Your wardrobe, if you intend to build and develop it over time, will be a significant investment. Regardless of if you add hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of clothes and accessories to it each year, it’s natural to want to protect your investment (and your style!) over time. Ideally, each year’s additions are balanced with minimal throw-away.
Therefore, I’d like to show you different ways to maintain your size, and as a result keep your wardrobe and protect your wallet from waste.
Stay The Same Size
That being said, there is ONE particular thing you can do to preserve your ability to wear, build, and develop over time that will greatly overshadow even the most painstaking care of your clothes.
That one thing is: stay the same size
I know, this is a tough one. It’s rarely easy to stay the same size, and there are many things outside of one’s control that can affect it. Furthermore, you won’t hear me advocate that there is ONE size that should be held up as an ideal. Quite the opposite; men come in all different shapes and sizes, and how you present yourself regarding your style is more important. When I say “stay the same size,” I am specifically referring to the size which you think you can maintain over time and the size in which you buy your clothes.
A few months ago, we were contacted by the company SculpSure®, that helps you to remove belly fat and at first, I marked the email as spam because it seemed too good to be true. However, the company persisted and so I took a closer look at it. Once I realized it was cleared by the FDA, we decided to give their treatment a try. The results were as promised and I reduced my love handles significantly, find out how I did it and see my before after pictures.
How I Try To Maintain My Wardrobe
In my case, I can attest to the challenge of maintaining a certain weight, for the purposes of my health as well as fitting into my wardrobe. I’ve invested a considerable amount of time and effort into building my wardrobe, and I still reach for things I bought ten years ago because I practice what I preach – as in, I buy so that I can wear something indefinitely. My wife can certainly attest to my unwillingness to throw things away because I see each piece or accessory as having a specific long-term function in my wardrobe. Discarding something means that I wasted my money, and I wasted a resource which is not great for the environment.
I want to avoid both as much as possible. Some throw away is unavoidable; collars wear out, or a stain ruins a good sweater, but those occurrences are to be expected.
Since I began building a wardrobe around 2001, I’ve gained weight. I went from being a poor student that only used a bike to get around to a small business owner that sits at a desk all day. At one point my weight gain was nearly 25 pounds, and some of my favorite garments were getting tight. I once even split the seam of the seat of my pants and had to go back into the house to change!
As a result, I’ve actively been looking for ways to maintain my size, and therefore my ability to wear my wardrobe. I’ve tried diets, bouts of intense exercise, and cutting out entire food groups, which had a temporary effect. So, if you are like me and want the maximum long-term benefit for the money you spend on your wardrobe with minimal waste, then read on.
DON’T DO THESE to Maintain Your Size & Wardrobe
- DON’T just rely on alterations to resize garments as your size changes. This technique will only take you so far. In fact, most RTW garments these days have almost no extra fabric in the seams to cut costs. Vintage and bespoke garments will often have a more (about an inch or two) of room to let out pants and jackets. Alterations are essential to get the fit right and can be made a few times to a garment, but if you constantly have to let out your pants at the alterations tailor, it will cost you a lot of money, and the trousers do not improve.
- DON’T buy “goal” size clothing and then try to diet and exercise your way to that size. While “goal” clothing may be an incentive for some, most men will end up with a garment that will never fit them. As such it takes up closet space and is a waste of your hard-earned money.
- DON’T Settle for wearing too-tight or too-loose clothing. Now, admittedly, you may not be able to avoid this entirely. If your size changes suddenly, you may have to wear some loose garments until you have them altered. However, if you have been squeezing into a too-tight or a swimming in a too-loose wardrobe for six months and your weight has stabilized, then it is time to reassess your wardrobe and your size goals. Similarly to buying “goal” clothing, it can be unrealistic (not to mention unflattering) to continue wearing ill-fitting clothing month after month. Make a reasonable plan to attain a properly fitting wardrobe based on your actual needs.
- DON’T go overboard to fit into a certain size. Some people use diet pills, over-exercise, or even drugs as a means to achieve a certain weight or size. Such behaviors are likely to have serious adverse side effects in the long run or do permanent damage to your health.
DO’s That Help To Maintain Your Size & Wardrobe
This list is intended only to cover the elements that are within the control of most people. Metabolism, certain health conditions, injuries, frequent travel, or a demanding work schedule are just some of the things that can challenge a person to maintain their weight. In fact, the average adult gains 1-2 pounds per year over time, which means that vigilance is important no matter what.
With that in mind, I am not an expert in weight or size maintenance, but I’m a clothes horse that has struggled with maintaining my weight and size and I’ve found a few things to keep in mind as you work towards your goal size and wardrobe. In my case, I’ve had to do MOST of these things, at the same time, but everyone is different.
- Eat a healthy diet. This suggestion goes without saying, but I realize it can be a frustrating one nevertheless. What does a “healthy diet” really mean? First things first, the word “diet” can be used to mean more than one thing. It can mean a short-term style of eating taken on with the express purpose of losing weight, or it can be a broad term the describes what you regularly eat, without a certain time frame in mind. A healthy “diet”, in this case, refers to what you typically eat. It’s been shown that temporary diets rarely lead to permanent weight loss since after the diet most people return to their original eating habits and simply gain back the weight, or more. Extreme diets often cause a metabolic slowdown, which is another reason they don’t work in the long run. Instead, make healthy incremental changes to your overall diet, such as increasing whole fruits and vegetables, switching to whole grains, and reducing meat, sugar, and processed foods.
- Eat slowly and mindfully. Even though it’s a simple trick, eating slowly and deliberately can help reduce the amount of food you eat. It certainly helped me and had a huge impact on my weight, more so than exercising! Basically, food is the gas in our gas tank. With a car, you can’t fill in more gas into the tank. With our bodies, you can, but that excess is transformed into fat. Our bodies need 20 minutes to “catch up” with what we’ve eaten, which is why many of us have experienced the feeling of being overly full only when the meal is over. If you find it challenging to change the pace at which you eat, try putting down your silverware between each bite and engage in a conversation, that will really help.
- Use smaller plates. Many studies have shown that most people are terrible at judging the number of calories they eat. Restaurants make this particularly difficult, but eating at home can also cause a similar issue. We tend to eat what is put in front of us, and we eat even more when extra food is in sight. Large plates create an optical illusion that results in food looking smaller when surrounded by large amounts of empty space. Instead, serve yourself conservatively on a small plate, like a salad plate, eat slowly and mindfully, and leave the leftovers in the kitchen out of sight.
- Be aware of a slowing metabolism. Like I said before, the average person will see a pound or two a year creep on during adulthood. One potential reason for this is the general slowing of metabolism that most people experience as they age. Minor adjustments may need to be made each year to address this.
- Set realistic goals. So you’ve gained some weight since college? Welcome to the club. It may be time to accept the “new normal.” Getting back to your 22-year-old weight may not be a realistic goal with a hectic work schedule, a family, or a demanding grad school program. Your metabolism and your lifestyle have changed, so set a realistic goal that you can maintain with a reasonable amount of effort. Workout 7 days a week? Probably not reasonable.
- Exercise regularly. Like eating a healthy diet, “exercise regularly” can be frustratingly ambiguous advice. Exercise is one of the most beneficial things you can do to affect your overall health, so there are many reasons to up your activity. One idea is to change how you commute. It may not be possible for you to commute via bike, but as men, we’re lucky; we don’t need makeup, styling tools, and 30 minutes to clean up after an active commute. A quick shower, some hair gel, and deodorant are enough to be presentable for the office. Some people exercise every day, but personally, I have never been able to do that, for me twice – three times a week is the best I can do consistently. You have to determine what is realistic for you, because if you start going to the gym 6 times a week, but then get tired of it and stop altogether is not the way to maintain a healthylifestyle. Also, if you pump irons and your chest and arms get much bigger, your clothes won’t fit anymore either.
- Invest carefully if you’re working on your weight or size. Not sure what your goal weight or size is, or what is realistic to maintain given your lifestyle? While you figure these important questions out, focus your wardrobe money on things like accessories, shoes, vests, and overcoats; these items are either not related size-related, or they are far more flexible regarding fit.
- Buy your clothes with some size fluctuation (5-10 lbs) in mind. If your size has a tendency to fluctuate a bit, there are ways to buy even well-fitting clothes that will give you a bit of room to accommodate a big lunch or a 10-course tasting menu. First, buy clothes that fit comfortably when you are on the high end of your 5-pound range. Your jackets should be able to close without x-wrinkles around the buttonholes, and pants shouldn’t have creases around the crotch when you are standing.
Still not where you want to be?
I hear you. I have tried all of the DO’s above. I exercised a lot, but it also made me more hungry. So I ate more and justified it by arguing that I had just burned a lot of calories. Well, it did not work out. Even after a few months of this routine, I did not see true, lasting results. However, once I started to consciously eat less, and work out, I saw some great progress. The point is, to maintain your size and wardrobe, you need a holistic approach, and that can include some help!
Now, your body looses fat in the funniest places such as your thighs but keeps in in other areas more stubbornly such as your belly and flanks. I certainly had some love handles even after I committed to the DO’s above.
That’s when I gave SculpSure® a try.
What is it?
A non-surgical body contouring treatment which is FDA cleared for your flanks and abdomen. No, it is not plastic surgery.
This kind of treatment is called SculpSure®, and in my experience each customizable treatment can be completed in as little as 45 minutes, the actual laser treatment only takes 25 minutes.
What’s The Benefit?
It reduces up to 24% of stubborn fat on your abdomen and love handles.
How Does It Work?
It is a device with four applicators that are custom fitted to your problem areas. It runs for 25 minutes, and you can work with your physician to choose if you want to target just your flanks, just your abdomen or both at once. Basically, the laser destroys fat cells which are then permanently flushed out of your body by the lymphatic system over the course of several weeks.
I got my SculpSure treatment at Wayzata Cosmetic Surgery & Spa in Minnesota by Ms. Helm. After careful consultation of my belly, she placed the applicators on my treatment areas, and secured them across my abdomen with straps. Then I comfortably laid down on a mix of bed and sofa chair.
Once the treatment starts, you can feel a slow build-up of heat, which is followed by an interval of cooling and it goes back and forth. The intensity of the laser can be adapted to your comfort level because every person reacts differently. For example, I could handle the full intensity on my abdomen but had to dial it down on my flanks. When the area gets hot, it can be slightly uncomfortable, but you can adjust the intensity up and down at every point in time as the operator was always in the room to ensure my comfort.
My experience was very positive, and I answered emails during the procedure on my phone.
What’s The Result?
Immediately afterward, I saw a bit of swelling, but that disappeared after 48 hours. Once the laser has destroyed your fat cells, your body has to flush them out of your system. How long that takes depends on the person. I was told it helps to drink a lot of water and to be active, and so I just adhered to my routine without doing anything special.
I went into the practice for a SculpSure® treatment twice. The first time it took over 3 hours because I received four treatments, the second time (about six weeks after the first treatment) I did just 3, and it took a little over 2 hours.
Here are the results. Judge for yourself, but I had noticeably less fat on my flanks and abdomen.
Now, of course, I kept exercising 1-2 times a week, I ate healthy, etc. but as I said, maintaining your wardrobe is a holistic approach.
What’s The Downtime?
That’s the best part! None. Once the procedure was done, I just walked out and continued with my day without any limitations. I had no downtime at all. The first time around, I had one of the laser applicators close to my rib cage, and I could feel some soreness in the area for about three weeks after the treatment. The second time, I had the laser placed a bit lower, and I had no issues.
How Much Does It Cost?
This depends on the office you visit and how many treatments you have. To contact a physician and find out what it costs at an office near you, fill out this form. Note, make sure to fill out every line of the form to see the offices in your area.
Is SculpSure® A Good Fit For You?
To be honest, I don’t know. It worked well for me, and I am happy I did it. In the long run, I’ve done almost everything listed above and the combination works for me.
I could still use to lose a few pounds, but I’ve set a reasonable size and weight goal for myself, I eat a relatively healthy diet, exercise when I can, eat smaller portions, eat slowly. As a result, I am making progress towards my goal.
At the end of the day, we’re all adults that need to take responsibility for going after the things we want. In my case, I want to maintain a certain size to protect the investment I’ve made in my wardrobe. That means I cannot get fat, and I cannot double the size of my biceps because otherwise my clothes won’t fit. I take great pride and enjoyment in the process choosing and wearing an outfit, and I’d like to continue to enjoy the full contents of my closet for the foreseeable future. I continue to struggle to fit working out into my hectic lifestyle, but I’ve found other ways to make an impact on my goal. What do you do to maintain your weight and your wardrobe?