It’s important to remember not to pigeonhole ourselves into the “ideal” size; the one the fashion and fitness industries have manipulated us into accepting. “Looking good” is subjective and we’re not all born with the body we see in fitness ads. Sizing standards are also skewed across the globe; you shouldn’t be trying to fit into a medium in China just because you’re a medium back home. Size doesn’t matter, fit does.
Having established that, what happens when we can no longer fit into our old clothes? We can’t keep buying a new wardrobe every time we gain or shed a few pounds, and it’s simply not practical to aim for one size and never deviate from that. Here are some habits and tips you can adopt to make shopping for an ever-changing body as fuss-free as possible:
1.Take Your Time & Keep It Honest: Summer is the perfect time to reevaluate your current wardrobe needs. If you’re just starting a new workout regimen or changing your diet, you may feel like you’re not seeing the results as quickly as you’d like. Set achievable goals & be honest with yourself.
2. Seam Allowance: When purchasing new clothes, seek out wider seam allowances (the space between where the fabric is sewn together and the edges) so you can tailor your clothing to your current size. Make sure to leave the extra fabric for when you might need it.
3. Material Matters: Materials with a little extra stretch may make all the difference. For pants, seek out ones with 2-5% of elastin, which maintains it’s shape, while still looking appropriate whether you’re in tip-top shape or you’ve just come out of winter hibernation. For tops, structured fabrics won't grow and shrink with us, so it's helpful to seek out ones with stretch built in, or flowy fabrics that offer more leeway when we experience fluctuations. You can try adding a belt or tucking it in when your having your better days to flaunt your frame!
4. Forgiving Silhouettes: Being aware of your body type and where you gain or lose weight is important. Look for silhouettes that are more universally flattering, like straight leg pants or wrap dresses.
5. Prioritize your purchases: Now may not be the best time to break the bank on things like statements pieces or formal wear (unless absolutely necessary)! Keep it simple. Seek out layering pieces and basics in easy to mix and match colors and prints such as long cardigans
Shopping becomes daunting when the focus is on numbers and body ideals. Be patient in finding what works for you; everybody is different and so is every body. Remember to stay in the present and shop for the current you, not the future you.