Vanessa: I went from frumpy to fashionista!
Weight loss: 4st
Was: 16st 8.5lb
Now: 12st 8.5lb
"Now, for the first time, I’m trying to find my style and choose things that really suit me."
Clothes were for covering up! I used to shop in just four shops – the ones that do plus-size clothes – and wore outfits meant for women 20 years older! My clothes were all about covering up, not looking stylish.
Now, for the first time, I’m trying to find my style and choose things that really suit me. I love colour and my wardrobe is pretty mixed. I adore shift dresses, and can now wear things like trousers and skinny jeans and heels.
Amazing discoveries I’ve made some amazing discoveries on my weight loss journey (yes, I have a great pair of legs!). But I’m still figuring out my new identity and what suits me, and my changing body shape is still being defined.
It’s becoming clear that I don’t really have a waist – my body is more oblong shape. I’m still quite conscious of my upper arms, too, so I prefer dresses with sleeves. And maxi dresses make me look like a sack of potatoes. Other than that, I’m up for trying anything!
The style tips your changing body needs now
1. Go for tops or dresses in slightly thicker, stretchy jersey fabrics that easily smooth over lumps and bumps to fit and flatter your figure. And don’t be afraid to go a size up - rather than squeezing into your ‘correct’ size, as every shop is different.
2. When you’re in the process of losing weight, it makes sense to invest in some versatile, ultra-flattering tailored pieces for work, such as black trousers and pencil skirts, which will see you through to goal.
3. Make a statement: a chunky necklace, metallic bag or glossy court shoe is all you need to give you – and your outfit – a style lift. Snap up a necklace at Accessorize or Zara and wear it with everything from a tailored jacket to a laid-back tee.
4. Vanessa says her ‘trouble’ area is her middle, but a peplum top teamed with a waist-cinching belt will create an hourglass shape in an instant. Look for peplum dresses and tops from ASOS, Debenhams and Tu at Sainsbury’s.
5. Don’t be afraid to play with colour or pattern. Pairing a red or cobalt blue with neutral colours such as black, white and grey, makes them much more wearable.
6. Say ‘so long’ to boring basics. When it comes to t-shirts, go for three-quarter length sleeves to flatter your arms, or a scoop neck to show off your collarbone.