Menopause

What To Wear During Menopause – 6 Tips To Help You Feel & Look Your Best

Sweating profusely, losing sleep, unwanted belly fat…these are just among the many maddening things that can haunt you during menopause. Menopause symptoms can be unfriendly, unyielding, and unwelcome! It can be a challenge to choose what to wear when you’re feeling hot and sweaty and even bloated most of the time. But then those hot moments are often followed by chills too! As someone who has been through menopause and is officially coming out on the other side, I wanted to share some easy style tips that will give you confidence…and advice on what to consider when building outfits during menopause. And just so I don’t bury the lead here, YES you can look chic and stylish even at the height of menopause!

If you are on the hunt for swimsuits that “suit” your menopausal body, you’ll want to check out this post next.

What To Wear During Menopause

What To Wear During Menopause

#1) Choose Natural Fabrics

More often than not, natural fabrics vs synthetic fibers are going to be more comfortable. Natural fibers that breathe well include 100% cottons, linens, cotton-linen blends, bamboo, wool, cashmere, and hemp. Some cotton-poly mixes with a small percentage of poly are great because poly is moisture-wicking and can help keep you dry if you are sweating regularly. But most synthetic fibers will not breathe well or wick moisture. Silk, while lightweight and breathable is a tricky one. It does have a cooling effect which is great for body temperature. But, it does not wick moisture, it leaves watermarks and easily retains odor. So, I’d suggest wearing silk as an outer layer, not touching your skin directly, if you sweat frequently.

#2) Embrace Flattering Styles

Lack of estrogen during menopause frequently causes unwanted belly and/or back fat. High-waisted bottoms will help camouflage a tummy and keep you feeling secure. A-line dresses and skirts, caftans, skimming silhouettes, empire waist tops, and dresses are styles to embrace. V-neck lines are most flattering if you are trying to draw attention away from your midsection. They also offer some ventilation!

#3) Avoid Restricting Styles

Tight-fitting clothing tops the list of styles you might want to avoid. Not only is snug clothing more likely to make you hot and exacerbate sweating, but you might also feel less confident in tight clothing if you’re carrying extra menopause weight. High necklines can also trap in heat and offer less air circulation.

What To Wear During Menopause

#4) Know Your Body Shape

It’s quite possible that your perimenopausal or menopausal body shape might be different from the body shape you once had. Knowing how to dress the body shape you have now will give you the confidence to feel good in your clothes. If you aren’t sure what body shape you have, this post is a great place to start. You can also find tips on dressing your specific body shape here.

#5) Save The Tents for Camping

While you might have an inkling to hide behind tent-like clothing and oversized silhouettes, create balance with baggy pieces so you don’t end up looking larger than you actually are. Look for flattering details that highlight your assets! If you are wearing something voluminous on one half of your body, wear something body-skimming on the other half.

#6) Wear Layers

Dressing in layers is an important tip! To help with those hot flashes or hot flushes as some refer to them, you’ll want easy-to-remove layers that can stand alone. You don’t want to feel overly exposed once removing a top layer. So, think of bra-friendly tanks and tees, and lightweight 3rd layers. A light linen scarf can come in handy for quick removal during a hot flash. Then, wrap it around your shoulders when the chills follow.

how to dress with a menopause belly

Outfits To Wear During Menopause

Outfits To Wear During Menopause

Now that you are armed with tips, know what you’re looking for, AND what you want to avoid, let’s talk specifics! Here are some clothing items I own and wore during my menopause journey and continue to wear!

Billowy or Body Skimming Tops

The top I’m wearing above by Maje is a perfect example of a lightweight, breathable, loose-fitting top. It also has interesting details like the split neck, striped cuffs, and voluminous sleeves. It skims the body but it’s not overwhelming in terms of added fabric. You can layer a cami, tank, or bralette underneath (remember layering is key!). And, you can wear it buttoned or unbuttoned which will help you stay cool. My Rails Ellis button-down is another favorite in terms of gauzy material that will keep you covered and cool at the same time. Here are a few other billowy, lightweight tops that can help keep you cool during menopause even if you’re having your own personal hot summer…long before August!

how to dress menopausal body

clothing for menopause

High-Rise Pants, Jeans & Shorts

Similar to the flowy, billowy top concept, a pair of lightweight pants can be your best friend during menopause. The Rails Leon pants in the first image above are a pair from last summer that are made of the same dreamy fabric as the Rails Ellis top mentioned in the tops section. I highly recommend them! They sold out last summer but are now restocked here! I also LOVE these Cinq a Sept joggers which can be dressed up or down (think heels and sneakers!). The light fabric feels cool on my skin but doesn’t show every lump and bump!

I’m also a huge fan of high-waisted jeans, trousers, and shorts like I mentioned in the tips above. The benefit of wearing them is that they conceal any extra skin around the midsection that you don’t want to show. High-rise jeans can help you eliminate the menopausal muffin top! Yay! Linking some of my all-time favorite high-waisted jeans below including the L’Agence straight leg jeans I’m wearing above.

blue and white printed diarrablu maxi dress

Body Skimming Dresses

Anyone else remember the sitcom Three’s Company? When her internal furnace was on max, Mrs. Roper would stand in front of the fridge to cool off wearing her finest moo moo. Well, she was on to something! A caftan or loose-fitting dress will definitely keep you cool and looking stylish during menopause. The key is looking for dresses that are body-skimming, have flattering necklines, or have an empire waist so your shape isn’t completely lost or engulfed in fabric. Body skimming dresses made from breathable materials can look elevated, feminine, and even glamorous…allowing for plenty of circulation. The caftan I’m wearing above by Diarrablu is a perfect example. It’s unfortunately sold out, but I found SO many great options to share including a few by the same designer…

neutral scarf

Must-Have Scarf

As I mentioned in the tips section above, a lightweight scarf is a menopause must-have. It can provide sheer coverage without being heavy and hot. You can also tie it to your handbag to use if you need to blot away moisture from your face neck or chest in the heat of the moment. (Just keeping it real!)

navy long sleeve pajama set

BONUS – Pajamas That Keep You Cool

If there’s one overwhelmingly common symptom for menopause it’s night sweats and lack of sleep. When it comes to finding cooling pajamas, these Moonlight Pajamas from Nordstrom are some of my absolute favorites. The fabric is soft and washes well. I own both the long and short versions and love them!

It’s not all bad!  There are also some positive things about menopause. Wait, what? Yep. You can read about them here.

OK, so tell me one great, funny, or totally embarrassing thing that happened to you as a result of the big M. Brain fog moment? Fashion faux pa? Share in the comments and together we’ll work toward finding some humor and release in this otherwise not-so-fun topic!  To make sure you don’t miss out on any of our blog posts, be sure to sign up for the newsletter here. We share style tips, packing lists, menopause resources, and SO much more for women over 40. We’d love to have you join our community!

Thanks for stopping by!

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