Archive | January 2012

‘How Not to Look Old’

How Not to look Old - Review ‘How Not to look Old – Fast and effortless ways to look 10 years younger, 10 pounds lighter, 10 times better’ by Charla Krupp was recommended to me by a friend. It was first published in hard cover in 2008 for the American market and targets women who really cannot afford to let themselves go because of personal and financial reasons.

This book covers the many aging challenges we women over 40 face. (Maybe our mothers had it easier. They could age without all this emphasis on looking ’10 years younger, 10 pounds lighter & 10 times better’. Too late now! We baby boomers live in different times.)

There is good advice in ‘How Not to Look Old’ that every woman can use. Charla goes from the top of your head to the tip of your toes.

Do the quiz in Chapter 1 to find out whether you are high, medium or low maintenance. (You probably know this already. It’s just good to be able to say to your husband or partner ‘See! I am not as high maintenance as you think!)

Each chapter starts with ‘Nothing ages you like …’ and is your anti-aging checklist. At the end of each chapter Charla tells you what to buy in all price ranges and where to find it (great when shopping in the US or searching for anti-aging products and services on the web). She covers hair, makeup, clothes, underwear and accessories.

As an Image Consultant and Baby Boomer Personal Stylist, I agree with most of what Charla says. I’ve just taught them to my clients using different words.

Books like ‘How Not to Look Old’ can feel overwhelming by the time you get to the last chapter. There are lots of dos and don’ts in these types of books. My suggestion is to pick three areas to start with and then consistently apply just one tip from each of those chapters for the next three months. If you like the result, you can come back to the book and choose three more tips to apply. That way you get real value from the book and others will notice you looking younger, standing taller and acting more confident.

(This article is an example of the type of articles sent to readers of ‘Baby Boomer Personal Style’ eZine. Click here to sign up for the eZine .)

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Drop a Dress Size

51% of Australian women, in a poll recorded in the February 2012 issue of ‘Prevention’ magazine, want to drop a dress size. Hmmm!

I looked in my wardrobe. I have clothes that range over 3 to 4 sizes and some made for me with no size number. When I sew, I am different sizes for different pattern brands. There is the contradiction of a size 8 skirt where the waist is too big although it fits perfectly over my hips. And I can also wear a size 12 bra under an Extra Small top and they both fit me perfectly. The only thing that stays consistent is my shoe size.

Drop a dress size! Where do you start – the largest, the average or the smallest size?

A universal standard of dress sizes doesn’t exist in Australia. In the USA I am a different size again.

I bet your wardrobe also has a variety of sizes in it.

Here are my thoughts on the subject.

The Dream

‘Drop a dress size’ is a favourite new year’s resolution as it’s seen as an easy thing to do. This is a longing for a happier time in the past when you felt slim and all your clothes looked good on you.

You can drop a dress size (ie lose weight) in any number of ways. There are lots of programs, books and people out there who will help you achieve it. The real challenge is to maintain that dress size and that means a permanent change in lifestyle eating and exercise habits.

The Reality

You can drop or gain one or two sizes just by your choice of clothes on any particular day. That won’t change if you lose weight. Well OK, it will if you wear only one brand exclusively but don’t count on it.

When trying on new clothes, take three sizes if possible – what you think you are, one size below and one size above. It is the fit not the size number you are looking for ie the feeling not the number. Note that the best size for your tops and skirts/pants may be different especially if you are pear-shaped or an inverted triangular shape.

Illusion

What’s left – one size fits all or multi-sized clothes. Don’t go there. These clothes have to be the biggest size to fit everyone. If you are not the biggest size, it won’t look good on you.

I’ve never been asked ‘Have you dropped a dress size?’ I have been asked ‘Have you lost weight?’

To dress slimmer be adventurous. Try on new styles, even if you think they are not for you. In the privacy of the dressing room only you will see yourself. You may be pleasantly surprised. Modern bandage-style dresses (Laura K dress on left) that wrap in small crossovers from your bust to your waist or hips make your midriff area look slimmer. Materials with some stretch in them can gently hold you firmer and slimmer. Some dresses now have built-in shaping. Shapewear today is much softer and less constricting than 1960’s step-ins. All give the illusion of a smaller dress size.

If All Else Fails, tap into your lighter side. Cut off all size tags or order some personalised dress tags in the size you want to be. Humour is good for your body and your soul.

If you want to be slimmer, do it.

If you want to look and feel slimmer, read more clever slimmer dressing tips (especially re waist slimming styles) in Part 2 on 2 February 2012.

(Article sent to ‘The Fashion Translator’ eZine readers of 12 January 2012. Click here to sign up for the eZine .)

How to Measure Yourself Accurately

When buying clothes on the Internet, it is important to order your correct size. Here’s how to measure yourself accurately to compare against sizing charts.

Bust – the fullest part around the middle of your bust. This is usually over the nipples. Had breast cancer and got different sized busts? Measure yourself across both nipples and take the biggest number.

Waist – around your belly button. For those whose hourglass figure is now a more relaxed curve, it is not where your body curves in the most. (Oops! Our waists have just become bigger.)

Hips – around the fullest part which is usually around the fullest curve of your bottom. You may have to measure a few heights to get the fullest part. For those of you with a tummy, do another measurement around the fullest part of your tummy. Clothes have to skim nicely over both your tummy and your bottom, so take the largest measurement for ease of fit and comfort.

(Article sent to ‘The Fashion Translator’ eZine readers on 12 January 2012. Click here to sign up for the eZine .)