Maintaining Your Wardrobe Through Significant Weight-Loss

There are many benefits of losing a significant amount of weight, increased energy, improved health and fitness, and increased comfort – for example, I find airline seats more bearable. However, there are a few draw backs that far fewer people talk about, one of those is the incredible expense of replacing most or all of your wardrobe season over season, if not mid-season.

In 2017 I lost 70lbs, I have had to replace almost every stitch of clothing I own, and what hasn’t been replaced, will be replaced in the coming season. I am at the point where even the clothes I was holding onto for “one day when I lose the weight” are now too large, and items that can be worn bulky such as Winter Coats, are now just frumpy (I also found last winter that my Parka was so large that cold air could get in between the coat and my body, making it harder to get and stay warm).

Even one Shirt I’ve kept for sentimental reasons, from my last summer before University (aka when I gained the Freshman 30 instead of just the Freshman 15), is now in rotation. The net result of course is that replacing my clothes has gone from an optional expense to a necessary expense over the last 18 months – and I know that at least half of the clothes I’m wearing this summer should be donated instead of being stored for next summer, because they are simply too big.

The one saving grace for me has been that in embracing #TheLighterLife, I started to embrace practical Minimalism, around the same time I started to really take off the pounds. The net result of living with less, and in hacking my Capsule+ Wardrobe (which I wrote about in a previous post), is that I’ve been able to get by with replacing classic staples, and a few statement pieces instead of hundreds of items per season. I’ve saved a ton of money – that frankly I don’t really have to spend on clothes, because “retirement” and a desire to spend my money on experiences not things.

I recently did a full inventory of my Winter Clothes in storage – I am on staycation this week and wanted to get a jump start on my Fall/Winter shopping so that I’m not rushed later in the season and stuck buying stuff I NEED RIGHT NOW, but instead wanted to be deliberate about shopping for the best deals and high quality. I am focusing on fleshing out my basic staple pieces, thus far I have purchased some cashmere sweaters and a black pencil skirt, leaving behind countless interesting pieces because I need to balance budget, and simplicity, against the available options.

You don’t need to have lost weight to thin out your closet, it will make it easier to find – and thus wear – the things you love, and you can maintain a wardrobe of items that you know fit you well, so that no matter what outfit you choose you know you will look your best. But, if you have been successful in losing a significant amount of weight – or even just a dress size – the strategy of focusing on key pieces will help you keep your clothes fitting you well without breaking the bank.

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