How To Dress For Work If Your Clothes Don’t Fit Anymore

Work clothes a little snug after a year of the pandemic? You’re in good company, according to the American Psychological Association’s latest “Stress in America” report, nearly half (42%) of adults surveyed say they gained more weight than they planned over the last 12 months, putting on an average of 29 pounds. But if you’re returning to the office in-person, you can’t get by on stretchy pants anymore. Stylists share how to dress for the body you have now if your clothes don’t fit as well as they used to.

  • Just buy a few key pieces and buy secondhand- If you’re not planning to stay the size you currently are, only buying a few pieces to fill in the gaps between sizes. And to stay in-budget, she advises shopping at consignment or vintage stores or sites for deals.
  • Measure yourself and buy clothes that will actually fit- Just because you’re a size 10 in one brand doesn’t mean you will be in every brand, so try not to hang onto that size number. Compare your measurements to the size charts and buy the size they fit into, whatever it is.
  • No need to let go of the stretchy pants- We’ve lived in them for more than a year, but we don’t have to ditch our stretchy pants altogether to go back to work. Leave the yoga pants at home, but be comfortable and look good at the office in a pair of stretchy dress pants, like ponte knit.
  • Embrace the wrap dress- it’s versatile and figure-flattering for all body types.
  • Take advantage of exchange programs- The brand Universal Standard has something called the Fit Liberty program that lets customers exchange clothing for a smaller or larger size within a year of purchase, no questions asked.
  • Be kind to your body, no matter what size- Try not to be overly critical of your body just because you’ve gained weight. It’s easy to let negative self-talk take over when your clothes don’t fit, but instead focus on finding looks that are comfortable and confidence-boosting so you can go back to work and be the boss that you are.