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
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
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
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
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.
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