What to Wear When You’ve Gained Weight

A woman’s weight sometimes fluctuates on a weekly basis. Factor in pregnancy, illness, menopause…and stepping on that scale can feel as random as rolling a dice.

Studio 5 Beauty & Style Contributor Holly Stone spells out what to wear when you’ve gained a few extra pounds.

It happens to ALL of us. We suddenly realize our pants are fitting tighter and areas of our body are a little fuller. Adding 5-10 extra pounds can be difficult putting you in between sizes or even up a size. Since this weight gain seems to happen suddenly, many of us go into “frenzy” mode and begin to avoiding our closet. Never fear. Understanding your options can Now you too can be a wardrobe magician. The power of illusion dressing is a convenient way to trick the eye. Lose up to 10 pounds visibly by applying these simple yet often forgotten tips below:

There are two critical mistakes you must try to avoid during this transition:

1. Wearing clothes that you must squeeze into. When you wear clothing that is too small, you will look heavier than you actually are.

2. Wearing clothes that are too big. When you wear clothes that are baggy or boxy, you will look heavier than you really are.

Extend with just a Button

One of the most BRILLIANT inventions of our time, this simple contraption becomes the EASIEST support during a weight gain transition. Available in multiple varieties, you can either pin it into the best place or purchase the elastic button extender to stretch your way into some comfort (find at Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft). Adds 1 size to your pants-just make sure to wear a shirt that adequately covers your zipper area- during ALL movements.

Style Tip: To make sure your blouse covers your extended pants- practice sitting, reaching, bending over and twisting around WITHOUT having to adjust your shirt.

No Spanx, Yes Shaper

Yes, you heard this correctly. Spanx is a great body smoother for smoothing those lumps and bumps. However, when you have gained weight and are trying to modify your clothing options, you must bring in the big guns. Compression shapers are the necessary tool to literally tuck you into your clothes without feeling overly restricted. The difference? Firmer fabric, tighter hold and more options for full body coverage. Try a comfortable body suit to eliminate back or thigh bulge, which arises traditionally from waist shapers.

Style Tip: Remember to adjust your bra accordingly. When we gain weight, any sort of compression strap will create bulges where it is fastened. There are bra extenders available at ANY store that sells bras. These same bra extenders also work magic to extend the crotch area of a body suit if that is the style you prefer but can’t seem to find one to fit your torso.

Black and Current

Pinch an inch to lose 10 pounds. The beauty of clothing is that it should flow over the full parts-not hug them tightly. While your intent is to quickly lose the excess weight, the reality is that you need something to accommodate your transition. The answer? Buy a basic black pant IN THE CURRENT SIZE YOU ARE TODAY. Make sure you can comfortably pull 1″ on both sides at your fullest part-most likely the upper hip curve. Pants should gently drape over full areas otherwise they could draw attention to them. Don’t be afraid of going up a size in the pant, be afraid of the limited options without them. Black is thinning, and black pants are the most inexpensive wardrobe piece to help you manage your weight transition in the most flattering way.

Style Tip: This is the one item in your closet that can feel comfortable to have in multiple sizes. THIS IS OK! Life happens and the reality is that weight happens too. Have a few transitional pieces in your closet-not to grant you permission to gain but to grant you peace of mind if you do.

Little Flounce=Flatter Lotta Flounce=Fuller

Blouses are the worst enemy when it comes to weight gain. Beware this season because the current style is flouncy and full. If you can avoid a lot of flounce as this will only make you appear fuller than you are. Being aware of the overall outer SHAPE of the blouse is very important. Choose blouses that have ruching, princess seams, or simply indented waistlines to avoid looking like a box and therefore broad. Hourglass shapes are ideal, squares are a no-no. Apply the pinch 2″ rule here. Pinch two-looks smooth, pinch more-too wide for the door.

Style Tip: Watch the line of contrast between you blouse and your pant. If you are wearing dark and light, the eye will go to where they meet so make sure that the line of contrast does not hit you at a wide part on your body. You will only undo all your illusion dressing when you draw the eye to a full part of your body.

Belts to the Battle

The most fun way to incorporate color, style or illusion into your wardrobe is with belts. Contrary to what your inner voice says, a belt CAN help you appear slimmer when worn at your waist or at an angle just below it depending on your weight gain is most obvious. This is the art of magic at its finest. A belt under a jacket brings the eye IN at the waist instead of OUT with the weight gain. And on an angle you have just lost the 5 extra pounds above it.

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