My relationship with fashion has had its ups and downs which, not surprisingly, seem to have a direct correlation with the ups and downs I’ve had on the scale. While I was losing ninety-six pounds, I kept my clothing purchases to the bare minimum and I kept assuring myself that I wasn’t going to be that size for long, so there was no point in investing a lot of money. I promised myself that my big reward, when I hit my goal range, was to splurge on a new wardrobe. I will admit that, even when I hit my goal weight, it was difficult for me to pick styles that highlighted my new figure. I was simply used to buying loose fitting clothes in dark colors, trying to cover up.
My friend, Ashley Richardson, a former supermodel, always teases me when I wear something too loose, and she grabs the extra fabric and shows me how much better the outfit would look if it was more tailored to my body. When a woman who has graced the pages of Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle, and countless other magazines gives you fashion advice, you stop and listen!
I have learned that you tend to take on the shape of your clothing and wearing baggier clothes makes you appear… well… bigger! Steer clear of excess material because it will accentuate the appearance of your size. Some other tips I would suggest are to stay away from prints and details that hover around your hips or other problem areas. Wear fitted pants with a blousy top, or more generously cut pants with a snug top, but don’t try to wear both together. Contrast is the name of the game… think long and seamless! Use statement jewelry to draw the eye upwards. Consignment shopping can help stretch your wardrobe budget while you’re navigating your way down the scale.
When I was preparing to do a photoshoot for some “after” photos for a feature on Pop Sugar Fitness, a friend told me about Colette Chretien, a talented designer and founder of La Fille Colette. When I saw the collection of La Fille Colette’s dresses, I knew I had found something special. To my delight, La Fille Colette is based in Boston and Colette’s mission is to create fun, sustainable, and ethically made dresses that can take a woman from day to night or desk to dance floor.
When I got the opportunity to sit down and talk with Colette, I was very impressed with her commitment to not only creating a clothing line for the contemporary woman who embraced both strength and femininity, but also to opposing the terribly unfair labor practices that exist in the fashion industry. La Fille Colette is ethically and locally manufactured.
Colette very graciously agreed to let me model some of her dresses for my pictures and sent several for me to try. When I first saw them my initial reaction was, “I could never pull this look off.” I found that being overweight made me want to avoid fashions that drew attention to myself and I generally avoided having my picture taken.
Colette assured me that the dresses would be fabulous and I’m glad she coaxed me into trying them on. For the first photoshoot, I selected the Cleo dress.
I asked Colette how she went about designing her dresses and she said that she tries to think about how they would look on a real woman. Colette felt strongly that she wanted to create dresses for women of all ages, shapes and sizes. She uses color blocking to create very flattering looks. Putting black in areas that many women consider “trouble spots” makes the image recede so it’s not the first place that your eye goes. The designs show off your best assets, while hugging curves to create an hourglass image.
I found the ponte fabric of La Fille Colette’s dresses very complimentary. Colette explained that her styles use fabric that are not only comfortable and packable, but figure flattering! The fabric is substantial enough to be figure hugging and smoothing without showing every lump or bump. In addition to the color blocking styles, La Fille Colette’s latest collection includes an art inspired print that not only makes the wearer stand out with its bold, vibrant colors, but also has a camouflaging effect on any areas you may not want to accentuate. The latest collection is made from a stretch crepe fabric which is comfortable and wrinkle resistant.
Colette gave some of her tips for dressing to look your best:
*Embrace the body you have. Dress for that shape in a way that will make you feel fabulous and you’ll be amazed at how your confidence shines through.”
*Try an A-line classic design as seen here in the Madeline dress. An A-line dress is a flattering look for your waistline.” (And she adds, “It’s fun to twirl at every age!”)
*Most importantly, wear what makes you happy! When you feel great about what you’re wearing, it shows!”
To view the entire La Fille Colette Collection click here: https://lafillecolette.com/
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La Fille Colette offers free shipping and returns from their online store, to make it easy for people to try on in their own homes.