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                                                                                  The Gown Doctor (since 1982)


  Diana My Tran, published author of The Vietnamese Cookbook and The Asian Diet

I have been in the dressmaking/bridal business for more than thirty years.  During that time, I have had the privilege of meeting many clients of all races and shapes.  In the dressing room, while doing the fitting, we always have a chance to chat.  The most interesting subject, or I should say the words that are most often expressed, are "I have gained weight; how can I lose weight and stay in shape?" Frankly, I'm not a doctor or plastic surgeon, so I can't give them the shape they wish.  I can just make the clothes fit right and flatter their figure the best I can with my expertise.  Most of the time, I can "get away with murder" and tell them the truth if they have gained a few pounds.  Somehow, they tolerate my being to honest.  Working mostly with women, my main concern is to make them look good and feel beautiful in their clothes.  Because I do the fittings, I notice right away any change in their figure, so I can keep tabs on them.  Here are some tips:

1. Make a habit of trying on your close-fitting dressy/evening wear once or twice a month.  This is a fun way to keep tabs on your shape, and it will either alert you to shape up, if necessary, or to feel good about yourself if you like the shape you see in the mirror.  It will also help you built up your self-control and self-esteem.

2. Don't be intimidated to have your measurements taken every one in a while.  I have seen clients come to my store who hate to be measured. Face the truth and try to work on areas that need it instead of avoiding the truth.

3. Set realistic goals when losing weight.  One size down at the time is reasonable.  Keep in mind that it takes time to loose weight and stay in shape, so be patient.

4. Don't try to wear your clothes too tight or too loose.  If they're too tight, they may show flaws, but if they're too loose, they may make you look bigger than you are.  While you are in the process of losing weight, it is important to have a few pieces that fit right, preferably separates. Alter your wardrobe gradually as you go along.  Seeing your progress is great for your self-esteem.

5. Wear styles and colors that compliment you.  Have your colors evaluated professionally.  Darker fabrics help to slenderize, and I would prefer plain subtle colors instead of busy prints.

6. Keep up with your looks - when you look good, you'll feel good and vice versa.

Helping Brides and Bridesmaids loose weight and stay slim

Dealing with brides is really a challenge.  Sensitive and nervous, they always expect me to make them the most beautiful bride on their special day.  That is quite understandable, but it's not always an easy task.  I come up with a plan that I lay out when we first meet.  I tell them, "I'll make you a beautiful dream gown, and you'll work on your weight."  I try to help them choose the most appropriate design to compliment their body shape.  We also discuss their goal.  If they need time to reach their goal, I am more than happy to give them fittings very close to the wedding date. I also keep tabs on their progress after every fitting and give them a true report on their weight loss.  So far this plan seems to help them control their weight and shape for the wedding date, and it makes my job much easier.

Your Wedding Gown or Bridesmaid Dress

1. Plan ahead and ask yourself: "If I plan to lose an average of two pounds per week, how many weeks will it take me to reach my goal?  Is this in my time line?"  Keep in mind that it takes time to get in shape.  The more weight you want to lose, the more time it takes.  Three to six months is a reasonable span of time to make progress in weight loss.  Keep records!  Your food record should list the time and the amount of food you eat.

2. After you decide how much weight you want to lose, see if it's realistic.  If you have a gown custom made, meet with your dressmaker as soon as you can be measured.  Ask for a copy of the measurements to keep on file.  Discuss the time the dressmaker needs to work on your dress.  Mention your diet plan and how much weight you're trying to lose and ask if the dressmaker can work with you throughout the process.  Keep track of your measurements and weight and let the dressmaker know your progress - five to eight pounds make a difference of one to two inches in alteration.  The final fitting should be at least two weeks before the wedding date.

3. If you have purchased a gown already, make an appointment to meet with your dressmaker and have the first fitting.  Mention your diet plan and ask the dressmaker how much time he or she needs for alterations.  Arrange the final fitting and the pick-up date for two weeks before the wedding.

FOR HEALTHY COOKING, we are offering Vietnamese cooking class starting January 2010. 




Diana's Couture & Bridal- 1624 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20007

The Gown Doctor - 4202 Gallows Road - Annandale, VA 22003

Fax: 202-333-5689

Email: mytran3@gmail.com

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