Hi everyone! Welcome to part 2 of “Dressing Your Age and Killin’ It”. In case you missed Part 1 of this 2-part series, we reviewed:
- Why we ask, “can I still wear this?”
- What should I wear? How to consider time, place, and audience
- And conclusions about what it means to “dress your age”
In today’s post, we’ll discuss:
- Questions to ask yourself before buying/wearing an item
- Why clothes build confidence
- How to find clothes that flatter your body shape
- Whether or not you should ask for advice
This post is CHOCK FULL of really great tips, so let’s get started!
How to decide if an item is right for you
When deciding what is “appropriate” to wear, at any stage of the game, a person should always ask herself:
- Do I feel confident in this?
- Is it flattering?
- Do I need to ask for someone else’s opinion?
I’ll tackle each of these questions individually and explain why they are so important when deciding whether something is “appropriate”.
1. The benefit of looking the part: confidence
Fashion is a really important form of self-expression, and when we feel that we look the part, we become much more confident.
Remember the expression: the clothes make the woman? Well, while there is so much more to us than our clothing choices, they are an important part of the way we are perceived and the way we perceive ourselves.
Sometimes, we put on an outfit and we feel like a million bucks. But other times, we feel like our clothes are wearing us.
The best way to avoid the latter is to select items that are in our wheelhouse: favorite colors, classic styles, and soft fabrics—the things everyone feels good wearing.
Another tip for feeling confident is to add height. While I’m sure there is a psychological study that can prove this, I’ll rely on personal experience: when I get a chance to wear heels, it completely changes the way I feel, and I’m sure many of you 5’6″ and under ladies out there can relate.
There may be several reasons for loving heels, height being only one of them, but there’s something about gaining a few inches that gives me a boost of confidence (see what I did there?). This is why I make a point to wear them for every date night with my husband, dinner out with friends, and special event.
2. Flatter your new form
Don’t hide behind the fact that you’re a busy mom or that your body has changed. When the kids go to bed, grab your smartphone, [head over to finewineandtatertots.com 🙂 ] and shop for a couple of items that will flatter your new form.
When deciding whether or not an item is flattering, always consider whether it highlights your best assets.
- If you want to draw attention to your eyes, select a shirt color that brings them out.
- If you love your clavicle, wear an open neck and a short necklace that lands in the perfect spot between your collar bones.
- Busy prints are also eye-catchers, so use them to draw attention toward your best features. I typically wear solid tops and bottoms, but I’ll throw on a patterned scarf to break up a plain outfit and draw attention toward my face.
Fortunately, women are typically good at accentuating the positive. This seems to be part of our societal upbringing: always put your best face forward. But while you are accentuating the positive, it’s not a bad idea to draw attention away from the negative.
Most women I’ve heard from tell me that they carry their weight around their middle or bottom: either their belly isn’t as flat as it used to be, or their hips are wider than they remember.
This is the category that I fall into.
One way I like to balance out my pear-shaped frame, is to wear dark-colored pants and lighter tops, year round. Most days you’ll find me in navy or black slacks, or dark wash denim. They don’t hide my curvy lower half, but they draw attention up, away from my hips.
Another trick I use for drawing attention upwards is adding pretty accessories. Typically, this means dangling earrings because I like to fill the space between my short hair and shoulders with something eye-catching. I also teach middle schoolers, and shiny objects keep their attention!
If your concern is your torso and chest, reverse the above and wear your darker colors on the top half with pretty costume necklaces. This will minimize the appearance of what’s under your shirt and will draw attention toward the things you WANT people to take notice of. Fabulous shoes also help!
Similar posts you might enjoy:
- Dressing Your Age and Killin’ It: Part 1
- Best of the Web: Swimsuit Round-up
- How to Wisely Choose Wardrobe Investment Pieces
- 5 Reasons You Should Invest in Premium Denim
3. How do I look, Darling?
You’re not going to like this last tip, but here it goes:
If you need to ask someone else’s opinion about an article of clothing, it’s not the right item for you. I know that this is contrary to everything we do as women (ever since middle school I’ve sought my friends’ opinions!) but hear me out.
If you look at yourself in the mirror and are in love with what you are wearing, you will smile, feel a sense of confidence, and want to show it off to someone else. It’s typically when you’re not sure about an item that you seek someone else’s approval. Let’s face it: if you like an outfit and it makes you feel confident, you know immediately.
Of course, it’s always flattering when someone offers an unprompted compliment. I appreciate those. But now that I know realize what I’m doing when I ask for advice, I tend not to ask. It also spares the other person from trying to let me down kindly!
Further reading: Check out this post from a fierce blogger/photographer I admire, Eliza Romero at Aesthetic Distance. I think you’ll appreciate her perspective on being a mom and taking fashion advice from others.
The bottom line and some encouragement
Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and what works for me, might not work for the next person, but ultimately it’s important to know yourself and your comfort zone.
Don’t let others judge you for showing off your rockin’ triceps, or hiding your muffin top. We all have our flaws but the key is to celebrate our strengths.
I encourage you to not only embrace the ideas in this post for yourself, but to share them with others.
- Share this post on social media and tag a friend with great style.
- Tell her why she’s killin’ it in the fashion department and what you admire about her. It’s guaranteed to make her day.
Rock on, girlfriend and thanks for reading!