Ask Belle Roundup Vol. III, No. One
Jan 7, 2013
I’m starting a new job soon, and I managed to gain about 20 pounds over the last few months, and many of my old pieces no longer fit (pants and skirts in particular). I’m already dieting and exercising to get back to where I was, what’s your advice on what to buy now, when I’m at my largest?
I recognize that I need to dress the size I am, not the size I want to be, especially in a professional environment. At the same time, I’m hesitant to spend too much on clothes that (hopefully) won’t fit in a few months. Any advice?
Given the time of year, how to dress a (hopefully) shrinking body is a question on the minds of a lot of women. And since I once lost more than 30lbs in less than a year, I know what a challenge it can be.
First, I recommend that you buy shift dresses and wrap dresses. Wrap dresses like this one from DvF, or this less expensive one from Ann Taylor, can be bought just a little snug at first and then, cinched tighter as you lose weight. If you’re worried about modesty, you can wear a camisole underneath to give you more coverage.
Shift dresses (esp. those with a slight a-line shape) are also great because they’re supposed to be a little loose. When I was trying to lose weight, I bought two dresses one size smaller than the size I needed, and they looked fine when I wore Spanx. Eventually, I didn’t need the Spanx, and after a few more weeks, they fit in a swingy-mod way.
Secondly, it is much easier for a tailor to alter skirts and simple dresses than jackets and pants. Those are investments that you want to wait to make until after you reach a weight you’re comfortable with. A simple pencil skirt can be taken in for a small amount of money, and it looks basically the same after alterations.
So now that the weather has turned frigid here in DC (yes, I know, I’m a pansy, but I grew up in the southwest!!) I’m wondering what your head gear of choice is in the winter? I mostly rock earmuffs, but at 28 I’m wondering if they’re a bit childish especially for a professional in DC? Hats usually end up making my fine and thin hair a mess (and honestly I don’t know how women wearing beanie-style hats do it and are still put together for work!). Walking to work this morning I tried to take a visual survey of what women were wearing — and most were wearing nothing! I’ll also add that 75% of the men, however, were wearing hats. So what do I do to be fashionable, stylish, professional, and put-together and protect my poor, cold, southwestern ears?
It’s not pansy to want to stay warm in the winter. I’m from Montana, and I’m colder here when it’s 35-degrees than I am at home when it’s negative five-degrees. I think it’s the humidity.
Cloches are stylish, and they will keep your head warm, but they won’t keep it really warm. For that, I prefer a skull cap (beanie). A cute knit hat can be had for less than-$20. Or you can choose a wool beret and wear it pulled down, instead of perched on your head like a Parisian.
If all you want to do is keep your ears warm, you can wear earmuffs or an earband. If you don’t want to mess up your hair (that would be me), you can wear a pair of Ear Pops, which are basically earmuffs without the band.
White button down shirts. I love them, I could live in them, but they’re a pain to keep looking clean, no matter how hard I scrub the collars and cuffs. What do you do? Do you toss them after a while and just buy new ones regularly? HELP!
Well, clothes aren’t meant to last forever. At some point, they will become too dingy to clean or too worn to continue wearing. So you need to evaluate, are these shirts old or are they just in need of a cleaning?
White clothes naturally yellow over time. There are many ways to combat this. Using bleach can sometimes accelerate the yellowing, so I would recommend Oxiclean instead. You can apply it as a paste to any dingy spots and then wash it.
If you’re looking to brighten the overall look of your whites, you should try Mrs. Stewart’s Bluing Liquid. You add bluing to the final rinse and it increases how much light reflects off of your clothes. Thus, they have the appearance of being whiter.
Lastly, if your issue is yellowing in the underarm area, you can get rid on that. Just add white vinegar to your wash with your detergent. It won’t save really yellow shirts, but it will clean up some of the damage.