9 Style Tips for Over 40

Plus Size Style Tips For Over 40'sThere a lot of style tips for plus size women out there often written by and for young women. They encourage pushing limits with things like crop tops, tight across the tummy dresses and very short skirts. We believe that young women need to be encouraged and supported around body image and self-love. But… some of us are a little older now and maybe not so comfortable showing our belly off! Here are some style tips for all you babes over 40 (give or take). Not a crop top in the bunch!

  1. Get a Proper Bra fitting done: Ill-fitting undergarments can make even the best designs fall flat. If your weight tends to fluctuate, your bra size will as well. So, take note and make sure that you have been fitted properly. Bumps and lumps sticking out in the wrong places can make even the cutest clothes unflattering.
  1. Bigger accessories! A large chunky necklace or stunning arm cuff can really work on curvy girls. This is where bigger looks better on most curvy women; the key here is proportion. If you are larger, dainty accessories may look out of place. Just be sure to balance it out. Wear a large necklace and then smaller earrings. If you choose a large statement earring, balance it with a cuff, but no necklace.
  1. Make sure it FITS: Some curvy women have a tendency to buy clothes too large, or sometimes too small. If it is too big, it can make you look like you are hiding something and too clingy doesn’t work either. Make sure you have the right fit. There is nothing wrong with getting a little tailoring done to your garments so they fit just right.
  1. If you are unsure about something, go for simple. If it feels like a garment has too many frills or buttons, then it probably does (for you). Maybe it suits another woman just fine but doesn’t work for your body. When it doubt, simpler is better.
  1. You CAN wear Colour! Even though Black is universally flattering, you don’t have to limit your wardrobe to black or other “slimming” shades. A deep red tunic or turquoise skirt can look fashionable and stunning on your curvy body. Just make sure it fits properly and then choose your favourites.
  1. Show a little skin! A beautiful V-neck, baring your shoulders or even showing your arms is not only flattering but is often the most suitable for night-time dressing. Designers that are cutting clothes for curvy girls often address this with flattering cut-outs, like our Observe Tunic or our Experiment Tee
  1. The Fitted Jacket! A jacket or vest that nips in at the waist and buttons comfortably is an invaluable addition to any outfit. It creates a nice shape while still allowing layering. It’s also a great way to take short sleeved or sleeveless pieces into the next season.
  1. Pant leg widths! You may want to experiment with this one. This is all about the silhouette and your own body type. For some women, a legging or a skinny leg works wonders with a tunic top. If you’re bigger in the hips or have heavy legs, a wide leg pant may create the most flattering look for you.
  1. Choose the right fabric! Natural-sourced fabrics in knits are a great idea for a couple of reasons. For one, they just feel better on your skin and offer more breathability and comfort in general. Knits with a nice weight will tend to flow over curves instead of bunching and binding. This creates better lines in your clothing.

Let’s face it, you know yourself better than anyone. My biggest tip would be to wear what makes you feel good and don’t be afraid to push the boundaries of what you already know.

Love Barb XO

Size Means Nothing, Fit Means Everything

Let’s talk about the difference between size and fit

It’s time to realize that women, all of us, come in unique shapes and fit different sizes. We are all different and that’s a good thing. Clothing companies are often criticized for not showing “real women” modeling their clothing. Understandably we would all love to be able to see clothing we are interested in on a body exactly like ours. Wouldn’t that make things so easy?? Take a look at the women around you right now. Every single one of them is a different size, shape, height, and proportion. It’s truly impossible to show every body type without creating an entire encyclopedia of women’s bodies and show how a garment fits on every single one. Let’s move on, shall we?

Even beautiful models have flaws, clothes that fit make everyone look their best

The Woman In The Mirror

Society needs no help when it comes to damaging women’s self-esteem regarding body image. There’s a lot we can do to change this! Meet the woman in the mirror with a smile. Tell her she looks beautiful, adorable, cute, sexy, and amazing! At the end of the day when it’s just you and the mirror, a choice is made about the words used to describe ourselves, to ourselves. Cut yourself some slack and give some words of encouragement and love to that amazing creature looking back at you. It’s time to think about your clothing size like you think about your shoe size. It’s just a number that corresponds to the length of your feet. Why not?

Even beautiful models have flaws, clothes that fit make everyone look their best

All About The Fit

When you put on your clothes and they fit right, you know it. It’s not just about having it go over your body or being able to do up a zipper or a button. It’s about pants and sleeves that are the correct length. It’s about armholes that don’t gap and the way a garment flows over your body. It’s about finding the right width of pant leg that really fits and flatters your body and makes your legs look amazing! When your clothes fit properly you look and feel like you can take on the world. Most of all it’s not about waiting until you’re the size you want to be, it’s about looking and feeling your best Right Now! Give yourself that gift!

Warm Regards,

Barb

 

 

 

 

 

Sizes For Every Body

dianekennedy_foreverybody_blog Here at Diane Kennedy, we pride ourselves on exceptional fit. With such a luxurious fabric like our signature bamboo knit, we aim to design styles that compliment its graceful drape. In order to ensure that each look fits perfectly, we always design two different patterns; one first for plus sizes (from 0X to 3X) and a corresponding pattern (with appropriate proportions) for regular sizing (from Small to XL).

By creating these 2 patterns, we are proudly able to provide a range of 8 sizes across the chart.

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This season, we have a great selection of items for the Fall/Winter season, that suit every body type. Here are just a few!

Diane Kennedy, eco-fashion, plus size clothing, made in canada,

 

Georgia Tunic

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Named after one of the busiest streets in the Financial District of downtown Vancouver, this smart tunic gives the illusion of wearing a zipped vest over top of a striped layer, while being a comfortable single layer.

 

 

 

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The slimming vertical seam lines at the zipper add shape and detail, visually pulling you in at the waist, while the crew neck & 3/4 length sleeves offer chic coverage for your arms & neckline. The at the Hip length means it goes great with many of our bottoms.

 

 

 

Soft Shirt

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Nothing’s easier to wear than a collared shirt. Our Diane Kennedy version is a softer, comfier alternative to the standard button-up. Similar to a Polo shirt, our Soft Shirt features adorable cuffed 3/4 length sleeves and a decorative 2-button placket with a fold-over collar that frames your face and lengthens your neck.

 

Throw on a Recharge Vest and you’re good to go! Pairs fantastically with any of our bottoms or go casual with a pair of jeans.

 

Strength Tunic

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Find Strength in one of our most popular tunics!  The loose cowl neck and easy fit through the body means ultimate comfort and ultimate style!

 

 

 

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The striped fabric is used in a unique way to draw your eye to certain areas, while distracting from others and the always flattering black stripes are complimented by a touch of light colour.

Diane’s #ootd: Summer in Momiji Garden

Vancouver is well known for its mild seasons and gorgeous scenery. Summer is no exception, and thankfully you don’t need to get out of the city to enjoy our greenery. One of Diane’s favourite new tranquil spots in Vancouver is only a few minutes away from our offices and offers peaceful respite. A happy bonus as well, it is far less busy than (and just as beautiful as) the tourist must-see, Dr. Sun Yat Sen Gardens.

Hidden away in plain site at Hastings Park Conservatory, you’d never know it’s located along a busy main road!

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Completed in 1993, The Park Board concurred with the PNE (a local non-profit organization that hosts our annual 17 day summer festival) and the Japanese-Canadian community to create the garden. It would end up representing the first step in Hastings Park’s transformation into the public green space that it is now.

With such a (not-so) hidden gem readily available to us, Diane and our media team decided to go for a quick stroll one sunny afternoon and take some pictures.

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Diane is wearing Downtown Tunic in Mango, Recharge Vest in Navy & Deck Tights in Navy

Serendipitously, while we were walking around, we noticed a very familiar flower…

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Look familiar?

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The Pink Japanese Anenome | Our hangtag art

Anyone who owns a Diane Kennedy item, knows our hangtags feature lovely artwork of this delicate flower! Aptly named the Pink Japanese Anenome, this gorgeous botanical is a Summer to Fall  perennial; perfect for your own garden, if you have the space. This beauty likes to spread out. Just a little handy tip!

With Mother Nature showing off her colours, Momiji-style,  Diane decided to show off her own with this darling summer outfit.

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Diane is wearing Downtown Tunic in Mango & Recharge Vest in Navy

Diane designed our Downtown Tunic with a shorter length  than some of our other tunics (with a shoulder to hem measurement of 26.5″), making it the perfect top for Petites to layer underneath our ever versatile Recharge Vest.

Pair it with another favourite, our popular Deck Tights, and you’ve got an outfit that flatters all statures. They look gorgeous with a great pair of heels! Diane loves wearing them with her blue-hued “Hopeful Flourish” shoes from Fluevog.

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Diane is wearing Deck Tights in Navy

With practicality in mind, we also love this outfit because it’s a great look for transitioning into Fall (which is still thankfully at least couple months away). The thermal regulating, hypo-allergenic properties of our signature bamboo fabric will keep you comfortable as summer heats up, while our designs also allow for lots of layering and coverage, as it gets cooler as well.

We hope you enjoyed this little photowalk! It’s wonderful to be able to step outside and be so inspired by the beauty of your city. Don’t you agree?

Diane Kennedy, eco-fashion, plus size clothing, made in canada,

 

Size Matters

With the fashion industry taking notice of the need for more plus-size clothing, there are more larger garments available in the market. While many designers are jumping on the bandwagon, I question whether or not they really understand the intricacies of fitting and designing garments which accommodates the proper fit of bigger sizes. I thought I’d take a moment and explain a few factors that I take into account when designing my line. I think it’s important for consumers to know that proper fit is not as straightforward as magnifying a pattern from a size 6 to a true plus size.

When designing with plus sizes in mind, it’s important to think about the curvier woman’s proportions. She will likely have a much more ample bust and proportionately bigger biceps, as well. From shoulders and forearms to calves and thighs, these areas will be proportionally larger. And body types need to be addressed, too. For example, if she’s an apple shape, her stomach will be larger. If she’s a pear shape, her bum will be bigger. Something that few “regular size”  pattern makers think about is that the width (from the side) changes dramatically as well. In response to these specialised sizing needs, I always make a separate pattern for plus sizes. It’s important to do this for optimal fit!

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Of course being a plus sized woman myself, I lean towards styling the plus-size woman and what her aesthetic needs are. The larger woman is less likely to tuck in her tops, so our styles do not include details like stiff/tight waistbands.  Our waistbands are designed with a smooth fit and natural waists in mind, as I have noticed that it is simply the most flattering and comfortable on a range of sizes. We also tend to have slightly higher necklines to accommodate a generously sized bust as well as larger bust darts built right into the patterns. This gives our customers the ability to stylishly highlight their decolletage without fear of excessive cleavage.

Once I have a design that addresses all these fit concerns, I move on to the smaller sizes. At Diane Kennedy we make two patterns for every clothing item that we design. One pattern that fits regular sizes and another that fits plus sizes. Each pattern is then fitted on a real person in each size range. This is quite opposite from other designers, who often create with a specific body type in mind and simply size up on the patterns, which is not an accurate way to design, in my opinion.  Personally, I’ve tried on garments with arms that are way to long and shoulders that hang off unflatteringly. This is what happens when a pattern is graded too many sizes, too far away from the base size.

In an effort to promote size inclusivity, our regular Diane Kennedy customers will know that we carry all 8 sizes; from small to 3X.

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Which leads us to an important size that we include in our line up, size 0X. But we often field the question “What size is 0X?”

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We feel it’s imperative to include this size in order to fit those that are in between sizes. Because 0X is 2″ bigger than an XL and 3″ smaller than a 1X, it is able to accommodate those between true regular sizing and true plus sizing. If you leave that size out, there’s an enormous gap between sizes, up to 5″!

I hope that the information I’ve have shared lends some insight into my fit and design process that illustrates my dedication, as a fit technician and fashion designer.

Diane Kennedy, eco-fashion, plus size clothing, made in canada,