What to Wear While You Lose Weight
On your way to a smaller size? Here's how to deal with wardrobe woes
There comes a time in every successful dieter's life when he or she stands
befuddled in front of the closet, wondering what in the heck to wear.
The clothes that fit a few weeks ago now hang in loose and unflattering
folds. But with goal weight still several pounds away, it's not time to invest
in a whole new wardrobe.
It's a happy dilemma, but a dilemma all the same. So what's a
soon-to-be-slimmer person to do?
What not to do, the experts say, is to keep reaching for those same old
baggy duds -- at least not after a certain point. Clothes not only make the
person, they can make the person feel and look slimmer. And some say that
dressing to look your best, no matter where you are in your program, can
inspire you and help propel you further downward.
That's the word from Judy L., a marketing consultant who lost 80 pounds in
one year, going from a size 22 to a size 6 or 8.
"When I was eating, I used to go out of my way to get special foods,''
says Judy, who asked that her last name not be used. "Then I tried to get
my mindset to change, and now I get my rewards in terms of clothes. A piece of
layer cake may make you feel good, but looking in a mirror also feels
Clothes can be a barometer of how you feel, as well as how much you weigh,
says Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical
Center's Weight Management Center: "Some people say, 'I won't buy anything
new until I have lost 15 pounds.'"
If that helps motivate you, that's OK. The rule of thumb, Fernstrom says, is
that losing 8 to 10 pounds translates to going down one size. Still, if you
lose "up to 15 pounds, you may be OK in your old size," she says.
But putting off buying new clothes until you really need them doesn't work
"Before you start dieting, go right out and buy one or two outfits that
fit and look great and then wear those to death until you need smaller
ones," suggests Judy L. "Pretty soon they will be swimming on you, and
you will look like a little kid in your mother's clothes."
What Should I Buy?
Sharon Haver, founder and style director of FocusOnStyle.com, advises
dieters to concentrate on flattering, well-fitting basics. "A shirt, a pair
of pants; things with a bit of stretch -- meaning some Lycra or an elastic
Pants without a set-in waistband are easier to take in. A-line skirts show
the "you" underneath, and, when they get a little loose, won't look as
baggy as a too-large pencil skirt would, she says.