Is This My Underwear? Also 4 Important Secrets…

Important tip for when you’re dressing: if you’re stepping into your underwear, and it feels uncomfortably tight since the last time you wore them a week ago, don’t automatically jump to the horrifying conclusion that you’ve gained so much weight since last week that your underwear doesn’t fit (or perhaps the even more horrifying conclusion that your husband is having an affair with a much skinnier woman and she inexplicably left her underwear in your drawer); instead, consider that you might be trying to pull them up to your waist through one of the leg holes.

Yes, that happened.

Now listen up because I have two things to say:

1. Tailored! That’s the word I was searching for last week, not “classic” or “classy.” I want to wear more tailored clothes sometimes rather than always being flowy and drapey. But what is the best way for a woman with a short(ish) body and plenty of womanly curves to wear tailored outfits? I will investigate. Stay tuned.

As an aside, my father-in-law recently described me as “zaftig.” He said it meant, um, sexy in the bosom area, which was, you know, a little awkward. But I always thought it meant just plain heavy. Don’t they always use that word to describe opera singers, like that lady who wears the hat with the horns? 


“You look pleasingly zaftig, ma’am.”

H’m. So apparently “zaftig” means “having a pleasantly plump figure; full-bodied; well-proportioned.” Could be worse, I guess. 

As I investigate tailored fashion for women of my type, I’ll try this search phrase: “tailored outfits for middleaged zaftig women.”

Tried it. Interestingly, the first thing that turned up was an ad for Chico’s. Mostly the results were pretty useless and I couldn’t see any rhyme or reason about them, but I did find a couple of interesting tips from an article in the Huffington Post about a book called Wardrobe Wakeup by Lois Joy Johnson. Here’s a short excerpt:

What’s the biggest fashion mistake women over 40 make?
Not re-tailoring all those old designer blazers they splurged on. Every jacket benefits from a nip and tuck. You (and they) look slimmer and more youthful. Get rid of shoulder pads, contour the waist and slim down the sleeves.

What’s the one thing women must always remember to do when it comes to fashion?
Wear a belt at the waist to restore body definition and give clothes a contemporary shape. Belt sleeveless dresses, flat-knit fitted sweaters, cardigans over dresses, coats and even those jackets. A skinny is great because you don’t give up midriff space!

So just like that, I have my answer about how to look tailored! Isn’t the internet a wonderful thing?

2. This whole deal of talking about my whole style adventure-search-thing is just not working for me, because I feel TOTALLY SELF-CENTERED! You are all so nice, telling me how great I look and how my outfits look good, and etc. But I’m not writing this for positive feedback about my looks because I really try hard not to be a narcissist (though I am a Leo, so cut me some slack). I really want to know and share what other women like us think about ourselves, our self-image, how we want to appear to the world.

So please! Talk to me, people. Make comments, send thoughts, share ideas. What makes you happy and what makes you crazy in terms of all this? And listen, you’ve all got your work cut out for you, because I only have about, what, 20 readers? So get in gear and help me out here… My email address is on my “about me” page. Send pics! Or you can send me a private Facebook message and attach pictures there.

3. I know I said I had two things to say but make it three. This one may be the most important. Announcing FRIDAY FAVORITES! Starting next Friday (if you all step up to the plate and participate), I will showcase my readers’ favorite things. Send pics of your favorite outfits, accessories, makeup, shoes, whatever. (sleepwear? winter coats? Um, hairstyles!). Send pictures of the things that make you happy when you wear them, that make you feel like the most YOU, that make you feel good about yourself.

It can be a picture of you in the outfit, or just a picture of the outfit or item itself, or a picture grabbed online of something you like.

4. (Yes, I know) I saw a pic of my pink shoes on a woman who wore them with leg warmers. So I tried it. What do you think? 


Truth be told, they’re not actually leg warmers, they’re sleeves that I cut off a really ugly sweater. Can you tell?

Quick note about the headline: there are no secrets here, not even one, much less four. I’m just trying to  pique readers’ interest. I think that’s against all editorial best practices, but I don’t have an editor, so suck it.

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