Tired of Buying New Clothes? Look Good in the Ones You Already Have!
When we see models come down the runway, by design the first thing we notice is what they are wearing. The designers want the clothes to take center stage. That’s why they pick tall, thin and mostly very young models who act as human “hangers.” They don’t get in the way of the design.
This makes it tricky for women our age. Unlike those models, we don’t want to disappear behind our clothes. It’s hard enough getting noticed at all. We want to be seen, but that makes our bodies show up as well. So how do we become visible and still look fashionable and chic?
Quality is one way. Generally, the more expensive the garment the better will be the cut and the fabric. But even buying couture right off the rack won’t guarantee that you will look stylish. It’s the person wearing the garment that makes it look chic – or dumpy.
So, if you are tired of buying new clothes, consider the following:
Stand Up Straight
The “posture of aging” is not inevitable, and it profoundly affects how your clothes drape on you – not to mention how you think of yourself when you catch sight of your reflection in the mirror.
If you’re hunched over or if your shoulders are caved in around your chest, or if your head is thrust forward, your clothes just won’t hang right.
So, establish some good practices now. If you need inspiration, take a look at this wonderful 85-year-old woman who eliminated her hunched back over a period of a year by doing yoga.
If she can change, you can too. She had a knowledgeable, patient yoga teacher. Maybe you just need a bodyworker who is used to training older women.
Do whatever you can to prevent losing an elegant postural line. A bonus: good posture gives your internal organs room to function optimally. And standing up straight sends a great message: I am here to be seen.
Feet Straight Ahead
One of the most unflattering ways to walk is duck-toed. Physically, it throws off your knees and/or pelvis. Visually, it makes you look somewhat inelegant. Also, it will wear down your shoes quickly.
When your feet point in the direction you’re walking, you convey an image of someone who knows where they are going and what they are doing.
If you’ve accommodated to walking with your feet pointing out all your life, it will take quite a while to retrain yourself to aim your toes forward. Trying to do it too quickly can make you lose your balance – and that’s a side effect you do not want.
Although, it’s a good practice to gradually become aware of where your toes are pointing and make slight adjustments to correct their position over time.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
There’s nothing that makes one look haggard more quickly than hobbling on aching feet. Aching feet are not sexy. But there’s no reason to give up pretty shoes. If you must reassess your shoe wardrobe, then so be it.
Find some pretty flats or lower heels and try pairing them with multiple outfits. The joyful expression on your face when wearing comfortable shoes will instantly elevate your look. And speaking of elevation…
Elevate the “Girls”
Hanging boobs bring the eye down, instead of up toward your beautiful face. They’re literally a “downer.” If you’re over a size of 32B you need to wear a bra.
Quite personally, I hate wearing a bra. Whenever possible I wear a shelf bra tank top instead. But there are certain items of clothing that require a bra to make the line of the garment look right.
If you’re under a 32C, Coobies are a great and extremely comfortable alternative – and there are some knockoffs too; all are very inexpensive. Yes, I get that you feel you’ve earned the right to let it all hang out. However, if you want to look chic, draw the eyes of the viewer upward.
Proportion Is Everything
If you’ve shrunk a bit – or gained more ground – you need a trip to the tailor. Hanging clothes on a small frame say, “bag lady.” A good tailor can take a much-loved classic – or new – item and make it wearable for many seasons.
A rule of thumb when unsure whether something needs tailoring is to look honestly in the mirror and ask yourself, “Am I wearing this or is it wearing me?”
Good posture, pretty and comfy shoes, staying uplifted and wearing well-tailored clothes will get you noticed and considered chic. And it all costs very little in the long run… a lot less than a new wardrobe.
Are you tired of buying new clothes? Or do you still enjoy shopping for clothes? How do you make the most of the clothes you own? Do you have one item of clothing that you absolutely love? Please share your thoughts below!
Andrea Pflaumer is the author of “Shopping for the Real You: Ten Essential Steps to a Better Wardrobe for Every Women – Fashionistas, Fashion-phobes and the Over Fifty”, and “She’s Got Good Jeans.” She writes about fashion, style and the arts in the San Francisco Bay Area. Please visit her blog Shopping for the Real You.