WORKPLACE / AUG. 11, 2014
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How to Replace Your Work Wardrobe After Losing Weight

You did it. By hook or by crook, you shed that weight - but now you’re finding that next to nothing in your closet fits you anymore. When you’re required to present a certain image at the office, that can mean a lot of money you’ll now have to shell out to keep in good stead with the fashion police.

But before you get overwhelmed, you do have a few ways to save on clothing appropriate for the office. By taking these few easy steps, you could fill in your wardrobe a lot easier.

Host a clothing exchangeCall them clothing swaps, naked lady parties or whatever you want, but the basic idea is this: You bring clothes in good condition that you don’t want or no longer can wear and other people do the same. Generally, the host will sort out and hang the clothing by section, creating a slacks section, a suit section, and a shirt section, for example. Some people make it a free-for-all where everyone inspects the selection all at once; others allow people to take turns choosing one or two items at a time. Any way you do it, be sure to invite people who are about the same dress size as your new size, so that you’ll have plenty of clothing to choose from. Also, be sure to mention to your invitees that you want to focus on business attire.

Another way to do something similar:

Raid a friend’s closet. If you have a friend who’s about the same size, tell the person your dilemma and ask to go through her closet for things to "borrow" until you can stock up your selection of work clothing.

Have a few things taken in. If you wear business attire to the office, chances are you’ve spent a good amount of money on those often high-dollar items. Instead of pitching them all out, think about having some pieces re-tailored to your new size. After all, removing fabric is often far easier than adding it.

Trade for new-used stuff. Many cities have resale shops that stock business attire. Have your suits cleaned and pressed, launder your slacks and dress shirts, and try to swap them out for other clothing in a resale shop. Most shops offer a higher price for items you sell for store credit as opposed to cash, so you’ll have more to work with when you’re looking for new stuff. What’s more, some shops even have a mixture of new and used goods, meaning you could sell some of your old clothing and buy new clothing with the resale credit.

Invest in a few basics and go from there. After following all of those steps, there’s a good chance you’ll still need a thing or two. Like recent graduates experience when they suddenly find themselves in the throes of a corporate job, start with the absolute basics. A pair of black or charcoal slacks will pair with nearly any top. For women, a few pairs of leggings paired with a tunic will give you some breathing room as you gain or lose weight.

Losing weight is generally a good thing, but when it comes to restocking your wardrobe, don’t let it get you down. With some strategic planning, you’ll be proud to wear your new duds -- and rock your new body.

 

Image courtesy Phil Gradwell, Flickr

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