Thinking about what to wear while you’re in the process of losing weight or losing inches can be complicated. In the case of recent weight gain, deciding how to handle a closet full of perfectly good clothes that no longer fit perfectly can also be discouraging and defeating. Unlike celebrities, whose lifestyles we’re bombarded with on a daily basis, the idea of calling off work and social activities while a bevy of experts directs and cajoles your body and psyche back into shape after a prolonged lapse in judgment or leap off the moderation bandwagon, isn’t an option for most working people. And while it’s tempting to consider closing up shop after recent transgressions until your more perfect self re-emerges, the fact is that life goes on and most of us need to get clothed and out the door on a daily basis regardless of our current self-image.
As somebody who has been in the fashion industry as a mass-market designer and merchandiser for nearly 20 years - think Macy’s, JCPenney’s (fashion isn’t all Gucci and Chanel, after all, somebody has to create the clothes that most of us buy at the mall) - I am interested in the fashion and lifestyle choices of everyday consumers. How do trends reach and affect the average man and woman on the street? Better yet, how do we adapt to changes in fashion when our own body and self-image is in a state of flux? And how do we go about making choices that enhance a healthy self-image when the available options are nearly limitless?
Over the course of my career, I have been compelled to do more than an average amount of thinking about body types, adaptation of the latest trends, and what real people are actually wearing. I have also seen a myriad of fashion influences come and go. And have also observed ideas that often looked good on paper fail to make it into the consciousness of the consuming public. Most people may not, for example, remember the “skant,” but I do. Unlike the skort, a skirt/shorts hybrid for women that found it’s place in everyday wardrobes, the skant, a skirt/pants combination, died a swift and appropriate death after gracing the physiques of fashion victims for about only two weeks. On the other hand, I have also seen some remarkable advances occur that have changed the way we dress. Pre-worn denim and the addition of stretch lycra to tailored woven fabrics are just a few innovations from the last fifteen years or so that have made clothes better and more wearable. In addition to my professional expertise, I also offer the perspective of a middle-aged woman who has had to personally adjust to a changing physique and can attest to the fact that life was definitely simpler from the point of view of a consistent size 6.
So whether you’re losing weight, toning up, battling a middle-aged bulge, or have had the realization that you need to work out regularly to maintain your ideal weight, dressing appropriately to fit your evolving life and physique can be a genuine minefield. We all look into our closets every morning with the inevitable question of what-to-wear hanging overhead. When it’s accompanied by an evolving self-image the question – no pun intended – becomes weightier and sometimes fraught with insecurity. Thus, it is my intention to use this blog to untangle some of fashion’s myths and to offer solace, advice, and ideas to both the fashioned inspired and the trend weary. I plan to look closely at fashion with your health, wellness, and pocketbooks in mind and to offer some insider insight into how to navigate the myriad of available choices in the marketplace, while considering the real-life problems that average working consumers face, and particularly, some of the unique problems that occur when your body may be changing shape.
Call me your average fashion adopter and devotee. I’m always thinking and wondering about what, how, and why we wear what we wear. And when I’m not, I’m often considering some of the other consuming choices and trends that affect our daily lives. Stay tuned for ideas coming soon on how to look thinner with items that are most likely already in your closet as well as thoughts on what to wear while you’re engaged in a weight loss program—and much, much more.
Marcia Germ is a writer, designer and merchandiser and has worked in the fashion and retail industries for almost 20 years. She has lived in Los Angeles, Seattle, Minneapolis/ St. Paul, and Charleston, South Carolina. She is an avid follower of lifestyle trends and consumer habits. She holds a BFA in Design from The Minneapolis College of Art and Design and is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota.
6/15/2010 at 6:07 PM