As our routines were disrupted and stress levels had increased over the last year and half, pandemic weight fluctuation became a growing topic amongst men and women of all ages and sizes.
Weight fluctuation can cause uncertainty and pose a unique challenge when forming your wardrobe. During this time, it can feel like our personal brand is going through a visual transformation. It is through this transitional time that we all want to feel and look our best.
For me, the most important and rewarding goal is to help any client thrive in varying environments. I have seen clients express negative emotions and insecurities when fluctuating in weight loss/gain. It presents challenges and sometimes results in them giving up on achieving their ultimate goal. I have put together some fashion and style tips to help others get through this progression.
Tip #1: Utilize a Professional Seamstress/Tailor
One of the great services a seamstress or tailor can provide is to adjust sizing accordingly as weight naturally fluctuates at different life stages. Many of these artisans are designers in their own right. They can modernize and make pieces more current, rework a silhouette, change buttons of a jacket or reshape the lapels on a shirt. Always remember to keep the question of cost in mind and ensure it is worth the alterations.
Tip #2: Jersey Dresses
This is a sure winner in the fabric department— it barely creases. The weight of a jersey also can play into camouflaging some areas that we all want to avoid bringing attention to. The heavier weight is more forgiving, but with the array of shape-wear that we have at our fingertips, a light jersey will work as well. This fabric also drapes beautifully which can be helpful in those challenging areas. This fabric typically has some stretch which is important if your weight tends to fluctuate.
Tip #3: Jackets/Blazers
This piece is a wonder. It can complete an outfit and provide a polished and elevated look while accommodating any weight concern. Be mindful of the fit even if you choose a slightly oversized silhouette. A baggy style is never chic—even if the trend labels “a slouchy look.” Paired with a denim pant, dress, or shorts for the warmer months, a jacket is always a winner!
Tip #4: Straight Leg Pant or Small Flare Leg
This tailored pant looks more proportioned and streamlined when transitioning in size. I would apply this to denim, choose darker shades, and choose a fabric with a little stretch. Whatever fabric you choose, it should never be too saggy around the posterior. This is a great choice to pair with a blouse that will allow you to tuck it in or leave it untucked.
Tip #5: Pencil and A-Line Skirts
I know you may be thinking – what? A pencil skirt? But too much extra fabric can amplify the problem. An A-Line skirt with not too much fabric can be flattering as well. You’ll never hear it enough, but tailoring is very important and choosing a high waist option is definitely more comfortable. From a dressy tank top on summer evenings to an all season cashmere sweater, you can pair this piece with a top of your choice.
Before you hit the stores, keep in mind these essential tips to looking your best during this phase.
Simple is Best: Minimal patterns and monochromatic looks are best.
Fit, Fit, Fit: Your tailor is your best friend during this time.
Capsule Wardrobe: This is 6-10 piece wardrobe of the necessary items. Yes, you will wear them often, but you will feel your best and be able to mix the pieces.
Accessories: Keep the wardrobe simple and make a statement with these pieces.
Above all, as we head back into normalcy, don’t forget to be kind to yourself. Being kind to ourselves in this transitory time, rather than being self critical, will help in regaining your sense of well-being and creating a strong personal brand.