Friday, January 27, 2012

Mid-Life Middle

As we reach age fifty our bodies take on a new shape along with other changes. Our waistlines often become a bit thicker even when we remain active and our diets don't change. One would think that we would change our wardrobe a bit to compensate for this change, however each time I go out into the world I see many fashion mistakes. One misconception is "It still fits". Fitting your body doesn't mean that if fits your current age or complements your current shape.

There are many tips you can implement to accentuate your positive features while downplaying your negative ones. The image below shows you some looks that might not be the best choices for us.

Leggings are very popular right now, but they should NEVER be worn with anything but a tunic length top or jacket. Those bottom lines should never be shown to the world. Round jewelry repeats the shape of a round face or a round torso. A longer more narrow drop type earring would be much more flattering to your face. Horizontal cropped striped tops should be against the law. Add some sort of logo to the shirt and you've really got a bad idea.

Quilted parkas add lots of bulk and visually add pounds. A quilted vest can make you look like a bumblebee. Bows, ruffles, layers or any other effects that add volume should be avoided. Skirts which gather at the waist (dirndls) should always be left on the rack.  Breast pockets and ruffles add more volume and attention to a bust that may be larger these days. Skinny belts, small handbags and stiletto heels are also accessories you should skip. Belts bring attention to an area you would rather people not notice. Small handbags make you look larger. By contrast a large bulky shoulder bag adds more visual weight to your waist and hips. Shoes with a high slender heel only bring attention to the fact that your calves are not so slender. Boots that are too high and shiny also don't do us any favors. I see women wearing fabulous very expensive shoes all the time. My only thought as I see them walk is, "Her feet hurt."

Jeans have become the uniform for the civilized world. We can still wear jeans but they need to fit correctly and be of a darker color. Too long and too tight and they will make you look like a sausage. White jeans are one of the most difficult items of clothing you will ever buy. Certainly never buy them too small if you must own a pair. Wear with a nice jacket or layer a crisp shirt over a slim tank. A tee shirt might not be your best choice with jeans. (Nothing says "I don't care" more than wearing tennis shoes with jeans.)

Uneven hemlines such as asymmetric and handkerchief, make us look messy. At this point in our lives we want to look well put together. Dresses should be simple and in solid colors with very few details.  You will wear them often with different jackets, jewelry and scarves changing the look and making your investment serve you well.

The image below features some fashion items that will show off your confidence and beauty to their best advantage.

I show the corset or bustier undergarment because you will thank me when you find one that fits properly. Whenever I want to look my best I always wear my version of a back smoothing tummy holding undergarment.

Long sleek cardigans and jackets allow you to show only a small portion of your waist. V-neck sweaters and shirts worn with a slim fitting tank open to a deep vee shape will be most flattering to your shape.  

Dark jeans or slacks that fall from the widest part of your leg or hips will give you a much slimmer look.

Scarves and shawls should be soft, supple and never too small. Structured medium size hand bags are much more flattering. Shoes that are comfortable to walk in and yet fashionable are always a better choice for your health and your appearance. This is not the time to suffer for fashion.

Remember a smile and a confident stride are the best accessories ever!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Grand Petite Possibilities

She is five feet two inches tall and carries a few extra pounds. Her bottom half is a bit rounder and fuller than her top half. This is the silhouette of many women. If this description fits you, then you already know those runway models who look like twelve year old boys in a growth spurt have little in common with you.

The styles shown as the example we should emulate for this season often will make you look even more round and short.


This image shows you some of the styles that might not be the best choice for your body type.


Shapeless cardigan sweaters in a dull color really don't flatter anyone. This one appears to stop at the widest part of your hips. That's something you should always avoid.

Bulky sweaters in bold color combinations with horizontal patterns or strips will break your body into even smaller wider portions.  The same rule applies to bulky stiff jackets and fluffy faux fur, as well as quilted parka type jackets. You should look for sleek, supple textures in colors that complement your skin tone and blend with the other colors in your closet. One color in different hues will literally add the illusion of height and less volume to your shape.

A dress with too many patterns, layers or details can add pounds and make you look even shorter. Look instead for a simple sleek line of one color in a fit that flatters your shape and wear it with accessories that lift the eyes to your face. The hem should be at the smallest part of your leg. In most cases the most flattering hemline will be just below your knee.

Your shoes and boots should also be sleek and simple with a low heel. Chunky shoes and boots will always add pounds. On the other end of the mistake scale is the too slender high heel worn with thick calves. Always consider proportion and fit when investing in new footwear. If they only look good when you are sitting down with your legs crossed, they might not be a good investment.

Wearing socks with a dress and heels is just wrong. Nothing more to say about this stupid trend.

Shown below are some selections that will more likely flatter your petite frame. The lines are simple and classic. The accessories are scaled in proportion to your body. The pieces can be mixed and matched to get more from your wardrobe. Good things do come in small packages!

Thanks for reading!