I’ve been in a spring/summer rebuilding process the past two weeks and some purchases from February will remain relevant this season. A few people have asked that I comment on how I’ve moved from my transition weight loss wardrobe to a rebuilding mindset. So for those that are interested I’ve revisited my “rules” from an earlier post and have added updated comments below. The YLF blog and forums have so much excellent advice that has helped with this, but by request I include details of my personal experience.

Original post: https://youlookfab.com/welookf.....ransitions

Posts about my February and April shopping: https://youlookfab.com/welookf.....ar-refresh and https://youlookfab.com/welookf.....r-shopping and https://youlookfab.com/welookf.....ruffle-top.

Before I get into the updated rules, a few overarching thoughts.

I’ve finally reached my goal weight, reaching ~75 lbs weight loss. Although I’d like to lose a few more pounds around my middle, I think I’ll be stable at this weight and size for a little while. In fact, others including my personal trainer have encouraged me to give my body a break and stay stable for a few months. Although slow weight loss over the past year has meant that I haven’t had quite the extreme saggy skin issue that people undergoing bariatric surgery can have, my body will need some time to tighten its skin. Any additional changes are expected to be a small impact on my body and clothing size. I need to think about my current self and not an idealized version, so I have decided to transition to maintenance and rebuilding rather than continued weight loss. 

My overall body shape hasn’t changed (relatively) that much. I am still a slight inverted triangle, with broad shoulders, large chest, short torso, long legs, and relatively narrow hips. So many of my go-to silhouettes and clothing shapes (e.g., scoop and v-neck tops, pencil skirts, top length) were relevant through my transition wardrobes and are still relevant in my rebuilding wardrobe. Weight loss doesn’t magically solve my shopping challenges. My success rate of try-ons to take-homes is the same (~5%). My options still remain somewhat limited with the need for petite clothing; however, I am finding a bit more success with regular size tops. For example, torso lengths of many regular “Small” size items can sometimes work for me, whereas the regular “Large” and “XLarge” arm pit holes, breast darts, or waist positioning never worked for me at my larger sizes. Similarly, mid-rise regular pants can work, but not high-rise pants. 

My personal style hasn’t really changed over the past 2 years, so I am doing a wardrobe refresh but not a style refresh. I am tending slightly more sporty than before, but still with a structured edge.

I am following Angie’s mantra of “Leaving no shopping stone unturned” and experimenting a lot. There have been some successful surprises – and a lot of laughter at misses. I try to maintain a positive attitude even in failed shopping trips. 

Spring/summer are generally difficult clothing seasons for me, as I don’t love most light or clear bright colors on me. Fall/winter colors are my favorites, so I think restraint this season is easy but temptation will be higher in the fall/winter.

This has been an expensive journey in relation to clothing budget, so I still need to keep my wardrobe small and make very thoughtful, versatile selections. I have made it a priority in my budget and much of our discretionary income is going to rebuild both my husband (who lost 36 lbs and has gone from a L to a S and a 36 to a 32) and my wardrobe (from a 16/18 to a 6/8). We have had to completely replace both of our work, casual, and exercise wardrobes. Yikes. I am never going to add up these monies. I consider it an investment in us and our mental health. I keep our purchases primarily with mid-priced brands.

My transition wardrobe "rules" and how I’ve updated them for wardrobe rebuilding:

1. Ruthlessly cull pieces that do not fit.  

Update: I still hold to this rule, but the rate of removal has (fortunately) drawn to a trickle. Instead, I ruthlessly evaluate fit of new purchases J.

2. Identify my wardrobe needs in the next 4 weeks.

Update: I have expanded the “next 4 weeks” to what do I need for the current season, e.g., next 2-3 months. One change is that I anticipate almost all new purchases to remain relevant, and still fit, a year from now. An example of waiting is my “no more jeans “rule until September. I find them too hot to wear from mid-May through September in our DC hot/humid summers.

3. Identify core essentials and a core color palette. 

Update: Still relevant, with an expansion of the color palette to add some variety. I got bored and had way too much navy! Instead of a single palette, I now have two color palettes going, with some overlap between palettes, with navy, cream, and dark olive at the intersection. One color palette includes burgundies and pinks; the other, blues and greens. I am also introducing more prints (almost exclusively florals, my fav print). My fall/winter color palette had a lot of rust, which is taking a back seat until fall.

4. No duplicates! and do laundry frequently.

Update: Still relevant, with duplication of core essentials for this season occurring only if in different colors or tweaks on a silhouette. During transition I would have one ankle pant, but now I have both dark olive and burgundy ankle pants. And instead of one skirt, I now have three pencil skirts – one navy, one bright floral print, and one denim skirt. Instead of only a nude every day bra, I have added a lacy bra with matching underwear. I expect to add a racer back bra in the near future. My 4 dresses are all different colors or silhouettes and I’m looking for a sleeveless casual sundress still (I have one from Anthropologie that is unfortunately back ordered). Shoes remain primarily on “pause”, with one pair of HEWI navy sandals purchased. I am looking for a good walking sandal or low heeled dress shoe for a two week work trip.

5. Replace sparingly and only with a piece you love.

Update: Still relevant. I am shopping a lot, but being incredibly picky and waiting for the right item. I am introducing more prints and statement items that catch my eye and ensuring that I have the completer pieces to go with them. For example, I fell in love with the cream and burgundy floral cardigan from WHBM. I am trying on pieces in multiple sizes and from many “new to me” stores. I am also trying on silhouettes that I would have ruled out in the past, though generally my favorites are in silhouettes that were flattering on me regardless of weight.

6. Make do without.

Update: If I think I’ll get multiple wears in the current season and it is a piece that I love, I will likely no longer wait. But I’m not rushing out to replace everything. I am waiting for the right items, fit and color.

7. Prioritize bras!

Update: Still essential. See #4. I have added a lacy bra that makes me feel great and a second sports bra.

8. Patience. Don't look ahead too far, and don't pre-buy for the fantasy you.

Update: Keep to my slightly expanded essentials list and stick to the current season. Don’t replace everything at one time.

9. Enjoy your weight loss and your improved health. Appreciate your strength and persistence.

Update: Still true!

I've thought a lot about this, and realized that I haven't added any more rules. 

The majority of my current spring/summer work/casual wardrobe is attached as finds. Yes, they lean dark, which is my preference.Not pictured is a navy print dress, a pink cami, a spring green cardigan, and a green rain jacket. I am still rebuilding: I will be adding a few additional pieces, including one or two summer dresses, a pair of shorts, perhaps another topper. I also need several tops, which I am still searching for (hopefully teals, and mid-range blues).