Midlife Shape Shifting

I regularly work with women who are navigating the changes that midlife brings, and changes in their body shape are often a big concern.  It is a common problem, which so many women experience, but often do little more than cover their bodies with extra fabric to hide the areas they now find offensive.

The most common complaints are a thickening of the waist or the flat tummy they have had for years is now hidden under an extra layer of flesh! It can really knock your confidence!

On top of that of course there are often hot flushes, mood swings, migraines, and any number of other symptoms to cope with when hormones seem to be all over the place.

At a time when the kids are off your hands and those pesky periods have finally stopped, surely it should be your turn to get a break!  But no – mother nature has another few tricks up her sleeve!

However, there is much that can be achieved with some careful adjustments to the way you dress your changing body shape.

Disguising a thickened waist

Courtesy of Kaleidoscope

The thing to remember is that, assuming you had good waist definition in the first place, it’s unlikely to have completely disappeared, it’s just not as trim as it once was.  By hiding your waist under too much fabric, you can simply end up looking even larger than you really are.

By choosing styles with ‘some’ waist emphasis, or by adding a belt, you can accentuate the waist you still have.  By following your curves, and using a few clever distraction techniques, you can have the appearance of a slimmer silhouette without feeling constrained.

Drawing attention to the shoulders and hips, will have the effect of making your waist look smaller than it is – one-button, hip length jackets are a great option to achieve this.  Also wrap tops and dresses, can really help with disguise as the diagonal folds of the fabric can prove to be a great illusion.

Tummy trouble

If excess flesh or weight around the tummy area is a cause for concern, empire line tops, tunics and dresses are a popular choice, but again, too much fabric is to be avoided.

With a larger tummy, the narrowest point of your torso will likely be just under your bust, so, by wearing clothes that draw attention to that point, you will be drawing the eye away from the troublesome tummy area.  Soft, drapey, medium to heavy weight fabrics that skim but don’t cling, will really help.

Courtesy of Joe Brown

A great tactic for either of these issues is to draw attention away from those areas and towards your shoulder line, decolletage and face.  If you are narrow in the shoulder line, small shoulder pads will help as will V or U shaped necklines (not too deep, unless you have an ample bust), plus accessories such as necklaces, earrings or scarves.

The clever placement of a print can also work wonders, drawing the eye to another area of the body or just disguising the offending area, but do make sure the pattern is in harmony with your body’s scale.

Avoid any temptation to hide away in black, in the hope it will make you look slimmer (especially above the waist).  It can look stunning on some, but for many, black can make you look very pale and frankly rather poorly – it certainly has that effect on me!

Colours and shades that flatter your natural colouring will help you to look fresher and younger – who wouldn’t want that?!

These are just a few of the tips I offer my clients when they come to me with these kinds of issues, but obviously every one of us unique. If you’d like to know more, book a FREE discovery call to find out how I can help you with more personalised advice and guidance.

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