Welcome to a fun collaboration with Jennifer of A Well Styled Life and Pam of over50feeling40.  We desire for all of us… the fabulous women over 50 …to look and feel our best each and every day.  After years of blogging for this audience, we have heard from so many of you about your discouragement and despondency when you look in the mirror every morning.  But, we both know just how much style can transform a life, and hope to encourage you right here each week.  We want to see all of us empowered with strength, joy, and confidence.

Jennifer and I are the perfect collaboration team to discuss
dressing your body.  She is petite and stunning.  I am taller and larger…curvier,
if you will.  I have always been the
every-day woman of fashion blogging.  I
am a 62 year old
grandmother, living in the suburbs of South Texas, and attempting to look and
feel her best in the second half of life. 
Honestly, very average and the average size 16, which (according to
most) is the size of 45% of American women.  (Note:  I was three sizes larger when I turned 50 so there has been progress..although after 50 it might take a bit longer!)

In order to walk with confidence every day, I have learned
to accept who I am as I am…the size I am…and to dress that size to look its
best.  I am a work in progress…continually on a weight loss journey…but understanding that comparisons to other women who
are slimmer can be deadly and rob my joy.  The best accessory I wear is a smile from contentment.  Sadly, though, there are still some messages in the fashion and beauty world which imply that you cannot look your best or enjoy life fully until you lose weight or wear certain fashion trends. 

Au contraire, ladies.  Of course, weight management is important for our health, but how you are at this moment does not stop you from looking and feeling fabulous. Do not get despondent about size, aging feet, wrinkles on your face, or sagging body parts. If your feet are aging with bunions and hammer toes and you cannot wear high heels, then rock those flats…the industry is full of cute ones!   I no longer wear earrings from, let’s just say, aging lobes…but I love a great necklace or bracelet.  I obviously need glasses…but designer glasses just blow me away, in a good way.  It is all about CHOICES…to have the right attitude…to not compare…and to

 Accept each curve and callous…accept yourself.

  I came up
with this acronym about three years ago for MIDLIFE BOULEVARD, and it does me well to remember it….BOLD.

Larger ladies must begin with boldness, courage to step out
from hiding.  That is what extra weight
does to so many women.  It causes us to
hide in over-sized clothing and sometimes to hide from life.  It took me awhile to understand that boxy,
over-sized clothing was actually adding more weight.  When I had the courage to wear form fitting
clothes and show off the curves, I looked slimmer; and there are so many perfect, confidence building designs on the market!  So, we must begin with

To dress a size 16 or larger, BE BOLD.

B is for body
acceptance.  It is what it is…accept that
this is your body for today. Decide to make it look the best it can so that you
leave the house with confidence. 
Actually, I did not have success at losing weight until I began to see
how I could look good right where I was.  Decide now to look fabulous today! 
Once you begin to see how some of these tips help…you will get excited…I
promise!  Of course, I am still learning and working on weight management, but I am not going to stay hidden while I do and I refuse to allow others to make me feel old or insignificant because I have a larger figure. 

O is for observation
of ways to elongate your body.  Body proportions when dressing make a difference however tall or short you are.  When we chop our body into pieces, it gives
the appearance of being larger in the middle. 
I have learned to wear these types of items the most… V neck tops;
jackets which hit me at the top of my leg and bottom of my hip; pants which go
to the ankle or longer; skirts lengths at the middle of my knee; designs with
lines down the front: vertical stripes (not horitzontal) on garments; and a foundation of tops and pants which are the same color in a column style underneath jackets…all to elongate my look. 
I also avoid shoes with straps across the top because they will chop off
that long body appearance. Darker shoes keep the eye going long and a pointed toe flat keeps things long as well…never
underestimate the shoes in your total style.

L is to once
again remember less is more.  Piling on too many accessories and too much
fabric will make a woman look larger.  It
does not hide anything.  I once asked a
local fashion editor what his best advice was for women over 50.  He said, “Everyone should own a three way
mirror.”   Only in a mirror can we see that
sometimes we are not hiding anything, but look larger.  The popular high-low hemline makes my tushy look huge, so I have learned to walk away from it…though I really like it. You
want to look your best coming and going!

D is to direct
the eye.  Perhaps the most important tip
when you want to appear slimmer. 
Direct the eye to your most flattering places.  You can do this with a belt highlighting your
curves or right at the smallest part under “The Girls.”  That reminds me, get a new bra every year to
keep the girls up high and you will appear to lose ten pounds!  It is amazing what a proper fit bra will
do!  Cuff your jackets and blouses to
just under the elbow which once again directs the eye to your smallest part. An amazing statement necklace directs the eye upward to that smile!  Do not wear all over prints.  A print should be only one garment with a
neutral to compliment.  A peplum top is
great for those who want to hide the tummy area…looks awesome with a well
fitted pencil skirt.  Do not be afraid of
pencil skirts, dresses and skinny leg pants. 
Try them on and you will see how they might work for you.    Finally, great seaming, darts…whatever you
want to call them…direct the eye to curves. 
Make sure all jackets and blouses have seams which flatter. Whew! I know this a a lot of info and I have written about most of it before.  But I believe there are some who still need the encouragement.

Be careful of anyone who tells you that losing weight is the only way to be gorgeous and youthful.  All things in balance ladies.  Good health is important and that is why I have been working to be healthier and learn weight control(started strength training at 60…anyone can!)  But I am going to look my best and smile the whole way through the journey…right here in the suburbs, a size 16, wearing flats, no earrings, showing wrinkles and rockin’ a Bold Style.

Let’s talk about this gorgeous, purple linen KIMONO JACKET BY PLANET and LINEN PANEL SKIRT BY PLANET offered in the SPRING CATALOG OF ARTFUL HOME.  I could easily wear the jacket closed as pictured online, but I believe it is more flattering this way with a belt accenting my waist for my body type.   This skirt is worth every penny because of the seams!  I have tried on so many maxi skirts and not found one like this one.  Most are matronly and add the appearance of extra weight…the placement of seams and fit of this skirt is amazing.  The linen is lightweight and perfect for summer evening events which lie ahead.  #artfulhomestyle

Now, let’s go see what JENNIFER OF A WELL STYLED LIFE is wearing for the petite ladies in the group…and I know there are many of you!

Accept who you are…no matter your size!  Because, YOU MATTER!

Hope your week is full of smiles!


Disclaimer:  I was provided the skirt and jacket, but all of these words are my own!

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