Menopause Clothing: How to Look Good and Have Fun - Stella
Her story
5 mins

How to look good during menopause and have fun

byDominique Beverton

Dominique is a stylist for clothing retailer, Anthropologie and personal stylist, building a steady stream of clients who ask her how to look good during menopause. She shares her passion for clothes and how finding the right clothing during menopause can dramatically alter how you feel, especially when self-esteem and energy are low.

I am on oestrogen gel but I still feel really tired”

When it comes to styling, what you wear and how you feel in your clothes are tied up in confidence, emotions and hormones. As a 50+ woman going through menopause, I can totally relate to that. It’s great that menopause has become more open and I am always talking about it at work to normalise it. It’s just something that happens to us and it’s part of who I am.

I can empathise with the women I style, as I have also had some difficult experiences. I was put on antidepressants for anxiety in my late 40s but now I am sure it was related to menopause. The drugs made me feel awful. 

I was referred by my doctor to a menopause clinic at King’s College Hospital but I had to speak to a male doctor over the phone about really personal stuff, such as vaginal dryness and feeling so tired all the time. It was hard for me. 

Now I am on oestrogen gel but I still feel really tired. I’ve been trying to speak to a doctor about what my options are, yet it’s been hard to get a doctor’s appointment where I live. I just can’t wait for more menopause treatments to become over-the-counter!

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What to wear in menopause 

Avoid any rules that hold you back!”

Clothes can impact your entire mood and it can be a challenge to remember to have fun when thinking about what to wear in menopause. What I say to everyone I work with is to look at the fabric, colour, cut and fit. These are critical. There’s no official ‘menopause clothing’ you have to wear.

If you’re wearing something colourful, people can connect with you more easily. It’s the colour that attracts people and it is so uplifting. I was wearing a bright green outfit the other day and people kept coming over and commenting on the green. 

It just doesn’t happen as much if I wear something more neutral. It doesn’t mean I don’t wear neutral because I do, but you stand out as an older woman when wearing brighter colours and it makes people want to talk to you.

Does menopause mean you have to wear beige?

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wearing beige and people should wear whatever makes them feel comfortable! But of course, the focus on muted tones for older women feels like it is to make us invisible and out of mind. 

Society has conventions and we get put into a different place when we age. When I hear people quote “rules” about clothes, I counter with, ‘Why can’t you wear that?’ or ‘Why can’t you do this?’ Try to experiment with a little bit of colour and test the impact on your mood. 

You might want the person who you’re closest with to say ‘Wow!’, but, ultimately, do it for you and to make yourself feel good. Don’t get sucked into buying and wearing things because you think you should be wearing them or if they are uncomfortable. Avoid any rules that hold you back!

Possibly lockdown has changed some of us for good as we stayed at home for so long without dressing up, getting our nails or hair done. For some, there’s no going back and they are embracing the authentic, “This is me”.

Clothes for work during menopause

In the workplace, you don’t need to follow the pressure to conform to a dress code as you used to when younger. While it is more relaxed, I do still see there is a kind of workplace uniform. Ideally, your CV speaks for you and that’s your power. It alone says you have the experience, not your wardrobe.

Clothes for menopause belly

You will always focus on the negative part of your body and you will be more critical than anyone else! Really good underwear really helps, as does colour.

My mother influenced my style

I was interested in clothes at a really young age. My mother’s French and came over to the UK from Paris. She discovered jumble sales, which were not something that happened in France, and she thought they were amazing. We went to one every Saturday in nearby villages and towns in West Sussex. 

She has this fantastic eye for quality, great cut or wonderful fabric. I got my love of vintage and being a little bit different in my style from her. She’s 96 now and features in some of my Instagram videos.

In the late 1970s, I would go up to the King’s Road where all the punks were and go to Boy to get neon pink boots. I’d go back to Sussex and would really stand out from the crowd! I quite liked it. 

Today, it is more difficult to avoid being the same as everyone else. The jumble sales have gone and charity shops are not the same as they were – now they are super expensive. It feels like they are for people wanting to buy and sell on eBay.

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How I shop for clothes

I live in the moment and that’s the answer”

I look for key pieces that I know I will use a lot and I am more practical. Still, if I see something really beautiful and amazing, I might not be. That’s the trouble! One big change is that I used to think, “I will save that for a special day” or “I can’t wear this because I am doing that”. Now I just put it on regardless. I don’t leave special clothes hanging unworn for another year. I live in the moment and that’s the answer.

I do choose where I buy carefully and, generally speaking, I look for where items are made. Take Me+Em, they make their clothes in Europe and sell them in London. There is a strong, sustainable angle. If you buy from a secondhand shop, you may not know as much about the clothes but it makes money for charity and is essentially recycling. 

I am not a purist. If I see something I like regardless of whether it’s high street or from a charity shop then I think that’s okay. You can’t always have something high-end. I am constantly looking through magazines and it’s all amazing, but it’s not real life.

My favourite pieces

I love my patterned silk blouse from the 1970s, my favourite decade. I have a Burberry jacket from the 00s that is a blazer crossed with a sports jacket top within it. I’ve got a 1950s faux fur jacket from a great vintage secondhand shop in Peckham.

Final word

I don’t really call myself a business but Instagram is a way to sell what you can do and open yourself up to new people. I like to cheer myself up by dancing in the kitchen wearing different clothes and sharing it on Instagram. But it’s a bit of a minefield, which can be intimidating. Instagram is like a job in itself!

Find out more about menopause on our blog or learn more with our symptoms library.

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