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Personal Style -- How will I dress as a thin woman?



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I don't know about the rest of you, but I've been obese for a long time. I am in my late fifties, and my question is kind of crazy for my age: What is my "style"? I used to have cute clothes, when I was thinner, but I'm much older now. As a heavy person, I've done my best to dress attractively and with style. But three factors have led me to not love the clothes I've worn for the last many years.

First, feeling so bad about myself has taken away my desire to dress well. I guess I've felt that very little I could do made me look really cute or attractive. Even when I was happy and confident with an outfit, I'd always second-guess myself. Or see a dreaded photo or image in a mirror and be able to focus on nothing but the bumps and rolls.

Second, I've always tried to hide and cover up my fat as much as possible: Spanx, nylons under pants (although I mostly stopped that a couple of years ago), three-quarter or long sleeves, nothing too form-fitting, etc. So, while there were clothes out there I would have loved, I didn't wear them because I didn't think they would look good on my body type or I was too-self-conscious.

And third, of course, is the lack of stylish clothes available for heavier women.

I am so looking forward to being able to buy -- and look good in! -- smaller clothes. And emptying out my closet of all the cheap clothes I bought (and, sadly, a few good pieces that will no longer fit). I plan to shop at thrifts and consignment stores during the weight loss period, but once I reach goal, I want to have a smaller wardrobe -- in both senses of the word! Good-quality pieces that will last and that are versatile. But I find that I'm not sure now what my style is. And I don't want to waste a lot of money buying too many things as I figure it out.

I know this won't be a problem for a lot of people, who seem to have been born with a "look" or style. And actually, "problem" is totally the wrong word. I'm really looking forward to being able to express myself and have fun through clothes. But I don't want to clog up my closet with junk purchased on a whim, and I don't want to waste money buying too many things, especially good pieces that I won't end up wearing long-term.

So, I guess I'd like to know if anyone else experienced this, and how you approached this wonderful, brave new world of getting to buy cute clothes and figuring out your own style? How did you go about building a new wardrobe? Did you cut out or Pinterest looks you liked as you were losing weight? Any other tips?

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I don't know about the rest of you, but I've been obese for a long time. I am in my late fifties, and my question is kind of crazy for my age: What is my "style"? I used to have cute clothes, when I was thinner, but I'm much older now. As a heavy person, I've done my best to dress attractively and with style. But three factors have led me to not love the clothes I've worn for the last many years.

First, feeling so bad about myself has taken away my desire to dress well. I guess I've felt that very little I could do made me look really cute or attractive. Even when I was happy and confident with an outfit, I'd always second-guess myself. Or see a dreaded photo or image in a mirror and be able to focus on nothing but the bumps and rolls.

Second, I've always tried to hide and cover up my fat as much as possible: Spanx, nylons under pants (although I mostly stopped that a couple of years ago), three-quarter or long sleeves, nothing too form-fitting, etc. So, while there were clothes out there I would have loved, I didn't wear them because I didn't think they would look good on my body type or I was too-self-conscious.

And third, of course, is the lack of stylish clothes available for heavier women.

I am so looking forward to being able to buy -- and look good in! -- smaller clothes. And emptying out my closet of all the cheap clothes I bought (and, sadly, a few good pieces that will no longer fit). I plan to shop at thrifts and consignment stores during the weight loss period, but once I reach goal, I want to have a smaller wardrobe -- in both senses of the word! Good-quality pieces that will last and that are versatile. But I find that I'm not sure now what my style is. And I don't want to waste a lot of money buying too many things as I figure it out.

I know this won't be a problem for a lot of people, who seem to have been born with a "look" or style. And actually, "problem" is totally the wrong word. I'm really looking forward to being able to express myself and have fun through clothes. But I don't want to clog up my closet with junk purchased on a whim, and I don't want to waste money buying too many things, especially good pieces that I won't end up wearing long-term.

So, I guess I'd like to know if anyone else experienced this, and how you approached this wonderful, brave new world of getting to buy cute clothes and figuring out your own style? How did you go about building a new wardrobe? Did you cut out or Pinterest looks you liked as you were losing weight? Any other tips?

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I know exactly what you mean! All of a sudden, clothes start to fit and I have no idea what to wear. For the first time in years, I bought two pair of dress pants off the rack at JCPenneys...sounds so simple but it was a huge milestone. I was sleeved June 8 and am down 35lbs (50 total pre and post) but almost two sizes it seems. I'm in my late fifties too and it's all overwhelming! I've been planning how to act for so long, now that I can I don't know how! I guess we have to take it a day at a time and see where we end up...I don't know but at least you are in good company!

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I'm trying to figure this out as right now. A couple of problems I'm having now that I'm so close to goal:

The last time I was this size was 20 years ago. I am an almost 50 year old woman (well, 48) now. I'm trying really hard as a size 6-8 to resist the urge to buy and wear the clothes meant for women in their 20's and 30's. I mean, some of them are so cute! But I would probably look ridiculous in some of them, lol. But I also want to show off my new figure and not dress like an old woman. I've been going online and researching quite a bit on how to dress my age but still be sexy ;)

Now that I'm pretty darn close to goal, I know now I can finally go out and start my new wardrobe. I have picked and searched my way through clearance racks on my way down. I know I've spent quite a bit of money, too. I'm a Realtor, so I still have to keep a professional wardrobe. I've done all my summer shopping, (some of those clothes are even now too big) but now fall will be upon us and I will need a whole new fall wardrobe. It's getting expensive! But now at least I know I won't be going down much more, so what I buy I keep. I know it's a good problem to have, and I love clothes shopping now, but damn my credit cards have been getting a work out!

Clearance racks, discount stores and consignment stores will be your friend throuout this, and by the time you've hit goal you can hopefully figure out your own style for the more "permanent" purchases.

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I always wore dark clothes because I didn't want to stand out. One time I wore a red dress to an event and I almost had an anxiety attack because I felt everyone was looking at me.

Now that I'm smaller I find I really REALLY love bright colors. I went shopping at Macy's for a few new dresses because I had no idea what size I wore and I ended up in MEDIUM. I almost cried in the dressing room because I actually liked what I saw.

I suggest just diving in and grabbing things that appeal to your eye. Try a few pieces that you think would show off your new physique. I still end up wearing a sweater with almost everything because I'm not comfortable having attention drawn to myself but I'm working on it ????

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I need/want to figure this out myself. I am nowhere near being able to fit in regular-sized clothes but I am starting to think about this.

I recently subscribed to Vogue. I haven't read a fashion magazine in years so that was a big step. I have also subscribed to some catalogs I think are close to my taste (J. Jill, Talbots, etc.) just to see what is out there.

I know that as I approach goal I am going to need some help, so plan to consult a personal shopper at a department store at some point.

One thing is for sure, I plan to shop carefully and only buy clothes I truly love.

One good thing about being as old as we are (I am 51), is that many of the styles I liked when I was a teenager are coming back around again!

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I am 51 and have never been the correct size. For me, I am looking at other women and taking notice of their style and what they wear. When I get to goal I want to be classic but not too dressy. I think by the time I get there I will have some idea of what I want. I am a pretty casual person and not too dressy and I wear scrubs for work.

I would suggest the same, observe other women in your age group and get ideas on style from them. Look at the grocery store, the doctor's office, etc. You will see things you like and there will be your answer.

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I've been working to do this and I will tell you all the Pinterest boards and looking at what other people wear (and advice from your teenage daughter in my case) is awesome, BUT...

You absolutely need to try stuff on. What I thought I'd like does not flatter my new body. I have always pictures flowy boho chic type stuff and knit fabrics and their formless shape makes me look larger. I am moving into more tailored (or at least fitted) woven cotton type things.

So def try stuff on!!! Buy at goodwill or resale stores so if something doesn't "work" no big loss! I am amazed at the deals I can get on high end brands in small sizes at resale stores!!!!

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@@Kfohiotime4change, congrats on those two new pairs of pants! Those milestones are so important and special!

@@Babbs, I know just what you mean about wanting to look great, and sexy, but not like I'm trying to look like I'm dressing in clothes meant for a 20-something. I guess I'll have to hit the clearance racks, too. Luckily there is a GREAT consignment shop right in my neighborhood.

@, I totally get the dark clothes thing too. I shudder to be thought of as the big-floral-print-fat-lady-in-the-muumuu cliche. But I totally plan to rock those colors!

@@Inner Surfer Girl, @@ShrinkingPeach, and Jess, those are great ideas too. I've avoided fashion mags, because they weren't relevant to me. I think I tend toward the more boho look too, with a bit of classic thrown in, but I'm just not sure. I guess I'll have to stop ordering online (I HATE trying on clothes; it is so humiliating and depressing -- but hopeful that will change!)

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Thinside, I swear we're related. When I was banded 3.5 years ago, I was 53, wore "older lady " clothes, size 18, and at 5'3, 225 lbs it was' nt the look or style I was going for. I hadn't developed a "personal style " yet. Now, im 57 years young, still 5'3, but weigh 143 and wear size 10 pant, sometimes 8. I started buying smaller clothes at Goodwill, and still shop there monthly. Great prices, variety and a 7 day return policy. I wear jeans to work but always dress age appropriate, professional, and ive been told by many that I dress with great style ! Heres a few things that helped. 1. Try stuff on, as your body shrinks /changes you will see what does and doesn't look good on you. Keep a notebook in your purse, and take notes on items , color and fit that you do and dont like. After awhile, you'll notice a pattern. 2. I like Instyle magazine. No ads, no diets, just fashion, some reasonable, some not, but very helpful. 3. Pick someone who is built similar to you and see what looks good on her. It can be someone you know, or an actress, singer, movie star, etc. 4. I like a book called "Color me beautiful " by Beverly Jackson (?), it shows what colors bring out the best in you. Barnes and Noble, bookstore s, etc. Money well spent. 5. Try a cute blog , Google or on Pinterest.com called "Walking in grace and beauty ," classic, feminine outfits for over 40 women by Cyndi Spivey. Cute stuff from Target, Old Navy, etc ! 6. The right undies and bra makes a huge difference on how clothes fit, get yourself a bra fitting, or just try on some different styles. (Thankyou Victorias Secret push up bra !) Dont forget about looking at a new, updated hairstyle, color and / or makeup. Hopefully this helps some, remember when you look and feel confident, people really notice ! And yes, the men will look, compliment, flirt...............they just do. ( It's really kinda cute ! ) Good luck !!!

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I too have taken this journey in my later 50s and after 150 lbs. lost, I can tell you that it is a learning experience. Stick with less expensive options while you are losing. This way, when you no longer fit it an outfit, it won't feel like a waste of money when you put it aside and if it's not a good look for you, again..the cost won't be such an issue.

I bought things plenty of times that once home, I said to myself, 'what was I thinking??'. These days however, I get lots of compliments on my clothing. It's a learning curve but you will over time, get to know what works for you and what doesn't.

The best part....is that shopping is now fun for me. I love it now and was only three years ago, I dreaded it.

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I like the boho look. I'm 52. I just figured out I'm now a medium and a size 9. All the clothes I bought last summer are 12s. Nothing fits. Shopping time again. This is getting expensive. Anyway, I look younger than I am. I'm able to get away with younger clothes, not to young. My fashion. Try it on. If I like it ( and I have things I can wear it with) I buy it. My favorite are long flowing summer dresses. The ones with the slit up the side. Husband says I'm still trying to hide.

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@@pink dahlia those are great tips! I feel like I dress a little old too, and more conservative/dressy than I would want, because it looks a little better on me. I have few t-shirts or casual clothes. Oddly, I am much more comfortable dressing for work than for casual stuff, like bbq's, Disney, etc. That's when I feel the most self-conscious. Looking forward to cute jeans!

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I like The Vivienne Files. She shows a lot of different styles for different ages and lifestyles.

Excellent blog. Thank you. :)

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