Over the last year, my style has evolved. It’s in a refining process. Well into my thirties, I’ve become bolder and more subdued at the same time. Bolder, simpler pieces. An evolution of style. The desire to take bigger risks but be confident and to embrace what it truly means to have a personal signature style. I’ve been overhauling my closet. Choosing better and more flattering pieces, tossing worn items and purchasing only the things I adore and flatter me the most.
The question of being plus size, as it inevitably comes up, often turns to what’s appropriate. As I’ve reached my thirties, the conversation is heard more frequently – only this time age is also a factor. In this case, there’s a battle to dress my body and age appropriately.
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But what does that mean?
I talked with a few of my friends – all with a love of plus size fashion and the women who wear it. When I asked them about the idea of age appropriate dressing, everyone was quick to chime in with positive ideas and trends. That’s a great thing – it means we’re all passionate about it! Here are a few of the quotes I captured:
“I think it’s a matter of dressing your authentic self.” ~ @filthycharm
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“Everything can be done in good taste.” ~ @thebashionista
“You have to be aware of your body and what’s flattering.” @roddklever
Authentic, nothing is out of reach and flattering are the goals no matter what. Being age appropriate isn’t about being “appropriate.” Let’s be real, that can mean different things for different people. It can also mean something different, lending to the setting and the event. It can have a host of other implications: what I may wear at a size 18 may be different than someone who is a size 14 or a size 22.
I believe what’s appropriate is what makes you feel beautiful, confident and more powerful. Most times, that means caring for ourselves in all aspects – physically, mentally and how we choose to adorn our bodies in addition to creating the outward appearance the world sees. Feeling beautiful is the end result of many things – not just clothing. The key – confidence.
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Why is any of this important? Because everyone will have an opinion of what you should or shouldn’t wear. It’s better when you yourself can find the confidence and the strength to make those decisions for yourself while reminding yourself there will be critics, naysayers and those who are general haters. But the most important person to please is you.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found there are definite challenges to confidence, creating my version of sexy and wearing something reflective of my style. Many plus size bloggers are under 35 and it’s left me thinking many times – can I rock that? How?
I’m here to tell you, I believe you can make just about any trend work for you at any age. Whether it’s a color, a fabric, an overall look. The main goal is confidence. Are you questioning how you look?
Are you tugging at it in the dressing room (or at home if you ordered online)? Then something needs to be fixed or something else needs to be chosen.
Confidence is always the beginning element. Being confident with what you’re wearing, how you look in it and for me these days, comfortable, is one of the keys to being beautiful.
Here are a few of the S/S trends for 2012 featured in today’s post
- Chambray and Denim
- Peekaboo midriffs
Our first board features chambray. This season there are shirts, shoes, dresses, skirts, slacks. I currently have an amazing dress I bought – last year and can’t wait to wear it! Pairing the fabric with nude shoes and gold accessories gives it a beautiful vintage feel.
Our second board features stripes and the peekaboo midriff – let me say, plus women, we can wear so many variations of stripes and patterns! Never be afraid to try something a little different. Shorter versus longer, a loose fit or bodycon. I focused on the bodycon style – there’s no reason to be afraid of form-fitting items. Pair them down or up! The peekaboo midriff can still be worn – it’s about how we’ve paired it that matters.
I encourage you this season to do something out of the norm and buy yourself something different. If you’re not sure – ask someone. Head to the boutiques. Make a day of it for yourself. Try new items on. Ask questions. Ask for suggestions. This year, we’re going to break new ground, be beautiful and be confident.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on plus size fashion as it relates to being age appropriate. What are your thoughts on the fashion boards? Do you have any surefire rules for dressing in your thirties? Does it matter what you wear if you’re over 35? Can we really pull anything off?
For questions or comments, please reach me on twitter @fromraewithlove.
I’m 38 and I don’t believe that I need to be more conservative in my late 30’s, because I’ve always dressed with style and class in mind. I’ve never gone out the house looking crazy at any age, lol. Am I going to wear concert t’s, sheer skirts, etc? Maybe not the way someone in her 20s would, but I would. I’m with the author of this blog, nice post.
THANK YOU! Dont you just love Rae? You will be seeing more from her on here because she has such an amazing spirit and voice! 🙂 Thank you for the love! 🙂 XOXOXO
Yes!!! I think a trend can be done at any age or size, it’s just about presentation and what makes you feel confident. Thank you for reading and for your comment!
Great post! If you are not authentic with your style, you cannot be confident! Being stylish doesn’t always mean following the trends!
YES Miss Tina, you are sooo right here! 🙂 Thank you for stopping by!
Thank you! I agree it’s all about authenticity!
Inspiring post! Being stylish is about being confident in what you wear.
Thank you so much for reading and commenting!
i think it’s great topic and relevant to a lot of us here. However, why do you feature UK/European brands/stores in your post? some of us cannot pay 20$ for shipping or some of these sites dont even ship to the US..
I do quite often Nancy! 🙂 Are you newer here? Um, If you look in the designers page under resources, you will find a section for UK shoppers! I have you covered! 🙂 Welcome to the blog!
I am 46 years old and I have always done my own thing when it comes to fashion. It has been a couple of years since I have worked out so I know I need to wear more supportive undergarments to keep things in place but other than that I wear what ever I want.
And there you have it! 🙂 Thank you for sharing!
I know that’s right!!! So awesome! I believe undergarments make all the difference!
Nice post Rae. At 33, a mom and a size 16 I’m always on the hunt for what looks fresh, what keeps me looking like a sexy milf without exposing all my secrets and won’t hide my curves while smoothing out some extra padding (Thank Gawd for the inventor of Spanx). A couple of the dresses in board two speak to me; esp. the dress with the pointed arrow pattern. That’s Cute! That’s something of my speed. I’m starting my wardrobe spring cleaning this weekend. I have a few printed tees; one I still wear but often wonder at what age do you stop wearing tees with sayings like “I Love Being a Chocolate Girl!” or have your fave childhood character in vintage form (Strawberry Shortcake) with the saying “Life is Simply Delicious” I haven’t worn the SS tee since my 20s but still rock other printed tees. Hmmmm And just might into my 40s. Who knows.
Being plus size and soon to hit 40 I feel the pressure to dress “age appropriate” alot more than due to my size. The pressure is coming from me and I have no idea what “age appropriate” means. I totally agree that streamlining my closet has helped me, also taking time to look at all the seasons trends means i dont make as many mistakes as i used to. I love being stylish and following fashion and i wont give up on it, I just need designers not to give up on me and all the other women my age rocking it !!!
What about shirts long enough in the front to cover your belly…I have to buy talls from Old Navy and they they are too long in the sleeve or in the back…I usually have to have someone shorten them…But seriously i dont need the length on the sides…shark? really? I need it in the front so that i can create a clean look…maybe even get to tuck it in…cant now..