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Fashion for Women Over 50+ – How to Dress to Disguise

March 29, 2024

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As we age, many of us have a hard time dealing with the way our body changes. It seems like no matter what we do, we can’t stop it! I feel the same way every day. But fashion for women over 50+ isn’t the same as it is for younger generations. But it also doesn’t have to be frumpy or outdated in order for us to feel comfortable and confident. First, I want you all to know that we aren’t supposed to look like we did at 25. And the fact that society is still catching up to that fact shouldn’t make you feel as if you have to hide anything.

But many of us haven’t quite gotten to the point where we can be happy with every single part of our changing bodies. If we were, there would be no such things as body and face lifts, breast enhancement, and lipo. You don’t have to go to those extremes to like what you see in the mirror. You can find a balance between loving the you that is now, and finding ways to disguise those areas you aren’t thrilled about. Me? My upper arms, cellulite in my thighs, and the extra padding around my belly are my insecurities. And I’m throwing it all out there… These tricks don’t work for me because I’m a size 2. I am not. (Though there is nothing wrong with being naturally petite either!)  I am 5’5″ tall and 160 pounds.

We all have unique features and body quirks that we may wish to downplay or disguise from time to time. Whether it’s minimizing the appearance of a tummy, masking upper arms, or visually reducing our hips, the art of camouflaging through fashion can work wonders in boosting confidence and enhancing our overall appearance. Here’s how to strategically dress for your body and camouflage any perceived imperfections:

1. Embrace Tailoring: One of the most effective ways to camouflage body flaws is through well-tailored clothing. Invest in pieces that fit you perfectly and accentuate your best features while skimming over areas you’d like to minimize. Tailored garments not only flatter your figure but also lend a polished and put-together look to your ensemble. Don’t try to wear jeans that are too tight because you don’t like the number on the tag. That is meaningless, as sizes change with manufacturers constantly, and it’s just a number anyway. Squeezing into too-tight clothes may look fine to you when you are standing with your best posture and sucking in your tummy in front of a mirror, but what happens when you aren’t? Proper fit is a great frump fighter! You don’t necessarily have to buy specific clothes to hide your muffin top, just make sure the clothes you love fit right!


Fashion for Women Over 50+ - How to Dress to Disguise


2. Choose different versions of the clothes you love: Create a balanced silhouette and draw attention away from problem areas by making slight changes in what clothes you choose. For example, if you’re conscious of your hips, opt for A-line skirts or dresses that flare out gently, creating a more hourglass shape. Wear dark pants. If you are like me and aren’t a big fan of your thighs, wear midi or maxi dresses, or wear tall boots. (On of my signature looks!)  Three-quarter-length sleeves hide that upper arm wing while still looking sophisticated. A beautiful silk scarf tied with a little flair can disguise your aging neck. I’m not saying all these areas need to be covered up. They don’t. These are just common spots that older women have issues with.


Fashion for Women Over 50+ - How to Dress to Disguise


3. Strategic Color Blocking: Color blocking is a clever technique that involves using contrasting colors to create the illusion of a slimmer silhouette. Darker shades tend to recede, while lighter hues draw attention. Consider incorporating darker colors in areas you’d like to minimize and lighter shades in areas you want to highlight. For example, a dark-colored bottom paired with a lighter-colored top can help balance out proportions. A dress where the bodice is light colored and the skirt is a dark print is another example. My secret weapon is using this technique with outer layers. A blazer, a sweater, a vest, an overshirt, all in darker colors or longer silhouettes.


Fashion for Women Over 50+ - How to Dress to Disguise


4. Optical Illusions with Patterns: The use of patterns can work wonders in camouflaging body issues. Vertical stripes create the illusion of length, making you appear taller and slimmer. If that striped fabric has a dark background, you have a two-for-one! Similarly, diagonal patterns can divert attention away from problem areas, while subtle prints can help disguise any lumps or bumps. Just be mindful of scale – smaller patterns tend to be more flattering than larger ones. Leave the large-scale florals to the 20-somethings, in my opinion. Fashion over 50 is all about finding your comfort sweet spot in the clothes you choose, however. If you love that large print, try it in a scarf, or even your shoes!


Fashion for Women Over 50+ - How to Dress to Disguise


5. Focus on Fabric: Opt for fabrics that drape elegantly over your body without clinging too tightly. Flowy materials like chiffon, silk, and jersey can help soften angles and create a more flattering silhouette. Aim for a comfortable yet tailored fit that enhances your natural shape. But don’t try to hide yourself in big, baggy clothes. The extra bulk is not achieving what you want it to. Again, this is a place where when I try on clothes, I test the “cling factor” by relaxing my posture. This way I can tell if a flowing top shows a belly roll when I’m not in front of a mirror.

6. Statement Accessories: Redirect attention away from body issues by incorporating statement accessories into your outfit. Jewelry, scarves, hats, or statement handbags can draw the eye upward and add visual interest to your ensemble. Just be sure not to overdo it – one or two carefully chosen accessories can make a significant impact without overwhelming your look. This is also a great way to elevate the simplest outfit.


Fashion for Women Over 50+ - How to Dress to Disguise


7. Confidence is Key: Above all, confidence is the ultimate ket to fashion over 50+. Embrace your unique body shape and celebrate what makes you, you. Celebrate every year of your life’s adventure. Remember age is just a number, and wearing clothes that make you feel good about yourself can instantly boost your confidence and radiance. Don’t let anyone make you feel less than beautiful. Aged beauty is still beauty!


Fashion for Women Over 50+ - How to Dress to Disguise


By following these tips, you can dress to flatter your figure and accentuate your best features, all while feeling fabulous in your own skin with mature women’s fashion. So go ahead, embrace your personal style, and let your confidence shine through!

I think you will also love my posts on 5 Ways to Look More Youthful (without trying to look 29!) and 12 Low Maintenance Haircuts for Women Over 50+

Also visit my Freebies page, where everything is… well, free!

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