Friday, March 16, 2012

New Start!

Starting over is always stressful but later in life it can be downright overwhelming. You might think that getting a whole new wardrobe would be great fun but I'm finding that not to be the case. 

During the past year I lost more than thirty-five pounds. That equates to size 12 pants that were too tight to size 6 pants that are too loose in the rear. None of the old familiar favorites that have carried me through in the past will work for me now. Thus begins the monumental task of rebuilding a wardrobe that took years to acquire.

The pieces I've chosen above can be mixed and matched to get the most out of my investment. The exception would be the lighter blue jacket. It is more dressy and would only be worn with the black pants or a black skirt for evenings.  

My goal is to build a core wardrobe of basic pieces which easily move from day to evening and for any event. These pieces can be updated with accessories and layered over tops with interesting details or pops of color to make them current. 

I look for shapes and details that are appropriate for my body type. My upper body is still too thick as compared to my lower half. Instead of boxy large collar jackets, I look for deep V, single breasted closures or no closure at all. Lapels are notched high and upward with smaller or best of all, no lapels. This draws the eye up to my face which is quite round. To balance the roundness I look for lower scoop neck or V-necks in a simple style and sleek material. Showing a bit of skin above the cleavage elongates the face. (At fifty-five, I don't show wrinkly cleavage on purpose.) 

The shape of a jacket or blouse should be nipped in a bit at the waist but loose enough so that the back is smooth. Boxy jackets or ones that are too long will overwhelm me and make me look older and shapeless. My waist has always been thick but wearing a shapeless high neck jacket with a round collar or a chunky knit cardigan makes me appear to have no neck at all as well as no waist and makes my chin appear to rest right on top of my bust.

I always search for pants and skirts with a plain flat front and ideally a side zipper. Even though I don't have much of a behind, I don't want to draw attention to it with flap pockets or embellished details. I still want smooth very simple pockets on my slacks. Skinny jeans are for the very young and very skinny. I put those acid washed, weirdly faded, embellished jeans in that same pile. I look for dark blue jeans, white jeans and khaki pants with a slightly flared hem and smooth simple natural waistline. 

I prefer blouses with the same waist tailoring and a crisp collar that can be turned up for an extra lift to the eye. I really like three quarter length sleeves and always look for those in blouses, summer weight knit cardigans and crossover detailed tops. Showing a bit of skin at the neck and forearm gives you visual lift and makes you look taller and thinner. 

My calves are thick and short so crop pants are always worn with wedge heel sandals (never...ever high skinny heels). I need the added length to keep my legs from looking shorter and fatter. I have not worn shorts for twenty years and don't intend to start now. 

Wish me luck as I continue my search! I hope sharing this with you has helped you in your search for updates as well. Try writing down what you are looking for and why. It helps narrow the overwhelming choices when it comes to choosing what is right for you. 


Irene Helms Designs said...

Looks like you are doing a great job Susan with choosing your new wardrobe - paying attention to details, quality and versatility. Have fun with your new look!

Susan said...

Thanks Irene! I scored big from the sale racks at Dillard's yesterday. Now that I have some great jackets to get me through I can relax a little with the other pieces. I never thought about the overwhelming cost of replacing a whole wardrobe until now. Thanks for your message!