I’m not a big fan of the labels that society attaches to women’s bodies and neither was fashion expert, Melanie Payge, when we filmed our fashion over 60 videos. On the other hand, the fact is, when it comes to purchasing clothes, women really do face unique challenges based on their body types.

The first step to looking great in your 60s is to accept your body type. Only then will you be able to apply Melanie’s advice and find a look that is perfect for you.

Understanding Your Body Type is Essential to Fashion Over 60

At the same time, there is no denying that certain cuts and styles look better on different body types. What looks amazing on a “petite, no waist” woman might look ridiculous on a “pear-shaped” woman, like myself. Here are a few of Melanie’s top tips. I hope that you find them useful, no matter what beautiful body type you have.

Advice for “Petite, No Waist” Women

In some ways, this is the easiest body type to dress. Petite women look great in jeans and are one of the few body types to be able to easily wear dresses with only limited tailoring. As Melanie points out, dresses look especially flattering on this body type because, while our waists shrink as we age, petite women still tend to have nice legs.

On the other hand, petite women need to be careful to avoid baggy clothing, which has a tendency to overwhelm their look. When in doubt, it’s best to stick with fitted clothes instead.

Tips for “Broad Shouldered, Rounder” Women

While broad shouldered, rounder women have their own unique charm and beauty, they also face unique challenges when it comes to choosing clothes.

Melanie’s first recommendation for these women is to stay away from anything that draws too much attention to their top. This includes bright scarves or chunky jewelry. Instead, they should consider a tailored jacket that gives form to their top without being distracting.

Dresses are especially challenging for this body type and, as a result, Melanie recommends purchasing straight-cut, tailored pants, instead. Another option is to go with a jacket and skirt combination to give yourself a lighter look, while still matching the clothes to your unique proportions.

Advice for “Pear-Shaped” Women

For starters, jackets work fabulously for this body type. Just make sure that your jacket goes straight across the top and has a seam. Also, keep an eye out for jackets that accentuate your waist, as Melanie demonstrated in our video series.

Women with this body type need to be especially careful with leggings, which, while comfortable, are one of the least flattering items of clothing around. Instead, choose a pair of pants that come straight down from your hips.

If you love dresses, get ready to do some tailoring, because it is unlikely that they will fit “out of the box.” Or, if your top and bottom are different sizes, consider a skirt and top combination.

Accepting Your Beautiful Body

Regardless of your body type, it’s important to accept who you are. Many women purchase clothing anticipating weight loss. Others force themselves to fit into a pair of jeans 2 sizes too small for them. Melanie’s advice is to accept who you are and purchase clothes for your body type as it is now. As she said:

It’s not about losing weight. It’s about accepting your body type and enhancing the things that are positive about your body.

I hope that you found these tips useful! Our body types videos have plenty of examples and are available in our fashion for older women video series. Plus, the series includes dozens more videos on topics ranging from colors and clothing essentials to body types and accessorizing.

What body type are you? What advice would you give to other women who share your body type? What do you think are the keys to getting the most from fashion over 60? Do you have any questions for Melanie? Please let me know in the comments below.


Feel free to contact Melanie Payge to organize a personal style consultation.

Special thanks to Atelier Gianluca Saitto, Atelier Sangalli and MI79 Mercatino Michela for letting us use their fabulous spaces.

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