Dressing the Client in Transition

In Indianapolis Women’s Styling, It is not unusual at all to meet with a potential client who tells me this: “I am in transition. I am a few pounds heavier than I would like to be.” Many people just naturally put on weight as they get older, and the pandemic has only made this a wider issue. Many, many people have put on a few pounds the last two years. Or maybe you are like me and are always struggling with gaining/losing that last 5 pounds. It’s frustrating.

As a stylist, I listen and tread lightly when I hear this “issues.” It is so close to home with many people. It is something I certainly understand. If someone asks me what advice do you have for weight loss/maintenance, I do offer that I think (this is after I mention I am not a licensed dietitian or coach, or nutritionist).

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What I tell them is that Weight Watchers has worked for me in the past, and I currently am in Jenny Craig’s Maintenance Program. I am also a firm believer that exercise is key to losing weight and maintaining weight loss, and it’s just good for you. I began seriously running when I was 50 doing 4-5 mini-marathons a year. I still try to run a couple of races a year. I love to swim laps, a hobby I started during one of my running injuries when I needed to find less weight-bearing activity. I also like yoga, pilates–although I find it hard to find the time to do it.

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Anyway, I also believe that as we are older, staying as thin as possible is not always the best answer. I see people lose weight and notice their faces can become very gaunt and thin. Sometimes being a few pounds “up” is not a bad thing.

But back to Indianapolis Women’s Styling, and planning a wardrobe for someone who’s a little heavier than he/she would like to be. When we go shopping what this tells me is that the more pricy staples we buy such as pants and blazers should be in simple lines that are easy to alter. What that means is the piece can easily be made smaller by taking in extra fabrics in the darts and side seams. Pants are really simple to alter such as taking them in through the back center seam or side seams. This type of alteration is not expensive either. Tops as well can be made smaller by taking in the side seams. Jackets are a little harder. You never want to have to alter the shoulder area. That is a more expensive alteration. The only exception is altering a knit jacket. It is easier to make a knit jacket smaller since they are often unlined. And, knit materials moves with you, unlike woven material.

The client can also buy a jacket that doesn’t totally button in the front, since we often don’t button all the buttons. As the person’s shape changes and gets smaller, minor alterations can easily work for Indianapolis Women’s Styling. Hems are an easy alteration as well, and when people lose inches suddenly clothes are longer because they are not catching on the curves or extra inches.

Some people lose weight in their feet. Of course, that requires a new different shoe size!

If you’d like to schedule a style consult to discuss your clothing needs and best shapes/colors, please reach out. We will have a short Zoom call to get acquainted.

Keep it sassy, Indy.

Beth Divine, MA, AICI-CIC

Indianapolis Women’s Styling