Dressing Well at Any Size

How can I dress well for the size I'm at now and not have to buy a whole new wardrobe if my weight goes up or down?
Read on for tips on how to make your existing wardrobe work and ideas for pieces that can help you through transitions.

There are many reasons why we might wear clothes that don't fit or look the greatest on us. Maybe there's been a recent addition to your family -- accompanied by nine months of weight gain and weight loss -- or maybe the stress of life has got you lingering above or below your normal weight.  Perhaps you've been consciously trying to lose weight. Illness might have caused unexpected weight gain or loss. Or, for some of us, it's been a case of holding on to dreams of another time in our lives and not accepting the size we are now. Presuming your body-morph isn't finite, but is simply a temporary stage, there are plenty of little tricks you can use to alter the clothes you already have hanging in your closet so you don't have to buy an entirely new wardrobe. However, if you've decided to fit your clothing to the body you are in now there are also tips you can use to ensure you are looking your confident best at any size.

1. Find a great tailor or seamstress! A whiz with a needle and thread can transform a wardrobe and make clothes you never thought would work for you fit like a dream. If you are transitioning sizes, let out your seams! If you're a DIYer you can easily let out a few seams here and there on jeans and pants and jackets. It's Just Too Small has a great forum of tips and examples to make sure you do this correctly. You can also simply take it to your tailor or nearest dry cleaner for easy fixes for a few bucks.

2. Get creative and let your accessories shine! Use scarves, shoes, necklaces and belts to create a new look. Whether you are making fewer pieces work while your size changes over time or you want to accentuate your confident style and great-fitting fashion when dressing for your current size, accessories can be your friend. Find great tips for accessorizing for your body at The Magic of Accessorizing.

3. Think outside the box! Even after you've given birth you can continue to wear a Maternity Belly Band. But maybe you didn't have a baby -- who cares! Use maternity bands over too-small jeans and pants to extend their life and your wardrobe, keep loose fitting pants up and to smooth out your mid-section. Just make sure you wear a top or blouse long enough to disguise it if you want it to be your fashion secret.

4. Go beyond all black! Wear darker colors but expand your palette -- think navy, chocolate brown, deep purples. And accessorize with a pop of color here and there as a focal point and visual punch.

5. Take a day off! Sometimes we just want to wear clothes that we love or feel comfortable in regardless of perfection of fit. Or we might want to make an item in our wardrobe work when it is no longer exactly the size we are at this moment. I love a big long, tailored jacket for those days I just don't want to be bothered with worrying about bulges or holding it in. Wear all dark underneath or keep it buttoned for a chic tailored look all day! Alternately, here are a few garments to keep on hand for those in-between phases to keep you looking great no matter what.

caftan

1. Caftan. A pretty caftan paired with gold flat sandals and simple gold jewelry is always chic even if you're feeling less-than. Shown: Natori $225 is on the higher end of the spectrum, but if you do a little research you will find many to suit your budget. Also, one may be splurge-worthy if it's timeless.

shift dress

2. Shift dress. Whether you wear it belted or straight, a shift dress is always in style. Pair it with heels, flats or wedges and add a few long necklaces to top it off. Add a pair of black leggings underneath on a colder day. Shown: Donna Ricco shift dress $138

boyfriend jeans

3. Boyfriend jeans. Great for those days you don't want to feel anything tight or touching your body. They hang low and can be dressed up or down. Pair them with a long tank and a cardigan with flats or heels for an easy and casual look. Shown: VS Ex-boyfriend jean $69.50

leggings

4. Black leggings. Easy. Comfy. Dress 'em up or down. Shown: VS Yoga Shaper legging $29.50

shapewear

5. Shapewear. A little shapewear can help make pieces you love in your wardrobe work especially when your size might be transitioning or when you are building your wardrobe to fit your current shape. Shown: Naomi and Nicole $44

What are your favorite ways to dress well for your size and shape? How do you make your wardrobe work through transitions?

For more on transition dressing and accessorizing please visit:

5 Plus-Size Clothing Tips for Job Interviews on a Dime and How to Bring Your Look to Life with Accessories

BlogHer Style Editor Maegan Tintari {@loveMaegan} is a Fashion, Home & Lifestyle blogger in Los Angeles. Go to ...love Maegan for your daily dose of inspiration!

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