Ruth Furman is a Las Vegas-based public relations and marketing consultant who has gone through an amazing physical transformation that directly affected her wardrobe. Below, she gives us tips on going through that process and coming out on top. Visit her website at www.ruthfurman.com.
Losing a significant amount of weight can be a true fashion emergency. I know because it happened to me.
When I dropped 100-plus pounds, nothing in my closet fit — not even my shoes. As I went shopping, I quickly learned that I was in the market for more than just new clothes.
I had to learn to identify my new style and find clothes that did more than just fit me. In the past, I’d always shopped for clothes that hid or distracted from my size. That was no longer the case. While I’d worked hard for my new body, changing my shopping habits proved challenging.
Lucky for me, I have many fashionable friends and family members – plus terrific online resources, bloggers and stylists in my network. Thanks to all of them, prints and bright colors have made their way into my wardrobe. These days, I enjoy shopping and dressing up more than ever before. Here are some tips that I picked up along the way:
1. Try things on. Clothing sizes range from designer to designer and store to store. Style and cut also makes a difference. And gaining or losing five pounds can completely change the way a pair of pants or a blouse fits. I try everything on these days, although that wasn’t always the case.
I wore a standard plus-size 20 or 22 for years. Always one to consult the experts in areas out of my expertise, I worked with a professional stylist in the Nordstrom Encore department to fit me in some skirts, suits, pants and blouses that I rotated for work. I also stalked the clearance departments at Nordstrom Rack, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Loehmann’s and Syms for years. Back then, I rarely tried anything on.
2. Share as you lose. I’m blessed that many, many friends and family members shared clothes with me during my weight loss. Some gave me clothes, others let me borrow special ensembles for events. It allowed me to save a ton of money as I transitioned to a steady weight. I also attended some terrific clothing exchanges and pay it forward parties. I continue to give away my own clothing to other women losing weight and to deserving charities.
3. Invest in some quality pieces. I’ll never forget the first above-the-knee DVF wrap dress I purchased in my favorite shade of purple. It’s still a favorite.
4. Allow yourself to change the rules. It’s still tough for me to allow myself to wear prints, expose my arms and to wear color, but I do. And I wear skirts that fall mid-thigh sometimes. A well-meaning friend, seeing me in a boring black suit with no pop of color, told me bluntly, “Separates or dresses for you–not suits. Suits suck.” Another friend told me a dress I had purchased looked like a “potato sack” and insisted that I borrow one of hers for a business photo shoot.
5. Invest in quality undergarments. I got professionally fitted for new bras when I dropped from a DD to a C. The right undergarments make a world of difference.
6. Shop sales, online and in-store.
7. Have fun with it!