Help! I’ve lost my sense of identity!

Help! I’ve lost my sense of identity!

Dressing as a mother in your 40s, especially if you’re a size 16, can feel like a balancing act between comfort, style, and practicality. It’s a wonderful opportunity to embrace your personal style while considering your body’s natural changes. This guide is here to help you navigate the world of fashion, ensuring you look and feel fantastic.

Understanding Your Body Shape

The first step in dressing well is understanding and embracing your body shape. Size 16 can come in various forms: pear, apple, hourglass, or rectangle. Knowing your body type helps in choosing clothes that flatter and fit perfectly.

  • Apple Shape: You may carry most of your weight around your midsection. A-line dresses and empire waists can help draw attention away from the belly, enhancing your look.
  • Pear Shape: If you’re heavier on the bottom than the top, balance your proportions with A-line skirts and structured tops.
  • Hourglass Shape: Defined by balanced hips and bust with a narrower waist. Wrap dresses and belted outfits can accentuate your waist.
  • Rectangle Shape: If your waist, hips, and bust are about the same width, create curves with belts, ruched tops, and layered pieces.

Wardrobe Essentials

Every stylish 40-something mum should have these essentials in her wardrobe:

  1. Well-Fitted Jeans: Invest in mid-rise or high-rise jeans that lift and support. Dark washes offer a sleeker look, while stretchy denim ensures comfort.

Classic Blazers: A well-tailored blazer can dress up jeans and a tee or complement a work outfit. Opt for neutral colors like black, navy, or grey.

Versatile Dresses: Wrap dresses work for almost any body type and occasion. Keep a little black dress for formal events and a casual maxi for everyday wear.

Quality T-shirts and Blouses: Stock up on a variety of t-shirts and blouses in different cuts and colours. These can be mixed and matched with different bottoms.

Comfortable Shoes: As a mum, you need shoes that can keep up with you. Flats, stylish sneakers, and block heels are great for both style and comfort.

    Color and Patterns

    Your 40s are a great time to experiment with colours and patterns that you are drawn to.

    • Colours: Don’t shy away from vibrant colours. If you’re unsure, start with accessories like scarves or jewelry to add pops of color to your outfits.
    • Patterns: Stripes, florals, and polka dots can add interest to your wardrobe. If you’re concerned about highlighting certain areas, use patterns strategically.

    Practical Style Tips

    As a mother, your clothing needs to be as functional as it is beautiful.

    • Layering: Layering is not only stylish but practical. A cardigan or a scarf can easily be added for warmth and style.
    • Quality Over Quantity: Invest in higher-quality pieces that will last longer, rather than filling your closet with items that won’t last a season.
    • Adaptability: Choose clothes that can transition from day to night or from one activity to another. A shift dress, for instance, can be worn with sandals for a day look and heels for an evening out.

    Shopping and Tailoring

    Finding the right size can sometimes be challenging, so here are some shopping tips:

    • Know Your Measurements: Understanding your measurements helps in selecting the right size, especially when shopping online.
    • Tailoring: Tailoring is worth the extra expense to get that perfect fit. A good tailor can make a significant difference in how your clothes look and feel.
    • Online Shopping: Many online stores offer extensive size and fit options. Brands like ASOS, Eloquii, and ModCloth cater specifically to plus-size women, offering fashionable and flattering options.

    Embrace Your Style

    Your 40s are a time to feel confident in your skin and in your style choices. If you love bohemian looks, incorporate boho-chic elements into your wardrobe. If you prefer a more classic style, lean into timeless pieces that never go out of fashion. The key is wearing what makes you feel good.


    Dressing in your 40s as a size 16 is all about embracing where you are in life and reflecting that in your style. With the right pieces, a good understanding of your body shape, and a flair for balancing comfort with chic, you can create a wardrobe that feels both stylish and uniquely you. Remember, fashion is supposed to be fun, so enjoy experimenting and expressing yourself through your clothes!

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