Happy Saturday! For this week’s 15th anniversary of FocusOnStyle online post, let’s help this reader save her style as her body is changing with age becasue with the right style intervension, we can all look great at any age. -S.H.
Menopause and Beyond Fashion Tips
Dear Sharon: Help, I look frumpy all the time! At 53 years old, I’m almost through “the Big M”. I, like many of us, used to be very pretty and could fit into anything that was a size ten.
My body has shrunk to 5’4″ and I weigh 165 pounds. Through my physical changes (I try to eat healthfully and exercise), I have a difficult time finding cute or elegant clothes that flatter my shorter and squarer figure.
When I shop, I simply must try on every stitch of clothing- it is not unusual to spend two or three hours in the dressing room. Even after all this time, I consider myself lucky to find one or two items that fit well, and these clothes still look “frumpy” on me!
More often than not, I must hire a dressmaker to alter my clothes. What clothing styles, jewelry, scarves, and colors do you suggest to feel confident and look cute in? Even at my age, we want to be “cute, little ladies”!
The salespeople I have consulted with don’t seem to care how anyone looks in clothing- they just want to sell anything to anyone for the commissions they will receive. -Suited To Style (Denver/Golden, CO)
Dear Suited To Style: Any physical change- especially when we think it is not an improvement- creates stress about our self-image and how we perceive our appearance. The part about “used to be pretty” is what really worries me.
Beauty is all in how you see yourself.
Sweetie, 53 is not old; wisdom is a lot more alluring than innocence!
Stop dwelling in the past and devour todaywith your luscious lips! Visualize yourself as attractive and you will be. We all “fall short” with age, but if you are concerned about being the “incredible shrinking woman,” please seek medical advice.
When we are in tune with our physique, it is easy to unconsciously eyeball a garment and ascertain whether or not it will look good on us. This may be why you are spending so much time in the dressing room.
Since your figure has changed, readjust your eyes to scope out flattering silhouettes that suit the new you.
Here are some quick tips:
- Fluid lines create a leaner and taller appearance.
- Wear tunics or untuck blouses to create the illusion of a less boxy torso.
- Color should be monochromatic or tonal for a slimming silhouette.
- Jewelry and accessories should match the scale of your frame.
- Forget about scarves, at this fashion moment they are dowdy!
Almost everyone needs a little tailoring for a better fit; just do not try to redesign a garment. Build the self-confidence to know when something is worthy of wearing.
Restrain yourself from buying something only because it fits you. Go with your gut- your first fashion choice is the right choice.
Avoid conflicting and distracting outside opinions, like salespeople and “dressing room buddies.” Designers all cut clothing for a different shape customer in mind. Seek out brands that compliment your body type.
Discover the styles that shape your wardrobe into a figure flattering asset and you will see how much easier shopping will be!
Originally published on Jan 2, 2002