5 Tips for Changing Your Style to Match Your Body

It's time to rethink your wardrobe -- and move into this decade.
It's time to rethink your wardrobe -- and move into this decade.

Most of us develop a personal style over time. It may be casual, quirky or carelessly elegant. It may lean toward bright colors or stick to neutrals in subdued patterns. If it's been a while since you revisited your look, it could be time to review your assumptions about what's fit to wear. Your body shape and lifestyle may have undergone some changes since the good old days when you were trying to find a date for the prom. The fashion choices that worked for you a decade ago may not (well, probably won't) work today.

This can be a big, scary deal. Having a familiar style is comforting when you make an assault on the clothing racks at the mall. Every year, there's a new fashion color palette to contend with as well as a bewildering array of neckline, hemline, skirt, sleeve, blouse, dress and pant styles to consider. Knowing a big shirt paired with a comfortable T and a quality pair of jeans works for you -- during the weekends at least -- can be pretty reassuring.

Time can be unfriendly, though. When some of your bouncier attributes are sagging southward or your silhouette is looking bulkier than you'd like, find a three-way mirror and host your own reality show. Think of it as an intervention designed to save you from ending up on the "What was she thinking?" section of someone's Facebook wall.

If you're paying attention to the style mavens, dressing for your body shape is the key to looking good. The only problem is that the instructions for discovering and dealing with your shape can get as complicated as trying to land the space shuttle on a garage roof. Are you diamond shaped? Can anyone actually be diamond shaped? Is that, like, total structural failure or something? Wouldn't it just be simpler to have a few clues about clothing (in English) that will help you look -- better? Let's leave the geometry to the high school textbooks and look at some common sense ways to choose the right clothes for the real you.