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Embracing Tailoring and Other Fashion Tips for Older Women

By Margaret Manning September 13, 2014 Beauty

When I visited Milan to interview fashion expert, Melanie Payge, I had the opportunity to spend some time in the amazing showroom and tailor, Atelier Sangalli. What an amazing experience! Tailoring is one of the oldest and most fascinating professions and to experience the process in the heart of Milan was an absolute treat.

Why Tailoring is So Essential to Fashion for Older Women

I came away thinking that, in a world filled with mass-produced clothing and cookie-cutter styles, it’s a shame that more women don’t take advantage of the services of these highly skilled professionals.

Over the course of filming our fashion tips for older women video series, the topic of tailoring came up again and again. In fact, it was probably the single most important fashion tip for older woman that Melanie gave over the course of two days. But, why is tailoring so important?

It All Starts with Your Body Type

As Melanie and I discussed, there are several body types that we tend to gravitate towards as we age. These include “petite, no waist,” “broad shouldered, rounder,” and “pear shaped” women. Please forgive me for the use of these terms. In my opinion, they’re not terribly endearing, but, they are somewhat useful in categorizing our body types after 60.

In any case, because our body types vary significantly, it’s not reasonable to think that most clothes will fit us “out of the box.” It’s not even a matter of weight, per say. For example, in my case, I am 2-sizes larger on the bottom than on top. So, it’s not even clear what “my size” is.

Fashion Tips for Older Women - The Importance of Tailoring

What do Tailors Really Do?

The art of tailoring (and yes, it really is an “art”) is all about making clothes fit perfectly on your body. A good tailor knows where to alter a dress or pair of pants to accentuate your best assets (neck, waist, etc).

This may sound a bit overly poetic, but, when I tried on my first pair of tailored pants, it felt like I was meeting an old friend. They fit perfectly. More importantly, they made me feel great inside and out.

But Isn’t Tailoring Expensive?

Yes and no. There is absolutely a cost associated with tailoring, as there should be. After all, the women at Atelier Sangalli, and other tailors around the world, have practiced their craft for decades.

On the other hand, tailoring really isn’t that expensive when you consider the alternatives. For example, many women spend ridiculous amounts of money on belts to hold up badly fitting pants.

Others purchase shirt after shirt, hoping to find the perfect fit. Instead of focusing on quantity, why not focus on quality? Why not work with a tailor to make your favorite clothes fit perfectly?

As Melanie said during our interview:

Having things tailored means that you will want to wear them for the rest of your life. It will fit you like a glove. You will feel good in it. It should be a part of you.

Our clothes really are a part of us. Let’s make them a good part.

Have you ever had an item of clothing tailored? What was your experience? Do you like Melanie’s fashion tips for older women? Please let me know in the comments below.

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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