Wait until losing last 15 lbs before upgrading wardrobe?
August 30, 2012 7:51 AM   Subscribe

Wait until losing last 15 lbs before upgrading wardrobe?

Hello All,

I'm a guy, 5'7. Over the past 3-4 months I have gone from 187 to 162 lbs, and I have about 15 more to go until I am at my pretty much optimal weight. I work in a conservative business casual environment, ie most days slacks + button down, occasional tie. I have been wanting to upgrade my wardrobe for a while now, get fitted shirts, tailoring etc, but have been putting it off while I lose weight. I am now up for a promotion in the next few months so it seems like a better time than ever to do so. I have been doing very well with diet/exercise, and I think I will hit my goal weight in 2-3 months. Pants right now are a little loose, shirts starting to look a little baggy. Should I go ahead and upgrade now, or wait until I lose the final weight?

TL;DR How big of an impact will losing 15lbs have on tailored clothing?
posted by cccp47 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total)
Best answer: 2-3 new outfits. Don't go all out with price or tailoring. It will make you feel good and give you motivation to keep going. No guy up for promotion should be wearing saggy pants.
posted by amanda at 7:54 AM on August 30, 2012 [6 favorites]

Best answer: How about getting a few good, basic pieces in your current size. Don't get tailored shirts, but get a few that really fit well.

Labor Day is coming up and Macy's is having a sale. Get the 20% off coupon that's in the paper and go. Take someone to help you pick stuff out. Try everything on. You should be able to get some very nice things, at a very reasonable price. About $300 for 5 new outfits of slacks and shirts (I'm being conservative, I could do it for $200, but I'm an expert.)

This should keep you in good stead until you reach your goal weight.

posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:55 AM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Can you wear polo shirts? You can get a polo shirt to shrink a little when you've lost more weight, unfortunately, ten pounds is approximately one inch, so you will need new clothes again. I would suggest that you buy a few new shirts, nothing too expensive or that you will be sad over when you have to give them to goodwill. I think you could get away with dress shirts that fit you snug now but have a little stretch in them. Look for something with Lycra so that you are not uncomfortable, this way, you can still wear them after the rest of the weight is gone. You probably need new slacks too, so like amanda says, get yourself two to three outfits and work on a new wardrobe when you have reached your goal. I'm a fan of Macy's because they have a liberal return policy and you can try things on at home and see if you are comfortable with them. The sales are always great like Ruthless Bunny says.
posted by Yellow at 8:05 AM on August 30, 2012

Best answer: Go get yourself a couple of good outfits as suggested above (you need to look your best in case the promotion comes more quickly than you think).

When you reach your goal weight (congratulations!) donate them to Dress for Success and help someone else get their foot on the ladder. Win/Win.
posted by humph at 8:12 AM on August 30, 2012 [5 favorites]

I think you should always have clothes that fit and are flattering. Even just a few pieces can probably get you through, but don't be wearing stuff that looks terrible.
posted by Forktine at 8:13 AM on August 30, 2012

I got "in between" clothes when I hit the point where my old clothes were just stupid too big but I wasn't yet at my goal. That last 10-15 pounds can make a big difference (I went down another inch or two in waist size, e.g.), so yes, get a few basic pieces that don't cost the earth and wait on getting things tailored.
posted by rtha at 8:17 AM on August 30, 2012

Best answer: Just go out and get a couple of inexpensive pairs of pants and shirts that fit you well, and wear the hell out of them over the next few months while you're losing the rest of the weight.

If and when you lose the other 15 pounds, you can happily donate them -- if they're not worn out by then already (as cheap clothes have a tendency to do).

Sure you won't look quite as put-together as you would in nice tailored shirts and pants, but you'll be taking a big step up from baggy, ill-fitting clothes, which I can tell you from experience are not flattering at all. So definitely get yourself out of those.

Costco actually sells decent mens dress-casual stuff, not great but probably adequate for this purpose. TJ Maxx and other discount stores are your friend as well, but keep in mind the value of your time and don't spend a lot of effort bargain-hunting; the goal is just to get something that's better than your old clothes that you can wear for a while.

Also, I'd probably hold off on getting a lot of expensive stuff once you hit the magic 145-150 mark on the scale, if that's what you're shooting for, just in case it turns out that weight level isn't sustainable for you. I'd give it at least a few months of being stable at that weight/size before going out and dropping a few kilobucks on expensive tailoring.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:37 AM on August 30, 2012

I'd agree with the others that you should treat yourself to a couple items now but wait until you maintain your goal weight for awhile before buying a lot of things. The rationale is that you don't really know for sure where on your body you are going loose the additional volume nor will you know how much of that subtracted volume is going to be replaced with muscle (I assume that exercise is part of your weight loss regiment).

Also, from the perspective of someone who is trying to do the same thing as you, congrats and continued success.
posted by mmascolino at 8:48 AM on August 30, 2012

If 145 pounds is your optimal weight at 5'7", it sounds like you have a fairly slight frame, which can be challenging for tailors. At that height and with a slight frame, a 15 pound difference is probably going to be at the extreme edge of the tailor's skill (the general rule of thumb is that you can't tailor a jacket more than two chest sizes smaller without it looking odd).

I would have your current pants taken in and not worry about the shirts, or as others suggest buy some shirts in your current size at a discount store.

If you have H&M or Topman where you live, those are always good options for stylish but cheaply made clothes, which may be a better bet as "transitional" pieces than the investment pieces you'll want to get once you've been comfortable at your new weight for a while.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:33 AM on August 30, 2012

Thrift stores can also be a good option for buying good clothes for a lower price for that in-between stage.

I went through this problem, too, and ended up buying a mix of inexpensive (Old Navy, Nordstrom Rack, e.g.) clothes that were work-appropriate and more expensive clothes that would forgive additional weight loss, which may be easier for women's business clothes than men's. Either way, a couple of good items that fit well now will make you feel better and look better and are worth it in the short term.
posted by gingerbeer at 11:00 AM on August 30, 2012

Agree with everybody else about getting some respectable outfits to tide you over, but don't do anything too expensive until you've been at a stable weight (hopefully your optimal one!) for a while. For a lot of people it's actually harder to maintain a low weight than to lose weight, because you're no longer actively shooting for something, and you want to make sure your optimal weight will stick long-term before you spend a lot of money on clothing that will only fit you at that size.
posted by ostro at 12:19 PM on August 30, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks everybody; a few new Old Navy outfits it is, and then the megabucks once everything is stable.
posted by cccp47 at 12:52 PM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

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