Clothes shopping, love it or loathe it, can be troublesome pre-op and post-op for all sorts of reasons, but I remember the mid-term time being the worst! What do you buy while losing weight after surgery? Do you splash out and treat yourself? Do you just keep wearing the old stuff but cinch it in with a belt? Do you visit the charity shops or beg, steal and borrow from friends and family who you now more closely resemble? Or do you blithely ignore the changes in your body and deny there’s been a change so keep wearing the same stuff ….
Well the latter was most definitely me and I certainly didn’t dispense with my wardrobe too soon (you can see evidence of this in my story on ‘Fat Doctors’ see here). Some 6 years on I have only just said a final ‘goodbye’ to some clothes that I couldn’t bear to part with because they cost me so much – and much as I tried (and believe me I did) they couldn’t be altered enough to look good. I also stalled
to the point of inertia when I thought about purchasing new – I didn’t know if and when the weight-loss would stop and couldn’t ever really believe for a long, long time that it wouldn’t come back (it always had in the past). I still don’t ever say ‘gone for ever’ when it comes to weight-loss because I know how easy it is to regain – you tell me on a daily basis!
So I’m no good example when it comes to clearing out the cupboards and closets but I take comfort from the fact I don’t think I have ever worn anything ridiculously too tight (too baggy is a different scenario), not age appropriate or a size too small just because I could squeeze into it …
Anyway, I digress, this blog is to help those who maybe are stuck like I was with some tips for clothes shopping during this tricky mid-term stage, especially if it is holding you back from going out, enjoying your ‘new journey’ and making the most of your shrinking figure. And for those of you that are still at the very early stage or pre-op then it’s followed by some sage advice about dressing and being fashionable prior to weight-loss. Hope it helps and inspires …
Clothes shopping – if you are someone who has struggled with weight all your life may not be your most favourite pastime. And if you are in the process of losing weight either through a pre-op regime, or as a result of weight-loss surgery, buying new clothes for your changing figure can be both exciting and frustrating at the same time! Here are some tips and reminders for shopping as you continue on your weight-loss journey:
TRY EVERYTHING ON
Before you lost weight, you may have avoided the dressing and changing room. Now? It’s more important than ever to try on everything before you bring it home. Your body is changing, and your shopping habits need to change with it. What you once pulled off the rack and thought was your size is now most likely too big.
Try to focus on the positives while trying clothing on. Even if you’re not in the size you ultimately want to be, congratulate yourself on just how far you truly have come and what you can now consider that you couldn’t before. This should also be an incentive to try on some styles that you might not of even considered before …
EXPERIMENT WITH NEW STYLES AND COLOURS
If you never used to wear a skirt or dress before then why not start wearing them now? Never considered anything ‘out there’ like a bright colour, sticking with safe-black? Give it a whirl! Showing off your new body and perhaps new curves is a great way to inspire yourself and create more motivation now that you couldn’t consider before.
FIT YOUR FORM
You have a new shape – yes seriously you do! So why not show it off? Pick new pieces that emphasise your waist or whatever part of your body you feel most confident with. By choosing pieces that fit well, you can, surprisingly enough, make yourself look thinner. Get rid of those baggy clothes, tent-like offerings and love the new skin you’re in.
HAVE FUN DOING THIS
Take a friend or wls support buddy with you when shopping. He or she can help you choose and consider some new pieces and also give you an honest opinion about the clothing you choose. Heavens – they might even nudge you towards stripes!
PLUS SIZE FASHION TIPS FOR LOOKING GREAT PRE-OP
Many men and women who are plus size feel that they will never look good until after they have bariatric surgery. Not true, and while it may take some searching for an outfit for your larger size frame, it is possible to find and put together something when you’re larger than average.
Being plus size does not relegate and doom you to a lifetime of dreary dark outfits, tent-like garments and unfashionable choices, it’s just a matter of checking out some of the following ideas.
* Ladies should start with a firm foundation. Choosing a good bra, slip, shaper and tights can make a huge difference in achieving a smooth line under a dress, trousers or skirt. The eye will then go to where it should rather than focus on a bulky under-garment poking through, eliminating muffin tops, bingo wings and all manner of wobbly bits.
* Wear what you are comfortable in. No one looks good when they feel uncomfortable, so choose an outfit that makes you feel great and that you are relaxed in wearing. The confidence you display in wearing an outfit you’re happy with shines through and enhances your image in countless ways.
* Make sure that your clothes fit. It’s a fallacy and myth that larger size folk should always choose loose-fitting clothes … clothes that fit, no matter the size, will always look better than bulky ones that hide your assets. Bin the baggy sweater and look for a figure-skimming alternative.
* Some age-old advice does however hold true. Darker colours and soft flowing fabrics are more slimming than brighter and bulky or stiff ones. So opt for classy navy, black and burgundy colours but add a touch of a brighter colour for balance and interest.
* When looking at pattern keep prints proportionate. In general terms, the larger you are the bigger the print or pattern you should choose, since a small print will make you look bigger.
* Remember to keep accessories proportional too. Scale things like belts, jewellery and scarves to your size. A tiny, delicate item can make you appear larger than you are. Opt instead for bold statement pieces and leave the dainty offerings to the very petite.
* Finally, as you’re hopefully shrinking pre-op don’t spend too much on your outfits since they won’t usually fit for more than a few weeks before and after surgery. Consider thrift and charity shops, clothes swapping with other WLS patients and professional seamstresses to adjust favourite or expensive outfits. A regular wardrobe review is also a must.