Body Type

How Should My Clothes Fit so I Don’t Look Frumpy?

Caught you!

Are oversized baggy sweaters and loose, sloppy pants making you look old and frumpy? Go to the mirror now. Take a good look. Be honest. Baggy, poorly fitted clothes are a big problem after 40.

I know you’ve gained a few pounds, you don’t feel perfect about your body, and you cover up big time. But you are not fooling anyone!

Big baggy clothes will not make you look slimmer. They will make you look heavier- much heavier than you are, and make you look frumpy as frumpy can be!

Case in point. Look at the problem with this outfit below. The sweater is too heavy and baggy, the skirt too long and loose- rather shabby, wouldn’t you say, but look what happens when we put her into this other outfit…. a slimmer fitted sweater with a more open neckline, shorter skirt with lovely pencil style skirt—Viola- absolute difference.


The lesson here is the lessons = frumpy.

Embrace the body you are in now and wear clothes that skim your silhouette no matter what your size—Oo tight, not too loose- but just right.

Take your clothes in. Men always do it, but we have to buy off the rack. We give you permission to take something in, throw it out, and start all over. Dump the frump and get the right fit!

Here are some things to think about when you are trying to get the right fit:


1. Sleeves on jackets should cover your bones when you hang your arms down at your sides.

2. Shoulders of a jacket should sit perfectly straight on the shoulders with no drag or pull to one side.

3. A jacket should not cling or be tight across the back – no horizontal lines across the back, or it is too close.

4. Skirt lengths should be at the knee or 2″ above the knee if you have great legs.

5. Side seams on skirts or pants should lie flat and hang straight from the waist.

6. The rise is the critical fit area on pants. Make sure the crotch is not too low, or you will look short, too high, and it is distasteful.

7. The hem of your pants should touch your instep in front and gently slope back down, covering half of your heel


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3 thoughts on “How Should My Clothes Fit so I Don’t Look Frumpy?

  1. @Mari

    You could be right. If the sleeves were pushed up, a hip belt applied, and a shorter skirt with opaque tights and boots might save it. But if it’s just too loose and ill-fitting, I don’t think so.

  2. The biggest mistake I see in the frumpy pic is the length of the sweater. It should fit at the waist, or just a little below, not down over the hips, and the neckline is too high.

  3. I would like to see how to salvage the “wrong” outfit. Push up those sleeves, add a necklace, and blouse the sweater (with or without a belt). Also, the shoes might need a change…not necessarily to heels, but to a different shoe. Then the outfit would still have the comfort of the looser skirt and the warmth of the sweater and still be very comfortable. While the “right” business looks terrific, and I have those pieces in my wardrobe, comfort and heel height are a HUGE issue for some of us in the over 40 range. That second outfit is lovely, but I can’t see myself putting it on to run to the grocery store or even for a day of heavy shopping. Lunch out with a friend, church, or even maybe the doctor, but not for many of us who come most of the time.

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