David C asks: After promising my wife (and my doctor and my tailor) that I would lose some weight, I’ve finally started to do something about it with the help of a nutritionist and a personal trainer. I’ve been losing about a pound a week for the last three months and I’m down two holes in my favorite belt. My wife says I now have “back pleats” in my suit pants, so my well-tailored clothes don’t look so well tailored these days. I’m committed to my short term goal to lose 10% of my body weight, so when I’ve lost 24 pounds – halfway there– I thought about buying a week’s worth of new clothes that fit the new me. But I’m afraid that if I keep losing weight these new clothes will end up looking like what I’m wearing now – plus I’m not sure if I should have things altered now or wait until I’ve lost more weight. Any ideas?
TOM Talks: First of all, congratulations for losing weight. Sounds like you’re on your way to looking better and living longer. I’m sure your wife is thrilled! The good news is our clothing has the allowance for up to a 30 pound weight variance. Typically ten pounds is equivalent to about a 1”. So that is 3” (or 30 pounds) to work with on your weight loss. Once you surpass 30 pounds, the suit needs to go.
Here’s a strategy: Now that you have lost the first 5% of your body weight (e.g. 240 down to 228), plan to alter 5 of your favorite outfits – clothes that are relatively new and not on their way out of fashion. I see men wearing their bigger clothes all the time and have no idea how they stay motivated. Once you get these outfits altered, people start to notice and this will keep you excited about moving closer to your goal. This will also tide you over and since it’s likely that only the trousers will need adjusting, the alterations will not be expensive. When you hit 10% of your body weight lost (e.g. 240 down to 216), then go ahead and have your 3 of the original 5 (favorite )outfits re-altered to fit your new size — then order 2 new outfits to fit the new you (be sure and get re-measured top to bottom). Here’s your opportunity to update styles and get new clothing with a trimmer silhouette in the coat and flat front (no pleats) trousers. When you finally hit your goal weight (e.g. 240 down to 200), I recommend you celebrate with a special trip/outing with your wife. Be sure to give me 5 weeks advanced notice so we’ll have time to make you a new outfit for the event. Now is when you should order 3 to 5 new outfits using your new “fighting trim” measurements, and also re-alter the two new outfits you purchased when you hit your 10% goal. You’ll end up with a good rotation of new clothes that fit you properly, and your styles will be up to date.