet for inspirational purposes in your situation.  As for getting new clothes, if it were me I would buy one great pair of black pants that fit perfectly and then slowly scout thrift shops, friends etc. to replenish the rest.

By the way, one of my favorite pregnancy clothes tools was a black spandexy thing called the "belly band" or something like that--it allows you to wear any pants that fit great except for the waist unbuttoned/unzipped.  I was able to wear all my old clothes this way until maybe 7 1/2  months pregnant--thus eliminating the need for as many maternity clothes for work.

Norman Johnson

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Re: Changing body/clothing advice
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2012, 05:54:07 AM »
Disclaimer: I wear clothes multiple times until they are dirty and did not require a fancy set for work.

I went through my pregnancy with three pairs of maternity pants. I tried to find shirts at maternity stores, but I found they were way too low cut. (I believe I ranted on about looking like a pregnant stripper in my hormone induced rage at my inability to find a damn shirt!) In the end, I borrowed a sweater from my husband to put over my shirts that had become a little too short and called it a day. If you have baggy-ish cotton or stretchy shirts you should be able to wear them as long as they are long.

In my opinion, any shirt that is button up or short (like not down to your hips) is not worth saving just for pregnancy. Far better to get rid of them, reclaim the space, and keep you eyes open for used or free stuff.

As for regular wardrobe stuff, I hate shopping and will wear my clothes until they are destroyed and I'm forced to get new ones!


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Changing body/clothing advice
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2012, 12:28:28 PM »
(Disclaimer: I have a robust interest in clothes, but I wear clothes multiple times until they are dirty and do not require a fancy set for work.)

I work in an office environment where people can wear jeans or suits, it doesn't matter. At the start of 2011, I lost 20 pounds coming off of a strength training experiment. About that same time, I found Put This On and An Affordable Wardrobe, both menswear blogs that more or less emphasize finding high-quality clothing at thrift stores, ebay, and other discount places. I took an interest, and after donating most of my wardrobe, I thrifted a few high-quality shirts. However, I found very few pants that I liked, so for the past year, I've just had one or two pairs of pants at a time. I'm slowly accumulating more, but they seem to wear out quickly when I'm biking in the same pair of slacks every day. Oh, and absolutely no one notices.

Regarding clothing fit, I second the recommendation to get things altered when possible, even for new clothing. I think you should go ahead and do that, since slightly larger clothes will only help you out for a few months at the start of pregnancy and after pregnancy, and you can get expandable clothes for those phases anyway.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Changing body/clothing advice
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2012, 12:59:39 PM »
I dropped 30 pounds in the past two years, but I have only purchased one pair of jeans that really fits me.  I wear them about 75% of the time.  It's amazing how long you can wear clothes without them appearing dirty or needing to be washed.  For yard work or when washing my good jeans I just wear old jeans with a belt.  My wife makes fun of the wrinkles, but they work for now.  I've made more progress on shirts, getting rid of a few at a time and getting a quality new shirt when I find something I really love on sale. (mostly online and quality brands like Patagonia, Icebreaker, etc - I don't go cheap, but I wear them frequently and only wash them when dirty)

I guess my suggestion is to move and make changes, but do it slowly and incrementally.  Start with giving away the things that are on the largest end of the spectrum.  Things you probably won't wear even if you gain back part of the weight.  Make a complete sweep through your wardrobe every month looking for things to clear out, both for size and if you don't use them.  Set aside things you might use for maternity in a box so they aren't cluttering up your closet.

I found shopping only after making a complete sweep of my current clothes was always best, otherwise I ended up duplicating some of what I already had that still worked.  I would narrow it down to a certain item or two that I really needed and focus on that until I was set.  Prioritize by how frequently you will use items.  If you are in a big town, certainly find out if there is a quality thrift store to use.  Sometimes that works well, but where I live it simply isn't an option.  Try ordering from places online that offer free returns so you can read reviews, pick a couple styles and sizes, and then return the rest.  But make sure you return anything you don't absolutely love.  The main thing is making a plan, so you are on the right track.


  • Stubble
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Re: Changing body/clothing advice
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2012, 03:10:29 PM »
I would say that you should take this as an opportunity to build your wardrobe thoughtfully (somewhat a la the capsule idea). Pick a neutral you want to work with - black, gray, brown, navy - and a couple of colors that are flattering on you and slowly fill in the blanks with those. That way they'll coordinate with each other and possibly with some of the things you're getting too small for unless you've decided to radically change your style. Also, in tops and dresses, look for empire waists since they'll be more forgiving of both weight fluctuations and tiny people. If you carry weight low, like I do, wide-leg trousers can also be handy for masking some weight gain.

As for saving things, I wouldn't do a full clean-sweep just yet. Definitely get rid of anything that was just filler in your wardrobe, but hang on to some of the things you liked. If the changes seem to stick, dresses and skirts can often be altered with minimal fuss, so that's something to keep in mind, especially if you already have some special occasion wear, which would be annoying to have to replace. If the changes don't stick, you'll have to replace a few things, but again, you won't be desperate for clothes and can take your time making good choices.

Congratulations on the weight loss!