Back in the day, I was a dedicated fashionista. Today, I still want to look as chic as possible, but I’m more interested in choosing clothes that don’t distract me by riding up, sliding down, pinching, squeezing or sagging. So instead of tracking trends, I seek out fashion that fits my body and lifestyle (and bank account), and represents who I am and how I want to show myself to the world. And really, isn’t that what style is all about?
Style Habits for Any Style at Any Age
The basics of dressing well have nothing to do with age. By taking these small steps and turning them into simple habits, you’ll look better every day, whether you’re dressing for work, play or cocktail hour.
Stand up straight. This essential habit does double duty. Good posture doesn’t just boost your attitude and make you feel more confident; it also makes all your clothes fit better and look more flattering. Bonus: Some women swear it instantaneously makes you look like you lost five pounds!
Wear properly fitted underwear. From visible lines to bunched-up briefs, poorly fitting panties can wreck an otherwise impeccable outfit. You don’t have to join the throng brigade (although I admit to being a super-fan!), but do choose undies that lie flat under your clothes without elastic cutting into your hips or across your butt. If you love a bikini style, try going up a size to get a smoother fit. Or experiment with hipster or boy short panties, which have lower cut legs that disappear better under pants. Try to find seamless laser-cut undies from companies like Commando and Hanky Panky (my favorites), which are designed specifically to avoid panty lines. Hint: do give thongs a go.
Choose uplifting bras. A bra that fits your size and breast shape can reduce back pain, make your clothes fit better, and make you look more shapely. The right bra should fit smoothly all over, without cutting into your back or shoulders or creating “spillage” out of the top or sides of the cups. Breasts change size and shape over time, so get a professional fitting at least once a year and try different brands.
Smooth out bumps or bulges with shapewear. While most industrial-strength girdles disappeared decades ago (thank heaven), contemporary companies like Spanx and Yummie offer a slew of lightly compressive bodysuits, panty hose, shaping shorts and slips that give you a polished look even under the clingiest dresses. If you want to skip the shapewear, you can still keep your silhouette looking sharp by stocking up on plain snug-fitting tank tops, which make a perfect smoothing base layer under shirts and sweaters. I wear one almost every day to smooth everything out and to ward off wardrobe malfunctions like gaping button-ups or slipping waistbands.
Shop for fit, not for size. By now we all know that clothing sizes are bogus, right? There are no industry standards, and sizing varies wildly between brands and styles. Instead of fixating on a number when shopping, try on everything that looks like it might fit — regardless of what the label says. The best plan is to seek styles that flatter your general shape, and buy the size that fits you properly around your biggest part — whether that’s hips, shoulders, or bust. Then find a good tailor and have the waist or other parts of the garment taken in.
Dress to flatter the body you have right now. It’s tempting to cling to an image of the body you had in your 20s, or the figure you dream about having someday after you go on that diet or exercise program. But if you want to look fabulous right now — and who doesn’t want that? — you have to dress the body you have today. How to do that? Stay tune for the next post in a few days — How to Dress for Your Body Now.
What are some of your best tips for looking amazing at any age? Share with us on my Facebook page!
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