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Jesse Garza

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Ouch! My Wardrobe Is Killing Me

Posted: 10/28/11 08:00 PM ET

As a fashion stylist, one thing that I've experienced with my Post50 clients is that when it comes to style, "no pain no gain" does not apply. In fact, Rita even said to me that sometimes she starts with a comfortable heel and builds her look from there.

To be honest, to suffer for style is truly the definition of a fashion victim. Remember that the modern day Post50 woman has been there, done that and really doesn't need to prove anything. So here are my rules and tips for looking great while feeling comfortable!

1. The Foundation
Let's start with foundation garments. We suggest going to Nordstrom (either to the store, where you can find fit specialists and care centers for women, or online). Start by making sure that you are wearing the proper size bra. Look, some things move south, so wearing the proper bra can change how you look and feel. Gone are the days of traditional girdles and waist cinchers. Ouch! Just hearing those words hurts. We live in the day and age of body shapers and Spanx, which can help you smooth things out and hold them in place. You can find them at every price point - from Target to a fine department store.

2. Avoid "S.I.L." (Sausaged In Look)
Now that our foundation is in place, we can start getting dressed. I'm a firm believer in stretch - whether it be a knit or garments that contain a little spandex or have some give. There is nothing more comfortable than when your clothing expands and contracts along with what's going on with your body at that time. And there is nothing more frustrating than when jackets, skirts or pants are constricting and don't allow you to move freely. Here's the deal: we love flattering form fitting clothes, but there is nothing worse than S.I.L., especially post50.

3. Alterations and tailoring are key
Words like "polished" and "impeccable" are usually used for people whose clothing fits perfectly. If your look is too slouchy and relaxed, you can end up looking disheveled instead of hip and cool. So it's a good idea to bring your clothes to a tailor or a trusted drycleaner to fine-tune and sculpt them according to your body. You can also pull some old favorites from your wardrobe and modernize them. It's sometimes more cost effective to update or revive a great piece rather than re-purchase.

4. Be super proactive with health, diet and exercise
When you are out of shape, it becomes torture getting dressed. Someone said to me recently: it's not the dress, but what's in the dress that counts. We need to work hard to balance our mind, body and soul. The end result and goal is to always be the star version of yourself.

Read our book "Nothing to Wear" for more tips on how to look and feel great and check Visual Therapy Blog for more daily inspiration.