Style is independent of the size tag

When I asked my readers in late summer which subjects they wanted me to address in the Ageless Style Series one was suggested repeatedly: chic style/clothes for size 14 and up for women over 40.

My late mom and Granny Hannah wore a US size 16 and 22, respectively, when they entered menopause. The family album witnesses that women over 40 wearing size 14 and up can look chic in midlife. Entering midlife does not mean turning frumpy. Tweet Size is just a number, chic is independent of size.

#Fashionover40 woman in camouflage cargo pants
London Jean camouflage cargo pants, statement belt, Jeanne Pierre sweater, Söfft booties, Festina watch,  long amethyst ear studs, and Russian scarf (all own)

Outfit suggestions for midlife women size 14 and up

In this post, I share tips and some outfit suggestion for women size 14 and up as well as my outfit from last weekend.

Great choices for size 14 and up

  1. A well-fitted dress can instantly make you look pulled together.
    • Diagonal lines and V-necks elongate. A wrap dress offers both these feature and also makes big boobs look smaller.
    • A hugging sheath looks work appropriate and can be styled sexy for date night. Hugging means at any side, you can grab half an inch of fabric without problem. One inch (2.5 cm) is a good ease.
    • The seams of Princess cut dresses (coats, blazers)lead the eyes up and down and give the illusion of height.
    • Go for simple pattern and ornaments – read polka dots of pin or confetti size, not cup size. Leave the latter for Minnie Mouse.
    • Vertical stripes or long necklaces have the same elongating effect as vertical seams. The same applies for vertical pocket lines. Hidden pockets that are just visible as vertical lines are a great option that does not add bulk.
    • The best sleeveless look for all women is a straight cut as it does not add bulk to the arm.
  2. Go for form-fitting or form skimming sleek pants.
    • Look for straight fit thru the leg and clean lines. This tip applies also to capris.
    • Go for dark colors or washes.
    • Watch the size of the pockets. If they are too small they make your bum look huge. It is all about proportion.
    • Go for jeans with a bit of spandex. They are comfy and flattering.
    • Pants with a vertical crease have a slimming effect.
    • Only buy crisp fabrics with tight structure like woven cotton, denim, wool as anything that can become baggy with wear will look frumpy with time.
  3. For skirts go with fabrics that have a bit of stretch and that have a structured cut like a formfitting pencil skirt that hits just below, at or just above the knee, or a draping mini skirt that hits about 3 to 4 inch (7.5-10 cm) above the knee. Look for sleek cuts that show off your curves and don’t hide them.
    • Solid in dark denim, black, navy, chocolate, graphic pattern or vertical stripes are great choices.
  4. Remember that vertical lines are great for you? Use this knowledge also in the choice of your tops.
    • Go for sleek (not tight, not baggy) cardigans.
    • V-necks or unbuttoned shirts are your friend. But watch the location of the second button! No gaps please!
    • If you are busty, corset-type tops are made for you.
    • Scoop, boat and V-necks are great for you.
    • Tops that slide of the shoulders look sexy on your body type.
    • Show for wrap or faux wrap tops.

My weekend outfit

I went for a casual cargo pants with sweater look this weekend. I accessorized with a printed floral fringed Russian wool scarf and added my shearling booties. Even though cargo pants and a sweater make simple outfit, their combination with the scarf and heels elevate it to stylish.

#fashionover50 woman in posh casual look with Russian scarf and sleek cargo pants
Back view of posh casual outfit with Söfft booties, London Jean cargo pants, half tuck Jeanne Pierre sweater, and Pavlovo Russian scarf (all own)

Pro tip: In midlife, learn to love shape-wear. I always do. It really helps with the fit of pants, skirts, button-down shirts, and dresses.

What are your favorite tricks to style a casual outfit?.

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Photos: G. Kramm

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