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Over the years my body shape has changed dramatically. I was trying on a dress today that looked great on the hanger but absolutely ridiculous on my body (shame how that happens) and it made me wonder - for those who have lost a lot of weight/gained muscles, how has your style changed? Did it take long to find clothing styles that suited the 'new' you?

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I'm glad you started this thread! I'm currently dealing with this. As someone who both abhors shopping for clothes, and who also recently lost about 40 lbs, I'm spending a lot of time in what amounts to floppy hobo rags. And every time I do go and try things on, I seem to gravitate to the kinds of clothes that used to be flattering, and they just look...wrong. I'm a little perplexed about where to start.

tl;dr - I have no advice to add, but I'll be watching this thread. :-)

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Hasn't been a problem......yet. At my heaviest I wore t-shirts and pants/jeans/shorts. So now when I wear singlets or tanks the bingo wings aren't as hideous as they once were, pants fit better now the front bum has shrunk and generally these types of clothes are now looking better.

I can't speak for dresses, skirts or women's shirts, I tend to stay away from them.

Wait! What............?

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I think the more feminine of things is where I usually meet failure. I forget that I'm shorter and stockier than average, so those flowy little summer dresses probably won't look the same on me, but then I don't want a maxi-dress to pretend like I don't have muscle underneath. It's quite a conundrum!

 

Thankful to know I'm not alone, although I do wish it were easier to shop in general. I wonder if there's a handy guide somewhere...

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I'm recently digging the maxi dress trend where there is solid fabric underneath that falls mid-thigh to knee length, while there is sheer fabric that goes all the way to the ankles. That way, you can show some leg (muscle) while still having the fun flowy maxi dress feeling :)

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The main thing you're going to have to do is just try on lots of different styles of clothing.  It's weird at first and a lot of it won't work, but if you view clothes shopping as "playing dress up" it gets easier and it removes the pressure.  Once I stopped saying to myself, "I will buy some new clothes today, dammit!" it then was not a failure when I didn't find anything that I liked.  It became, "These outfits are not worthy of my awesomeness. Moving on!" 

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Try going to a mall or someplace with lots of stores and trying on clothes in lots of different stores.  Also take someone, who's judgement you trust, with you for feedback.  

 

I just did this when I decided I wanted to look more professional (shortly after my 30th birthday).  I went into stores where I never shopped and tried on some things, it helped that they were focused clothing stores with sort of helpful sales people rather than Target, or Kohl's or something where you're virtually on your own.  Look at the combos that they put on the mannequins and see if you like that.  Also remember that your size will change as you lose/gain weight/fat/muscle.  If you like something but it's not hanging quite right try it in a size larger or smaller.  

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At my lowest weight I was a nicely-proportioned hourglass, and I could do a lot to emphasise that shape. Now I'm currently a fat-bottomed apple shape, so some of my nicest clothes from two years ago have no hope.

 

Colour has a lot to do with whether a style will suit your body as well.

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I have trouble with some styles of dress because I have broad shoulders and increasing biceps/triceps, so I can look top-heavy and ridiculous despite my figure being pretty pear-shaped.

 

Mostly I'm just finding things look ... different.  I create a very different impression in a loose tank top (and tight tank top, for that matter) than I used to...

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I'm a bony shrimp and I look like I'm a teenager, when I'll be 32 in a few months. I did some google searches before and found several sites. Some use fruits as body shapes, others talk about being longer legged or longer torsoed and how to compliment those. Basically the idea is to bring the attention away from your less favorite areas.  I agree with the color thing too. You'll look and feel your best with colors that compliment your features. There are lots of sites out there to find out what season you are. I'm a spring :)  I don't think I'm super great with style, but I have a lot of solid colored tops, camis, and cardigans that I can mix and match with. I need to learn how to accessorize though. I think I have a pretty plain look. You can also look on pinterest if you have one. I'm sure there are things on there.

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One thing that I've found is that there's a difference between something not fitting you and not suiting you.  I've been roughly the same size (within 15 lbs) since 10th grade.  The main place I've gained weight?  My limbs. 

 

I keep hearing dresses are comfy in the summer, and as I draw near 30 I'm trying to dress less like 14 year old boy (men's cargo shorts and old old t-shirt) on the weekend.  At work it's easy:  Jeans, desert boots, t-shirt, warm layer.  In any case, the cute short comfy-looking dresses terrify me in the dressing room.  (1)  My legs are thick relative to my waist, so a short dress and strappy sandals make me feel like I'm wearing a toga at a Greek fest and (2)  Dresses.  So not used to them.  On average, this is a problem with something suiting me rather than fitting me.

 

Rewind to the last time I had to buy tailored clothes:  I now have a short list of stores I will put up with.  I am more comfortable picking out a suit for formal work attire (a rarity, but it happens) than a summer dress, but the tailoring is very tricky.  My solution:  separates.  American Eagle and Ann Taylor for bottoms and J Crew for jackets.  Don't ask me why, but I have yet to find a lined J Crew pair of pants with room for actual thighs.  Their jackets, however, are some of the only ones I've tried that aren't a complete box and yet have shoulder and arm room.

 

Third:  Fabric fabric fabric.  If it's junk, especially if it's trying to be tailored junk, it's not going to work out.  Cotton jersey dresses and wool suits are awesome for the above two situations.  Mystery meat fabric is to be avoided.  And, yes, tropical wool costs more than poly blend, but when I walked my Ann Taylor last week (first time in a mall in 6 months - weird!) they were having 40% of everything sale.  It happens.

I think as we change, or as our situations change, there is both the "find something that fits" question and the "do I really feel like myself in that?" question.

 

tldr:  Go to a mall.  Try on all the things.

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I'm having a heck of a time buying pants, and finding a dress that falls in a flattering way. I'm shorter at 5'2, but I weight 143 (huh, just looked that up and BMI thinks I'm overweight) and I have pretty solid leg and butt muscles, so not all pants will even make it up around my butt.

 

I've had better luck with more classic styles, like A-line skirts/dresses, where they aren't overly baggy but also not skin tight and making me look bulgy when I know that its actually muscle under that fabric. I make a point of trying everything on, and then leaving the store for a bit to thinnk if I really liked how something looked or not. Usually, if my initial reaction is negative, I don't bother with it and don't buy it. I've bought far too many items that sat in my closet because I loved them and had to have them but never loved them ON ME.

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I wait to buy clothes when I'm near my sister, to where I can drag her along, because I have no idea what looks good. After losing some fat, I've been able to buy female shorts that go to mid thigh instead of the guy shorts I have that go my knees. I've also started to try to 'grow up' my clothing, so now, I own a LOT of button up collar shirts. I just think they are more flattering because my boobs like to annoy me with not wanting t-shirts to look right.

 

Still out on the dresses.. Those are for special occasion only, which is why I own three

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I don't have so much trouble getting clothes that flatter than finding shoes that fit. I'm a 10/11 in US size, and every time I go to Ross to buy a pair (because they're the only store that have shoes my size that are pretty and quality) the section is almost completely empty. And to make me feel worse, all the 6s through 8s racks are completely full with gorgeous models... -sigh-

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I don't have so much trouble getting clothes that flatter than finding shoes that fit. I'm a 10/11 in US size, and every time I go to Ross to buy a pair (because they're the only store that have shoes my size that are pretty and quality) the section is almost completely empty. And to make me feel worse, all the 6s through 8s racks are completely full with gorgeous models... -sigh-

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Woo! Team Bigfoot! I hate buying shoes for that reason. Then again, I get to wear boots five days of the week and sneakers the other two. I think I own one pair of black flats as a just in case

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"Cut through the heart, cold and clear... Strike for love and strike for fear... There's beauty and there's danger here...Split the ice apart...
Beware the frozen heart"

-"Frozen Heart" from the Movie "Frozen"

 

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All my regular shoes are men's at this point.  Clarks desert boots are my new favorite work shoes.  When I have to dress more formally, I lean towards boots, especially cowboy and harness boots that look great with cotton slacks (grey "khakis" are the best with a blazer and boots!), make me a little tallers, and have a wide forefoot.  I have some womens heels too, but they don't come out for anything over 3 hours.

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Jeans are my downfall. I can try on every style in my size in every store, and still walk out of the store without pants. Hence why I never, ever throw out any jeans that still remotely zip up. 

 

 

**** JUmping in on the shoes issue!

 

I don't have big feet, but I don't fit the model for shoes at all. I find a gorgeous pair of heels in my size, and I walk out of them and fall on my face; go down a half size and it's like they're trying to squeeze the life out of my feet like a boa constrictor!

 

I basically live in sneakers, unless I find a pair of pretty shoes that fit... then I wear them until they have holes in them. 

Make your body the sexiest outfit you own!

 

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I've changed a lot but I'm a lot happier with how I look now I have a bit more visible muscle.

 

I always had big shoulders but now they look toned and strong rather than just like a linebacker in a dress. :-)

 

I also wear a lot more jeans now. Promod do skinnies that I can actually get over my legs and don't dig in anywhere... for about £20.

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Men's size 7 and women's 9/10 AUS. Apparently I have big feet. Steel caps for Ambulance, Blunstones for Scouts and my purple high top Connies for every day wear and/or lifting, flip flops when I work, if I must go formal I break out the Dr Martins. I hate shoe shopping more than clothes shopping, I feel like I am out of my depth when confronted with isles and rows of shoes, I panic if I can't find size 9 flip flops in Target, let alone actual women's footwear in my size.

Although reading some posts here, maybe it is time to grow up a little in the clothes department and trade in the boardies and go for a more feminine look, less cotton t-shirt, more button ups and women's shorts, my partner just may appreciate a softer look?!? :)

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Wait! What............?

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Now that I have more choices in what I wear, due to losing weight, I love cotton t-shirts and these capri pants for casual dress. They are kind of like a refined cargo pant capri pant. They aren't squeezy/spandex-y but they seem to disguise what I consider to be my problem area, which is my stomach (apple shaped lady here.) So those and Rocket Dog wheelie style shoes are my standard casual uniform. I'm just not somebody who is likely to wear sundresses and maxidresses  on a regular basis. I dress up for work and have been wearing dresses more there but on a normal work day, it just isn't happening.

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I've always been a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl, but recently due to increased muscle mass my jeans are TIGHT in the bum and thighs and the T-Shirts are stretched to uncomfortable proportions across my shoulders and back. My favorite T's are sitting in an empty wasteland. Thanks goodness it's summer, not sure what I will do in the winter but sleevless shirts (dress shirts for work) and tanks fit me the best right now. I've also found that dresses and skirts are much more comfortable. No squeezing required. I went to the mall in hopes that just going up a size in jeans would do the trick but no luck. They all fit in a rediculous manner. I have a few pairs of jeggings that still fit but man o man the bedonk! Be careful what you wish for.

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