Superstar designers like Giorgio Armani and Donna Karan taught us that a structured notch-collar jacket is all it takes to give a curvy body a stronger, sleeker shape. Throwing on a blazer whenever we felt schlumpy and dumpy, when the scale was five pounds over, or when we just needed a confidence boost was so reassuring — and it worked! So why stop now? Keep any blazers that still fit. Check the fit at the arms and chest (this is crucial for mature women), especially when you cross your arms and button the jacket. No pulling or creasing? Great! However, if your jackets have big retro shoulders or a boxy fit, a tailor can (and should) tweak the shape by removing the pads and taking in the excess fabric, raising the shoulder line, and slimming down the sleeves for a more modern silhouette. Though a blazer and jeans are practically a universal dress-up uniform, try slinging your jacket over a hoodie, pairing it with cargo pants or joggers and sneakers, or belting it over a dress. Get creative!
4. Classic cardigans
You probably have the newest versions — boxy and cropped or long and loose. But what about all the traditional cardigans and twinsets you’ve been holding on to? First of all, the latter are now trending for 2021, so start wearing them again as a duo. But don’t stop there. Classic cardigans — both crew and V-neck — are efficient shape-shifters that can assume a new style identity just by working the buttons. For example, do only the top button and you get a swingy A-line shape that looks fresher over a tee. Or create a blouson style by securing a couple of the bottom buttons and pulling the sweater hem up to sit at your waist or upper hip. Belt your cardigan buttoned only at the waist over any dress (from tailored to boho midi), and you get a style refresh, or reverse any cardigan, so the buttons run down your spine, for an instant evening look. Don’t worry: The sleeves and buttons will keep all in place.
5. Boots and shoes that make sense
Just because you once fell in love with those pointy-toe stiletto pumps or over-the-knee boots doesn’t mean they should rent room in your closet today. You are not archiving for the Smithsonian or the Anna Wintour Costume Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But these 10 footwear styles make the keepers cut: ankle boots that slip on and off easily and partner with any pants or jeans you own; knee-high riding boots and leather booties that keep your calves comfy and look great under midi skirts and over leggings; loafers and flats with sturdy skip-resistant rubber soles and oval toes that don’t cram your bunions or corns; rain boots that are sleek enough to wear with polished pants; fashion sneakers with a shoe personality, like leather slip-ons or wedges; sporty sneakers for workouts and walking; cozy shearling-lined boots for chilly weather; and one polished pair of black pumps, because you’ll need them when you least expect it.
6. Your best skirt shape and length
You don’t need the entire spectrum of skirts now hanging out on your closet rods, just the ones that suit you. Basically, if you’re bigger on top and slimmer on bottom, save any body-skimming pull-on skirts — like slip or knit pencil/tube styles. They’ll give you a narrow bottom proportion that works well with wide, cropped tops and big slouchy sweaters. If you’re bigger on bottom, keep those pleated skirts and A-line styles that pair well with fitted tops, tuck-ins, and bodysuits and have ample room for tummy, hips, thighs and booty. The minis and tight tailored skirts that make life difficult? Donate!