Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Stretch Your Closet

It's that time of year again -- bathing suit season. With the arrival of this highly anticipated (or dreaded?) weather, most of us have probably been reassessing our diets and exercise plans ... and some of us are likely just throwing in the towel and figuring out which cover-ups will work best :)

Being on WW since January has definitely had its perks. I am not sure what finally clicked in my head this year, but this has been the first time EVER that I have put such a long effort into working towards my own personal best in fitness and nutrition. It has become a true "lifestyle change" for me, and I am loving it.

Loving everything except that I now need a whole new wardrobe. My entire wardrobe, one that I have spent years building out, is now mostly null-and-void. Much of it no longer fits, or no longer fits well. If I had an endless budget, this would not be an issue, and I would go on a shopping spree. But I don't. So I can't.

I have had to start some new fashion approach -- one that stays trendy while remaining in-budget. Here are some of the things I have done. Have you accidentally gained a few pounds, instead? Some of these things are helpful for you, too. The whole idea: think creatively about what is in your closet and how you can make it work for you today.

Belt It!
The true savior of the day for me has become the belt. What used to just be an accessory has transformed into something that cinches even the blousiest of dresses and shirts to fit my waistline. This is helping me stretch some of the clothes for longer, especially the ones that I had just recently  bought. If you hit up Wal-Mart or Target, you can find skinny, little belts (very hip right now) for under $10.

Respect the Dress
I think that all around, dresses are the most forgiving wardrobe item, no matter your size. Summer dresses these days are flowy and comfortable, and can be dressed up or down for work or play. LOFT is a great, affordable option. Check their sales racks.

Swap Out the Staples
There are some things that you just can't get around buying to fit your new shape, whatever it is. Shorts for the summer are one of them. Check out Target or Kohl's for inexpensive pairs, and pick up at least one in khaki, and maybe another color like denim or black. I grabbed a few pairs of these from Target last week and love their poufy pleats and cuffs. They are only $17 and come in white, denim, black, and khaki. You can dress them up or down, too -- perfect for warm summer evenings.

Befriend an Alteration Guru
This one is next on my agenda. My coworker has lost over 25 pounds, and none of her dress pants fit at all anymore. This is hard to deal with when you are trying to look professional at your job. She took her pants to a dry-cleaners near her house, and they darted the sides up so neatly so that you can't even tell. Instead of buying 10 new pairs of slacks at $50-100 each, she paid $10 each to update them for the short-term. End of season sales are great times to pick up a few new pairs in your new size, too, so check the sale racks right now for leftovers from Winter.

Mix and Match
What used to be a coordinating outfit might now be an ill-fitting one because the pants are too tight or the shirt has no shape on your smaller frame. Take the piece that fits better and swap in something else to go with it, and add a new combo of accessories to top it off. You will be amazed at how much you can stretch your closet by working with individual items.

I hope these ideas help! It's all about being creative with what you already have. Do you have any other tips to share, either for when a few pounds have snuck up on you, or when you have finally dropped those last few? 


The Mailman said...

You obviously HAD spent years building out that wardrobe, considering you had so many clothes that shelves started falling out of your closet. Perhaps the title of this post should have been "Reinforce Your Closet."

Unknown said...

ROFL! That is the best alternate title EVER. I definitely need to post about that debacle soon. What a mess. Hopefully I (read: Dad haha) can get that fixed ASAP :P