Transitional Menswear Made Simple @weightwatchers @loselikeaman

Posted: June 28, 2012 in weight loss journey

Transitional Menswear Made Simple

As you drop pounds, pick up these smart—and money-wise—clothes shopping tips.
Article By: Karie L. Frost
Transitional Menswear Made Simple

As you trim the bulge from your waistline, you’re probably noticing something else that’s slimming down simultaneously: your closet. Your once-comfortable options currently dwarf you. All of those tried-and-true wardrobe staples that used to fit you like a glove now bag and sag in places that don’t look decent on a grown man.

But you don’t like to shop. Or, you don’t mind the occasional mall trip, but your wallet has been dwindling in size due to the current economic slump. ’Tis true—your triumph over your weight turns into a defeat to your wallet, and replenishing a whole wardrobe costs a pretty penny—especially if you’re still on your way to losing additional inches all around. Luckily, you can help keep your wallet sizeable as you downsize your frame by buying smart, tailoring and focusing on those wardrobe staples that rarely go out of style.

Tried and True

These staples will keep you in style as you shed sizes.

  • Sport Jacket:Dockers Corduroy Sport Coat, $75, Kohls
  • Navy Suit:“You should own at least one navy, single-breasted suit,” reports Gilchrist. “It’s the basic for all social and business function.” Andrew Fezza Navy Multistripe Three-Button Suit, $149.99 to $169.99 (available in big & tall)
  • Dress Trousers:Banana Republic Charcoal Wool Pinstripe Pant, $98 (available in big & tall)
  • Reversible Belt: “All men need two belts: a black one and a brown one,” says White. “Buy a reversible one—black on one side, brown on the other—and you save yourself some money!” Kenneth Cole Reaction Reversible Leather Belt, $45 (up to size 42)


  1. Consider your day-to-day life . “Your lifestyle and your business dress code really determine what you need in your closet,” relates Andy Gilchrist, author of The Encyclopedia of Men’s Clothes and popular menswear site “It used to be whatever you did, a suit, dress shirt and necktie were standard—but no longer!” Consider your job and your social schedule: If you work in construction, and all of your friends are married (which equals no wedding shindigs requiring that dreaded “dress attire”), you may not need a suit. Or, if your work allows business casual attire, focus on purchasing two new pairs of Khakis or chinos.
  2. Get thee to a tailor . You have some items with which you simply can’t part. Understandable, but if they don’t fit properly, all of your hard work to drop the pounds will be shrouded—literally—behind a curtain of baggy clothes. While you can’t tailor everything to fit your newly svelte self (say, “Adios!” to your oversize T-shirts), some big-ticket items in your closet (think suits and sport jackets) can be taken in quite easily. “Your shoulder measurement doesn’t usually decrease in size, so suit jackets as well as sport jackets may be altered up to a couple of sizes,” says Gilchrist. “Trousers can be altered up to about four inches, but be careful: You don’t want the back pockets to touch!” Any tailor can take in your trousers at all of the seams, but Gilchrist advises against this as the cost usually outweighs that of a new pair.
  3. Become a master of illusion . You’ve heard how vertical stripes visually lengthen the body, while horizontal stripes work to widen it, right? Bone up on what packs on extra pounds to the eye, and what optically slims you. “Heavier fabrics, such as tweed, flannel and chunky cable knits, give the impression of a heavier body,” warns Gilchrist. “By the same token, light- to medium-weight fabrics, like cotton, twill and linen, visually remove pounds.” Adds White, “Stay away from any fabric that is synthetic with too much shine or stiffness, or clingy.” Avoid anything overly busy in pattern or that has a large pattern. And, when in doubt, go dark—nothing subtracts the poundage like head-to-toe solid black and navy.
  4. Shape shift . Take into consideration your current shape, and seek the cut and fit that best accentuates it. “If you are pear-shaped, you’ll want a boxy fit to help visually disguise weight,” advises editorial and celebrity stylist Ise White. Another way to cloak weight: “Request that your suit jacket be tailored to have a more A-line fit,” she says. Fit is so important, in fact, that Gilchrist places it as the No. 1 factor you need to consider whenever purchasing new clothing. “Think about it: Tight-fitting clothes accentuate bulges. Avoid tightness in the upper chest and shoulders. Think roomy—but definitely not baggy,” he suggests.
  5. Two is the magic number. If you’re not pinching pennies, by all means, buy yourself five pairs of pants. But, truthfully, if you are still on your way to losing more weight, “you realistically only need two of any item in the new size,” says Gilchrist. “Khakis and chinos can be altered in the months ahead.”
  6. Buy for today. Weight-conscious people are notorious for purchasing clothing two sizes too small in the hopes that “some day” they’ll squeeze into their new duds. Don’t fall into this trap. “Buy clothes that fit you now,” stresses White. “No matter what, you want to be able to use what you buy—especially in this economy.” Both White and Gilchrist agree that living in the “now” for fit will save you heartache and help your psyche, and that “thinking ahead” smartly only includes buying items that can be easily altered to a smaller size in the future—not items that are already too tight for your frame.
  7. Spend thrifty. You don’t have to lay down a ton of cash to look great these days. White points out that several mass chain stores, such as H&M and Zara, sell suits that may not be made of the highest quality fabric, but do provide on-trend cuts and fairly great tailoring at a very low price—perfect for short-term, transitional wear.
  8. Stick with the classics. Trends come and go, but classic style remains popular through the ages. “Classic men’s clothing has been virtually unchanged since the 1930’s,” says Gilchrist—and for good reason: “It’s evolved to look good on most men.” (See Sidebar “Tried and True” for your best closet staples.)

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