Style Is Not About Body Parts

You’d be forgiven for thinking that fashion and style are all about your figure and your various body parts. This is the message we get from television, movies, magazines, and some style experts. We’re told to “get the illusion of slim hips” or to “look taller and leaner,” or “lengthen our necks.”

Please don’t get upset with me because I have a body shape that’s been culturally “in” for many decades: slim, with long arms and a modified hourglass figure. I don’t struggle to find clothes that fit me, and thrift shopping is easy at my size. That’s not the case for all of us over-40 women, though, and I want to shout out that whatever shape and size your parts are, you’re OK. You deserve to dress however you please and make your own style statement!


body tpes

These illustrations can be fun and helpful to determine our basic body shape, and this one makes me smile. But no matter which fruit we are, we can dress as we like.

This is why I often chafe at style “rules” that tell us how to “balance” our figures. I am not a big fan of rules at any rate, when it comes to dressing ourselves. I especially don’t like being told to elongate my torso, slim my ankles, or do something equally impossible, when I could be drinking a latte or watching Peaky Blinders.

Our body shapes are changing as we age, our tastes are changing, and the view the fashion world offers us is changing. Our priorities, lifestyles and health all change throughout life, not to mention our tastes and desires. No rules can possibly cover all the adventures we’re going to experience. So what to do about looking our authentic best?

Play and experiment as you come up with pleasing looks for yourself. Don’t dwell on any body parts. Show your 50 year old arms any way you like – there is nothing wrong with aging arms, necks, legs or hands. This is who we are and no style book will ever change that.


faith hill body altered

Stunning Faith Hill had every body part digitally altered in these pics. Check out her new super-skinny arm!

Practice saying “My hands are fascinating – they have stories to tell.” “My knees have some character”, and “all the models in the magazines are photo-shopped out of knees, elbows and necklines”. Use words that are neutral, if you can’t muster up a sincere compliment to your feet or belly.

I think it’s a happier day when we just put on something we love, in our favorite color, and head out the door with joy. We can dress for our hearts rather than our other body parts.

Stay fabulous,


Here’s some pieces that make me smile:

Please be aware that links to vendors may be affiliate links. I do benefit from your purchases through the links on the blog.

(Visited 1,280 times, 1 visits today)



  1. This a great post, Patti. There is tremendous societal pressure on women to look “perfect”. No wonder so many girls and women develop body dysmorphia and eating disorders.
    At the end of the day, we should wear what makes us happy. Our friends, family and mate love us for ourselves, not because of our large/small/fat/thin whatever’s.

  2. Agree so much with you Patti, in particular with your statement that “no matter which fruit we are, we can dress as we like”, especially as for many of us our bodies do indeed change with age and we might find that 2 of the fruits seem to merge (like me – apple and hourglass). And yes, I too wish the photoshopping would stop!

  3. Thanks Patti. We should just put on our fave outfit, some lipstick and sashay out into the world.

  4. Ugh, photoshopping! Really I find myself enjoying magazines less and less and instead turning to blogs where real women showcase fashion. I wish the fashion industry would knock it off!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.