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More Tips for Looking Good While You Lose

Several experts suggested buying a new belt to cinch in your loosening pants and let your shrinking waist show without a lot of hand-punched holes. Or get a slide-ring belt -- no holes at all!

Some other suggestions:

  • Start wearing colors you may have shied away from before. The bottoms may need to be black or brown, but go a little wild with tops. Fernstrom says white is "the new black," but confine it to your top -- few people can really get away with white pants.
  • Knits go the distance. Susie Galvez, owner of Face Works Day Spa in Richmond, Va., says knits adapt to changing sizes better and can look nice longer.
  • Take a look at clothing lines that offer comfortable, basic pieces designed to mix and match. Just make sure they skim over your new frame and don't envelop you.
  • Wear long with short. Galvez recommends pairing longer blouses with shorter skirts. Long skirts, meanwhile, look better with shorter blouses. The idea is to avoid cutting the torso in half.
  • Invest in some good shoes. Depending on how much weight you lose, your shoe size may change. And you may want to ditch your sneakers for something a little sexier: Fernstrom notes that even an inch of heel does wonders for your calves, while Haver points out that you may be comfortable in thinner-soled shoes now.
  • Get a new handbag that compliments you, advises Galvez. A tiny purse carried by a large woman is not in proportion, she says. Adjust the straps so the purse rides higher than your hip line.
  • Buy bathing suit tops and bottoms separately to ensure the best fit. Some retailers, like J. Crew and Lands End, allow you to mix and match, including in the tummy-cinching tankini styles. Buy a suit in a basic color like black or navy, and splurge on the pareo or cover-up. "That's the place for hot pink," Fernstrom says.
  • Wear nice hosiery and gorgeous lingerie. Successful dieter Judy L. says she used to think Victoria's "Secret" was that Victoria hated people with a weight problem. "I hit the jackpot when I could wear that underwear!" she exclaims. She recommends buying good lingerie as a reward.
  • When you're considering buying an item, ask a trusted friend how it looks on you. "Don't buy it just because you can get into it," advises Judy L.
  • Get a manicure, pedicure, or facial. Melinda T. lightened her hair and dove into her new life as a blonde.

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