It’s a very funny time of year. Whenever I meet anyone for coffee at the moment, it’s ‘no’ to cake. Whenever I suggest lunch it’s always a salad. I even spotted a Slimfast shake in my sister’s fridge the other day. It seems everyone is quietly but determinedly dieting before they go on holiday.

But the question has to be – what to wear. Wonderful though it is to drop a dress size or two it can play havoc with your wardrobe – and your wallet. So here are a few tips to help you with the transition from flab to fab, and to ensure that every item in your current and your new wardrobe works hard for you.

During your diet don’t size down too quickly – unless you have the clothes budget of Paris Hilton. Simply start out by wearing your own clothes differently:

•    Don’t forget that belts have a use as well as being a fab accessory. Use a belt to clinch in those ever looser trousers – even the old safety pin in the waistband trick works well if you are wearing a loose top.

•    As your shirts become looser, invest in a few cheap, well fitting camisoles or t-shirts and layer them underneath, with the shirt unbuttoned.

•    Scarves are great for disguising a gaping neckline or for adding new looks to the clothes that fit you best and they will get worn again and again ….and again.

•    Underwear can be expensive so whilst I don’t advise rushing out to La Perla and buying a basketful of lingerie sets you need to be aware of how your bra fits you. A too big bra can be as unflattering and uncomfortable as a too small one. Buy a couple of everyday bras – black and skintone – and hand wash after each wear. You’ll find them dry in the morning, and they will ensure that those new Ts and camis look good.

•    Check out your loft. Did you put away clothes that were too small for you last year? You may be surprised what you can find – and what still looks good.

•    Pull out all the clothes in your wardrobe that still look good, and make up new outfits. Look where you have gaps and keep an eye out in the shops for cheap pieces to complete your look.

•    Try discount stores. If you know you aren’t going to get a lot of wear out of a piece but the lack of variety in your wardrobe is getting you down then pop into New Look or Primark and treat yourself.

•    The sales have just started as well so there are a lot of bargains out there at the moment!

After your diet you are going to look and feel fantastic. But remember, fools rush in…..

•    Don’t go too small – buy the size when you get to the size, and be very realistic about whether you will stay there. Sometimes you will drop a lot of weight when dieting but stabilise slightly higher when you start eating healthily again. It’s so tempting to buy body skimming, post diet clothes that you never really get the wear out of.

•    Be yourself. If you have never flashed cleavage and thigh before don’t assume that now is the time to do so – you are still the same person inside and may well have cultivated your own personal sense of style. But let’s not be boring – you worked hard too lose those pounds so just buy one daring item to start with and see how comfortable you feel wearing it.

•    Try new shops – if your size has restricted you in the past you will be amazed how many wonderful, classy and well priced brands there are available. Start with a department store like John Lewis, see what concessions you like, and then head for the wider selections available in their High Street store.

•    Be selective when shopping – everything will look good on you and the danger is you will have a pile of mismatched items, which while looking great on you, won’t actually constitute a wearable wardrobe.

•    Dress for your body shape – you may have dieted down a couple of sizes but sadly perfection is still hard to achieve and you may well still need to emphasise that bosom or distract from that (smaller!) tummy.

•    Remember your age – I am sorry, but if you were last a size 10 twenty years ago you simply can’t wear the same things as you did then. If there’s a particular look that you hanker after then see if you can update for the twenty first century and your new age group.

•    Again, be careful with beachwear. You might fit into a teeny weeny, insy winsy bikini but how toned and firm is that newly slimmed body? You might look better in one of the incredibly stylish and flattering swimsuits that are in the stores.

•    Treat yourself to some new make-up and a new hairstyle. Your face will probably have thinned out a little and a new hairstyle can emphasise the new you.

•    Don’t forget your nightwear. So often we find that we’ve got everything else right but are still shuffling around in a ten year old Minnie Mouse nightshirt. There’s a lot of lovely nightwear in the stores and the selection will only improve as we approach Christmas.

•    Are there a few lovely, expensive pieces in your wardrobe that you can’t bear to lose? Why not find somebody to carry out alterations. That lovely high street boutique you have started to use regularly is bound to know of one so be bold and ask.

•    Finally – if you have the space, don’t throw out or give away those larger clothes straight away. I know that you might not want to see them ever again, but it’s a sad fact of life that many of us eventually put back on  some of the weight we have lost – so hang on to them for a while until you’ve stabilised.

But I won’t end on that note! Enjoy your change of shape, have fun trying out new styles and colours. Holiday’s are coming and those suitcases are crying out to be filled.

Diet Dressing – What to wear as the weight disappears