24 In Shopping Tips/ Wardrobe Wellness

Lost some weight? Get thee into the dressing room!

New clothes with weight loss on BrendaKinsel.com

Shopping for fashion that follows my shape

 

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.

Outgrowing jackets on BrendaKinsel.com

This jacket is now too big and the Paige flared jeans are at SAX consignment store

 

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

 

finding fit in jeans on BrendaKinsel.com

Finding 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.

 

adding new jeans on BrendaKinsel.com

New ankle jeans by NYDJ

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.)

 

Navy blue polka dot dress in new size

Navy blue polka dot dress in new size

 

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!

 

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Mare
    April 3, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Ugh! My weight fluctuates quickly (in days) by five pounds either way and I never know from one day to the next what will fit, be loose, or tight. This helped me feel better about that.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      April 4, 2017 at 3:00 pm

      Oh gosh, that is relatable! I’ve experienced that too!

  • Reply
    Rose
    April 4, 2017 at 3:48 am

    Hi Brenda—you must have lost quite a bit of weight to drop down three dress sizes. Wow! That was fast in three months. You never really stated, but I assume the change in diet has helped you feel better? Please let us know more about what you’re eating and not eating. I find breakfast the most difficult. Any ideas?

    • Reply
      Brenda
      April 4, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      Hi Rose, so glad you mentioned the “going down three sizes” part. The thing is, there’s just no way to tell with sizes anymore. I absolutely didn’t go down three sizes. It just means you have to try on everything until you find the right size. In this case because the numbers went down I was confused and didn’t quite trust myself. I mean, this is not a shape that has much shape so maybe that should have been expected! My breakfasts are super boring. Mainly eggs and steamed veggies or steamed veggies and a bison burger. Mainly I cut back on dairy and grains. It’s pretty close to a Paleo diet if you want to read more about that. Cheers!

  • Reply
    Mary
    April 4, 2017 at 7:20 am

    Hi Brenda, great reminder that clothes sizing can be fickle…and that even barely noticeable changes to your body require you to rethink much of what’s in your closet. I’ve always been on the thin side, sometimes too thin (I oy-oy rather than yo-yo under stress). However, around my 58th birthday all bets were off and even though my scale didn’t change, the contents had definitely shifted! My whole go-to silhouette (long and lean) and much of my wardrobe just didn’t work anymore. This was my intro to the crazy sizing that varies by company and shape of items that abounds today. Whereas I used to know what would look good on me and that I’d be an XS by default, now I really do have to try things on in multiple sizes (a pain when buying online). Luckily, I love style and fashion so am trying out new shapes to still suit ‘me’ but that also fit correctly and compliment my body and personality.
    Hope your new eating habits feel as good as they look on you!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      April 4, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      I’ll respond to the last part first–yes, I do like these eating habits although it’s hard to go out to eat and find things. I’ve never been a fussy eater so I feel funny now being so aware of it all. Your point about how crazy sizing is is what makes me most interested in shopping in stores rather than online. You’re right, it’s just impossible! Sometimes I look at something I’m wearing that’s in a large or an extra large and try to imagine who is wearing these clothes in small sizes! So of course, sizing has to be taken with a grain of salt, always. Maybe a whole lot of salt! Good luck with your finding what works for you. It’s a journey!!!

  • Reply
    sherry
    April 4, 2017 at 7:20 am

    what a wonderful and timely blog post .. thank you!
    being in a weight transition (currently 41.4 lbs released.. hoping my weigh in this morning will realize more!) i’ve worked and reworked my transitional wardrobe as of late, purchasing a few new pieces, knowing they’ll find their place in a donation bag soon enough. yesterday i put on a pair of casual knit capris – – they literally dropped to the floor. gracious i’ve lost some serious weight! happy dance. into the donate bag they went.. thus reducing my choices at present to a few but definitely more well thought out options. capsule wardrobe indeed at this point in time. ♥

    • Reply
      Brenda
      April 4, 2017 at 3:14 pm

      Sherry, thanks for sharing. I also think that when this happens (close fall off our bodies) that we also can realize how we can do with less. I’m happiest with a wardrobe that I can manage with ease and it doesn’t have to have tons of items to keep me satisfied. Do you find that to be true? Good for you, by the way! Releasing weight at my age is a lot different than when I was younger. My clients talk about this a lot as well. It’s easy to add, harder to subtract. Glad this was timely for you!

  • Reply
    Cathy D.
    April 4, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Brenda,
    Congratulations on the weight loss! About 15 years ago I lost 25 pounds. It took several years to adjust to my new shape. When I looked in the mirror, I couldn’t tell whether my clothes were the right size because the person I saw in the mirror didn’t look like me (the old me). Puzzling and problematic, but I finally adjusted.

    I love your blue dress worn over pants. Pants over a dress is a look I’ve never worn, but I would like to. You are an inspiration!

    • Reply
      Cathy D.
      April 4, 2017 at 8:18 am

      Of course I meant a dress worn over pants. Sorry!

      • Reply
        Brenda
        April 4, 2017 at 3:20 pm

        Got it! I’m just working on this myself with the dresses over pants. We’ll inspire each other.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      April 4, 2017 at 3:19 pm

      Thanks, Cathy. What’s weird about this weight loss is that I wasn’t trying to lose weight, just trying to eat better. But the loss came with the new eating pattern. I’d guess maybe two people have mentioned it. My experience when I went on WeightWatchers years ago was that it took a twenty pound weight loss in order for anybody to notice. So I’m not expecting anyone to notice now. Just that my clothes are noticing! And yes, at that time too I really saw a difference in what I wore and selected and it is a bit odd, isn’t it? Funny, when I went on WW it was because my friend Larry called me up and said he was joining and did I want to too. I said yes! So both of these times were influenced by my peers.

  • Reply
    Karen
    April 4, 2017 at 8:26 am

    I did the same thing and have lost 12 lbs…I can get rid of the clothes that are no longer me but am trying to me mindful that I bring in pieces I truly love. Most of all, I just
    feel better!!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      April 4, 2017 at 3:20 pm

      Hey Karen, that’s great! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Spags
    April 4, 2017 at 8:44 am

    This is all so true. I lost 30 lbs a couple of years ago and most of this seemed to disappear from my backside and my jawline. So now I look like a weasel with no booty to shake. I had to buy a whole new “bottom half” wardrobe. I live in a rural area so I shop online a great deal, and found that lots of brands I’d relied on just didn’t fit me any more in any size. Still, any excuse to buy new clothes!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      April 4, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      Oh, you’re putting a grin on my face! Isn’t that the craziest thing? I haven’t lost much weight but last week a ring on my finger was threatening to fall off. I mean really? My ring finger lost weight? That’s just not fair!!! That’s also what I was looking at–a remodel of my bottom half pieces. I think most of my tops just fit better. I don’t need to change those — except for my Princess yellow jacket!!!

  • Reply
    Patricia Bromley
    April 4, 2017 at 10:45 am

    I’m interested in the top(s) you are wearing under your blazer in the new jeans photo. A cardigan over a blouse, or is it all one garment? Very interested in layering.
    That brings up a question. I have quite a few tops that (probably because of being washed, but also because I bought them and wore them with higher rise pants) are a tad short. I have a few camisoles, tank tops, and even a black v-neck kind of slinky t-shirt that I can sometimes put under a shorter top and get away with wearing the old tops. Tried one of those stretch lace things that you slip over your hip to make it look like there is a lace garment under it, but it “traveled” too much. Any creative ideas? I have seen longer tank tops with lace around the bottom, but I imagine your top has to be just the right length or it will look like your “slip is showing” and in a wacky place, too!d Anybody else struggle with this?

    • Reply
      Brenda
      April 4, 2017 at 3:26 pm

      Everything I’m wearing is separates. Nothing is attached. I do a lot of layering of longer tees under shorter tops when I can. And that’s just a tee shirt or a tank that is longer than the top. It’s not one of those made-to-look-like-a-top things. Glad to get your review of those actually. When I’m working with my clients, there is a certain point when the shorter tops are just too short and they have to go and be replaced by longer ones. But for the ones that can work with a longer layer underneath, I work it! Thanks, Patricia!

  • Reply
    Rita Blanks
    April 4, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    I have just laughed so hard I brought my husband out of his TV trance to see what had jiggled my funny bone. Back in November my prediabetes had moved along enough my doctor prescribed some medicine for me – and the pounds started falling off like crazy. Now I am down to a size 4 top and size 6 pants, down from 10s and even some 12s – although some of my NYDJ jeans in a size 10 still fit. Go figure! The butt I was so proud of – made the 50s-60s tummy recede some on my crying list – butt-gone. Tummy pretty much too. Your comments concerning butt loss just brought tears to my eyes! More shopping right now for this new figure, only not so welcome as the past 2 years I had totally redone my wardrobe, as I went from red hair to white hair (which I do love) but it required totally different colors in my wardrobe. Living in a small town I pretty much order everything over the internet, and find I now often have to order in 2 sizes to see which works be for the item. A goodly part of these past 2 years – and all the past 2 weeks – have been spent in my closet cleaning out clothes which are either the wrong color, the wrong size, or the wrong fit. If this keeps up the only wardrobe I’m going to need is closet-cleaning pjs!

  • Reply
    Rita Blanks
    April 4, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Oh, and Brenda, where did you find that darling dress you’re layering? I love that look.

    • Reply
      Deanne
      April 18, 2017 at 10:35 am

      I am also wondering about that dress over jeans, the navy polka dot. Please share if you see this! Thanks

      • Reply
        Brenda
        April 20, 2017 at 8:32 am

        That’s a dress I bought recently at Nordstrom. The label is Donna Morgan.

  • Reply
    jodie filogomo
    April 4, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    As nice as it is to lose weight, it can be just as frustrating when your clothing doesn’t fit…I know this first hand.
    And it’s a good thing…just more work. Again, not a bad thing, but it takes some time and patience, right??
    And, it is funny how we gain and lose in different areas—I keep wondering where my butt went too? And why don’t these girls get any smaller?? Therefore when I’m alone in the house doing chores, you’ll find me doing squats—I’m sure one of these days, my butt will be nice and round again…ha ha!
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

  • Reply
    Kathy
    April 5, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    The post,comments and pictures give me hope that I will not have to resort to chewing a leg off to lose weight. I have always struggled and watched the scale move up and down. Post menopause has made impacting my weight gain even more challenging. Brenda..you look great! Congratulations! After reading your posts I feel inspired to relook at my wardrobe and embrace the challenge of rethinking what I have to wear by reworking my outfits! I wish you continued good health and high energy at any weight you may be.

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