Fashion 101: Getting Dressed After Losing Weight


Q- I am 5’4 now 158 lbs and 38 years old. I’ve lost 75 lbs and recently underwent a tummy tuck to remove more than a 7 lb roll from my stomach (which now seperates me from the Michelin Man — thank goodness!) The ONLY stores I’ve shopped in are Lane Byrant and Avenue (aka “The Real Women” stores). I don’t know the difference between misses and Jr.’s and don’t know what area I should shop in.

Also, I need adult Garanimals because I am beyond fashion challenged and don’t know what goes with what as far as colors and patterns. I literally have NO clothes that fit me and I’ve been shopping but everything looks so “high school” and I am unemployed and need “interview attire.”

Do you have any advice? I have been reading the what to do’s and not to do’s of fashion like horizontal stripes are NEVER good no matter your size, something on the back pocket of jeans will make it appear you have a butt etc. I am rather busty, have skinny chicken legs, and litterally NO BUTT (just a back with a crack!)

A- Congrats on your weight loss. Its going to be exciting/ strange for you to shop for new clothes. So hopefully I can make it a bit easier for you. Lets start with where to shop, shall we?

Here are the different departments and what they mean:

Juniors- This department is more suitable for young adults (think- teenagers.)  The clothes run in odd number sizes 1-13 and are meant to fit, well, teenagers.  You can often get some trendy pieces at a decent price in this department, but I would shop with caution. Shopping in the juniors department can also be a bitch on your self esteem because the clothes are made for women with shapes. Get me?

Contemporary- This department has trendy pieces and clothes that most 20 somethings/ early 30s people wear … or just trendy any age people. The price point goes up a bit in this department but the clothes are meant to fit real women. The sizes usually go from 0- 12.

Misses- You will find clothes for women in sizes 2-14 in this department. They are more basic, everyday clothes for woman who like to look good but aren’t all trend hungry. I would say women ages 35-50+ usually shop in this department.

Some other departments you may run into are “women’s” (plus size) and “petites” (short gals) … Those are specialty department that you probably won’t shop in.

For you, I would recommend either contemporary or misses — depending on your style.

Alright, on to part two of your question … How do you dress yourself and not look all high school? The easiest way is to go simple. You will look chic and its will be stupid-easy. Go with monochromatic outfits and add in color with accessories or a little jacket. I am thinking like black pants, a nice black top, and a colorful scarf.  Or boot cut jeans, a white top, and a boucle jacket. Those outfits are so easy and always look good.  As for interview attire, get yourself a great fitting black pant suit. You can mix and match the pieces will chic little pencil skirts, etc … Again, going with something black means you can’t go wrong.

Casual outfit-

J Brand at ShopStyle

Interview outfit-

Oliver Peoples at ShopStyle

And to the last part of your question … Fashion tips! I am the first person to break the rules when it comes to fashion, so I don’t really like to preach rules too often. However, I do have some tips for your body type (bigger on the top, smaller on the bottom, average height):

– Darker colors on the top, lighter on the bottom to create balance

– Wear close fitting clothes on the top to highlight your hottie curves

– Empire waists are your friend when it comes to dresses (highlights the bust and creates length and flow over your skinny little legs)

– A-line dresses and skirts help give you some volume on the bottom

Btw, your email was very entertaining … loved it!

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