Editor’s note: This is a regular series in which we help Styling You readers solve a particular wardrobe or clothing crisis with a little advice and some shopping suggestions. If you think you’d like to be considered as part of a Wardrobe Boot Camp post, then please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a couple of photos and a brief rundown of what specific help you would like.
Libby has been suffering from menopause for seven long years and is unable to take HRT. Not only does Libby have hideous hot flushes and marauding mood swings, but a libido that is lost in action. At only 53, Libby is too young to be feeling this old.
Libby loves her darling husband, and had the brilliant idea that wearing something that made her feel good, even sexy, might help. I’ve been tasked with Operation Sexy Back!
I reckon I am the woman for the job as I’ve experienced something similar when I was diagnosed with autoimmune disease when I was only 32. I was constantly sick, tired, sore, exhausted and grumpy, plus I put on weight which just made me feel worse about myself – and my libido went MIA too.
Libby is blessed with big boobs and wears size 16, the average Australian dress size, and says she doesn’t feel comfortable in spaghetti straps or see through fabrics. Quite right too – sometimes sexy is more about what you can’t see than what you can.
A good quality and well fitted bra is a must as keeping the girls lifted and separated is an easy way to look like you’ve dropped a dress size. Hoisting your boobage higher visually lengthens your torso, thereby making you look slimmer.
The vintage glamour of 50s style underwear is perfect for making Libby feel sexy and has the added benefit of helping to create a smooth line. If the waistband is too high, the tummy can pouch out underneath, and if it is too low, the tummy can pouch out over the top, creating the dreaded muffin top.
A fabulous smoothing slip that smooths rather than squishes, in a breathable fabric for dealing with Libby’s hot flushes, is a great confidence booster. I frequently layer mine over leggings or skinny jeans and under a loose fitting top, as well as under dresses.
My lazy girl fashion secret weapon when I need to look fabulous yet stay comfortable is a dress, as there are no worries about coordinating tops and bottoms, shirt buttons straining, or waistbands coming untucked. If it’s cold, layer a long sleeved fine gauge tee underneath, a jacket or cardigan on top, and add a pair of opaque tights, and just discard layers at will as you warm up.
I am a huge fan of Verily. Leonie Macleod is a very clever lady with her flattering designs, which take all sorts of figures into consideration.
I’ve chosen a few dresses for Libby that will show off her banging bosom and skim over the bits she’s not so happy about. The breathable fabrics will help with her hot flushes, and the flattering designs will make her feel so good about herself on the outside that she’ll feel better about herself on the inside.
The Watercolour Kaftan is a stylishly sexy piece that can be dressed up for evening, with a hint of skin with the open arms. The Kimino Maxi comes in at the narrowest part, under the bust line and reveals alluring cleavage. Wear with a pair of wedge sandals to lengthen your line. The Cross My Heart Dress is an uber flattering option that can be styled up and is cleverly designed to make the most of curves. The Red Rosette and Missy Dresses are fab day dresses with scoop necklines and are designed to flow over hips, tummies and thighs, most women’s least favourite parts. The Missy Dress can be worn with or without the waist tie belt.
Accessories that will help Libby bring sexy back include pretty scarves and long necklaces to draw the eye down and lengthen the torso, thereby minimising the bust. Some sparkly earrings and jewellery will draw attention to her smiling face, because nothing is sexier than a confident smile!
1. Salsa Underwired Balcony Bra by Fantasie $51 Salsa Short by Fantasie $26 | 2. Rebecca Underwired Moulded Bra by Fantasie $67 Rebecca High Waist Smoothing Brief $35 | 3. Rebecca Brief by Fantasie $26 | 4. Luxe Dress Slip by Oroton $35 (on sale) | 5. Smoothing Underwired Balcony Bra by Fantasie $41 Smoothing Brief by Fantasie $22 | 15% off full price items with code 15OFF from Clara-Olivia
Now it’s your turn. Have you had similar issues to Libby? Any tips you’d like to pass on? Would love to hear how you have managed this stage of your life.
Kim-Marie Williams is the Editor, Stylist and Consultant at KimbaLikes.com, where she chats about Family | Fashion | Frivolity – the things Kimba Likes! A retro cute stylish individual with a passion for fashion, a beauty junkie and opshopper extraordinaire. Offering style tips and reviews and sharing life, love and laughs on KimbaLikes.com, Kimba is celebrating her Big Four Oh My Gods this year, and is enjoying the confidence which comes with knowing your own style. You can find @kimbalikes all over the social media landscape, sharing her latest bargain as her life mantra is Never Pay Retail.