Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ideas For Dressing Your Shape And (Changing?) Size

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We have been eating much more healthfully at our house for about a month now. We were eating pretty well before that, but we've consciously eaten only lean proteins and veggies and only whole grains and absolutely no processed crapola (with the exception of a single cupcake each for our nephews birthday).  Thank you cleaner eating!

You can tell it makes a difference by the looseness of the waistband on my jeans.

The great thing about dropping a size is that you feel better -- physically and emotionally in my case, because I was beginning to really loathe how much weight I had gained and was beating myself up for it a little too often.  I'm not after some number on the scale at the moment, but I'm definitely working on getting back to a healthy, happy point wherever that happens to be at my age.

That said, now I'm dealing with a problem I hadn't ever thought would be a problem:  half my clothes are too big and now hang weirdly, especially pants and skirts.  But I'm not remotely close to where I hope I will be in the next few months, either, which makes me question whether it is worth it to get a lot of my clothes tailored now. 

Maegan Tintari has some great tips on how to deal with this sort of thing.  While I'm not ready to go out and pick up a caftan, I really love the boyfriend jeans pictured in her post and am going to have to give those a try, I think.  I could make that work on a short and curvy frame, right?

Because I've lost a little weight -- actually I'm down a size, woo hoo! -- I've been thinking about how to manage the clothing transition a lot, and here are a few ideas that have been working for me of late:

1.  Cute dresses with a defined waist in a forgiving fabric and cut.  I've found a couple of dresses on sale recently that fit this bill -- cute cotton sundresses, the kind with an A-line skirt that nip in at the waist and have a more fitted bodice up top but would still work if I lost a little more weight and wouldn't just hang limply or a sheath dress that nips in a bit with an empire seam.   My closet also has a couple of dresses that I got last year at Target and Kohls for less than $20 each that still look nice and are cut in a similar way that works well with or without a belt.  I can top these with a little sweater when the weather cools down, or wear them in the heat of summer humidity.  Because they aren't pants, I don't have to worry if the waist fits exactly, but they'll still look nice for another size or so before needing to be tailored.  I've tried to find them in a cute print, too, for some visual pop.

2.  Getting my pants/skirts tailored.  I'm not ready to rush out and buy all new clothes, because my plan is to add in regular exercise starting this month -- some walking and then building from there.  But I can't wear pants that are falling down and if I lose another 5 pounds that is going to happen.  I'm not ready to go full on Kanye, thank you very much.  So I'm going to take a couple of my favorite pairs of dress slacks and a skirt or two to the tailor and have them taken in a bit so I'll at least have something to wear to get through the end of school.  We'll see where I am in August and buy new slacks accordingly if I can keep this healthier lifestyle moving int he right direction.  (Say it with me:  yes you can!)  In my opinion, especially as a curvy girl with an hourglass shape who can never, ever find clothes that work off the rack anyway, finding a good tailor is essential to having your clothes look good on your own body.  And when your clothes look good?  You feel so much better whatever your size and shape and your feelings about where you are -- and that makes a lot of difference.

3.  Bermuda shorts are my friend.  As a vertically challenged girl of 5 foot three and barely a little more, my love affair with cropped pants and capris has come to an end for everything except exercise time and vacations in Orlando where the humidity kicks my rear end.  I have begun a love affair with longer bermuda shorts which serve the same purpose yet don't make me look like a stumpy, frumpy mess.  I have a couple of pairs which I love that may also be headed to the tailors to have the waist nipped in a bit for this summer's wear -- it's a fairly easy and inexpensive alteration, and one that makes a world of difference in how things are fitting if you are between a size and/or have a smaller waist than your larger and harder-to-fit hips (welcome to my world).  I've seen the difference visually watching What Not To Wear on enough curvy girls to know that the tailor really is key in this regard.

4.  Ditto that V-necks are also awesome.  My curvy shape is much better when I have a v-neck to elongate my neckline and visually balance out my more than ample bosom.  Yay for the v-neck.

5.  Finally, get some well-fitted belts in varying widths and colors as well as some pretty scarves and colorful jewelry.  For me, having something for visual pop on an outfit makes a world of difference in how I feel about things.  A cute belt, a pretty scarf or some colorful earrings can make a world of difference in a plain-ish outfit, which can really make you feel better about how you look in it.

Visit the Life Well Lived sweepstakes page and you could win an iPod Touch and a $50  iTunes gift certificate!

(YouTube -- Right Said Fred singing I'm Too Sexy.  Honestly, I think above all else, a good attitude makes everything look more awesome.  I'm working on that one a lot!)

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