over50feeling40: HIT YOUR STYLE SWEET SPOT: DRESSING A CURVY FIGURE FOR WOMEN OVER 50
Fashion and Lifestyle Blog for women over 50 to help achieve strength, confidence, joy, inspiration, and, of course, head-turning personal style!

Apr 10, 2016

HIT YOUR STYLE SWEET SPOT: DRESSING A CURVY FIGURE FOR WOMEN OVER 50

Welcome to a fun collaboration with Jennifer of A Well Styled Life and Pam of over50feeling40.  We desire for all of us… the fabulous women over 50 …to look and feel our best each and every day.  After years of blogging for this audience, we have heard from so many of you about your discouragement and despondency when you look in the mirror every morning.  But, we both know just how much style can transform a life, and hope to encourage you right here each week.  We want to see all of us empowered with strength, joy, and confidence.


Jennifer and I are the perfect collaboration team to discuss dressing your body.  She is petite and stunning.  I am taller and larger…curvier, if you will.  I have always been the every-day woman of fashion blogging.  I am a 62 year old grandmother, living in the suburbs of South Texas, and attempting to look and feel her best in the second half of life.  Honestly, very average and the average size 16, which (according to most) is the size of 45% of American women.  (Note:  I was three sizes larger when I turned 50 so there has been progress..although after 50 it might take a bit longer!)
In order to walk with confidence every day, I have learned to accept who I am as I am…the size I am…and to dress that size to look its best.  I am a work in progress…continually on a weight loss journey…but understanding that comparisons to other women who are slimmer can be deadly and rob my joy.  The best accessory I wear is a smile from contentment.  Sadly, though, there are still some messages in the fashion and beauty world which imply that you cannot look your best or enjoy life fully until you lose weight or wear certain fashion trends. 
Au contraire, ladies.  Of course, weight management is important for our health, but how you are at this moment does not stop you from looking and feeling fabulous. Do not get despondent about size, aging feet, wrinkles on your face, or sagging body parts. If your feet are aging with bunions and hammer toes and you cannot wear high heels, then rock those flats...the industry is full of cute ones!   I no longer wear earrings from, let's just say, aging lobes...but I love a great necklace or bracelet.  I obviously need glasses...but designer glasses just blow me away, in a good way.  It is all about CHOICES...to have the right attitude...to not compare...and to

 Accept each curve and callous...accept yourself.

  I came up with this acronym about three years ago for MIDLIFE BOULEVARD, and it does me well to remember it….BOLD.
Larger ladies must begin with boldness, courage to step out from hiding.  That is what extra weight does to so many women.  It causes us to hide in over-sized clothing and sometimes to hide from life.  It took me awhile to understand that boxy, over-sized clothing was actually adding more weight.  When I had the courage to wear form fitting clothes and show off the curves, I looked slimmer; and there are so many perfect, confidence building designs on the market!  So, we must begin with courage.


To dress a size 16 or larger, BE BOLD.
B is for body acceptance.  It is what it is…accept that this is your body for today. Decide to make it look the best it can so that you leave the house with confidence.  Actually, I did not have success at losing weight until I began to see how I could look good right where I was.  Decide now to look fabulous today!  Once you begin to see how some of these tips help…you will get excited…I promise!  Of course, I am still learning and working on weight management, but I am not going to stay hidden while I do and I refuse to allow others to make me feel old or insignificant because I have a larger figure. 

O is for observation of ways to elongate your body.  Body proportions when dressing make a difference however tall or short you are.  When we chop our body into pieces, it gives the appearance of being larger in the middle.  I have learned to wear these types of items the most… V neck tops; jackets which hit me at the top of my leg and bottom of my hip; pants which go to the ankle or longer; skirts lengths at the middle of my knee; designs with lines down the front: vertical stripes (not horitzontal) on garments; and a foundation of tops and pants which are the same color in a column style underneath jackets…all to elongate my look.  I also avoid shoes with straps across the top because they will chop off that long body appearance. Darker shoes keep the eye going long and a pointed toe flat keeps things long as well…never underestimate the shoes in your total style.

L is to once again remember less is more.  Piling on too many accessories and too much fabric will make a woman look larger.  It does not hide anything.  I once asked a local fashion editor what his best advice was for women over 50.  He said, “Everyone should own a three way mirror.”   Only in a mirror can we see that sometimes we are not hiding anything, but look larger.  The popular high-low hemline makes my tushy look huge, so I have learned to walk away from it…though I really like it. You want to look your best coming and going!

D is to direct the eye.  Perhaps the most important tip when you want to appear slimmer.  Direct the eye to your most flattering places.  You can do this with a belt highlighting your curves or right at the smallest part under “The Girls.”  That reminds me, get a new bra every year to keep the girls up high and you will appear to lose ten pounds!  It is amazing what a proper fit bra will do!  Cuff your jackets and blouses to just under the elbow which once again directs the eye to your smallest part. An amazing statement necklace directs the eye upward to that smile!  Do not wear all over prints.  A print should be only one garment with a neutral to compliment.  A peplum top is great for those who want to hide the tummy area…looks awesome with a well fitted pencil skirt.  Do not be afraid of pencil skirts, dresses and skinny leg pants.  Try them on and you will see how they might work for you.    Finally, great seaming, darts…whatever you want to call them…direct the eye to curves.  Make sure all jackets and blouses have seams which flatter. Whew! I know this a a lot of info and I have written about most of it before.  But I believe there are some who still need the encouragement.
Be careful of anyone who tells you that losing weight is the only way to be gorgeous and youthful.  All things in balance ladies.  Good health is important and that is why I have been working to be healthier and learn weight control(started strength training at 60...anyone can!)  But I am going to look my best and smile the whole way through the journey...right here in the suburbs, a size 16, wearing flats, no earrings, showing wrinkles and rockin' a Bold Style.

Let's talk about this gorgeous, purple linen KIMONO JACKET BY PLANET and LINEN PANEL SKIRT BY PLANET offered in the SPRING CATALOG OF ARTFUL HOME.  I could easily wear the jacket closed as pictured online, but I believe it is more flattering this way with a belt accenting my waist for my body type.   This skirt is worth every penny because of the seams!  I have tried on so many maxi skirts and not found one like this one.  Most are matronly and add the appearance of extra weight...the placement of seams and fit of this skirt is amazing.  The linen is lightweight and perfect for summer evening events which lie ahead.  #artfulhomestyle

Now, let's go see what JENNIFER OF A WELL STYLED LIFE is wearing for the petite ladies in the group...and I know there are many of you!

Accept who you are...no matter your size!  Because, YOU MATTER!


Hope your week is full of smiles!

Linking up with VISIBLE MONDAY...TURNING HEADS LINK UP


Disclaimer:  I was provided the skirt and jacket, but all of these words are my own!


60 comments:

  1. A fantastic post! You ooze confidence and look fabulous.
    Laurie x

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    1. Thank you Laurie! I appreciate you being here!

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  2. What a refreshing post Pam! The reason I have always been drawn to your blog is because you DO represent "every woman". You are authentic and confident. I have been doing much better than I ever would have thought possible with accepting my age and body since finding your blog. A big thank you for what you do to encourage women in their second act!!

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    1. Your comment means everything, Karen! It is why I started blogging to begin with...if I have helped in any way, it is an honor! Thank you for these kind words.

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    1. You are so welcome, Elaine. Thanks for being here.

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  4. You so spoke to me! Thank you and love the acronym

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    1. Thank you, Ima...appreciate the encouragement.

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  5. Wonderful post, Pam. Really hits the spot!
    That skirt with it's topper is fabulous! I have seen sewing patterns with that type of swirl seaming, I think I need to make one for summer now.
    I too have tried to find a maxy that works, I have a few and they are comfortable and good for us taller chicks. It took a lot of try ons to find them. The ones with a chevron stripe are my favs. Optical illusion and all (😊) they are a bit casual for me at work, but I have worn them. Your outfit today does look very appropriate for my office.
    You look wonderful in this, the jacket does look nice on you just buttoned at the top.
    Thanks so much, just a lovely post.

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    1. Amie, I am so excited to have found you through social media...and to renew our friendship! You are an inspiration to me!

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  6. Great tips, Pam, and that is an AWESOME skirt! You look fabulous in this outfit.

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    1. Thanks Susan! I love this skirt and that is rare for me to say about a maxi! I will wear it often this summer. Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Wonderful post, Pam - I am sharing on FB today. You look terrific in that inky blue outfit! xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. Thanks Patti...and thanks for the share! I will be linking up to Visible Monday also!!

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  8. What an excellent job! I was aware of most of these tips but when you put them all together it was nice to check out my wardrobe (especially because I am in a photo shoot TODAY) Thank you

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    1. You will look amazing, Carol. Smile with confidence...and so happy this helped!

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  9. what a helpful post. everything in it bears repeating. i need the constant reminders about what's flattering and what isn't for someone with curves. also love the word curves instead of some of its less positive alternatives.

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    1. We are women...blessed with curves! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  10. Great post. Daughter and I talk often of the fact that we don't see much for dressing the "curvy" figure. Thank you.

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    1. Your welcome! There are lots of ways to do it...once you learn all the guidelines. I became a student of reading and studying all about style and fashion for the last six years...have hope...you can look incredibel and be confident at any size.

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  11. You look GREAT in this outfit. Love it.

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    1. Thanks, Judy! The design of it just makes it special for my body type! I appreciate the encouragement!

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  12. Great outfit, Pam. One which could take you through the seasons. I see the skirt with a great pair of boots.

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  13. You look stunning! That blue is definitely your colour and I love the necklace. Great outfit and great article.

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  14. Blue looks great on you, Pam and I love the statement necklace!
    Over the years, my style changed and you are so right not to be afraid of trying something new.
    Have a wonderful week!

    Hugs from Germany,
    Annette | Lady of Style

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    1. Thanks for commenting Annette! Have a wonderful week.

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  15. This is your most powerful and uplifting post I've read Pam. Your message is so powerful and helpful. Bravo!!

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    1. Thank you, my friend. It is an emotional topic for me and I know for many others.

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  16. I SO needed this reminder & these great tips today! Thank you, Pam!

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    1. You are so welcome...thanks for stopping by and for the comment!

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  17. Great post. The women of our generation need this; menopause weight is no joke and robs many of their self esteem.

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    1. I know...it gets harder, not easier to lose and maintain healthy weight...we do not need to be beating ourselves up...but enjoying life one day at a time!

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  18. Pam, you are so beautiful that I don't think anybody would ever notice your size. Your lovely face, great haircut, and overall zest and good cheer are more attractive and lovely that you will ever know...
    hugs,
    Janice

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    1. You are a sweetheart, Janice...thanks for the kind words and for stopping by!

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  19. This is officially reason number 78 I love you.
    Covet your partnership. I want to steal your sartorial style. Preach preach preach your wisdom.

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    1. Carla, you always make me smile! I cannot wait to meet you!

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  20. Either buttoned or open the jacket looks great. The whole combo does. I think I like the Oat colored one best.

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    1. I would like to have that one also, Jennifer! Thanks for stopping by...

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  21. Oh this is lovely, Pam. I will certainly remember this acronym. I need a lot of help with my wardrobe. I guess I'm too lazy about it. You are an inspiration. Thank you.

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    1. If you ever have specific questions or need a pep squad just email me, Corinne, at over50feeling40@gmail.com. I am happy to help! Thanks for stopping by.

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  22. I loved this post Pam! You have helped me so much over the past few years. I hate that I'm going to miss everyone this year, but hopefully we'll catch up next year for sure!

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    1. It honors me to know I have helped in any way Rena! You keep taking care of yourself while you care for so many others!

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  23. So important about proportion and accepting oneself TODAY. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you Stephanie...I appreciate you being here!

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    1. Thank you Anna! Appreciate you stopping by!

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  25. Love, love your " Be BOLD". I see so many of these more mature bloggers who are very slim and I always think it a bit more challenging, perhaps, for those of us who are not so slim, but still are working at taking care of our bodies and looking good. Thanks for providing such an articulate point of view--and great guidelines--for so many of us who aren't the focus of the fashion world, but are still so engaged in making our own fashion work.

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    1. You are welcome, Audrey! Well said...I appreciate your words!

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  26. All good advice. I hope I remember it all. I only wish you could show some of what you're talking about to illustrate what it is. For instance did you say something about an up and down hem? I have one from last year's Chico's. Agh! I hope my tush doesn't look even bigger than it is. P.S. I quit Jenny Craig awhile ago because I developed stomach issues. It's very hard to keep that weight off. I'm trying.....with a smile!

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    1. I know it is hard and so frustrating...I am going to send you an email!

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  27. You look fabulous and I love your BOLD tips. I agree with Jennifer...this is your most inspiring post yet! Keep up the great work as so many of us enjoy seeing your smile and reading your blog.

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  28. I love your style, and your grace. I am 47, and my bloodwork says menopause. Weight has been hard for me. I'm 5.4. I'm still small, but am heavier than what I am used to being. Thank you for this post. I just subscribed and I look forward to connecting. Leigh Hines

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  29. I love the way you make so many women feel!
    www.nancysfashionstyle.com

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  30. Great tips, Pam. Love the beautiful blueberry color of your outfit.

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  31. BOLD is a good acronym. When I was a size four, I discovered that plus size women's clothing stores had the best accessories. This was a time when accessories were tiny and delicate, but I've always liked necklaces and handbags that made more of a statement. Bold is the way to go.

    My husband has accepted me through all my sizes over the years. Gotta love that man.

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  32. I agree, be bold. This suit and necklace represent your confidence. You look radiant in it.
    Greetje

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Thanks so much for joining in our conversation today! I appreciate your time and love hearing from you!