Well, the replies are in, ladies! I gave you a survey the other day asking what issues bother you most in your post-40 lives, and weight came in #1 by a country mile, closely followed by health concerns. I also asked you what you wanted to read about, and fashion / beauty as well as physical, mental and emotional health topped the list. You asked, so you shall receive!
Now, if I was going to write a post about how you could magically lose weight today and it would actually work, I’d probably be a zillionaire, lol. This is not that post. I will touch on weight loss at the end, just very lightly, but mostly this post is about dressing for the body you actually have today, whatever size or shape it is, and feeling FABULOUS!
So, without further ado, I’ll start with some general tips:
- Wear what you like! You can read every single post on the internet advising you what to wear and what not to wear, but if you don’t actually like what they suggest, you simply won’t wear it, so don’t waste your money! If you like bright colours and bold prints, then that’s what you should wear – you can just adjust HOW you wear them to suit your body shape. If you are a bit like me and tend to wear so much black everyone thinks you’re a middle-aged Goth, then do it, but maybe consider a few accessories to brighten things up.
- Remember you are a woman! Yes, we have hips, and boobs and bums and stuff. Show them off! Embrace your curves! If you happen to care what men think, most surveys indicate that men much prefer a curvy woman shape to one of those heroine-chic supermodels any day! Don’t be ashamed of your curves, they are fabulous!
- Don’t forget the power of body language. Hold your chin up high, throw those shoulders back and walk with confidence. Confidence is one of the sexiest looks on the planet, I promise you! If you are, even subconsciously, trying to hide yourself, you’ll be hunching your shoulders, folding your arms, bowing your head – this does nothing for your figure and even less for your self confidence! Stand up proudly, make eye contact with people, smile at strangers (preferably not in a creepy way) and take ownership of your personal space.
(Via Daily Mail)
OK, so you’ve probably heard all of those before, but they are good advice. I know I’m personally guilty of failing at the walk with confidence one, as I’ve had depression and anxiety issues for years, and frequently notice myself standing with arms crossed protectively, staring down at my feet wishing the floor would open up and swallow me whole. I’m working on it… Let’s move on to some practical tips now on dressing when you feel larger than you’d like to be.
Emphasise your best features
Do you have a cleavage to die for? Show it off! V neck tops are so flattering, and also give the illusion of extra height and a longer neck, which is always slimming. I’m not saying you have to let the girls totally hang out in all their glory, but even a hint of cleavage can be both sexy and flattering.
What I also love about this top is that it nips in under the bust, which really shows off her curves. If you’re not comfortable with that much cleavage, then you could easily achieve the same look with a top or dress that’s not quite so low cut.
You might consider your best feature to be your eyes, or shoulders, or anything. Do what you can to show those off. If it’s your eyes, learn how to apply makeup to really make them stand out. If you have gorgeous shoulders, then go with an off the shoulder or one-shoulder top like this one –
Avoid baggy, oversized clothes
This is probably the number 1 mistake women who are concerned about their weight make, and I get it! You want to hide under something loose enough that nothing shows at all. Ladies, it just doesn’t work. Say no to the tent! Even this skinny chick below looks ridiculous in it, lol!
That said, I’m not saying you have to wear Kardashian-esque micro-dresses (or no dresses at all, which seems to be their thing at the moment, yikes), but there IS a happy medium. Remember what I said above – you are a woman, show off the curves!
A little bit of fabulous
This gorgeous dress has a very flattering neckline, is nipped in at the waist, and then flares gently, and really emphasises the curves without being too clingy and scary. She’s paired them with some heels, which are always good! If you’re on the shorter side I’d suggest switching to shoes that don’t have an ankle strap, though, to make your legs look longer.
I love this casual outfit! Again, it’s got the V neck, is nipped in at the waist, and the top is such a pretty pattern. The jacket falls just around waist level, which will also emphasise your waist (yes, you DO have one, and even if you feel like you don’t, anything that is snugly under your bust will be flattering!). Again, if you’re on the shorter side and want to make your legs look a bit longer I’d swap to black boots, but those brown ones are gorgeous!
Oh, the humble wrap dress. They are flattering to so many shapes and sizes! The drape of the fabric is just so shaping, and also nicely hides those scary lumpy, bumpy bits we really don’t want out on display! On a similar note, any tops with draping and ruching can be so very forgiving! Just have a look at this gorgeous one – you could pair this with anything, add a long cardigan if it’s cold, dress it up, dress it down – so versatile.
The long cardigan is another wardrobe staple. It looks great in the outfit above, with jeans and a tee, but also works really well over fitted dresses. You just have to be careful to get the right size. You don’t want it too oversized or it will end up giving you that wearing-a-tent look. You can also find ones that are shaped to curve in a bit at the waist, which is always flattering. If not, you could add a belt, or pin it in the back to create a waistline.
Here’s another great outfit making use of the long cardigan, as well as some gorgeous cropped pants. I think I actually have this cardigan, lol! If not, it’s almost identical and I live in it all winter.
I put this one in here for me! As I said, I have a bad habit of falling back into my comfort zone, which is head to toe black. It can look a bit overwhelming and draining, I know, so this is to remind me how much pizzazz a bright jacket or scarf can add!
Here are a few ideas if you feel like online shopping for this type of look.
*disclaimer – these are affiliate links, if you happen to purchase anything after clicking I may receive a small commission at no cost to you
Still unhappy with your weight and want to do something about it?
I said I’d touch on this lightly, so here goes. There are no miracle diets or quick fixes. Let me say that again. THERE ARE NO MIRACLE DIETS OR QUICK FIXES! Weight loss, especially as we get older, takes time and a holistic approach. Yes, you will need to exercise, and yes, you will need to look at what you eat, but how you do that is up to you. Talk to your doctor, or a qualified personal trainer or nutritionist. Please don’t fall for online gimmicks that are literally only out to take your money and leave you confused and defeated.
I’m going to now quote my friend, Lara, who I wrote about in THIS post, and who is a fitness coach as well as someone who has battled weight and self-confidence issues:
So there you have a few suggestions on how to try and stay away from frumpy and embrace a bit more Fabulous, even if you are feeling that you hate your larger, older, post-40 body. We always have our good features, and confidence goes a long way!
If you take nothing away from this post other than the 3 points I made at the start I’ll be very happy – wear clothes you like, embrace your woman curves and carry yourself with confidence.
If you have a particular fashion hate you’d like to share, or, even better, a favourite outfit that makes you feel fabulous, do share it with us in the comments below!