By Madeleine Kates

As we all revisit our work clothes after two years of lockdown, some may find that their office wardrobe doesn’t fit the same as it did pre-pandemic. For some, their clothes may be baggy, and for others, they may be a bit snug. Everyone wants to look their best, but dressing for a new body type can be daunting. Fortunately, there’s a style and unique look for everyone, and this may be a great opportunity to try something new.

Having worked in retail, and after experiencing a life-changing illness that impacted my body, here are some tips I have found to be helpful when refreshing your closet and reinventing your look.

Colors and Patterns
Finding colors and prints that complement your skin tone is an easy way to start. No matter how nice the cut of a garment, if it’s not the right color, it’s not going to be flattering. Think about colors that you enjoy wearing and reach for frequently. They likely make you look good, and by extension, feel good. For prints, pay attention to the size and orientation of the pattern, as it can draw attention to certain areas of the body.

After finding your colors, think about what physical features you would like to accent or downplay. Areas to consider for a flattering fit are hips, waist, chest, and shoulders. Your overall look should be balanced, highlighting one feature in particular.

Don’t stress if an item fits everyplace, except for the sleeves or length. Most clothing can be altered, transforming off-the-rack into something custom. A good tailor or seamstress will know what looks are current, and can adjust your garment accordingly.

Think about the season or event. A wool suit is not the best for a beach wedding. Modify a look by adding something such as a nice jacket, to make sure you’re comfortable, and seasonally appropriate. And, remember that foundation garments exist for a reason and can transform an entire outfit. Undergarments need to fit just as well as the rest of your outfit, and if you shop at the right store, your fitter has been properly trained to help guide you.

Dressing for a new body type does not need to be stressful. Be ready as the world opens up, and do the necessary prep to look your best.

Madeleine Kates is a Senior at Niagara University studying Life Sciences, Psychology, and Environmental Science.