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Keep Your Current Style Or Ditch It?

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Lifestyle Kuel Category Expert: Nina Anders

In my last two posts, I wrote about one of the many middle-age conundrums, what to wear.

“Each of these strategies has its own set of benefits and consequences.”

When it comes to dressing, we have many options. Keep wearing what we have always worn. We can hit up at one of several shops for middle-aged women. Or we can create a new persona and dress like the woman we always wanted to be, perhaps.

Alternatively, we can curate a look based on really getting to know ourselves and what works for our bodies, our unique sense of style, the colors that look good on us and what actually works with our lifestyle. Each of these strategies has its own set of benefits and consequences.

Wait, back up. Did she say consequences?

How We Dress:

When we look at where we are in our lives today, we have arrived at this very place by the myriad of choices we make or don’t make—and this includes the clothing we choose to wear-how it makes us feel, and what it tells others about us.

These are the consequences to which I refer. Dr. Phill once said that we teach people how to treat us. We send messages all the time through our actions, our words, and how we dress.

Let’s take a look at what happens when we choose to wear what we’ve always worn. It’s safe, comfortable, predictable. Having a “uniform” frees up the mind to focus on other things. It is said that Barak Obama had several of the exact same suits so he never had to think about what to wear. His mind was free to work on the challenges of the day.

Those are some pretty strong pros for maintaining the status quo. In fact, if you have a closet full of beautiful suits that fit impeccably like Obama, then, by all means, keep the status quo.

“If you feel “invisible” or misunderstood, you might want to consider modifying your current style.”

Modify Our Current Style:

Why might you consider modifying your current style? If you feel stuck. If you feel your old style no longer fits who you have become or doesn’t support you in becoming who you want to be. Or if you feel “invisible” or misunderstood, you might want to consider modifying your current style.

The beauty of clothing is that it can be easily changed. In past posts I’ve talked about assessing your current look, cleaning out your closet mindfully, and taking note of what worked and what didn’t. Today we are going to talk about our bodies and how to find clothing that actually fits.

Minor Tweaks Really Make A Difference:

If you are following along from my previous posts, you have cleaned out your closet. And made some notes about what you like and don’t like.

If you are extra good, you will also have a list of things you want to replace and maybe some details you’d like to look for. Like higher-waisted jeans or that you don’t want to buy any more oversized cardigans. You may note that bright colors aren’t working as well and that you always stain anything white.

You might have also reevaluated the colors you are wearing to see if you need to brighten or tone down your color palette, hair color, and makeup. These minor tweaks really make a difference in how you look and feel, which in turn send those important signals.

Let’s get to know our bodies a little bit, shall we? This is the next piece of finding our unique style for us to consider. Don’t worry if you are bigger or smaller than you would like to be right now—let’s make sure we have some nice things to wear, whether we have worn the same size since high school or not.

“Knowing what works with your body helps cut away numerous options and trends..”

Body Types And Styles:

There are numerous body type theories, and it can be a bit confusing if you don’t know what your body type is. Knowing what works with your body helps cut away numerous options and trends, which saves time and reduces frustration.

I find the simplest is the fruit body typing because most of the time it’s easy to see which fruit your body is most like. If you aren’t sure, you can take your measurements.

The Ruler Body Type:

If your chest, stomach and hips are close to the same proportions, you have a “ruler” body type, some describe this body type as “athletic” because the shoulders are broad and angular. This body type looks amazing in modern, dramatic, figure-hugging styles.

The Apple-Shaped Body Type:

If your chest and stomach are bigger, you have an apple-shaped figure. With this figure type, column dressing (one solid color with an interesting duster or kimono looks great, as does empire-style dresses).

The Hourglass & Pear-Shaped Body Type:

If your chest and hips are similar in size but your waist is smaller, you have an hourglass figure; think Marilyn Monroe. If your hips are larger than your chest and waist, you have a pear-shaped figure, you will look great in many of the same clothing choices as the hourglass figure.

“The Kibbe Body Type program adds celebrities as examples which is really fun.”

Understanding Your Body Type:

Understanding your body type, which necklines flatter your face, chest and neck, determining which hem and sleeve length and types look best on you really helps you find clothes that fit properly. For example, I always wondered why low-rise jeans never seemed to fit me.

I always ended up with a muffin top, the proportions always seemed off and I was always uncomfortable in low rise jeans—so much so that I thought jeans just weren’t for me. When I realized I am an hourglass body type, I discovered that higher-rise jeans are better for me. What a difference it made!

If you want to dig deeper into body type theory, The Kibbe Body Type program adds celebrities as examples which is really fun. There is even a company that will take the measurements you send them and tell you which styles will work best right down to the length of your sleeves and which necklines work best for you.

“Don’t forget the value of a good seamstress or tailor..”

Looked Like “Myself” Again:

If you are in the process of losing weight, you will still want to have an understanding of your body shape and look toward choosing clothing that works with your figure type.

As I explained above, I have an hourglass figure. When low-rise pants came in vogue, I always wondered why I had such a hard time finding a good fit. I had almost given up on jeans when a stylist suggested I try a higher rise. Voila! I looked like “myself” again.

Don’t forget the value of a good seamstress or tailor, especially since many brands now use XS, S, M, and L size—which is actually a blend of two sizes that has a one-inch variation. That makes a big difference in some cases. Wearing clothing that is right for your body type makes all the difference.

We’ve covered a lot, and I hope that if you have joined me in this journey, you are learning more about your wardrobe and some of the underpinnings of style. See you next time when I will share how to include your lifestyle into your evolving style.

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Nina Anders

About the Author:

As the dust from the divorce settled, Nina embarked on finding herself, reconnecting spiritually and mapping out a new future for herself. Seeing there was no real guidance for women in their fifties and beyond, Nina decided to start her award winning blog, Sharing A Journey, a life/style blog for women over 50. The blog covers fashion, beauty, and lifestyle topics for women looking to live their best lives during their middle years.

To follow along, or join in, you can follow Nina’s blog here www.sharingajourney.com, on Instagram @sharing_a_journey, Pinterest, Facebook and YouTube at sharingajourney. Sign on to the Sharing A Journey weekly newsletter and get Nina’s shopping tips here: http://bit.ly/Fashionq