It’s been six months since your weight loss surgery. You’ve adjusted to the post-bariatric diet. You’re enjoying tasty high-protein, low carbohydrate foods and learning that small portions are satisfying.

Most days you’re fitting in 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, reaping the benefits of working out regularly. After years of looking, you’ve discovered the formula for weight loss: bariatric surgery followed by lifestyle changes.

How to shop for clothing after weight loss surgery.

It’s not easy, but it’s working. Week by week and month by month, your body shrinks while your confidence grows.

You’re going to need a whole new wardrobe. At first blush, that doesn’t sound half bad. You’ve been working hard to lose weight, and you deserve clothing that looks good.

There’s just one problem: Almost before you have the opportunity to wear a new outfit, it’s too big. After bariatric surgery, weight loss can be dramatic and swift. Some people drop pounds and sizes almost overnight.

Many people love shopping for clothing, but others would just as soon spend their time and money elsewhere. Whether you belong to the first group or the latter, it’s expensive to replenish your wardrobe continuously.

How to Shop for Clothes After Weight Loss Surgery

Immediately after bariatric surgery, you’ll begin losing weight. Some people lose rapidly at first, then continue to shed pounds gradually for several years. Because your body will continue to change in size for a long time, it’s smart to come up with a strategy for clothes shopping.

Here’s how to make your wardrobe dollar go a little farther after weight loss surgery

Shop In Your Closet

Do you have a great pair of jeans you haven’t worn in years? Most people hold on to a least a few items even after they no longer fit into them.

Many of us have clothes in multiple sizes buried in our closets or tucked away in drawers. If that describes you, organize your things. You’ll be getting progressively smaller, so group items of similar size and arrange them from biggest to smallest. They’ll be ready to wear as you lose weight.

When an item gets too large, give it away. You’re not going back, and you’ll want to make room for the new clothing you’ll need to buy.

Buy the Minimum

It’s tempting to buy too much when you start losing. After all, it’s exciting to see the results of your hard work. It may have been some time since you’ve enjoyed shopping. But resist the urge to fill your closet with new things. Buy no more than what you need until the next change in size. It won’t be long before you need to shop again.

While you shouldn’t buy too much while you’re losing weight, do purchase things you love. An item doesn’t have to be expensive or have a designer label to become a favorite.

Buy Practical Basics, But Splurge on Accessories

Basics are practical, versatile and are usually affordable and flattering. You can wear a simple black dress anywhere. A pair of dark pants and a basic top will always look good. If you crave color and style, splurge on a great looking tie, scarf, shoes or jewelry. These accessories will make you smile, and you can wear them no matter how much weight you lose.

Purchase For Your Current Size

You need clothing that you can wear now. Even though it’s a safe bet that you’ll soon go down a size, don’t buy for the future. If you’re between sizes, you can choose the smaller size as long as you’re comfortable wearing clothing that’s a close fit. The more flattering your clothing, the more confident you’ll feel. Clothes that fit well, no matter what your size, will always look good.

Consider Alterations

Find a tailor and get items altered as you lose weight. Garments can be taken in to accommodate a least a couple of sizes. Altering saves you from having to buy as often, and clothing looks better when it fits perfectly. Getting things fitted is particularly helpful if you wear tailored clothing, such as a blazer or business suit.

Embrace Versatile Pieces

Is there anyone who doesn’t love a little stretch built into their clothing? Most jeans and pants these days have a small amount of spandex in the fabric. Choose stretchy items that will fit even after you reduce down a couple of sizes. Leggings, for example, will fit reasonably well over a range of weights.

Also look for loose, flowing clothing. Tunics for women and relaxed tops for men look stylish through a couple of size changes. As you lose weight, belt the tunic or tuck in the shirt.

Take advantage of the current trend of athleisure wear. We’re not talking about an old dingy pair of sweatpants. Casual clothing that’s a hybrid between active and sportswear looks right in many settings, including some workplaces. Plus, athleisure wear is built for comfort and movement. Because they usually have and easy fit, they’ll look good as you lose weight.

If you need to wear a suit for work, you may be able to find separates with a traditional cut made from knit fabrics that will look good as you lose weight.

Shop Consignment and Thrift Stores

Consignment stores have some of the best buys around. Shops usually carry current fashions in good condition. While the clothing is used, it doesn’t show wear. You can also sell your too-big items on consignment. Drop off things and pick up some new items during the same trip.

Don’t forget about thrift stores. Many stores offer great clothing, some even with the tags still on them. As you shop, remember to pick up no more than what you need immediately. Prices are so low that it’s easy to buy too much.

For Women Only

A bra that fits properly is a must-have for comfort. A well-made bra can cost a lot, but it’s worth it if it imparts confidence. Make sure you have at least one that you love.

Organize a Clothing Exchange

If you’re in a support group for weight loss surgery, consider organizing a clothing exchange. Others in the group are no doubt going through the same thing as you. Set a time and place for the swap. Everyone should bring an item or two that’s in good shape.

Set ground rules. The swap will go more smoothly if everyone in the group knows what to expect. For example, let the group know that items should be almost like new, freshly laundered and in current styles. You might also want to decide in advance how many pieces each person can take.

Keeping clothing organized by size and gender to make it easy for people to find what they need. If clothing remains at the end of the swap, donate it to a charity.

Enjoy Yourself and Have Fun

After weight loss surgery, many things in your life will change. Most of the changes are positive. But, even good change is an adjustment. It will take time to get used to your new physique and the accompanying emotions. Shopping for new clothing is one way to celebrate your successful weight loss. Each graduation to a smaller size is a milestone that you can mark with a new piece of clothing. Even with the tools of bariatric surgery, most people have to work at weight loss. Reward yourself by dressing as the confident and beautiful person you are,

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