Ever heard the phrase, “The clothes make the man”? Well, they do…they make the man and the woman. You may remember awhile ago I told you about my friend Kellie, who has been revamping her physical wellbeing through diet and exercise. She continues to do wonderfully…so much so that she has had to buy new clothes. A year ago, Kellie wore clothes that tended to be on the tight side and in many ways, uncomfortable. However, these days, she is wearing beautiful outfits that fit her well, are really flattering and show off all of her assets. What’s more is that she feels good in them…not just from a physical perspective, but from a mental perspective as well: she feels good about herself and how she looks.
This made me realize just how important it is to wear clothes that really fit. And when I say really fit…I mean fit properly. Here are some good rules of thumb to ensure you are looking your best and wearing what will make you feel your best too:
- Itsy Bitsy, Teeny Weeny: If your clothes are too small, requiring you to squeeze into them; and when you do, bulges show everwhere…there is a good chance the clothes are too tight (and probably look that way too). Believe it or not, looser cuts are more flattering and can actually make you look more thin than really tight cuts. Unless you have extremely low body fat and washboard abs, extremely tight clothing isn’t usually good on anyone.
- The Breathe and Movement Test: We are not in the corset era. So why should you be packed into a piece of clothing like a sausage? Seriously, if you can’t breathe, or for that matter, move, it is a clear sign you shouldn’t be wearing the clothing.
- The Burlap Sac: Remember in the 80s when we wore overly baggy clothes? That look has been over for over twenty years. It is time to streamline. Just like clothing that is too tight can make you look heavier, so can extremely baggy clothing that is way too big.
- Give it Away: If something doesn’t fit anymore, and hasn’t fit for over three years, stop promising yourself that one day it will. For one, the style will change and even if you do end up fitting into the clothes, you may not really like the style. Second, there is a person out there who could benefit from your charity. Take your old, unfitting clothing to the nearest Salvation Army or Clothing Charity and let someone who can fit into your clothing benefit.
- Compulsive Shopping: We’ve all been there. Whether it was out of desperation or delusion, we have all bought things that we shouldn’t have. Take the extra time to really examine what something looks like when you try it on. Are you seeing bulges? Is it comfortable? Do you feel good? Make an informed decision about what you buy…and try not to be compulsive!
- Don’t Make Promises you Can’t Keep: If you try something on in the dressing room and it doesn’t fit, don’t negotiate with yourself that if you buy it, you will lose the weight. First, lose the weight, and then buy it. Why? Because if you buy it first you will either force yourself into something that is too small just so you can wear it, or the garment will sit in your closet, never worn. Neither of which are very good.
- Second-hand Rose: Hand me downs and thrift stores can be a great way to save money and get a great retro-styled garment. That said, if the garment isn’t really something you would buy at full price, by all means don’t feel compelled to buy it on sale…or even better yet…for free. Once again, make sure you feel good in what you wear.
- Know your Body and Work with it: Each of us is unique…with unique body shapes and unique ways of fitting into things. Know what works on your body and what doesn’t. For instance, if you are a pear shape, and tend to carry extra weight in your legs, don’t buy skinny jeans. Instead, look for jeans or pants that have a roomier cut in the leg. You will feel more comfortable and you will look 100 times better than in the skinny jeans.
- Looking through Rose Colored Glasses: It is wonderful to have a healthy body image, but don’t be delusional about what looks good and what doesn’t. If you aren’t sure about what looks good on you, bring an honest friend with you the next time you go shopping.
- But I’m a Size 8: Each manufacturer is different in how they design and cut their styles. Unfortunately, this also extends to sizes. Just because you are a size 8 at Banana Republic does not necessarily mean that you are a size 8 at Ann Taylor. Get over the number. What is most important is choosing the size that fits you, regardless if it is an 8, a 10 or a 6.
Most importantly, wear what you feel good in. If you feel good in something, there is a good chance you will look good too!