So you’ve gained a few pounds. Perhaps you’re thinking that you’ll still be able to squeeze into your old clothes and get just a few more wears out of it.
Let me tell you from experience, that’s not going to be your most brilliant move. Allow me to use an exceptionally embarrassing story as an example.
When I was in college, I had this lovely little black dress that I wore to spring formal. When my best pal’s bachelorette party came around a number of months later, I got it in my head that despite that I had been dipping chocolate covered doughnuts in peanut butter and guzzling Dairy Queen Blizzards instead of going to the gym that this little black dress was still going to cover my frame.
The day of the party I tugged and pulled and tried to heave myself into this dress. To be frank, I looked like I was in a sausage casing. But, in my mind, I was still the same size I had always been because I could squeeze into this beast.
I couldn’t breathe in it. Sitting down was nearly impossible but still that evening I was sauntering around Baltimore in a dress about two sizes two small, convinced that I was spectacular.
And then it happened.
I’m not sure if it was the tequila talking, but I got the idea in my head that it would be brilliant to dance on a bar.
My buddy Rox calls it the “This is my song” dance. Many ladies have fallen prey to it. You hear the hum of the beat. It beckons you. And the next thing you know you’re doing the sexy dance, or at least your interpretation of it, and people are staring at you. But not for reasons you’d tell you grandmother about.
So there I am, up on the bar, lured in by the siren’s call of “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and I’m gyrating to the best of my ability in a dress that clung to me like cellophane on a whoopee pie.
Had I have not had a little liquid courage, I would have been able to see the warnings coming my way.
But no. I was blind to my own ignorance.
My heel hit the edge of the bar. My leg slipped off and I heard the deafening sound of ripping. Not my joints–my way-too-little black dress.
Evidently you can only stretch a sausage casing to far before it bursts wide open leaving an explosion of meat in its wake.
All eyes were on me. And my bare rear end was plainly out for all to see.
Now, ladies I ask you, where did I go wrong?
We could argue that it was the party, that it was the sexy dance. We could argue that it was the drinking or crawling up on the bar. But I think I veered wildly off course before I ever got to the party.
My biggest mistake was when I was convinced that if I could squeeze into a dress, that it magically meant it fit, regardless of how uncomfortable it was, how poorly it looked or how unflattering it was on my body.
You see, long ago I failed to recognize that when you’re going out, keeping your poise–and keeping your body from spilling out of your clothing–is the first thing to consider when you’ve gained a few pounds.
I should have considered comfort first and foremost. Regardless of how pretty that dress used to be on me, the fact that I couldn’t breathe or sit down in it meant that it was the wrong choice for the occasion.
Sure, I garnered a great deal of attention that evening, but it wasn’t for the right reasons. Just because I had put on a few pounds didn’t mean I had to overcompensate by trying too hard to be sexy. I should have opted for something in a larger size, that really stood out without being over-the-top.
I could have bought a new little black dress in a bigger size and then jazzed it up with one special piece like a broach, scarf or necklace.
I could have experimented. I didn’t need to stick with the once-tried-and-true dress that no longer fit. It would have been the perfect time to step out of my comfort zone and try a brand new look that fit my new body type.
Most importantly, I should have dressed for my body type.
Are you in a similar situation? Here are four suggestions to dress for your body type when you’ve gained a few pounds.
Is your body curvier?
An A-line construction will give you a more slender line. Look for something trim and tailored without being tight. Skip baggy dresses. Try draping a pliable, jersey or other softer fabrics on your frame. Accentuate your waist and be sure to show off your best features by showing just a hint of skin there and camouflaging the rest.
$190 – stylebop.com
$15 – oasis-stores.com
$845 – shopsavannahs.com
$495 – jcrew.com
Are you boyish?
Go for formfitting with details at the waist and aim for tank-tops at the top.
$48 – asos.com
€349 – veryeickhoff.com
$68 – nordstrom.com
$262 – katespade.com
Are you petite?
Go for a fuller silhouette with a defined waist. It’s all about balance. Smaller tops and swingy bottoms will look lovely on you.
£684 – farfetch.com
$451 – dsw.com
$4,338 – bluefly.com
$14 – zappos.com
Are you pregnant?
Shoot for empire lines and strapless dresses.
$235 – jcrew.com
$45 – aldoshoes.com
$175 – maxandchloe.com
$38 – macys.com
$15 – rickysnyc.com