Dressing For the (Weightloss) Job

We’ve all heard the term before: “Dress for the job you want.”

While a literal translation into weight loss terminology would be far from desirable (or even possible in most cases) the way we dress during our weight-loss journey impacts our actual weight loss. I certainly can’t fit into size 10 clothes (my approximate size at goal weight) but I can wear clothes that fit me now.

And I do, because it’s one of the most important tools I have.

You see, when we’re losing weight our natural inclination is to not buy any clothes until we’ve reached our goal to get new clothes. We want to save money. We want to reward our accomplishment. We use the buying of new clothes as an incentive.

The trouble with that line of thought is that, for most people, the incentive wears off long before we reach our goal. You start feeling frumpy, slouchy and lose confidence as you try to continue to meet your goal. We need confidence to stay on track. We need to feel accomplishment. We need to feel like we’re moving in the right direction.

I have an aunt who refused to buy new clothes until she was the size she wanted to be. She would just wear shapeless clothing, nothing new (bought or made) and you know what? She didn’t really lose weight either. I haven’t seen her for a long time and things may have changed. But I always remember that about her. She kept waiting until she was done losing weight, but last I knew she hadn’t gotten there.

Why is it so important to have clothes that fit while you’re making the transition, especially for (but not limited to) women? I’ve thought about this a lot lately. If any of you follow me on twitter, you know that I go shopping very frequently. We’re in a good position for that right now in that not all of the money I earn has to go towards bills, so I can go shopping. Some items only get worn a few times before I’ve lost enough weight that I need something that fits better, but I go ahead and move down.

I had a friend that gave me great advice when I was first really struggling with weight gain in my early twenties. It boiled down to one thing: confidence. I would make no progress if I didn’t feel comfortable and confident in how I looked. Besides helping to encourage me (because I love to go shopping!) gaining that confidence from clothes that fit, actually physically helps me lose more weight! When you feel good about yourself, you actually burn more calories by walking taller (standing straight burns more than slouching) and stronger. You have a tendency to take longer strides and be more bold in your movements. It may not be much, but it all adds up.

Now, I do know that not very many people can go shopping as often as I do (I swear I’m doing enough for the economy to rebound by my spending alone!) but there are still ways to feel confident in what you’re wearing without spending a fortune. Here are a few things you can do to gain confidence in your appearance, while melting away:

Accessorize! This is one the easiest things to do to gain confidence. When a girl accessorizes (boys you can skip down to the next suggestion if you want) we feel more feminine, which usually boosts our confidence. Try to find items that are multi-colored and will go with more outfits. I bought a necklace and earring set this last weekend that will match four of the five tops that I bought. Talk about versatile! Another of my favorite necklaces is also multicolored and I get so much use out of it. Best part about accessories? With the exception of belts, they don’t have to be replaced as you lose weight! You can often make your own jewelry at a lower cost than buying new. And don’t forget thrift stores! (see below)

Shopping on the cheap! Now, in this case, cheap does NOT mean fall-apart, so get that out of your head! Thrift stores can be a great solution for someone on a limited clothing budget. For example, I have four big full black trash bags filled with clothing that no longer fits me, but is in great condition, cute and stylish. Someone shopping at the local Salvation Army is totally going to score. While shopping, don’t be afraid to buy clothing one size down that you can slim down into. If you love it, but it doesn’t quite fit, don’t let that good buy go to waste. You’ll feel incredible when you pull it out of your closet and it fits perfectly! And that will be just the boost of confidence you need to keep on going!

Thread & needle! I will be the first to admit that I’m not handy at all with sewing, but if you are (or know someone who is!) then this is another great option to feel great in your clothes! I read a great blog by a woman who took $365 and remade a thrift store dress into another article of clothing each day for a year. I am nowhere near that adventurous with a needle, but she made some really cute “new” outfits! And don’t forget that even paying for alterations on items you love is often less expensive than buying something new. 

The point is that you need to do something. Treat your body at your current weight the same way you would treat a slimmer you. Wearing clothing that you feel great in is incredibly important! Because someday soon, you will be the size you want to be and you had better know how to dress for it!

I’m dressing for a slimmer me.

Here I am at the beginning of October:

And this morning:

I think it’s working!

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19 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gaye Robison
    Apr 25, 2011 @ 10:37:25

    It’s working, it’s working!!!!

    Reply

  2. Strumpet101
    Apr 25, 2011 @ 10:39:25

    You look spectacular!! And look at the difference in your face!!

    Reply

    • Cynwise
      Apr 25, 2011 @ 11:27:53

      The difference in the face is really amazing, isn’t it?

      Reply

      • fynralyl
        Apr 25, 2011 @ 11:51:48

        I wasn’t sure how much difference people would see. I see it, but that’s me. The pink hair photo was the easiest one I could find for early in the journey. Nice to know it was a good choice for comparison!

  3. Nexxi
    Apr 25, 2011 @ 10:46:59

    You are looking fabulous. Great advice!

    Reply

  4. Narci
    Apr 25, 2011 @ 11:17:22

    Said it on twitter but still true, that’s a fantastic color on you!

    Another good idea: tailoring! A good tailor can help bring in those new pieces you only got to wear a few times, for much less than buying all new garments, and they’ll be fit exactly for your new shape. (It saves some room for those of us that have weightloss setbacks, too.) This is even more affordable if you can do alterations yourself, of course, but I’m not handy with a needle and thread either.

    Reply

    • fynralyl
      Apr 25, 2011 @ 11:52:40

      That’s kind of the direction I meant to go on my Thread and Needle one, but I think I got lost along the way. Thanks for articulating that idea so well!

      Reply

  5. Robyn Denise
    Apr 25, 2011 @ 15:12:25

    You are looking FABULOUS! And love the blog post.. definitely will be sharing it with my WW group on Thursday 🙂

    Reply

  6. britt
    Apr 25, 2011 @ 17:35:44

    WOW! You can really tell. That’s amazing! Good for you

    Reply

  7. Elizabeth McLatchy
    Apr 25, 2011 @ 17:48:45

    Fantastic! And you look like you’re feeling better about yourself which is the truest measure. Hoping to be more courageous and step it up. Great inspiration!

    Reply

  8. Denise
    Apr 25, 2011 @ 19:30:23

    Instead of Salvation Army someone could also look to sell to a local consignment shop. Another blogger also lists clothing here:
    http://greatclothingexchange.com/
    Where you can get items for the cost of shipping.
    I figure if I can get some money for some of my clothing I can buy new things. I am starting to have problems with some of my pants. I do have capris though that did not fit last year that now fit. And they are cute. *grins*

    You are looking great!

    Reply

    • fynralyl
      Apr 26, 2011 @ 12:42:21

      That’s another great suggestion! I hadn’t even thought about taking mine to our local consignment shop, which is actually really close to my house. Definitely something to consider! Thanks!

      Reply

  9. Heather
    Apr 26, 2011 @ 08:22:21

    Jenny! Great advice! I totally agree. Also, I think that you look fantastic! You certainly have motivated me. Thanks!

    Reply

    • fynralyl
      Apr 26, 2011 @ 12:45:24

      Thanks Heather! When I see you this summer I should look quite different than I did last August (which was my heaviest). Maybe we can even squeeze in some shopping! 😉

      Reply

  10. Sara/Brajana
    Apr 26, 2011 @ 13:04:55

    Great post and wonderful timing! Just yesterday I was trying to find something to wear and realized how tired of my clothes I’ve gotten. But I’d set it in my mind that I shouldn’t buy anything until I reach my goal for exactly the reasons you mentioned.

    You’ve set me straight, I see a shopping trip in my near future! 🙂

    Reply

    • fynralyl
      Apr 26, 2011 @ 13:30:21

      Yay! Go shopping! If my clothes feel blah, then I feel blah and the last thing I want to do is put effort into weight loss. Even just a few items can rejuvenate you!

      Reply

  11. Tasha Lee
    May 02, 2011 @ 10:31:38

    Work it, girl!

    Reply

  12. Dacia
    May 03, 2011 @ 09:00:22

    You look fantastic! Very inspiring!

    Reply

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