April 4, 2016
Note: Usually I note on the photos what each item cost but since there are so many photos in this post, I will just let you know that nothing was bought new and the average cost of each item (clothes, shoes, jewelry) was about $4.
I’d always heard the rumor that once you get past fifty, your waistline starts to expand. I never paid much attention because, why borrow trouble, right?
Well, I am fifty-four. And those rumors? They are true.
In fact, I was recently tempted to ask Steve, “Is your Miata missing its spare tire? I think I just found it!”
And so, over the past few months I’ve made a point of finding fashion fixes to help camouflage the recently arrived Spare Tire-ness in my life.
The first tip is to shop for tops that have a little heft to them. If I hold a blouse up on a hanger and it sort of collapses in on itself, I put it back on the rack because I know that it will diligently cling to every hill and valley of my midsection.
On the other hand, when I see a shirt that holds its shape on the hanger I know that it will also hold its shape on me, thereby helping to camouflage what lies underneath.
This shirt not only has heft, it also has a subtle pattern that keeps the eye moving, rather than encouraging it to settle in one spot.
And adding a point of interest like a scarf near the face swoops the eye up, up and away from the trouble spot. Let’s swoop those eyes, shall we?
This is another shirt that has a little weight to it; it also has that subtle pattern that makes such a difference in spare tire disguise.
And just as a side note about jewelry: the silver necklace looks perfectly fine with this outfit but after I had looked at it for a minute, something didn’t seem quite right.
Instead, I chose this necklace, a gift from my sister on my 50th birthday. I liked it so much better. The skirt is quite whimsical and therefore the necklace needed to have some whimsy, too.
Before I move on, I have to tell you about this skirt. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it because it has a quirky, creative vibe. Unfortunately, it fell to mid calf which is not my favorite length. I knew the skirt couldn’t be hemmed because of the flouncy bottom so I asked my seamstress if she could try cutting off some material from the top of the skirt and then add an elastic waistband. It worked perfectly!
Another midriff-hiding trick to is to put a fairly close fitting top beneath a more floaty-fitting outer layer. It is then hard to tell if one’s floatiness is produced by one’s spare tire or by one’s clothing. We women can be devious, can we not?
This look also has the added benefit of making the bottom half (not just the waist) appear smaller. (Sorry I had to lop off my head; my hair was an absolute fright.)
This topper isn’t floaty but it still is a good disguise because it does not cling. Once again notice how adding a point of interest (the necklace) draws attention upward.
Although I realize I’m on the subject of toppers, I also want to mention that this particular white shell is an absolute gem. It is made of some sort of incredibly, magically, miraculously thick fabric that smooths out all the areas that need smoothing.
If I had put a thin, flimsy blouse under this jacket . . . well, the thought of it is too traumatic to even contemplate.
The white blouse again . . . love it.
Notice how the outside, darker column of color draws the eye up and down and makes the middle, lighter column of color seem smaller?
Once again, I am wearing a top with some of the aforementioned heft to it, along with a small pattern for the purpose of disguisement. (The CIA has nothin’ on women who are trying to hide their midsections!)
Still a column of color, but it’s reversed. (A belt is a nice tummy whittler, too.)
I probably should have done some head lopping in these photos as well. That’s some pretty wild hair!
I have managed to find a couple of shirts that have a band just below the stomach area so that the eye is drawn to the band (which looks smooth and flat) instead of to the area above the band. (Which does not look smooth and flat.)
Here’s another example of a banded bottom. I actually prefer the one above because there is a little less droopiness under the arms which slims the whole silhouette a little more.
I have saved my favorite tip for last. Quite simply, it is ruching. If you have nothing in your wardrobe with ruching, you are missing out on the most fabulous disguise trick ever. And I should know, because I didn’t have anything in this category till last week when I finally found a ruched blouse.
I had been looking for months and months at every thrift store I shopped at but couldn’t find the right size, fit, and color. (One of the few drawbacks of thrift store shopping is no size selection.)
I tried the blouse on with a topper and a flared skirt; however, the flared skirt threw the proportions off.
I gathered some of the material in a bunch behind me just to show how much of a difference a straight skirt makes when its paired with a long, flowy topper.
Since I didn’t think it would look quite right to walk around in public bunching my skirt behind me, I remembered I had a straight brown skirt in my closet that I hadn’t been able to wear for several months. However, since I’ve recently dropped a (very) few pounds, it fit me again.
Happy day. Ruching and a re-fitted skirt.
I know, I know. I only promised 5 Tips but a comment by reader, Lisa Desaulniers, reminded me of a wonderful tip that I had forgotten about completely and that is empire waist dresses.
Since I don’t own any (I really need to keep an out for some, though) here is a picture I grabbed from Pinterest.
In Lisa’s words, “An Empire waistband will show off the smallest part of your figure (around the rib age) and hopefully the fabric below flows away from the body parts you want to hide and creates a nice silhouette.”
Thanks so much, Lisa, for being my 6th Tipper! 🙂 This is a great point.
I hope some of this has been helpful to you. I always enjoy hearing from you in the comments.
Thrift stores, fuzzy socks
and conversing with my Yorkie
are all on the list of things I love.