Keep Your “A” Game After 40

As I venture into my mid-fifties, I look back at what changes occurred in the past three years.  The biggest change was my body – what happened to my waist?  What is this bulge in my abdomen?  My hips and my stomach,they all grew.  I hated dealing with it and thought it was temporary so I exercised more and nothing happened.  So reluctantly, I gave up my nice cashmere suits and fancy threads and went up a size and shopped online with Land’s End.

In Romania, my stomach grew some more but I was not willing to buy another wardrobe.  It has boiled down to exercising more and eating less.  No fun.  But how do you dress now with your new curvy body?  Here are some tips that will help you hide what you feel are liabilities and accentuate your assets.

  • Buy what fits your body and not by size.  The worse thing is to see someone in pants that are about to bust at the front or size zipper or in the back seam.
  • No gaps up front.Buy blouses that fit your bust area.
  • For your protruding abdomen chose A-line skirts, sewn down pleats and side-slash pockets
  • Consider gathers at the sides of the skirt front or pleats.  Make sure that the pleats don’t pull.
  • Consider also empire waist dresses.
  • Avoid clingy fabrics, dirndl skirts, loose pleats, straight skirts, snug waistbands and tight belts.
  • For wide hips consider box style jackets that hit at the waist or those that hit below the hips.
  • Avoid straight skirts and pants, unless the top covers the rear.
  • Avoid pocket detail, back pockets, big plaids,horizontal patterns and bias-cut skirts.
  • If you are petite and have wide hips avoid the long jackets and go for the box style instead.
  • If you have a flat rear-end consider two-piece outfits with overlapping tops.
  • Also alter trousers to fit and consider gathered skirts.
  • As well, make sure that pants fit smoothly.
  • If you just have gained weight all over make sure that you clothing fits well.  If it doesn’t it draws attention to the problem.
  • Choose well-tailored dark suits, and clothing that accents the face such as scarves and jewelry.
  • Consider smooth fabrics with tops worn outside the skirt.
  • Take narrow belts and wear them slightly below the waist
  • Avoid skintight or very loose garments
  • As well, choose patterns that are in proportion to your size but veer away from the bold patterns.
  • Additionally, avoid bulky sweaters, unstructured jackets, and colors that change at the waist
  • Finally avoid wide belts and choose those that are lighter than your pants.
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About vseitz

Marketing Professor at California State University, San Bernardino and author of "I Don't Wear A Suit."

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