Cate Linden

bespoke personal style coaching

Dressing my changing size and shape

47384421_2196261320408313_7830882951603683328_o.jpg

After gaining a significant amount of weight in the past 8 months - easily the most dramatic weight shift I’ve undergone aside from pregnancy - I was forced back to the drawing board with my closet.

Practically speaking, I outgrew a tremendous number of things at once, including all of my pants, all of my bras and underwear, and the majority of my skirts and dresses. I lost plenty of basics, and sadly can no longer fit into some of my very favorite statement pieces...including a cocktail dress I was saving for a “special occasion” and never wore. Learn from my mistake: wear your special stuff!

Constructing outfits with such a limited wardrobe was tricky. I wasn’t comfortable replacing everything right away lest I continued to gain weight (which I did, and am still doing), so I wore the same couple dresses all summer long. I was desperately bored. When autumn arrived and my weight gain slowed, I relied on my thrifting skills for some much-needed closet infusions.

My physical archetype and corresponding dressing strategies haven’t changed, but my shape has become an exaggerated version of itself. I’m now much more pear-shaped, which I adore, but I was surprised to find that many of my old outfit formulas no longer resonate with me. For example:

  • Belts used to be the perfect finishing touch for blouse and skirt combos, but now that my waist is wider and my hip shelf is even higher, I hardly wear them.

  • Give me all the bodycon silhouettes! I have so much hip and thigh volume that I don’t necessarily need to add more with a flared skirt, even though I still like them. Clingier shapes play up my curves more than they did XX lbs ago, so I’m having a lot of fun with them.

  • I’ve found myself drifting toward a more simple sensuality in detailing, rather than the more calculated aesthetic I once strove for. Light draping, relaxed florals, and simple jewelry are the sweet spot for me right now.

My style is still my style, and recognizable as such, but there’s been a very real shift in how I dress and what appeals to me.

I love my body’s new fullness and curves, and most importantly I cherish the happiness that spurred my weight gain in the first place. If embracing that happiness means making changes to the way I dress, that’s okay with me. And while living with a leaner wardrobe as I seek out quality replacements for outgrown pieces is sometimes dull, I’m ultimately fine with it, because at the end of the day, I know that personal style is an ongoing project. What worked for you five years or fifty pounds ago might not work for you now, and that’s okay.

Weight loss or gain is one of the primary reasons women seek my help with their wardrobes. If you’re not sure how to dress your new shape or you just want some help fine-tuning your look, I hope you’ll send me a message.