Archive of ‘Advice’ category

Dressing to Flatter Your Figure

We have very different figures even though you’d expect a mother and daughter to have similar bodies. Like anyone else, we are always working to flatter our best features and camouflage our “challenging” features. A lot has been written in magazines and online about how to dress to flatter one’s particular figure. We use those “figure flattering” rules pretty religiously and  today we’re going to show you how we do it. First let’s start with Jeanne.

Jeanne says: I have what is described as a “boyish” shape — broad shoulders with smaller hips, thighs and derriere. While I wouldn’t be described as busty, I DO have a big rib cage that makes my chest appear bigger than it is. In addition, as a woman of a certain age, I have to watch for the appearance of “muffin top” at my waist and other age-related indignities. Some of the rules I use to flatter the best parts and camouflage the other parts are as follows:

  •  For those of us who are busty or have a larger rib cage, look for fitted (but not tight) tops and fit and flare dresses and stay away from any tops or dresses that fall straight from the chest. They will make you look bigger than you really are. However, you can use a belt or tuck in your top to define your waist and look smaller.  I personally also avoid tops and dresses with a high waistline or an empire waist.

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  • For those of us of a certain age, it is more attractive to wear dresses or skirts at knee length or maybe an inch shorter since(knees don’t age well. In general, at our age,  it is better to  wear clothing that covers  the top part of the arms.  There are always exceptions to these “rules of the road”
  • Those of us with narrower hips and thighs can wear most styles of pants, leggings or jeans. I personally think we need to be governed by what is age-appropriate. For example, wear skinny jeans but pair them with a looser top, sweater or jacket and a defined waist. I typically opt for saturated colors or darker hues simply because I think that very few women can wear pastel pants successfully.
  • If you have broad shoulders like I do, you may want to emphasize them (they represent how hard I work out!) or de-emphasize them. I’m comfortable in most fitted jackets and coats that hit below the waist and I’ll wear pretty much wear any kind of neckline. If you, on the other hand, want to downplay your shoulders, experts advise wearing fuller skirts to balance out the width of your shoulders and avoid any tops with puff sleeves or shoulder pads.

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We’ll follow up with Kate next time.

Two Take on Style

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