So, you just hit your goal weight—finally! Your body looks great and you feel even better, but you’re still wearing the same old styles. How do you break out of your old style habits and pick out clothes that complement your new shape? We asked Jené Luciani, fashion expert and author of The Bra Book, for her style tips.
Style tip: Buy a new bra. Like you, the girls just got smaller and likely need a new lift. “Women who lose weight but wear the same bra size are making themselves look wider and larger. They could be creating that coveted hourglass figure with just the switch of a bra,” Luciani says. She highly recommends getting fitted at the department store or a specialty bra store (Victoria’s Secret, for example, does it) before tackling a new wardrobe. “Every wardrobe starts with the right foundations, and seeing yourself in your new bra might also help you see your body in a new light, too.”
Style tip: Bag the baggies. If you’re still dressing in the baggy clothes of your former size, you’re actually making yourself look larger! It’s time to start from scratch, which means first identifying what your new body shape is. “If you have a store that you like to shop in or that you trust, use the stylists or salespeople on staff to help guide you in the right direction, or bring a trusted, stylish friend who can help point out some assets you may not be appreciating, but that you should be flaunting,” Luciani suggests. Just remember that the key is to flatter your shape, not to buy a wardrobe fit for Britney Spears. Read: nothing should squeeze or pinch you.
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Style tip: Shape up. For those who end up with excess skin at the waist, hips or thighs, meet your new best friend: shapewear. “Enlist in some of the basic bike-short styles and, if you need it, a longer, bodysuit-type shaper,” Luciani advises. She recommends looking for fabrics that are stretchy and structured, but that ‘breathe’ as well, such as nylon and spandex blends or Lycra. As for arms, Luciani suggests tops with flowy sleeves that hit at the wrist (the thinnest part) to take eyes away from the upper arm. Don’t feel like you have to cover arms up completely, though—cap sleeves can work wonders, too.
Style tip: Belt it out. Find items that define your new waistline, like a great belt or a wrap dress. “You can never go wrong with a wide belt. Wear it about an inch or two below the bust,” says Luciani. Now step back and check out your lovely shape!
Style tip: Flaunt it. You’ve heard it many times before—if you’ve got it, flaunt it! Don’t focus on trends so much as your best assets. Have lovely slim gams? Luciani says to invest in lots of skirts and dresses that hit just above or at the knee, and heels. Worked hard for those Michelle Obama arms? Pick up some sleeveless blouses for work and tank tops for the weekends that show off your triceps. “Pick the body part you worked the hardest to improve or ‘fix’ with your weight loss, and then show it off,” Luciani says.
Style tip: Invest in some tailoring. The thought of forking over the cash for a whole new wardrobe may seem daunting. But you don’t have to chuck everything in the closet. “If you have articles of clothing you really love, or spent lots of money on, take them to the tailor, who will fit them to your new shape,” Luciani says. Added bonus: Nothing looks better than when it’s a tailored fit—even jeans!
Embrace structure. Let go of stretchy articles of clothing and go for more structure. “When we’re heavier, we tend to opt for stretchier fabrics, but something that’s more structured will hang and look better in the long run,” Luciani says. Think classic slacks, blazers and dresses that have built-in boning or heavier fabrics.