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The M Dash

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What to Wear if You Recently Gained or Lost Weight

Due to popular demand, we updated our guide to dressing after a size change with new, spring-ready recommendations.

By Madeleine Kim

To say that the last few years have been full of changes would be an understatement. As a society and as individuals, we’ve been through so much, and it should come as no surprise that many women have noticed changes in their body shape and size. Since the beginning of the pandemic, our stylists have been working with an increasing number of women who have recently gained or lost weight and are trying to adjust their wardrobes accordingly.

Don’t be fooled by the diet industry: The fact that it’s getting safer to go outside and see people doesn’t mean you need to mold your body to fit a certain standard. That being said, I know firsthand how frustrating it can be to change sizes and find that your favorite pieces no longer fit. So, I asked a few M.M. teammates to share their advice for anyone who’s changed sizes recently.

Embrace Dressing for Your Shape

“Fluctuating between different sizes is completely normal. Make an effort to dress for your current shape and size—not the size you used to be or the size you want to be. There are pieces out there for everyone—we just have to take the time to look!”—Chris, Senior Stylist

Our stylists have always endorsed understanding and dressing for your body type—figuring out what your shape is and celebrating it by finding pieces that make you feel your best (or looking for those unicorn-like pieces that magically work on everyone). We appreciate the ease of a one-and-done dress, so here are a few we love for each body type (unsure about your shape? Learn more about body types here):

  • For pear shapes: The Malala dress has a swingy A-line shape that offers plenty of room through the hips.
  • For oval shapes: The floaty Rashmeen dress offers an adjustable sash and elegant vibe.
  • For hourglass shapes: The Constance dress has a tailored cut and easy-yet-elevated fabric.
  • For straight shapes: The Cassandra dress adds dimension to your look, thanks to pockets at the hips and an elastic at the back waist that creates shape.
  • For heart shapes: The Tippy dress has room through the bust and plenty of stretch.

Wear What Makes You Happy

“Clothes are made to fit you—not the other way around. It’s so easy to get caught up on numbers (numbers on the scale, numerical sizing, etc.), but the truth is that confidence looks good in every shape and size (and separates a head-turning outfit from the rest). Your size is fluctuating? Good—that means you’re living! Move in ways that make you happy, eat all the foods that make your taste buds tingle, and breathe in the beauty of now.” —Jordan, Experience Operations Coordinator

It’s so true—when you’re wearing clothes you absolutely love, it shows. Focus on colors, fabrics, and silhouettes that bring you joy and make you feel most like yourself, and the confidence will follow. I always feel extra chic in gold tones, so I know I’ll be reaching for the Leo pullover in honeycomb this spring. Or maybe you want to show off and feel a little sexy with something like the scoop-neck Monica top or turn heads with the statement-making Talulah pants. The Lisey cami in city lights would also be a wise choice, thanks to its lively colors and luxurious (plus machine-washable!) silk fabric. If you want to really treat yourself, go for the Porter—a stretchy knit jacket that’s so special and timeless, we think of it as an heirloom in the making.

Start Small and Build

“As someone who has fluctuated during Covid, I would say that if you need to replace some pieces, start small so it doesn’t feel too intimidating or expensive. Also, enjoy the opportunity to get something new, and be excited to wear it!”—Anna, Senior E-Commerce Merchandising Associate

I’ve personally experienced that overwhelmed feeling in the midst of a size change, wondering how I’ll afford to replace all my wardrobe essentials. But Anna is right—it’s all about starting small, focusing on a few versatile pieces that you can wear often, and getting excited to try something new. Pants are usually the first thing to feel too loose or tight when you’re changing sizes, so that’s where I’d start. The Archie jeans would be a great choice, because they’re easy to dress up and down for whatever you have planned (yes, you can even wear them to the office!). On the cost-saving front, you could also stock up on marked-down styles, like the comfy Rogala stretch culottes or the sleek Anderson pants. For tops, you can never go wrong with a polished striped T-shirt, a silk button-down that fits really well, or a lightweight sweater.

Written By

Madeleine Kim

Madeleine Kim is the Senior Brand Manager at M.M.LaFleur, where she started out as a stylist. She loves developing styling-focused content and creating newsletters that bring the M.M. community together.

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