Fashion & Beauty Q&A

I recently asked for ideas for fashion post topics on my Facebook page. I got a lot of great suggestions, but some I’ve touched on, and others don’t quite make for an entire blog post, so I thought I’d do a Fashion & Beauty Q&A instead. I can make this a regular feature if y’all like it!


Q: How to know that shorts fit as they should?

A: This could probably be an entire post topic, but I will tackle it here. Like most questions of style, this depends largely on the person wearing them. I think in general, shorts that end about mid-thigh are perfect for most women — a 6 or 8-inch inseam is what you’re looking for. These Metro Shorts at Ann Taylor have a 6-inch inseam.

Ann Taylor Metro Shorts

I have thin legs, and while I’m not tall, my legs are long for my frame, so I have shorts in several different lengths, and I like them all for different reasons. I am starting to feel a bit old to wear the shorter styles, but I figure as long as I’m happy with my legs, I’ll wear them. I don’t go any shorter than a 4-inch inseam, though. For reference, these are the City Shorts from Ann Taylor, and they have a 4-inch inseam.

Fashion Over 40: Shorts for Moms

Shorter women or women with shorter legs might prefer shorter shorts. Taller women may look good in slightly longer styles. I don’t love Bermuda shorts on most women, unless they’re the more casual cuffed style like my denim ones. 

Fashion Over 40: Casual Summer Style

Dressy Bermuda shorts are trickier to pull off, and I personally don’t care for them on me, but consider your age and how much leg you want to show and to decide which length of shorts is best for you.

Another thing to consider is the cut of the shorts. You don’t want your shorts too wide. They are more flattering if they fit close to the leg, but not tight. It’s a delicate balance, isn’t it!??

Just make sure they’re not too small. Wearing shorts that are too small is a sure fire way to look frumpy and older than you are.

If you’re struggling with shorts, you may want to check out Cyndi’s post on Shorts for Women Over 40. And if you don’t like wearing shorts, see my post on Alternatives to Shorts.

Q: Which shoes look best with shorts?

A: Anything goes, really. It depends on how dressy your shorts are and where you’re going. I wear anything from sneakers (a fashion sneaker, not an athletic shoe) to flat sandals to flip flops to pumps.

shorts for women over 40

I’d have to say that wedge sandals are my favorite shoe with shorts or skirts in the summertime, but I usually stick with flats for comfort and because my feet are still recovering from injury.

how to wear black dress shorts

Q: What are the best bras for t-shirts and tank tops?

A: I get asked this question A TON. I like molded cup bras that have just enough padding to provide coverage for modesty’s sake, but not enough to add bulk for those of us who don’t want or need it, ahem. I love the Embrace Lace Underwire Bra by Wacoal.

Wacoal Women's Embrace Lace Contour Bra

Funny story, a few months ago I was removing my shirt at the doctor’s office for an exam. She paused, looked at my bra, and said, “OH! I have that bra. It’s a great bra.” And we went on to talk about how much we love and adore this bra. I thought that was hilarious. It really is a good one. The straps are thin enough to wear under a tank top but they are supportive enough to do the job. It’s been around for years, and I have about 10 of them. If they ever discontinue it, I will have to stage a revolt.

Q: What are the best sunscreens for under or over make-up?

A: I put on a sunscreen in the morning, and I rarely re-apply. I only do that if I’m at the beach. I am currently testing out the Burt’s Bees Renewal Line, and it comes with daytime moisturizer with sunscreen that I like a lot.

Burt's Bees Renewal Firming Day Lotion w/SPF 30

Before I started testing the Burt’s Bees line, I was using this Jan Marini Face Protectant with SPF 30 that I got at my spa. It comes highly recommended by my esthetician, and I really love it. It has a fresh, fruity scent, and it’s very light under makeup.

Jan Marini Face Protectant

Q: Can you give some suggestions for beach/swim cover ups that can double as a dress to take you right from pool or beach to dinner or errands etc.?

A: Athleta has a TON of this style of dress. Maxi dresses are always good for this, but the t-shirt styles work too. I just ordered this Shaka Dress from Title Nine (I recommend ordering on Zappo’s, though, because of free shipping.) I would totally wear this to the pool and then out to dinner.

Fashion Over 40: How to Accessorize a LBD for Summer

Here are some more ideas.


Q: How to wear shapewear under dresses?

A: Yeah, that’s a toughie. I often have to double up. I shared about the shaping shorts that I like in my how to look 10 years younger and 10 pounds thinner post. Usually they are enough under a dress that’s not too form-fitting, but if I’m feeling pudgy or if the dress is more body conscious, I will also wear my Kymaro Cami, which is currently only available on eBay. (For a size reference, I wear the size 2.)

Stay tuned…

I had a couple of questions about easy to wear dresses and bathing suits. I will address those topics in upcoming posts. Also someone wanted to know my thoughts on the best comfort sandals, and I tackled that last week.

This was fun! Feel free to shoot your fashion & beauty questions my way, and if there are enough, I can do one of these posts each month.

For more ​fashion for women over 40, sign up to ​receive my fashion & beauty digest in your email inbox for a weekly recap of my fashion and beauty posts!

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8 Responses

  1. These are all such great tips! I think any sandal that shows some of the top of your foot or is nude is the most flattering. It’s funny that gladiators are in because I don’t think they are as flattering, although I love them.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

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