Style depends not on the size tag nor body shape. Size is just a number. Who hasn’t heard this saying before? Read this post for tips and outfit suggestion for women size 14 to be happy with your size and live the saying.

  1. Style Is Independent of the Size Tag
  2. Effortlessly Stylish Outfit Suggestions for Midlife Women Size 14 and Up
  3. Size Doesn’t Describe Your Beauty
  4. Secrets of Great Style Independent of Size
  5. Size Charts of Selected Countries
  6. In a Nutshell How to be Happy with your Size


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. Size is just a number, chic is independent of size.



Effortlessly Stylish Outfit Suggestions for Midlife Women 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 and 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.

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.


Size Doesn’t Describe Your Beauty

We all agree that Marilyn Monroe is one of the top style icons for the Bombshell style. She wore a size 8. Oprah claims to be a size 14. Lady Diana Spencer wore a UK size 14 (US 12) at her engagement and a size 10 (US 8) at her wedding when she became Princess of Wales. Salma Hayek is a US size 0 to 2, but sometimes 4. She needs a lot of tailoring because of her curves. Khloe Kardashian wears a US size 6 to 8.

Looking at these iconic women one has to come to the conclusion:

Size is just a number. #dress4success Click To Tweet

Its only purpose is to give you a brought orientation to navigate thru the racks of clothes to find your perfect fit.


Secrets of Great Style Independent of Size

What’s the secret of all these women to look awesome no matter what the size tag says? They don’t care about the number, but about fit. Now how can you be happy with your size and feel awesome? They (or their stylists) are aware of the following and work accordingly:

  1. There are size A and size A where here A stands for an arbitrary size of your choice. Every designer cuts the size A differently. Thus, don’t care about the size tag. Wearing clothes that fit you well make you look your best. Take always three sizes in the fitting room. One in the size you think you are, one in a size lower and one in a size higher than that. Then try them all on and buy the one which one fits best. Never buy something that does not fit or cannot be altered to fit.
  2. Be sure to have items tailored if it is needed. If you wear a different size at the top than bottom – like I do – always remember that it is easier for a tailor to nip something in than to let something out. When you are petite ask whether they can alter it to fit your petite frame. In a dress, you don’t want the waist hanging on your hip. If you are tall make sure the waist of the dress hits the right spot as well.
  3. Make illusions work in your favor. If you want to appear slim, vertical seams like a Princess cut work in your favor. A well tailored dress or jacket can easily give the illusion that you lost 11 lb (5 kg). Vertical thin stripes also make the eye go up and down and give the impression of being taller than you actually are. Long necklaces can also do this trick. Heels elongate the body and that’s just one reason to wear heels. Avoid any horizontal lines – whether it is pockets, darts or stripes – like the plague when you strive to look tall and/or lean
  4. Work with color to accentuate or hide features. Choose dark colors where you are the widest, light where you are the slimmest. Warning! Unless you are naturally a deep color-wise or have a long neck, avoid black close to your face. Dark colors often show-cast forehead lines.
  5. Make sure you get the proportions right or use them consciously. On jeans, pocket flaps or tiny (large) pockets make your bum look huger (smaller) than it actually is. When you want to appear more curvy you may want to wear tiny pockets or flaps. You also can use hems strategically. Doing so can work both ways too, to camouflage a wide part or to show-cast a slim part. For example, you don’t want cropped pants or boots hit where your calves are at their widest. Not sure about what’s you body shape? Then take this free body shape  quiz to find out.
  6. Never buy clothes that are too small with the intend to loose weight! It is just a recipe for frustration and a waste of money.


Take home message:

Great fit makes you look more confident and love your body. This love and confidence show and make you look your best. #dress4success Click To Tweet


Size Charts of Selected Countries

Still not convinced that size is just a number for (very) broad orientation?

US/Canada US UK Europe Italy Australia Japan
2 XS 4 32 36 6 5
4 S 6 34 38 8 7
6 S 8 36 40 10 9
8 M 10 38 42 12 11
10 M 12 40 44 14 13
12 L 14 42 46 16 15
14 L 16 44 48 18 17
16 XL/1X 18 46 50 20 19
18 1X/2X 20 48 52 22 21
20 XXL/2X 22 50 54 24 23
22 3X 24 52 56 26 25
24 3X 26 54 58 28 27
Size doesn’t matter, fit does. #dress4success Click To Tweet


In a Nutshell How to Look Effortlessly Stylish in Size 14

Finding the perfect fitting clothes is important. To achieve this goal size doesn’t matter, but the fit. Of course there are some clothing that add bulk due to their material or cut. In this case, you can make vertical lines work for you so that you even look slim in a waterfall cardigan and not look fat in a shearling coat. The trick to add vertical lines even works when when layering fall pieces for winter.

Size doesn't define you. #perfectfit Click To Tweet

Don’t let the right outfit be a random thing. Wear the right look in every situation by looking up what to wear when in How to Dress for Success in MidlifeBuy my book now.

Are you registered for my email reminders to let you know when a post goes live? I’d certainly love it if you take the time to sign up and ask all your friends sign up too!!

© 2013-2021 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved