We all acquire lumps and bumps and wobbly bits as we become women of a certain age.

By the time we are 50, we start feeling and seeing the effects of gravity and the loss of elasticity in our skin. Even thin people lose this elasticity. Pull the skin on the back of your hand; it no longer bounces back into shape – and it happens all over your body.

The insides of your thighs will eventually become like sagging curtains. Your arms become bat wings and your stomach looks like cottage cheese. One of the worst side-effects of these physical changes is back fat, and again, even thin people have back fat, although it may not appear until mid-50s. I hope that you find these fashion over 50 tips useful!

 
 

The Solution

How to solve these problems? A love affair with shapewear! It can become your greatest friend and ally in looking and feeling more youthful – and in saving you some emotional anguish. Click here to look at some specific products.

Celebrities over 50 displaying smooth, sleek bodies are wearing shapewear (you don’t really believe they’re perfect do you?!) Think Catherine Zeta Jones, Helen Mirren, Jane Fonda, Julianne Moore and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Admitting you may need help is not a sign of weakness! In fact, wearing shapewear can often make you feel more comfortable, especially if you have been fitted for a good bra.

The Top 5 Shapewear Companies

Here are some of the top companies for shapewear.

Spanx

Designed for women by a woman, and advocated by such luminaries as Tyra Banks and Oprah, Spanx offers a huge line of products, including full body shapers, bras and panties, swimsuits, pantyhose and leggings.

Spanx uses a cotton material that allows the skin to breathe. The lightweight fabric gives medium control and will smooth out lumps and bumps. Try the OnCore mid-thigh body suit for a fabulous effect that even helps with back fat and muffin top.

Leonisa

With 50 years’ experience in the lingerie industry. Leonisa has some of the most stunning shapewear. From post-partum tummy control, incorporation of Velcro to allow the wearer to determine how much flattening is needed, to post-operative support underwear, each piece is created beautifully. Have a look at the full Leonisa range on Amazon.

Ann Chery

A Colombian manufacturer of shapewear whose popularity knows no bounds! The company uses state of the art technology to develop the fabrics for their underwear, which is truly about compression – without the pain!

You can buy the Waist Cincher on Amazon. I’m not convinced it’s what most of us women of certain age want! It’s advertised as a waist trainer corset which will make you look slimmer.

Flexees from Maidenform

The answer for all-over firm control, the collection features lightweight and firm waist cinchers, thigh slimmers and plus size briefs. Flexees produce what they call a Weightless Power
collection. You can get Flexees on Amazon.

Your Contour

Started in 2006, the first product in this company was Arm Shapers! A lot has been added since 2006; go to Amazon to find your own arm shapers and more of what’s available.

Letting Go – Of Old Undies!

While you’re busy checking out new underwear, why not take the time to have an underwear cull, too. We’re all very good at selecting clothes for the outside, but seldom seem to think about our underwear. Unless we’re in an accident. Heaven forbid.

If you have anything vaguely resembling Granny’s bloomers or schoolgirl knickers, they must go. Along with anything that creates an extra bump or lump; you have enough bumps and lumps without adding fuel to the fire (so to speak).

You know when things are too old to go on. The fabric is often thin, the elastic has exceeded its use-by date. It’s hard to create a sparkle; no matter how many times you wash them. If you’re really not sure about your knickers and bras, try them on under a fitting dress or some lycra pants. Then you’ll know if you can keep them or not.

Fashion Over 50: Something for Every Body

Go to a small lingerie shop or a large department store and get it all fitted by a professional. This is no time to be embarrassed. These women have truly seen it all. Not wishing to burst your bubble – trust me – you’re just not that special in the aging department.

You can buy amazing structural support systems in different levels of control (see above!). Compression ranges from light to medium to heavy-duty. The heavy-duty type can take inches off you … and it doesn’t mean you will have fat bulges over the top of, or peeping from under, the shapewear.

Body Suits and Arm Shapewear

If your problem is the tops of your arms, fat under the arms, back fat and a layer of fat under the bust, get yourself a shapewear top with sleeves (short or 3/4), that rests at belly button level (Your Contour).

Body suits are great if you don’t have the extra fat under the arms and at the top of your arms. A shapewear slip will also give you a more streamlined look.

Get Fitted for a Bra

And please get yourself fitted for a bra. You can take five years off the way you look by wearing a bra that gives your boobs a new lease on life. Eighty percent of women don’t have their bras fitted and, as you become women who are over 50, like everything else, your bust changes. The physical changes to your bust can be dramatic and, as much as anything, a bra that fits well will be more comfortable.

From experience, I can tell you that if you have a painful back or hip problems, or anything that affects your balance, add shapewear to the equation – combine it with exercise – and you will notice some extraordinary changes.

Whether you buy panties, shapewear, bras or even socks, buy a selection in black and nude. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, white undies don’t work under anything. If you have any, throw them away!

What do you think about shapeware? Do you have a favorite brand? What other fashion over 50 tips can you share with the community? Please share your thoughts and stories in the comments.

Penelope Jane WhiteleyPenelope Jane Whiteley is the self-appointed Queen of Aging Disgracefully. She helps other women to live their life on their own terms, to be true to themselves, to do and say what they want, to stop living within other people’s expectations and to abandon the quest for perfection with apologies to nobody. Please follow her on Twitter @the_pjwhiteley.

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