Monday, February 24, 2014

but i'm not the size i want to stay

It's by this point that I assume the thought has been had, if it's going to be asked: But I don't want to buy new clothes because this isn't the size I want to stay.

Listen, as someone who went through the weight loss of several size changes in college, and who is currently navigating her third time through the whole "pregnancy weight gain then loss" extravaganza, I feel like I have some understanding on the matter. And I understand not wanting to spend money (and the time/energy to shop!) on something you hope not to fit in three months from now. After all, money doesn't grow on trees.

But what if it's worth it in the big picture? If you don't work the way I do, you're on your own here. However, for those who ARE like me, let me tell you what I've learned to be true about Lauren Becker: When I feel good about myself, I'm much more motivated to continue the good eating choices and exercise. A good outfit makes me feel like I can get a lot accomplished that day. But when I feel bad about myself, I want to give up and feel like it's all pointless. For those shouting a mental "Hallelujah! I understand"... keep reading.

It stands to reason, then, that budgeting $100 or so for some new CHEAPER pieces would be a far greater gain in the long run, if you have it. Now, that's assuming you're headed to Forever21, H&M, Charlotte Russe, Target, etc to do your buying. If you're a thrifter, you can set aside much less. Regardless of where you're headed to spend your money or what your budget is, I think we can all agree: now is not the time to be shopping at Barneys. But now IS the time to grab some pieces to change up your wardrobe to make it feel fresh; now IS the time to get some pieces that make you feel good about yourself so that you can get through to the next station.

I'll tell you what I do when I'm walking my way down through sizes. For pregnancy, I have about three different wardrobes: stage 1: "no belly but bloated and my jeans won't close," stage 2: "whoomp there it is" (the bump, that is), and stage 3: "I don't even think I have feet left, it's been that long since I've seen them."
And I have a set or two for post-pregnancy. (It helps here that I was heavier in college. I held on to some of the classics like tees and jeans from those days, and they are what gets me from labor and delivery to regular bod.) Now, before you go assuming the term "wardrobe" means an entire closet of clothes to choose from, let me clarify. One of these sets of clothes contains something like the following for me: one pair of blue skinny jeans, one pair of colored skinny jeans, one pair of non-skinny jeans, a pair of trousers for teaching lessons, two or three tees, a sweatshirt, and two sweaters. Because it's winter. In the summer, this would either be a few more tees or some tanks. But you see the theme. Super basic. Super simple.

Then we add the pieces that span multiple sizes easily. [You know it's good when I can wear the same thing at my non-preggo size AND at 35 weeks pregnant.] These are things like cardigans, blazers, leggings, flowy silk tunics, and long tanks. These are the work horses for now. And you make them look special and feel different with accessories that love you no matter the size. Scarves and statement necklaces don't judge. ;) And hey, cute booties never hurt anyone, either!

[These same lists can be applied to someone who isn't pregnant but isn't the size they hope to be throughout this next year.]

So, be real with me.... how hard are you shaking your head right now? I imagine you to be shaking your fist in outrage and rolling your eyes.  Look, I know money is precious and I am not in the habit of casually throwing it away. But for the few months it usually takes to bump down a size, and the few items it takes to help you feel good as you go, it's usually worth it to me. If for nothing else than for the motivation it creates/continues and how presentable I feel I am. And that way, if it takes you longer than you wish it would to actually go to that next size, you are able to be happy with your closet. Call me a freak, but that means an awful lot to this girl.

In case you are a list person, here is the above information in a different form:
Pieces that are temporary
one or two pairs of blue jeans in different styles
a pair of colored pants
dressy trousers
one sweater
two sweatshirts
two or three tees
a tank or two for layering

Pieces that can span several sizes
flowy tunics
extra-long tanks

Accessories to add spice and variation
statement necklaces
cute shoes
fur/jean/etc vests


  1. This idea works for me in terms of tops and accessories (duh) but my last baby was conceived at age 40 (size 2) and 5 years later I am (still) an 8 or 10. I still buy some quality pieces but structured pants are rarely comfortable for my apple shape. Still ready to revisit my size 2 Lilly and Chanel.

    1. Love the comment Kerry!! Thank you!!

      I totally understand why the silhouettes that used to fit don't fit now- a pear shape is different to dress! (Have you tried wide leg trousers? I think that would be flattering, allowing the focus to be on the waist and elongating the leg.)

      Size 2 Lilly and Chanel?! I'm drooling...