How to Dress When You’re In Between Sizes // The Real Gal’s Fashion Files No. 3

RGFF in between header

It’s a common dilemma after the holidays. Or because of babies. Or simply because you’re somewhere between point A and point B on your weight-loss journey and you don’t want an entire wardrobe for each dress size along the way.

You don’t need one.

The trick is to stick with less form-fitting basics and then add in style with awesome accessories and a bit of structure.

Leggings, super-stretchy jeans, comfortable button-ups, drapey cardigans, structure-providing blazers — all of these work as winter wardrobe staples that are super forgiving with size fluctuation. On their own, these pieces and combinations can be boring and redundant. The fun comes when you treat yourself to some affordable accessories or get gutsy with the ones you already have.

Accessories and pops of color are like a magic wand, inviting unexpected awesomeness out of boring black hat.

How do you use this magic? It’s simple: arrows. The Nester says that arrows are the secret weapon in decorating because they direct the attention away from the areas you don’t want highlighted and instead point all the attention to the pretty and the positive. In our homes that means we can camouflage ugly floors by drawing attention to the killer chandelier above the dining table.

But the same principle holds true when we’re getting dressed.

  • Draw attention away from the basic-ness of black leggings and a denim shirt by adding a sparkly, chunky statement necklace or attention-grabbing scarf.
  • Don’t focus on not being able to fit into your favorite jeans. Instead, focus on wearing something forgiving and use colorful flats, a hot-pink blazer, or a chartreuse cardigan as arrows {not to mention pick-me-ups} pointing toward the awesomeness.


Let’s take a look at some examples.

denim w eagle necklace


You can wear a denim shirt + jeans + long cardigan / blazer + statement necklace no matter your age or size. I promise.




A loose tee in a neutral color + black skinnies + tall boots + colorful blazer + printed scarf. Works for all ages, shapes, and sizes. P.S. I love the blog that the above pic came from — My Curves and Curls. Assa is a wife and mom who blogs about plus-size fashion, personal style, hair, beauty, thrift-store shopping and more. A gal after my own heart! I especially love her “Shop What You Got” series.




A drapey pashmina adds instant style and color to a black top + dark jeans + camel booties.


scarf + earrings


Print scarf + statement earrings + the structure of a blazer all serve as arrows, accentuating this gal’s style and personality. Anyone can do this with a pair of boot-cut jeans, a knit top, and a pair of flats or booties.


drapey cardi


Drapey cardigan + dark rinse jeans with stretch + knit top + statement jewelry. This is forgiving and comfortable but still with miles of style. These loose cardigans are trendy and easy to find at all price points.

I measure an item’s versatility by whether my teenage daughter and my mom each have one in their closet. And in this case, they do.

Sweaters like this can go with leggings and every kind of jean. You can layer it over a denim button-up or a loose and comfy tee. And if you add a fun necklace or earrings, well, consider those bonus arrows.


orange coat


Colorful coat + printed scarf add easy, instant style to the most basic of pieces. And now’s the time to score great deals on winter clearance. I have an orange wool coat from Old Navy from a few years ago. I wear it with everything from jeans and Converse to dresses and boots. Coats and scarves are some of the easiest winter accessories one can choose for camouflaging not-so-favorite areas while adding super fun style.


size collage 1 The foundation pieces for each of these fab outfits would be lackluster on their own. But they’re the sort of pieces we all own or could easily find. Comfortable, forgiving, mix and matchable pieces that still allow for structured add-ons like blazers and great boots. AND that are just waiting for some personality and well-placed “arrows” — like hot pink, an on trend cardigan, or even a touch of leopard. {purrrrr….}

fit collage 2

You may be tempted to shy away from colorful layers and statement anything when in between sizes and feeling less than amazing about yourself. Might I suggest you go the opposite direction instead?

  • Pick up the aztec print scarf on winter clearance instead of the play-it-safe gray one.
  • Grab some coral and gold sparkly earrings instead of your go-to conservative ones.
  • Choose a statement necklace for yourself instead of assuming they’re for those who have more style and moxy than you.
  • Treat yourself to cobalt or mustard-colored flats instead of the black ones that go with everything.


Friend, you probably don’t need a new wardrobe. You simply need a new attitude. One that gives you permission to embrace style now instead of when you’ve lost those 20 pounds.

Have any specific questions for dressing when you feel in-between? We can dish in the comments or on the blog’s Facebook page. Any favorite tips and tricks for dressing when you’re in-between sizes? I’d love to hear them!

Want more fashion tips for the real gal? Just go here for all the posts in the Fashion Files.

RGFF 500 button

And thanks to the lovely Richella at Imparting Grace for featuring this post on this week’s Grace at Home link-up!


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  1. Lena Uhren says

    My mom and I are “Goodwilling” on Saturday and reading you new fashion blogs has gotten me so excited! I AM going to buy the crazy colored shoes and accessories instead of the grey/black/white items that go with everything! I am so guilty of that. Excited about your new adventures in fashion!

    • says

      Lena, well now I’m wishing I lived closer so we could thrift TOGETHER! How fun would that be? So happy you’re choosing a more colorful wardrobe. You have the most beautiful skin and coloring…which means that you can totally rock colors better than any of us. : )

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