Toban posted about how she manages to wear "excellent fitting clothing even in the midst of body changes." Naturally, the first item on her list is to ruthlessly cull pieces that do not fit. She assesses the fit every single time she put on a garment. Bold. Brilliant.

Here is the thing, I have long suspected that I wear "oversized" clothing. We could say "oversized." We could also say "poorly fitting." The reasons for this are too numerous to go into here. Based on Toban's post, I have made the decision that my style goals for 2018 are going to be all about fit. Fit. Fit. Fit.

Although Toban kindly provided some of her fit guidelines. I felt I needed more instruction. I am sharing a couple of links I found ... just in case other Forum Members have similar issues.

I am also changing the rules of my 30 x 30 Challenge somewhat to ruthlessly focus on the fit of each garment going forward.

Sterling, a couple of other things that helped me identify fit are:
- try on the same piece in multiple sizes. Just because one size ‘works’ doesn’t mean that another size isn’t better
- go shopping with a brutally honest friend (or hire a stylist to help). My mom really helped me learn how to choose clothes for my body and helped remove the blinders that can happen when an item is close but not perfect. I would try on 10 items to find the perfect one. Don’t settle. She and I turned it into a wonderful day out, with lunch, and focused on the successes and dismissed the failures. We would then do a fashion show at home for my stepfather. Unfortunately I live to far away to do this more than once a year now, but the lessons have been long lived.

WOW! This is a brilliant set of guidelines, so well thought out, honest, and unsentimental (I find it so difficult not to get attached to clothes once I own them -- letting things go would be the hardest part for me). Thank you for sharing.

Toban, this is absolutely brilliant! So thoughtful and useful. Thank you for adding this to the forum and congratulations on your weight loss and fitness success!

I joined YLF right after a significant weight loss. I can vouch for the good sense of your pointers because I failed to follow even one during my own journey and by the time I joined the forum:

  • I had nothing but a baggy pair of yoga pants and a couple of tee shirts/ knit tops and an elastic waist skirt and a black dress to my name! (I work from home which made this feasible....sort of...but only barely.)
  • I had no idea of my size or where or how to shop!
  • No one had noticed my weight loss at all despite the fact that is amounted to 35 pounds and I'm only 5'4". The horrible clothes hid this and messed with my self-perception.
In other words, everyone should do what you do, not what I did!

I loved reading this, Toban. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful strategies and honoring your journey with great fit.

9 years ago I lost 30+ lbs and would “treat” myself to a new pair of smaller jeans every 8-10 lbs which was a motivating boost — and was noticed!

Toban, I echo the other posters — your post is so wonderfully articulated and the reasoning and principles you describe are rock solid. Thank you for sharing this.

I’m really struck by the level of discipline it must take to not only change your eating habits but also to follow such a well defined shopping routine. I know that for me, when I have to be super disciplined in one realm it is hard not to “let loose” in some other area. I remember you posting in one of your 30x30 challenge threads about a date night/ cooking class you were attending with your husband. It seems that you have found ways to ensure fun and enjoyment without putting your other goals at risk. Go you!

Thank you for this fantastic post. You put it beautifully when you spoke of the importance of excellent fit. I also appreciate Sterling's links. I find that shoulder fit is the most important thing for determining how anything (with shoulders) fit, and the illustration on the men's fashion site was excellent (Sterling's first link above). From reading other members' goals it seems fit is the theme right now, and your post is a great contribution to that conversation.

Wow. I've been out and about today and haven't had the ability to reply in detail until now. Everyone has blown me away with your support, your shared experiences, and thoughtfulness on a topic that I thought might be relevant to only a few. As much as my 'rules' seem non-sentimental and logical and well planned, they were developed because of a lot of angst and anxiety I was feeling about the length of time it would take to get to my goal and because, just before I started my weight loss journey, I felt I had really dialed in my style and wardrobe needs. So it was scary to 'undo' that process. I am a scientist, so I researched this topic until I came up with the above plan. Having a plan reduced my anxiety a lot. I also had my husband and some very good friends that I could discuss this with and help me objectively identify my needs and fit issues. And because there was turnover, my need for 'new' did keep getting satisfied (just at a slow rate).

Catching up where I left off: Thank you for your kind words and support: Elizabeth P, The Cat, JAileen, Lee, Mainelady, Runcarla, Brooklyn, Sal, karen13, Zaeobi, Jussie, Sterling, La Pedestrienne, Sur, Murph11, SarahD8 and stevia.

JAileen, Jussie, Sterling, Suz, Murph11, shevia -- I agree with you that fit is truly key to transitioning through a very large weight loss change. Not only did others not notice my weight loss, I didn't notice it either, not until I bought clothes in my next size. The ruthlessly edit and examine fit helped, but it wasn't until I could wear the next size that I truly understood my accomplishment. Hence, my very strong recommendation to not wear your too big clothes.

Karen13, thanks for sharing your experience. I am worried about how I am going to identify when it's time to start rebuilding other than transitioning (still a ways a way for me). I am also in love with being active now and know that one's fit can change even if one's weight doesn't change.

Jussie, I am honored that you chose my post for your first reply. Welcome. I've learned lots on YLF and expect that you will, too.

SarahD8, discipline has been key and finding new ways to reward myself has been a crucial part in this. I have tried to only make changes in my diet and exercise that I am willing to do forever. I do not want to feel deprived. I do not want to make a change that I will undo when I get to my goal weight. I am taking a slow and steady approach with long term sustainable choices. I am fortunate that my husband has been step-by-step beside me on this journey.

Thanks, Sterling, for providing those very helpful links about proper fit!

BRILLIANT! “I have tried to only make changes in my diet and exercise that I am willing to do forever.” - The key to success!

There is so much wisdom and practical advice in your post, Toban, and it's so well written. Just a thought...I wonder if there is a way your words could reach and benefit an even larger audience than YLFers.

Just wanted to join in the chorus of praise for your well written post, Toban.

And also to say that I am very impressed with your sticking to your diet modifications. Your "able to stick to for the rest of your life" equals my "about 3 days" !

Bowing down to you in admiration both for your weight loss and your management of your wardrobe along your journey. Your wisdom is inspiring.

I have bookmarked this thread as I hope to join you on your weight loss journey post knee surgery.

Thanks so much for posting this.

Truly inspirational - thank you so much for sharing.

Very, very interesting and inspiring. Thank you for sharing, Toban. And compliments for your weight loss. I am impressed at your self-discipline. Yes, applause.

Thank you for this. I'm embarking on a journey of my own. I have to lose weight, doctors orders (blood pressure, cholesterol). I'd like to drop 40 pounds, but would be happy if I could get rid of 20. Your tips will be useful, and they are also inspirational. Congratulations on your progress towards a healthier you, and best wishes for more of the success!

This is an excellent and very insightful post. Many congrats to you on your weight loss and on how you have managed your weight loss journey.

This is such a well thought-out and inspiring post. I missed it on the forum, but followed Angie's blog post link here, and I'm glad to have found it.

Fit is crucial to one's self-esteem, as you wisely point out. I've reflected a bit on fit this week while undertaking a major closet cull for the first time in two years. Over the past few years, I have very much embraced the "slouchy" or "relaxed" look of boyfriend jeans and oversized tops/sweaters. Upon reflection, I wonder if wearing these styles may have contributed to some weight gain. Isn't that strange? It's as if wearing slouchy clothes made me feel slouchy, and not at my best. Not that I'm blaming my clothes, but I'm extremely influenced by how my clothes make me feel. Probably many others wouldn't even notice, but I love style and am very attuned to it. While the weight gain I experienced wasn't huge, it also wasn't insignificant, as I'm petite and every pound seems to show on my frame. So now, I'm aiming for more tailored items and feeling better already.

Thanks again for your post.

Laura, we've talked about how slouchy fits can make your weight creep up many times on YLF. You are not imagining it.

I can't believe I missed this the first time around. I've bookmarked it for future reference and motivation!

No kidding! Of course you've already covered that topic. And good to know I'm not alone in that observation about slouchy clothing and weight gain. I miss a lot by not being on the forum - you all are ON it! Making a resolution to get here more often. xo

Laura, I REALLY miss you on the forum. I'm giving you a tailored high five and sending lots of love. xo

I'm so inspired by your success, Toban. I love Michael Pollan's advice for life and eating, and as a sugar addict, I really struggle with staying true to his guidelines. But living this way is something I strive for every day. I'm not trying to lose weight but I am aiming for all the other good stuff that comes from reducing sugar and increasing plants. You're a bright light showing me the way. Congratulations and thank you.

Toban, I am bowled over by your post, and can only echo LisaP: You are SO SMART. Such a rational, practical approach to a process with many potential emotional pitfalls. I am working to lose weight right now, and it's great to learn how you stay well-dressed while doing so. I will come back to your ideas many times, I know.
About thrifting for a changing petite body: It depends on the shops available in your area, and the amount of time you have available for hunting, but I have to say that, at 5'2" and dealing with a shape-changing post-menopausal weight gain, I have discovered some of my best petite finds--often with original tags still on--in thrift shops. So don't rule them out if you haven't searched; you may be surprised what you find (at very reasonable prices) secondhand. Congratulations on your discipline and organization, and best wishes for your continued success!

Thank you for this useful post. I am on a weight loss journey and have avoided buying new pieces. I see items I like and tell myself I can shop “once I reach my goal weight.” In the meantime, I feel disappointed when getting dressed because my clothes don’t fit properly. You have reminded me of the last time I purchased an outfit for a friend’s birthday party and how good it felt to reveal my new body.
I have recently found good deals on gently used and new items on resale websites. There I have been able to sell the clothes that no longer fit and put the money towards a few new pieces.

Toban, Thank you very much for sharing your rules. I’m inspired to build my own capsule and I really love how your personality shines through with your accessories!

Having followed Toban's Suggestions, it is clear that building small or micro-capsules takes a lot of discipline. My magpie tendencies have had to be tamed. Every single step of a life style change seems to offer it's own set of challenges. Knowing that other people have already gone that path and are generous enough to share their experience/solutions is wonderful.

An update: last week was the one year anniversary of my nutrition and exercise changes that started me on my weight loss journey. In that year I lost 70lbs, dropped from a size 16 to 6 and from a 40G to 36DD bra size. I am getting close to my goal (based on body fat %). I keep referring to “my rules” but it is getting harder to restrain myself from building a new wardrobe. But the size changes are coming more quickly at these lower sizes so I need to continue my shopping discipline. I now have completely updated micro-capsules for my work, for casual, and for exercise that bring me a lot of joy. I continue to rely on shoes and necklaces for variety. In reviewing my rules, I wouldn’t change any of them. These rules have served me very well and helped reduce the angst of having nothing to wear. My most crucial rules were prioritize bra fit and look no further than my needs in the next 4 weeks. Cheers.

Well done o the progress. Yes it must be hard not too buy too much! A person can get carried away.... (me! I’m that person).

Well done, Toban, congrats on your healthy journey!

Well done and incredibly inspirational.