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Fashion Tips for the 40+ Woman

By Yuwanda Black

We‘re Not 20 Anymore Toto!

If you‘re a female 40 or older, follow this timeless fashion tip!

Observe body changes: As you get older, your body changes. Even though many say that 40 is the new 30, unless you are one of the genetically blessed, I don’t care how muc h you work out, your body is going to change.

Those changes can vary from wider hips, to sagging boobs to growing arm flaps (you know, when you wave goodbye and your hand is not the only thing moving).  

How do you handle the change? Take wardrobe inventory. What was working on your old body may not be working now.

Does sleeveless still work for you? is your skirt line below your cellulite line (eg, does the skirt cover the cellulite)? Can you still get away with horizontal stripes.  

Take wardrobe inventory ladies! It’s imperative.


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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Margiescuties wrote Feb 12, 2009
    • This is a recent picture of me. I am always confused of what to wear. I love young looking clothes and I am blessed with great genes (I eat lots of sweets and I don’t gain weight. I tan without exposing to the sun and my body tends to build up muscle with almost not effort)... Please don’t hate me.

      I hear about not wearing sleeveless shirts, but I live in Florida, so I wear them all the time. I love short pants (and I mean it when I say “short“). I keep reading about changing wardrobe at my age, but most of the “classic clothes” for our age make me feel OLD and they affect my mood and I feel old, ugly and depressed. My husband says that he loves me feeling young and a lot of people don’t believe I am in my 40s. However, I know how old I am and I don’t deny my age.
      Any advice? Should I change? Should I be the way I am and be happy???
      I woke up today and realized I turned 46 today! But I am happy shopping some of my clothes at the Junior’s department (I am size 8).
      Advice, please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Fabulousfefe wrote Feb 12, 2009
    • I shop in the junior dept also because clothes for 30 and over have lost their flair. In the junior dept the clothes are made for the shape of a woman’s body they even have plus size junior. I do not like the frumpy mom look. They make our shirts too big and too loose and too short with ugly flowers all over them. WHAT!!!



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    • +3 votes vote up vote up

      Lilibet wrote Feb 12, 2009
    • I say mix and match. I too look young for my age and i went back to college. So, I get to hang out with 20 year olds and get a lesson on “young fashion“. I wear some things from the juniors dept and some things from the other depts. Wear whatever is comfortable and makes you feel great. I actually wear tighter fitting clothes now (but not slutty) than I did when I was young because I like my body better and don’t care what other people think. I feel beautiful and that is good enough for me!



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    • +3 votes vote up vote up

      Lisa5x5 wrote Feb 12, 2009
    • The first rule of style is that you reflect who you are. If you‘re a young person then dress young. Clothes don’t have an age.  

      I do think it’s important to match the clothes to the occasion though and sometimes that means dressing older. Like for a work dinner or something.



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    • +4 votes vote up vote up

      Deprogrammed wrote Feb 12, 2009
    • I’m 53 and frequently pass for 35.  I don’t shop in the juniors department simply because I’m curvier than a junior (the waist is proportionately larger in juniors than in misses).  Too many of the clothes are unsophisticated and make a woman look like she is trying too hard, and when you are a working professional, image counts.  There are clothes that don’t make you look dumpy but still look like a drop-dead gorgeous adult at the same time.  If I walked down the street and saw a 14 year old in the same dress I was wearing, I would be mortified!



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    • +9 votes vote up vote up

      Ofacertainage09 wrote Feb 12, 2009
    • I think after 40 you should take the looks you like, just tweak them to make them classy and cute without being tight, revealing or too young.  

      I live in a hot climate and so many women our age “think” they have great figures and go around half undressed, in mini skirts, tight tanks that show a lot of breast etc. But it looks a little sad to me, desperate in a way.  

      There’s always a way to be chic without desperate. It just takes some study.



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    • +4 votes vote up vote up

      Lilibet wrote Feb 13, 2009
    • I agree with ofacertainage09. I wear clothes that fit my body well, but I don’t have things hanging out. Somehow in this culture showing a lot of skin = sexy. Denial? Want to relive youth or never grow up by wearing too short skirts or shirts open to their bellybutton? It seems sad to me too. Right now I’m wearing a long sleeve fitted sweater with slim fitting jeans. I think I look sexier than if I wore a tank top & short shorts. If you know yourself well and have confidence, anything could look sexy without being revealing.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Ofacertainage09 wrote Feb 13, 2009
    • Margie,

      You have a cute figure and that dress is actually really cute on you. It has nice wide straps and is flattering around your middle. The skirt part is nice, but may be too short, no matter how great your legs are.  

      I know it’s hard to dress stylishly in the heat, believe me! But you can look for lightweight, flirty skirts at or just above the knee, worn with tanks, not tube tops or spaghetti straps.  

      You might also try the just above the knee length bermudas, they are slimming if cut right, and with a little heel, you can still show off great legs. The short shorts are just not a great idea for mature women. Wear them in the house or at the pool, but for street wear, find the nicest shorts you can. Khaki or white are great for Florida and you can put bursts of juicy color in your other pieces.

      I tend not to like jewelry in the heat, but pieces made of rope, or leather are so much more comfortable if you have to wear it.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Margiescuties wrote Feb 14, 2009
    • Thanks to all of you for all the comments and great advice!

      Ofacertainage09: I love the capris pants, as well as some bermudas, however when it comes to skirts I only like short or really long, there is something about the middle length that I dislike on myself. You are right about wearing stylish on the heat! I set up at flea markets once a week as we deal with antiques and jewelry, and when summer comes I tend to forget ALL about style, age, etc, and I just go for my short pants and a light tank top. You know... about 100 degrees during the summer outdoors worried
      But you are right about the short shorts not being a good idea for us, because even if our weight is OK and our legs look good, there are signs of age on the upper part of our legs (cellulitis... ouch!)
      I will check more into white and khaki for bermudas when I have to be outdoors a whole day.

      Fabulousfefe: I agree about the Juniors Department. I live in Central Florida, and it seems that all of the clothes in the Misses department are for 80 years old and up. They remind me my grandma. I can’t stand all those big flowers, loose clothes, and I hate those “tanktops” with very high neck cut.

      Thanks to all of you, again. I am new here and I welcome all the suggestions and help.



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    • +3 votes vote up vote up

      Janey07 wrote Mar 8, 2009
    • I’ll take a slightly different approach to this.  I am in my late 40s and although I don’t dress like a teen, I think I dress young.  I am 5‘9 weigh about 130lbs and I still look good.  I work out daily and I eat healthy.  Since about 1990, women’s fashions have become very sexy and very skimpy.  In the 70s and 80s when I was in my prime, the fashions were dreadful...unsexy, bulky...just awful.  I was looking at pictures of me when I was in my 20s and I almost cried.  I had such a nice body but who would know under all those layers.  Can anyone say shouldpads?  So, my point is that women in my age group and older missed out on dressing sexy.  We got caught in the feminist revolution where women thought that being equal meant looking just like men.  How sad.  

      Now that doesn’t mean that every 45 to 60 year old women can dress this way although some can.  I wear low rider jeans but I don’t let my belly hang out.  I wear shorter skirts but not thigh high.  I also wear very high heels with tighter fitting skirts.  This covers up what needs coverage and let’s me feel sexy.  I would just hate to go to my grave thinking that I’ve dressed like a grandma all of my life.



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Margiescuties wrote Mar 8, 2009
    • Go Girl!!!! That’s the way I feel! I am wearing now the sexy clothes I couldn’t wear when I was younger. I also love low rider jeans.  

      I had a good laugh about what you said on dressing like a grandma! LOL That is the way I feel. I just don’t see myself dressing like my grandma used to dress when she was my age.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Janey07 wrote Mar 9, 2009
    • Thank you for agreeing with me!  Usually when I verbalize what I ‘really’ think in other blogs and forums for women, I get eaten by the lions!  I get so chewed out for saying that (God forbid) in my late 40s that I still wear bikinis, low rider jeans and (gasp) the occasional short skirt.  I almost feel so bad that I want to get into my car, drive to Walmart and buy some granny panties and mumus.  Almost, but not quite.  Thanks for making me feel that I am not the only one who feels this way!



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Lilibet wrote Mar 9, 2009
    • I like your comments too janey! Finally in my 40s I actually feel pretty & sexy. For the first time I’m wearing shoes higher than 1/2 inch and, yes, I like the low rider jeans too. Tis true I look very young and thin (due to a hormonal disease, not anything I’ve done.) I still have the saggy breasts,etc. Does anyone know any good bras that have some padding to push them up, but they don’t fall out the sides due to not being ‘perky’ anymore? I want to wear sexy lingerie, but gravity takes over. LOL



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Janey07 wrote Mar 9, 2009
    • I think because of our age, we were young at a time when being feminine and sexy wasn’t in style.  The feminist movement did a lot of good for women, but sometimes I feel the methods they used were not the best for women.  I remember getting grief from my feminist sisters for wearing make up or having a button undone.  It was like I was a traitor.  For that reason, the fashions of the late 70s and 80s were not sexy at all.

      As far as a bra...go treat yourself to a good fitting.  I did that yesterday with my daughter and she discovered she was wearing the wrong size by a mile. If you are willing to splurge, go to Nordstroms or Macys and ask someone to help you. You don’t have to buy anymore than one bra, but then you know what to look for and you can buy the same thing for less.  I spent well over $100 for two bras, but we got the fitting and now she can buy the same size at Norstrom’s Rack or even at Target.  I hope this helps!



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Lilibet wrote Mar 9, 2009
    • Terrific! I’m sure I’m wearing the wrong size now. I will treat myself and get a real fitting. I feel good already!



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Margiescuties wrote Mar 9, 2009
    • I love you Janey07 and Lilibet! Now I can confess that I wear short pants from the Juniors Department (the type that if my Grandma rises up from her tomb she would drop dead again) LOL
      I grew up in Latin America and attended a Catholic nun's school where showing your knees was a capital sin. I feel great in my body. I turn heads everywhere I go and I get compliments on my style, self confidence, and of course, looks. Not only from guys but from women, too (even way younger than me). Everything has to do with how you feel with yourself. When I grew up I was a very insecure person, but now I feel blush gorgeous blush. I get dressed to go out and I walk like if I own the world... and you know what... it works! LOL  

      What is funny is that when I was younger (in my 20s) I used to be a singer in Latin America. I was on stage, TV, etc, and I never felt as attractive as I feel now.

      I LOVE BEING 40!!!!!!!!! I am 46, and I never have to lie about my age. People always go like “you are... how old???” Not way you are in your 40s!” and I love that. I will never hide my age or try to say I am younger, because I feel YOUNG!



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Janey07 wrote Mar 9, 2009
    • I love you too...LOL!  I just love people who agree with me.  I totally know what you are talking about.  I was a model in my late teens and 20....nothing big but I modeled for small projects.  I was deeply insecure because of all sorts of reasons that I won’t post on-line and I almost never dated and didn’t have many boyfriends before marriage.  However, now that I am older I feel better.  I am not as open about my age as you are...gotta’ work on that, but I feel like I’ve missed out on things because of my insecurity etc.

      I really love sexy clothes.  I love high heels and tight pants.  I don’t think older women look bad with these styles assuming they have the right body and right ‘Tude.  I also enjoy attention from men and women.  I see that now the young guys flirt with me a lot.  Not so much the older ones, but the young ones are always telling me hot I look.  I love it.  I may not have been much at 20...but now with 50 close by I am starting to feel good about myself.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Margiescuties wrote Mar 9, 2009
    • Good for you! I completely agree! If you work hard to look good and you get it, flaunt it! LOL Beauty is free when you are in your 20s, but once you are in your 40s it is not free anymore, it is HARD WORK! If we take the time to keep looking good we are entitled to brag and show happy

      I get kids my sons’ age hitting on me as well as older men, and anything between. My husband is a good looking guy who adores me. I feel like a diva and I love my age. I never thought it was going to be this fun. I am going through my pre-menopause with no problems at all and I feel great.

      I think attitude is about 75% of the secret of success!



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Xenamena wrote Mar 15, 2009
    • While I agree dressing youthful is important, you don’t to look like you‘re trying to look 25.  The trick is to look younger without looking like you‘re trying to. A great book to look at “How not to look old” by Charla Krupp.  Some great ideas



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janey07 wrote Mar 15, 2009
    • I totally agree.  You can tell when women are trying too hard.  I just can’t get into that ‘Dress your age’ thing I hear a lot.  I feel I dressed old in the 80s when the fashions were so dreadful everyone looked bad.  I saw a People magazine about the 80s and even beautiful women like Demi looked scary.  So...when the 90s came along and the fashions became far more sexy I was pushing 30 and was already told I was too old to dress that way.  What fun is that???



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Deprogrammed wrote Mar 17, 2009
    • Tiny clothes do not equal sexy - there are better ways to show off a great body, and remain classy and sophisticated at the same time.  There are women who are bigger than a size 12, but they exude sensuality because they dress in a way that flatters them personally and, the most important thing, CONFIDENCE!!



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Deprogrammed wrote Mar 17, 2009
    • I forgot - I’m 52 (53 in June) and get mistaken for 35 - nice, but not necessary.  All I want is to be the best me I can be, at whatever age.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Goodbyereaders wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • I agree that 40 is the new 30 and you should always feel fabulous no matter how old (or young) you are! Go to www.goodbyereaders.com for style tips! Every resource helps right?!

      Susan “See a New You” team
      Twitter: goodbye_readers



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      4real0 wrote May 9, 2009
    • I think that you just wear what looks good on you.  At this stage of life, one has learned their body and style-what works and feels comfortable and helps you to feel confident.
      Don’t be a slave to fashion.  Embrace your age and wear what is flattering to you.  Just do you!



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Tina Sickinger wrote May 14, 2009
    • Hi ladies, just had to join in on the topic.  I wear low riders, but I wear them for the fit.  I am a small woman (5’ 1“) and I am short waisted.  Low riders sit right below my waist and fit great. I,too buy my clothes in the JR dept. for the fit, but I do not wear anything revealing.  My dress clothes come from petite dress stores and are flattering to my size. I can even buy some of my clothes in the little girls dept.!  I have quite a few pair of shorts and capris that are size 14.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Erikateague wrote Jun 12, 2009
    • dress in what makes you happy - I am almost fi***  (can’t quite stay that word yet. But I easily pass for 40. I look great and am in shape. I shop both juniors and so call ladies departments. I love the fun flirty tops and sun dresses and at times like the more tailored and fitted pants from the womens department. I only have slight curves - and wear a size 4. So keep the main pieces classic and add some spice and fun with shoes and tops:)  Win Win all the time:)



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Erikateague wrote Jun 12, 2009
    • low rider jeans are the best! even on figures that aren’t perfect they fit more than perfect - and most of all you don’t get that mom jean look :)



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Peggle wrote Feb 7, 2010
    • My tips are simple: look at yourself in a full-lenth mirror and be honest... I see so many middle aged women that look absolutely foolish! Get a properly fitted bra with a natural shape, wear flattering colors and carefully crafted makeup... be yourself and don’t TRY TO HARD! Ultimately, being comfortable with yourself and smiling/laughing goes a long way.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Peggle wrote Feb 7, 2010
    • Ugh, I cannot wear low-rider jeans! I have a “pooch” from having three children, and low-riders hug just under the pooch and let it spill out. I prefer midrise stretch jeans. They are far more forgiving!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Msj wrote Feb 12, 2010
    • Thanks very much ladies!

      I was reading this article and decided to wave my arm to see if it jiggled...(it did NOT).. well my boyfriend just happened to be standing behind me and asked WHO are you WAVING to!?!

      OMG  THAT was my laugh for the day I hope you enjoy as well!  LOL LOL LOL



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kandy7 wrote Feb 25, 2010
    • I say make yourself happy, I am 43 and look very young for my age as well and also shop in the juniors dept. sometimes. I beleive you should be realistic, but wear clothes that make you happy..)



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tanyakogan wrote Mar 2, 2010
    • Hot and sexy is a state of mind, and it shines thru regardless of the clothes, makeup or  hairstyle.  All woman that believe themselves to be beautiful are...and that is what makes us hot at any age!!!  Now jewelry is what makes me happy...i live for designer looking bling! The best place to find my favorite jewelry on the web is at primojewels.com...I can afford to create and re-create my look over and over again...and that is truely beautiful!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mel1950 wrote Mar 22, 2010
    • I’ve found many flattering things in the junior dept but I think the one thing that I have learned and still believe is that it’s better to spend your money on one article that is high quality and will last.  I would rather have a sexy, classy cashmere sweater that shows my curves then 10 tops from a discount brand.  I always find myself going to that one great piece of clothing first.  A sexy little black dress, great fitting jeans and a beautiful jacket make me happier than a bunch of tanks and tops ... I still like the tanks and tops but I always grab the “quality” items if I want to make an impression.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Colli Christante wrote Mar 26, 2010
    • this is the reason i am so excited to assist women with self-esteem, inner-fitness, as well as fitness. one of the ways is through offering nutritional diagnostic testing. look for new features on my web at the end of April after I return from the Paul Chek Institute where I will be adding some amazing things to what I already offer women
      www.inner-expression.com



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Lorrainela wrote Apr 19, 2010
    • You look great.  I think that at our age, we should wear whatever suits our frame of mind and reflects our personality.  Long gone are the days when we think we have to fit it or be part of the “in crowd.”  Of course, I do have a trusted galpal who’ll tell me the honest truth if I ask for it.  Now that I’m a middle aged gal, my personal fashion rules are:  Don’t wearly anything frumpy or matronly, wear only colors that make me feel and look alive, don’t buy something if it doesn’t make me look GOOD no matter how much of a deal it is, trust my insticts, and when in doubt - run it by my good friend - she’ll tell me now my ass REALLY looks!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lorrainela wrote Apr 19, 2010
    • I’m impressed. :)



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Atomicapril wrote May 2, 2010
    • pair youthful accessories with classic pieces ( ex. basic black skirt and a 3/4 length jersey tee or  blouse)
      it works every time and is no harm. no foul on the wallet and its no risk if it doent work out.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Les20 wrote May 25, 2010
    • I have a question for you ladies?  What about hair color? I am fourty-five now and I color my hair. One of my two sister’s tell me that it is to dark and hard. I wear a dark brown because it is the closest to my orignal hair color. She however; dyes her hair red! Should I listen to her and stay away from the darker shades, is there a rule to follow. I need help??? estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Jun 11, 2010
    • Wow! I guess I miss a lot by sticking to the homepage and my dashboard. Some great tips here.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carilynvaile wrote Jun 24, 2010
    • One of the best things I have found about being 40+ is I get to choose what feels “right” for me...i don’t have to keep up with anyone but myself. I choose special items I feel express who I am; a great pair of shoes, a big crazy pin made by my 5 year old, extravagant earrings with simple jeans and T shirt....the best thing we can wear is our confidence and self-expression...
      I love hearing what works for all of you and I promise to use that inspiration of “cover this, hide that, show these, etc ” (LOL) in my upcoming collections!  

      www.carilynvaile.com



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cheekymonkey wrote Oct 5, 2010
    • estatic wow, I am sooo glad I checked this. Ladies I am 6foot 3 and a half blessed with a chest but I got really heavy. Use to be sexy and fun that was in my 20 to early 30s well anyway on my 46th bday I said no more I was size 32 uuuggghhh this last sept I turned 47 and I am a size 16 yo 18. I feel great most of the time lol but now when off of wk I wear what makes me feel SEXY I wear mini skirts(covers the inner thighd) wear shirts that are tasteful but shows the gals. I will wear what is tasteful and sexy. I will never be able to wear low rise jeans but other fun sexy classy cloyhes here I come. Misses and some jrs but its great to be sexy again....lets be our beautiful sexy selfs
      Cris



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Barbara Http://www.wetutor.com/profiles/156 wrote Oct 9, 2010
    • Hi
      I agree with the above comments. But I need ideas! in the past year or two I have gained some weight and it is showing up in my rear area mostly! Any ideas on how to look good and lessen this particular area..Low rise jeans just don’t work for me!
      Ginger



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