over50feeling40: Fashion Over 50: My Biggest Body Shape Struggle
Fashion and Lifestyle Blog for women over 50 to help achieve strength, confidence, joy, inspiration, and, of course, head-turning personal style!

May 21, 2017

Fashion Over 50: My Biggest Body Shape Struggle

It is hard to admit, but for the past 20 years, I have struggled with my body shape.  I seem to be a pear….at times, an apple….and other times I feel more like an eggplant!  There are many days when dressing my body in a flattering style is a challenge for me.  However, before I go further, I want you to know, it does make a huge difference in my attitude, my confidence, and joy when I am able to hit that sweet spot, and dress in the most flattering way possible.

Dresses have been my biggest issue.  I would love to wear more of them.  However, I have spent hours in dressing rooms, trying on a multitude of shapes, sizes, and fabrics and rarely find one I like. I live in a very warm climate and to purchase dresses which only work with shapewear defeats the purpose of wearing them to begin with.  I want to wear them to be cooler…but shapewear is hot!



The best way for me has been to have a wardrobe of predominantly separates.  I mostly wear pencil skirts, because I find them perfect to flatter a curvy figure.  I recently found this blouse at Marshall’s and I really like it.  I can take this simple look (with my JJill pencil skirt) and dress it more casual with sandals like I have done here.  Or I could add my pearls and pointed toe shoes for a dressier style.


Most of us are not skinny, slim, model-type women.  I love it when a brand says they are featuring a curvy woman and it turns out she is a size 10 or 12.  I doubt in my life I will ever be a 10.  So, I will continue on my search for dresses which flatter my figure and help me to feel confident.  But, for now, it is separates which are the foundation of my personal style.  Honestly, I prefer pants!

Does anyone else struggle with finding dresses?  Please share...


I love the JJill Pencil Skirts and they are on sale right now...look 

below.  Also, my necklace is from Soft Surroundings...they have

awesome accessories...I selected some below...


Linking up with VISIBLE MONDAY




Keep Smiling!





41 comments:

  1. J Jill pencil skirts are the best! I bought another one last weekend, on sale, a beauty with a lovely border print. I actually collect this brand. Is yours deep green? I love the bell-sleeve top you are wearing! Also, you look great in the white dress. That is very flattering and a good shape. I love dresses but since so many are now sleeveless (why??), I tend to wear a shrug over them for work (crazy a/c!). For me, dresses are an easy way to get out the door in the morning. I struggle more with pants (length, gappy waist) and now only buy side- zip to avoid all the bulk at the waist. I have to dress up for my job, so that presents challenges to keep things fresh and modern. Your orange necklace is a beauty!

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    1. Those JJill skirts have the best fit! The white dress only works for me with a topper of some kind, but thank you for encouraging me to wear it more often. I always look forward to what you have to add, Karen!

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  2. The idea of a lovely dress is just that...a lovely idea. I carry most of my weight on my front side...belly and boobs...ugh. Miss Karen raises the most confounding question...why only sleeveless dresses? Are companies too cheap or too lazy or not creative enough to add sleeves to garments? Pam, you always look sharp! You have the most gorgeous hair. Enjoy your weekend.

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    1. Thank you Donna...so sweet. It is a good question. I went dress shopping one afternoon last week and the designs with sleeves were so frumpy. And they were hung with the little sheer jackets...which I am not a fan of unless I am desperate. I wish there were more options.

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  3. Hi Pam, I completely agree with you about dresses! I am a size 12, apple shape, and am so much more comfortable in pants. I only wear a dress when I have to. I find pants are more comfortable, more slimming and give a person a longer, slim look. Thanks for your wonderful blog and inspiration! Annette

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    1. I do feel longer and slimmer in pants, Annette. I agree. Glad to know we are pants-sisters! Thanks for stopping by

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  4. So glad it is not only me & body shape! Yes to how much confidence having the right thing on gives. I have an important meeting on Tues & have chooses my outfit. Just hope my body is the same when I have to dress it!

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    1. Bingo, Julia. Going into my day with confidence is vital for me, and that is why I am much more likely to wear pants. I feel more confident in them. But, when I find a dress that does the same for me...it will be mine. Thanks!

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  5. I prefer pants too. There are occasions when I really want to wear a dress, but I seldom feel as confident as I do in pants.

    I like your look in the last photo. It's both slimming and comfortable looking.

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    1. Thanks Elaine...thank you for stopping by!

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  6. Since I am retired, I don't need to dress up as much. That being said it is very hard to find a dress for a special occasion. I have two dresses right now and they are both wrap dresses which I think are flattering. One has sleeves and the other is sleeveless. I have a question about the J Jill skirts. I think I am between a small and medium size. Do you think their skirts fit a little larger or smaller?

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    1. I am an XL and I wear the XL and it fits perfectly. It is so hard to say, but for me they are true to size. I guess it depends on which side of Small or Medium you are. I hope that helps some.

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    2. I wear a lot of J jill and usually get a Small in their pants, but I buy medium in the pencil skirts because it allows them to ride a bit lower and gives a smidge of extra length that I prefer. I'm 5'5" for reference

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    3. Thanks for the help. I only get to visit a store maybe once or twice a year when I travel, so have to order everything online.

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  7. Give Lolly Wolly Doodle a try. I am curvy (size 18-20) and their dresses are not only cute but age-appropriate and comfortable in our southern climate. Also, most of their dresses can be ordered in an extended length (3" longer). I am almost 5'9" and the extended length is perfect for me (mid-knee or slightly below the knee). The company is internet retail, owned by a mid-lifer and the prices are extremely reasonable.

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    1. Thank you! I have never heard of them but I will look into it.

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    2. www.lollywollydoodle.com

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  8. Great look, Pam. Even though I'm thin, I too prefer skirts to pants - so much cooler in our summers! xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. I understand about the heat, Patti. That is what I am attempting to navigate!

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  9. You look fabulous in pencil skirts Pam!! I adore the look on you. I have a straight shape and dresses are a challenge on me too. They tend to look boxy on me and that's why I prefer separates too. They're just more flattering and flexible.

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    1. I feel like they are more flattering...at least on me. I would love to rock a sheath dress...well, it is not on my radar anytime soon. Thanks Jennifer.

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  10. You rock the pencil skirt. I am pants. Occasionally I forget because I see other women in dresses :-) and I try to go with it… But if it's not a maxi dress it is not me.

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    1. I think you would look awesome in a pencil skirt, Carla. You might try one on sometime just to see. Trying on doesn't hurt anyone and having one in the wardrobe can be nice. Let me know if you do it and what you think.

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  11. I have found wrap dresses and those with ruched draping around the waist help me look slimmer, but some days it's just better to go baggy. What is it about our 50's that makes our waists start to disappear?

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    1. I know Valerie. Actually things are disappearing one by one for me! But I am still having fun.

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  12. I used to wear dresses but when panty hose were no longer an option due to the need for open toe shoes, I have put them in the back of my closet and opted for pants. There is nothing pretty about an older woman's knees to me, and most of us are not tanning our legs any longer. So, there is really nothing appealing or attractive about that part of our body. Find cooler fabrics and just wear pants, crops or below the knee pants for the best looks.

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    1. I know...my knees are not pretty either. But, when the heat pours on down here, it sometimes does not matter.

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  13. I also have a hard time finding dresses that I like so rarely wear one now. I used to wear a dress to church every week but now that my shape has changed I find it hard to find one I feel confident it. I do have a couple pencil skirts but I don't wear them very often.

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    1. I really love pencil skirts with a ballet flat and wear these too church in warmer weather. Our church has gone very casual so I can get by with just about anything. Thanks for sharing Lynn.

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  14. I think all of these styles are winners! I love he pencil skirt, but the dress with a coat look is stunning, too!

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  15. My aging body has definitely presented some challenges in finding clothes that are both comfortable and flattering. I have a longer torso with shorter legs and it's hard to find pants that fit properly. Add to that some weight gain in the stomach and it's even more difficult. I think the sleeveless dress thing started with the media -- look at all the female newscasters with their bare arms -- no matter the season. I love long skirts, especially in the summer. They are comfortable and cool (and I can go with bare legs). You look fabulous, Pam!

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    1. Thanks Beth! There are a lot of us here learning to live with adjustments and positive attitudes!

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  16. Thank you so much for sharing - I'm built similarly to you (but bigger) and struggle finding anything that feels flattering. I love your photos because they help me to know what to look for and these outfits look great on you! Thanks for all the inspiration!!

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    1. It means so much to know that the blog helps. I understand your frustrations, but it is still possible to have fun with style and keep smiling. Thanks for sharing Pam!

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  17. I feel like I could have written this myself! -----Right down to the part about having to wear shape wear underneath cancelling out the benefits of a dress in a warm climate ( I live in Southern California!).

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    1. Sounds like many of us share this struggle. Thanks for sharing!

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  18. Funnily enough I struggle with dresses too (never fit over the bosom) and also love pencil skirts on my shape. And I am an inverted triangle!
    Nevertheless I do find a dress from time to time which does flatter me. Keep looking Pam, they are out there.
    Greetje

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement! I will keep looking, Greetje!

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  19. Pam - I'm the same way with dresses. And shape wear just won't do - especially in Texas in the summer. I need to check out those JJill pencil skirts!

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    1. I know you know what I am talking about with the heat, Cathy! The skirts are great. They wash well and do not get out of shape. I highly recommend the JJill pencils.

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