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Why The 3-Way Mirror Should Be Your Best Friend

3-way mirror fashion tipsMirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?

I wonder if the mirror ever asked the queen to turn around? Of course I’m being facetious; however, about three years ago I asked the fashion editor of our local paper what his best piece of advice for women over 50 was. He responded, “Always look in a three-way mirror before leaving the house!” In other words, we need to look our best going, as well as coming.

I thought of his words recently while watching women at the mall. There are so many times where it is obvious that women of all ages are not looking behind before leaving the house. I know I went for years just looking forward and one day when I actually concentrated on the back? I was horrified! Many stores have dressing rooms with regular mirrors inside them, and a three-way mirror outside of the changing area. I know that I did not want to walk outside and stand in front of that mirror when my confidence was at its lowest. But let me tell you something, ladies … we all need to do this before we purchase a garment. This discussion is meant to help and not offend, but some things must be addressed directly.

Here are some of the most common attire mistakes we make without looking behind:

  1. WEARING LEGGINGS LIKE PANTS: I love leggings and wear them often, but they should be worn with garments that cover the tush. Perhaps some very thin women can pull off leggings with short tops, but coverage is critical. This is the number one problem seen at the mall. And I’ll be honest, it’s not a sexy look. When things jiggle while walking, it is not flattering, no matter your size.
  2. WEARING LARGE GARMENTS: I also love tunics and flowy garments. However, from behind they can make us look much larger than we are if they do not have some seams meant to flatter the body, or have a closer fit. Try on several sizes in order to find your best. With many tunics and large designs, we can consider going a size smaller for a more flattering fit. Remember the 3-way mirror. Also, have the courage to try on a more fitted jacket with a shorter length and then look at the difference from behind. You might be surprised at how much smaller you look.
  3. WEARING DIFFERENT LENGTHS: Again, this is a fun style. However, be sure to turn around and see how things look. Consider how your body type and height look in capri pants with a longer top. Understanding your body type will help in selecting the best garments, but always, always, look from behind. The popular style of tops with hems short in front and longer in the back do not flatter every woman. Round hems are great for some and not for others. When you begin to work with different proportions and size, turning around can open your eyes.
  4. WEARING CLOTHES THAT ARE TOO TIGHT: Just as larger clothes are dangerous for some, so are clothes which are worn too tight. The only way to see if your body fat is bunching up in the back is to turn around. Now, you might need a new bra, a great body shaper, or to go up a size, but it is an easy fix.

In fact, all of these are easy fixes and do not warrant a woman getting down on herself. Just methodically fix it as you would any problem. This is about how garments fit, not an indictment of you or your body. It is also about using that 3-way mirror as a tool for success.

Thanks for stopping by the Joy Boutique. Any confessions you’d like to share? And do let me know, do you turn around and look behind when shopping?

Have a great week, everyone.

Pamela Lutrell

Pamela Lutrell began her blog, over50feeling40, July 2010 with a desire to encourage women over 50 to walk in strength, confidence and joy. Of course, head turning style makes each day fun!

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Wendy Makohoniuk

Sunday 21st of February 2016

Hi Pam, I would like to comment on your blogs of Feb 20 and Feb 21 . (Sorry, I cannot figure out how to comment from that site.) I just want to tell tou that I really, really appreciate you and your practical economic fashion advice. Many years ago when I was a single mom, I shopped at thrift stores becasue I had no choice. I loved finding deals. Thanks to your inspiration, I go treasure hunting at them again - and boy! have I found some great stuff! My economic scale has improved over the years, and so has my style of dressing, but I can still dress better than I could if I paid full retail. (Which I never do, BTW.) Your advice to study the fashion magazines and then go re-create the look is a fantastic idea. Thanks to you, I have learned the names of some of the brands and designers that I should watch for.

What I am trying to say is keep up the good work. You have hit a niche - how to dress an present yourself - fashionably, stylishly, and confidently- on a realistic budget.

Thank you for inspiring me, Wendy Calgary Alberta Canada

Pamela Lutrell

Sunday 21st of February 2016

Sorry you had difficulty commenting on my blog, Wendy...but you need to know, your comment meant the world to me! If I have helped you in any way, I am honored and so pleased. Thank you for sharing...and I hope you keep reading and trying to comment...let me know if it doesn't work again. Have a wonderful week.


Tuesday 16th of February 2016

Great ideas to think about, Pam. Sometimes in a moment I will need to run to the grocery store or pharmacy and I honestly remember once thinking, " What if I am in an accident and someone thinks these clothes are my everyday clothes?" ( flannels and a T shirt). Made me realize there are " inside" clothes which are far different than "outside" clothes. Enjoyed the article!

Tuesday 16th of February 2016

Great advice Pam. A three way mirror is a scary reality but a good idea. The first time I notice I had wrinkly elbows was in a three way mirror in a dressing room. Shocking!

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