Let's not skirt the problem here, ladies. Dressing well requires talking frankly about why our shape and clothes can't get along. We're at a body empowerment point beyond picking on our weight. As a fashion and beauty editor, I've dressed stars, supermodels and thousands of everyday women ages 50-plus on my photo shoots. Know that we're all perfectly imperfect body-wise, and that's finally fine. But to look good in what we wear requires a tough-love look in the mirror — not to judge, but to analyze. Sometimes we do have to use words like flab, bulge and sag because owning them can make you dress better, no matter your size. Here are 10 of the most common fit problems and common-sense DIY fixes, using celeb photos for inspiration:
1. Clothes are stylish but not body-enhancing
Most of us throw on our clothes or shop for new ones without thought. Time out. Stop and evaluate your body's unique structure and how it looks now. That means factoring in the absolutely normal aging effects of gravity, hormonal or lifestyle weight changes and where those pounds have settled. Look in a full-length mirror and ask yourself:
- Where am I widest/biggest — shoulders, bust, butt, hips and/or thighs, calves? This is my major must-fit-well-here zone.
- Where am I narrow, toned or trim — waist, arms, neck and/or legs? These are my show-off spots.
- Turn sideways. Where do I project outward most? Breasts, butt and/or belly? This is my fashion stress point.
- Where am I soft or saggy? Bust, midriff, thighs, butt and/or upper arms? This is where clothes can firm me up.
2. Big bust is stealing your style
If you're short, and/or have a short torso those “girls” steal the entire midriff space. It's why you have a top-heavy “all boobs” look and why buttons gape and your waist vanishes. A full-coverage molded or contoured bra is the fit-changer here. (I’ve said it before — just do it already!) You need to gain inches of torso space and the only way to do that is with a bra that lifts your breasts up and off the midriff and controls the shape by redirecting them front and center in a natural-looking rounded way. Tucking in tops, wearing belts and fitted sweaters, dresses and blouses will become not just possible, but easy. If you're busty and tall or have a long torso, the same tips work. Prefer loose layered tops or tunics? The bra still provides a firmer base so roomy tops look less tent-y.