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10 Tips to Dress Yourself Slimmer Over 50

Article by Ceri Wheeldon

We may get a little thicker around the middle once we reach our 50s, but with a few simple tricks we can look slimmer and fabulous in an instant!

  1. Think ‘illusion dress’ or column dressing and apply the same principle when putting together other outfits. An illusion dress tends to have a block of colour running straight down the centre, with a contrast colour to the sides, creating the illusion of a longer, slimmer body. Wear dark trousers and tops , or a dark dress with a bright colour longline flowing cardigan or jacket to create a similar slimmer ‘illusion ‘ look. Take inspiration from this Karen Millen dress from John Lewis
  2. Illusion dress to look slimmer imageWear vertical stripes to draw the eye up the body and not across – an instant trick to look slimmer.
  3. Ruching and Pleats Disguise rounder tums with strategically placed ruching  on dresses and tops.  There are fabulous ruched and pleated dresses available online and on the high street.. This one from John Lewis would be fab for the office.ruching pleats around middle to look slimmer
  4. Shoulder pads. Balance your silhouette with removable shoulder pads – your waist will look slimmer in an instant. Think subtle – we’re not looking for the 80s Dallas/Dynasty effect!
  5. Think fitted. You may be tempted to disguise any lumps and bumps by wearing something loose and baggy, but wearing something fitted to accentuate the best aspects of your figure can be instantly slimming.
  6. Have clothes altered to fit. If you are big busted, chances are that you will have extra fabric around your middle when wearing dresses- making your waist seem larger. Have clothes taken in – it’s amazing the difference some strategically placed darts can make!
  7. Pear shaped? Then look for flared or ‘A’ line skirts to accentuate your waist and minimise your hips.
  8. Look taller to look leaner! Wear heels – you don’t have to choose stilettos – there are some fabulous wedges to choose from too such as these from Moda in Pelle  £69.95polina_nude_porv_8.
  9. Wear long , wide legged or palazzo trousers which skim over your high heeled shoes to create a longer, leggier look . Palazzo trousers from House of Fraser  £31.99palazzo trousers to look slimmer
  10. Shapewear – create a smooth silhouette with the right shapewear . I particularly like the longline shapewear slips that also allow you wear your own well fitted bra.


Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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  1. Gabrielle

    May 3, 2015

    Having retired last year (when I was 62) I now miss dressing smartly every day for work. I have over 30 dresses, mainly slim fitting cross over front v necks, which I loved wearing with a smart short tailored jackets (I am petite at only 5′ tall so it was flattering look for me, with heels … of course!). I almost grieve for this look now as I grab skinny jeans & tops most days now & the dresses hang neglected in my wardrobe, the dressier ones getting the odd airing for a meal out. I never neglected my hair or makeup though. I am alone in having these feelings? I know it’s daft, but I never thought I’d feel like that, but it just seems daft to put on tights & frocks just to potter round or pop to the gym. I do two voluntary jobs, both with children, so frocks unsuitable as I’m playing games & doing arty stuff. I now feel it’s time to let go of most of my dresses as they are taking up so much room, but it’s going to be very very hard as a little bit of me will be gone forever. Still, a nice Ralph Lauren navy blazer would be a bit of comfort to me … so I’ll start saving! Glad I’ve just found this site thanks to The Mail on Sunday article on us Boomers!

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