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How to dress with confidence during menopause

Profile picture of Angela Barbagallo
By Angela Barbagallo

How to dress with confidence during menopause

During menopause, you may be dealing with hot flushes and night sweats, and you could also experience changes to your body shape.1,2 Some of my clients tell me they have experienced weight gain around the stomach and have a fuller bust, and, as a personal stylist, I have witnessed many clients go through menopausal hot flushes in the change room. Self-confidence can really be tested. What used to look good simply might not work anymore.

Early menopause

Growing up in Europe, I witnessed my mum start menopause at the early age of 38. I have always been aware that this could happen to me too, as I had my first period at the age of 9.

Motherhood came to me in my mid 30s, and at 38 I delivered my second baby, a boy weighing in at a solid 4.5 kilos.

In my early 40s, I noticed I was just not feeling ‘right’. I suffered head aches that would continue for 3 days. So, I went to the doctor and talked about a menopause treatment that could help me take back control.

Read on for my style tips on how to dress with confidence during menopause.

Your menopause body shape

The body shape can be determined by 3 measurements; your bust, waist and the fullest part of your bottom. Most women I have measured are a pear body shape, followed by rectangle as a close second.

Each body shape has its own points of focus. An inverted triangle, for example, has a broad upper body that needs to be balanced with the lower body. Choosing the right fabrics in the upper body with a bit of give is key.

Pear and hourglass body shapes look best in waist defining styles, but rectangle body shapes need to “order-in” the waist, preferring slim-lined jackets, dresses and tops. 

Apple body shapes can use colour blocking, scarves and soft layers to create slimness around the middle of the body, as the stomach is the widest part (more on colour blocking later).

A slight change in bust, belly and hips can throw you into another body shape category, which means your old clothes might not look quite the same. Time to re-measure and re-adjust the styles you pick!

Regaining confidence during menopause

Sue Taylor is one of my regular styling clients. She is in her late 50s, retired from a senior position in finance and enjoying life. She plays golf and piano and loves lots of sports like pilates, Physical Culture and yoga.