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Topic: 55 year old apple shape help  (Read 5895 times)
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« on: May 02, 2008 08:43:36 AM »

I'm 55 and apple shaped. My bust is 42c, and my waist is even larger. I do have going for me long legs that handle knee length skirts well. What I need is help on what shape summer dress would look best. I've tried on the popular princess style and it's not good. I look 12 months pregnant. I also don't want a tent, I'm not trying to hide my body, just make it look a little less fruity.
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2008 12:03:22 PM »

By princess style do you mean Empire waist? (just under the bust & full skirt from there). Because Princess seams usually work on every body type (that's when the seam runs vertically from the armpit, over the boob & down, no defined waist).

The amount of gathering on an Empire waist (the one that's so popular right now) really makes a difference in whether it makes you look like your expecting or not. I find just enough tucks to have room to move looks good & not preggo, too many gathers or gathers all the way around looks materinity on all but the tiniest toothpick girls.
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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2008 04:16:32 PM »

Thankx Penlowe for the fast response. Yes It was empire waist. As cute as it is for young girls I think  some straight lines will be better for my more mature look.While A-line skirts are good for any shape I don't think that would work for a dress.
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2008 05:35:12 PM »

What about something like this that has an empire waist, but no poof or gathers below the waist:
New Look 6375 - in particular I like the surplice neckline (in the photo, and the lower left drawing)
New Look 6749 - Or this one - similar idea with some different neckline options

Some others that might work:
Simplicity 2938 - This one has princess seams, and a trendy (but not too young) pleated neckline
Butterick 5030 - a nice wrap dress

If possible, it's nice to "snoop shop" and try on a bunch of dresses in shops to see what looks good on you.  Of course, that only works if you have a shop with lots of styles of dresses available nearby.

ETA: Oh, and I forgot to ask what sewing size you use?  Only Simplicity 2938 comes in women's sizes, the first two only go up to a size 16 (!) unfortunately, and the wrap dress goes up to 22 - but I'm pretty sure there are wrap dress patterns available in larger sizes from one of the big 4 if a larger size is needed.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2008 05:39:52 PM by Kaitlinnegan » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2008 07:46:38 AM »

Simplicity has a bad habit of giving the plus sized dress a different number from the Juniors size- I have 2 sets of patterns in my posession that were done in multiples for groups of people, both have the exact same pictures on the envelopes, but different pattern numbers for the different size ranges.
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2008 10:03:35 PM »

One of my favorite styles of dress is just simple column tank dress.  For summer you can wear it alone, in cooler months put a turtleneck or other top underneath.  To draw the attention away from your full bust and down to your legs use either a border print or trim.  Its comfortable for warm weather and can be dressed up or down.  My personal preference is a U neck but if you feel that draws too much attention to the top of the apple use a round neck.  Depending on your size you might find Vogue is more to your liking.  I recently discovered that almost ALL of Vogues regular patterns go up to a size 24.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. ~Benjamin Franklin
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2008 06:08:25 PM »

I think that with an apple shape you want to use illusions to draw attention away from the middle so that you appear longer.  I would try A-line shapes that balance out your figure with a hem line that hits right at the knee to show off a nice leg line.  Another trick is to use a fancy trim down the center of your dress (or vertical stripes)which draw the eye to the stripe. Another trick to consider, and you might normally shy away from, is a belted waistline.  Right now thin belts are supposed to be in, but pick something fancy (summer is great for silver or gold) that you like and pair it with a solid colored dress. Match your shoes to the belt, and that's where the emphasis will go.  Another trick is a lightweight cotton or linen hip length jacket or jacket-vest over your dress with or without a belt.  Think little black dress and white or khaki colored jacket, or go crazy and get the jacket in a colorful print over a solid dress.  To me, it's not so much the shape of the dress but how the dress fits and how nicely you use accessories and shoes.  You're not too old (or too plump) to wear anything you want (I'm nearly 50) it's just the attitude girlfriend! LOL  But at our age it's nice to also have on hand a nice jacket, sweater or shrug for dignity purposes! LOL 

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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2008 10:00:51 PM »

Wear a wrap dress. Those things look great on everyone. My mother wears separates a lot, in the same color and she looks fabulous in them.

Anything that lengthens you. Also, I think you'd like something with a matching jacket. It makes a nice vertical line and is so slimming. Try a dress that is not in two pieces ie. doesn't have a separate bodice and skirt. Or has a less gathered skirt.
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« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2008 10:27:41 PM »

I have exactly the same sort of figure problems, so thanks all you people who have posted suggestions, they are helpful to lots of us!

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« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2008 05:12:43 AM »

I'm shaped differently from you, but both my mother and my best friend are apples so I have extensive experience shopping with them and deciding what looks best/worst for that shape. Especially if you have nice legs, stick with a shorter length. Long column dresses emphasize that your lower body is smaller than your upper (IMO). I think a basic sheath style (to me, this means a shorter column) is attractive. I think an a-line could work, provided that a) it's not really long and b) it's not in a really heavy fabric.  Princess seams are fine IF your breasts are larger than your belly (my Mom), but not if it's the other way around (my BF), but empire just doesn't work. (once again IMO) The same thing is true for wrap-styles. I think some of the styles I see now with a semi-gathered neckline and just a simple straight drape, or detail at the neck and bust are a great choice though. I think those Indian tunic-style dresses would be really flattering- esp. in (you guessed it!) a shorter length.
Two simple rules of thumb that seem to work for the Apples of my eye (sorry- couldn't resist!   Cheesy ):
Choose clothing/fabric that just skims the upper body- you never want to add a lot of fabric bulk to a place where you've already got ...um... ampleness. And the intention is not to hide your figure, but to enhance it.
The eye is drawn to sparkle, contrast, and pattern. Also to bare skin. Don't put those where you don't want people to look. If you have great cleavage (and aren't modest) show it- and choose/make clothes with embroidery or beading, etc around the bust, leaving the tummy unadorned. And I can't emphasize enough (obviously) that you should show some leg!! - if you have nice ones. Embellishment at the hem of a dress/skirt is good for drawing the eye to those great gams. I think the center line ornamentation is a great idea, as are patterns that have a strong up-and-down motion in them. Don't shy away from color, though, if you love it. A simple garment with rich, saturated color is sooooo pretty- on everyone!
Okay, wow, that was a book. I've spent a lot of time building up my BF's self-esteem and trying to help her overcome issues about her shape though, so it's strikes a chord in my heart. I think anyone- no matter their age, size, shape, or anything else- can be beautifully dressed. And nothing makes you feel as good as knowing you look damn good in an outfit!
« Last Edit: July 21, 2008 09:33:50 AM by Dragonflywer » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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