Clothes are mysterious. I’ve been wearing them for a lot of years now (you too, right?) and it’s amazing how they act when you lose a few pounds. Some clothing items won’t look any different on you. You’d think that if you lost 6-8-10 pounds that they’d say something like, “Hey, this chapter’s over! Let’s go shopping!” But no. They act as if nothing’s happened. If you press the issue they’ll say, “Don’t trouble me with this talk of ‘look at me, I’ve lost weight’ stuff. When you lose another eight pounds, not saying you should, maybe I’ll take notice.”
That’s one way it can go. But then there are losses that get recorded immediately in clothes you’d least expect! Like the princess of all jackets — my prettiest, most interesting yellow jacket — is not following my shape since I’ve lost some weight. I put it on and it’s like it wants to be on someone else’s body, not mine. Where it used to skim my shape, now it’s floating a few inches away from my body. I don’t think it can be altered but I’m not ready to let it go. Just like I’ve saved clothes that were too tight at the moment (for up to years of moments) I will save this jacket just in case I can wear it in a more shapeful way one day.
How it came to pass that my clothes are fitting me differently
At the beginning of the year I was complaining sometimes about general discomfort after I eat. A friend said, “Maybe you should change your diet up and see if that would help.” She’d felt so much better when she shifted her diet to mostly fruits, veggies and lean protein while temporarily cutting out grains and dairy.
I decided to give it a try. My goal of feeling better started coming to fruition (just had to find a way to use that word, fruition). I didn’t realize how much I’d been leaning on rice and organic pizza, Della Fattoria bread and butter, cookies, yogurt and ice cream. (Duh, right?) I also didn’t realize that I’d actually lose weight by eating differently. I’m a hearty eater. Always have been. I don’t pick at food; I devour it. Turns out you can devour lots of brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper, and your waistline gets trimmer. Who knew?
My daughter gave me the fashion SOS
It was a few weeks into this new way of eating when my daughter, Erin, bluntly told me I was losing my butt. “Mom, you’re jeans don’t fit. You’ve got saggy butt. It’s not good.”
Now here’s what makes me a bit peeved about weight lose: it doesn’t occur where you wish it would. It’s not like ordering something off the menu. “I’ll have an order of weight loss coming off my mid-section, please. Leave the butt and legs alone, okay?”
You know how I am about showing shape. It’s essential! I preach my 50/50 rule, which is to be sure that at least half of the body is clothed in something that shows one’s shape, while the other half can be flowy, more shapeless. I’ve counted on my legs and butt to be the parts that show my body but several of my current pants are not doing that.
I’m counting up the losses: no more Paige flared jeans, jodhpurs are too baggy, slim cigarette pants are gone, boyfriend jeans look like grandpa’s jeans.
But there are gains! My orange pants that were a bit tight last year got worn all day on Saturday at the film festival in town. I have a pair of ivory linen trousers that have been too tight for about five years but I’ve hung on to them because they were classic. They’ll be in the rotation this summer.
Finding new fit in jeans
I had to update my jeans immediately. Because I didn’t know what size I was now, I had to try on a lot of pairs of jeans. (Note to self and others: try on lots of pairs of jeans to get the right fit). My old boyfriend jeans were too baggy so I got a new pair of boyfriend jeans. These above are by Kut. It was a very inexpensive purchase and made me feel fashionable again. The ones below are by NYDJ. The sizes are crazy low from what I had been wearing. I’d have never considered them but/butt my hunt for fit led me where it led me.
Dress sizes needed new consideration
I want to be wearing dresses over pants. I bought a dress at the same time as I bought those new jeans. I decided on a size 10 since I’d been wearing size 12 in dresses. It had to be mailed to me. When it arrived, it was too big. I sent for an 8. It arrived and was too big. I sent for a six. It arrived and I decided to take all three of them to my friend Mariam at Nordstrom to have her tell me what size I should be in because it wasn’t making sense. She told me to go for the 6. (Note to self and others: Keep trying on items until you find the right fit even if it doesn’t make sense.)
Now what’s the point of all this? When there is a change in weight either up or down, you need to stick hard and fast to the 50/50 rule and hunt down the new right fit. I wrote in Brenda Kinsel’s Fashion Makeover, the important fashion formula to work with is the CFS formula which stands for Color, Fit, Style. Purchases that come home with you need to be in a color that flatters you, fit that flatters, and suit your style personality. When things change like weight or hair color or your style, you need to recalibrate your wardrobe. (Ooh, love that word recalibrate!)
When I stopped coloring my hair, my color choices changed. I’ve starting to explore brighter colors. When I phased out of my romantic Italian style phase which dominated my 50s, I had to find clothes that weren’t black lace and leather. In my 60s I’m embracing a pretty/happy/feminine dramatic style. Now that I’ve curbed my enthusiasm for ice cream, I need to find the fit that’s right for my body shape.
We all go through changes. Looking and feeling great is about staying up to date with yourself. Are you up to date? Are there areas you’re leaning into that have more vibrancy for you now? Are you needing to shop for new colors or sizes? Do share!