Finding an item that fits perfectly can be challenging. When your weight fluctuates, garment fits change and it’s even tricker. I run into this challenge with my clients regularly. Here are some suggestions that I’ve offered to them over the years. 

Slight Fluctuations

When your weight fluctuates a little (less than 5 pounds either way), your items might fit ok, but not look and feel as perfect as they once did. This isn’t too serious, because items are still wearable. You don’t need to start thinking about bigger or smaller sizes, and in some cases you will just wear certain items less frequently until you return to the weight where they feel fab.

These types of weight fluctuations are unnoticeable in fluid and oversized fit tops, knitwear, coats, jackets and dresses, so those are handy and forgiving items to keep on hand. Jeans, stretchy bottoms, wide trousers, leggings, fit-and flare-dresses, A-line skirts, cocoon coats and vests are great too. You’ll see and feel the weight fluctuation the most in tailored items that do not have stretch and follow the contour of the body like sheath dresses, woven pencil skirts, and tailored woven trousers.

Moderate Fluctuations

It is harder to manage when your weight fluctuates regularly to the extent that you need one size up or down in many wardrobe items (typically 8 to 10 pound fluctuations.) My clients in this situation tend to keep two sizes in their wardrobe. It’s a costly exercise, but a kind strategy to your body and psyche because you have items that fit and make you feel fab at both extremes of your weight range.

Significant Changes

If your weight changes and stays at the new level for a longer period, you will need clothes in several sizes up or down to maintain good fit. My clients who have gained weight tend to pass on items that are several sizes too small. Some want to hold onto them, but I discourage that because it can exacerbate negative body image. Sometimes we agree to pop the items in a holding zone as a compromise. In the case that a client fits back into the items at some point, they’re usually not interested in wearing them anyway. Starting afresh is best.

When you are on a weight loss programme over a long period of time, and gradually losing a significant amount of weight, you ideally need clothing that fits properly along the way. Budget permitting, you deserve the reward of seeing your body in great fitting clothes as your body changes. There are ways to keep the cost to a minimum. Each time you lose weight that warrants another size down, purchase a very small mix-and-match capsule that gets you through to the next milestone. Assess your wardrobe needs each time you need to purchase a capsule in a smaller size. Don’t forget to be refitted for a bra and knickers, do laundry more frequently, be patient, and don’t try to replace everything at once. Be thrifty and shop the sales. Pass on the clothing that is several sizes too big.

Forum member Toban recently lost a significant amount of weight and shared how she maintained good fit throughout that leg of her style journey. She offers tangible solutions that are well worth a read. Congratulations, Toban.