What to wear when you've gained weight

I recently heard someone refer to jeans as “hard pants,” which made me literally laugh out loud. We’ve obviously been wearing a lot of “soft pants,” i.e. leggings and sweatpants, the last few months, and if you’ve been eating and drinking like I have, the thought of putting on anything without a lot of give may seem daunting. So today I’m not only sharing the most flattering (and comfy!) pair of jeans I’ve put on in ages, but also how to gloss over the fact that you may have put on a little weight. Yes, you should love yourself at whatever weight you are—and I do—but I think it’s also important to feel confident because you look good. So here are my tips on how to accentuate the positive. 

Pick your favorite feature
Here’s where that whole self-love thing comes in. You should have (at least) one part of your body that you love. It could be your neck, your waist, your wrists, whatever; mine happens to be my legs. You want the focus to be on that feel-good area, so the key item you’re wearing should emphasize that, with a good fit, attention-grabbing colors, or even cutouts or bare skin. Normally I wouldn’t recommend trying on new denim when you’re not at your best, but these Mott + Bow jeans arrived after I’d already had a glass of wine, so I decided to give them a whirl. I will admit, I was unexpectedly blown away by how flattering and comfortable they are. (They even got a “sexy” from Sean, which is good, because he hates the last pair of jeans I bought.) These are their Mom Jean fit, which is really more of a high-waisted slim-straight cut—they’re more fitted than you’d expect from the name, but they’re not skintight, and both of those things are fine with me. These are indeed “hard pants” in that they’re denim, but they do have stretch, and in the perfect ratio so that you feel held in without being suffocated. I was a little wary of wearing a lighter-wash jean when I was not feeling my best, but in this case, your eye is drawn to my legs, which is exactly what I was going for. For reference, this fit runs true to size—in spite of my extra poundage, I’m in my usual 28. 


Neutralize the rest
Did you even notice I was wearing a shirt and blazer? It’s ok if you did—they’re two of my favorites. You last saw this Frame blazer with a printed dress, and while this look has a totally different vibe, it’s proof that it goes with pretty much anything. The key, of course, is getting a blazer that fits you properly—if it’s too small or too large, both extremes have the same outcome, which is to make you look larger than you are. The perfect-fitting blazer should skim your body like a gentle breeze, and you should be able to layer a thin sweater underneath without affecting the fit. If you can afford it, get yours tailored (my sleeves are actually a bit long, and I’ve been meaning to take it to the tailor). I always advise buying the best quality you can afford; luckily for you, this one is on major sale at the moment. 

I tend to gain weight around my midsection and I’m busty anyway, so black-on-black felt like the right choice to make for my upper body. Black absorbs light and makes things appear smaller, so other than hiding dirt, yes, there’s a reason it’s such a popular color for clothing. Wearing black on black feels like a very ‘90s thing to do, but the ‘90s are back in fashion anyway, so everything that’s old is new again. Speaking of old, I’ve had this Equipment silk shirt for a gazillion years and I like to leave the top few buttons unbuttoned—it makes my neck appear longer and creates an overall elongating effect. I’m in a small—these shirts run a bit large. 


Put on your high heels
Full disclosure, I can’t remember the last time I wore heels not for a photo shoot. I do hope to wear them again soon IRL—I have a lot of fancy shoes that are wasting away in my closet—and that brings me to a universal truth, which is that heels make you look thinner. Let’s say you’re 5’ 7” like me and weigh 130 pounds, which is nowhere near what I weigh, but wouldn’t that be nice? If you put on a 3-inch heel, now you’re 5’ 10” but you still weigh 130 pounds. That’s like an instant reduction in BMI and a fantastic visual trick, and even if you wear a one-inch heel, every little bit helps. Now, I’m not shaming you into wearing heels—I have legitimately been wearing nothing but sneakers and Birkenstocks for the last four months—but if you want an instant lift (literally!), they’re the quickest way to do it. And I will say, this Vionic pair that I’m wearing is incredibly comfortable and true to size. And they’re on sale too! 


Laura B said...

Jeans as hard pants is a hilarious term! A blazer is a great way to flatter and create shape. I tend to gain weight right in my stomach too so blazers are my go-to!

Shelbee on the Edge said...

Yes, hard pants is a hilarious description for jeans! I love this outfit. Jeans with black and a pop of color always works as does jeans and a blazer. I really like your black button down top. So cool! And those sandals are adorable. Thanks for linking up!


Mica said...

I've never heard jeans referred to as hard pants before but it made me giggle! these are great jeans on you and I love the blazer with them! Once it warms up a bit I should get my blazers out again - I'm not going to be in the office for a while so I may as well make the most of it and go a little formal for the school run, haha! Why not!

Hope that your week is going well :) It's a cold and wintery one here!

Away From Blue

Jessica Jannenga said...

The only blazer I could wear now would be linen! I am sweating like crazy in thei NC heat! Love your black blazer with the jeans ans the pretty sandals. The peach color is pretty! I worked with Mott and Bow and they have some great jeans!
jess xx