We blogged about the challenge of dressing a changing body back in January and gave you 4 concrete tips to help you look and feel great during weight loss. Weight loss is a time of change and any change is a little scary. Modifying your wardrobe to adjust to your smaller frame is one more change many women find hard to grasp mentally and emotionally. Weight loss is so deeply tied to our self-image and that get’s so personal doesn’t it? These tips are meant to ease you into these changes with less frustration and angst. After all, you are in the midst of achieving an important milestone that is all about you—getting to your ideal, healthy weight. So awesome for you!! Here are a few more tips to help you look as good on the outside as you are feeling on the inside!
1. You may be used to ‘hiding’ your figure in big, bulky or baggy clothing. No more! Hiding actually makes you look bigger and definitely frumpy. Avoid boxy, baggy, loose, bulky clothing or anything that adds the appearance of unnecessary weight on you. This means thick fabrics, too many layers, and designs such as double-breasted jackets, flared baloony skirts, cargo pants with flap pockets where you don’t need them and elastic waistbands. We don’t want you to look like a boxy rectangle or an oval anymore. We want you to revel in your curves and flaunt them. Your new goal is to accentuate, enhance and highlight. Start looking at yourself objectively. What do you like about your new body? Find at least three things. Focus there. Look for details in clothing including vertical seaming, empire waists, ruching, pattern or print to highlight your best features and truly embrace them while camouflaging areas that still need work.
2. If you have a tummy (or remnants of one), try slightly longer tops with some contouring or cinching near the waist. This is critically important so you avoid a square silhouette. A peplum style jacket in a soft fabric is your best friend; it can camouflage your tummy and is very figure flattering. Steer clear of elastic waist bands or front pleats which only make your tummy look bigger. Flat front pants with side or back zips are wonderful and have the added benefit of flattening out your tummy.
3. Many plus size women feel they must wear black because it’s a slimming color, and typically restrict themselves to an all-black wardrobe. I want you to embrace color ladies. This is your time to shine! If you want to start with baby steps, know that any dark color is flattering and slimming, so consider, cranberry, grape, forest green, magenta, navy, brown or plum, which all look fantastic if you choose the shade that best suits your skin tone. But don’t be shy to experiment with bright colors either. Hues like turquoise, yellow, orange, salmon, coral, fuchsia and kelly green have a fun, playful, free vibe. These shades can add spice and sass to your wardrobe and much needed variety. Bring it on.
4. No one’s shape is right or wrong, good or bad – they are just different. As you get close to your ideal weight, learn to make friends with your body, and like any friend, love it for its positive features and be compassionate towards those that may still need work. If you are a good friend to your body it will return the favour in kind. Suddenly you’ll realize it wasn’t the enemy after all—that was just in your head. Your body loves you. Love it back. Get very clear on your figure type and how best to highlight your assets and minimize flaws. All women have to do this. Once you master the art of figure flattery, you will be unstoppable. Take my word for it.
Look for part 3 of this series next month!
Natalie Jobity, Elan Image Management. Image Consultant and Author of "Frumpy to Fabulous: Flaunting It"
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