The idea the menopause should stop you from being your fabulous self is a myth. Take Michelle Obama, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Oprah, for example—they’ve all spoken candidly about their experiences with menopause and aging. And they couldn’t be further from the stereotype that entering menopause means entering a chapter of shapeless nightgowns devoid of all personal style.
With that in mind, we tapped pro-aging influencers who have experienced the hormonal changes and physical manifestations of menopause firsthand. All five women showcase the reality that menopause comes in all ages, shapes, and sizes—and that aging is a beautiful and multifaceted experience.
Below, learn about their unique experiences with menopause, fashion, and the tried-and-true products that make them feel empowered, confident, and sexy.
Alyson Walsh, founder of That’s Not My Age
For Alyson Walsh, freelance journalist, author, and founder of That’s Not My Age, menopause has shifted her wardrobe in subtle ways. “I’ve found that anything I can waft around in is a winner,” she says. “I love fluid dresses with lots of movement and always opt for natural, breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, and silk.”
She’s also grown fond of a good oversized T-shirt and statement earrings. “Once estrogen leaves the building, our metabolic rates slow down, we burn less fat, and we’re more susceptible to weight gain around the middle,” she explains. “So I’ve switched from signature gray marl T-shirts to open-neck oversized pieces from Arket, COS, and Everlane.” She steers clear of oversized necklaces, which can make her feel “clammy and sweaty,” and instead adds personality to her ensemble with statement earrings. “They’re such an easy and inexpensive way to give your outfit a pick-me-up.”
Despite these sartorial shifts, Walsh remains committed to her personal style. “I practically live in oversized jumpsuits, despite the fact that I have to go to the bathroom more frequently now,” she says. “Menopause or not, style is a personal thing, and you have to wear what makes you feel good.”
$895.00, Matches Fashion
Janie Medley, founder of Medley Style
Soft, breathable fabrics and feminine silhouettes served as fashion blogger Janie Medley’s menopause capsule wardrobe. “Knitwear became my go-to—the material is super breathable, and I loved the elastic waist on pants,” she says. “Whether it was a cute knit dress and sandals in the summer, or a knit set in the fall, I always felt on-trend and amazing.”
For dressier occasions, Medley turned to slip dresses and formal jumpsuits. “They always make me feel sexy and feminine,” she says. “They’re also a flattering choice when I’m feeling a bit bloated.” Finally, Medley’s pajama set from Cozy Earth was a menopause mainstay. “I absolutely love this set—it’s so perfect for lounging around the house,” she says. “The material is so soft against my skin, and there’s the perfect amount of stretch in the fabric.”
$169.00, Cozy Earth
Lynn Shabinsky, founder of White Hair Wisdom
A mix of lifestyle and closet shifts helped Lynn Shabinsky navigate the unfamiliar waters of menopause. “I went through menopause when I was 47,” says the creative behind White Hair Wisdom. “I was fortunate to only experience mild symptoms, but I did have the occasional hot flash.” Brands like Eileen Fisher and James Perse quickly became favorites, namely because of their use of light, natural fibers and mix-and-match pieces. “Being able to remove an outer layer was always a relief,” she says.
Clothing aside, a probiotic helped ease the bloating and IBS brought on by menopause. “I mainly experienced changes in digestion—I began taking Bio-K+ probiotics daily, and I’ve never felt better.” But Shabinsky largely credits her healthy, active lifestyle for her relatively mild experience. “I kept up my yoga practice throughout menopause and have lived a clean, plant-based lifestyle for most of my adult years,” she says. “I think these factors were my saving grace—I was able to maintain a healthy weight and mindset throughout the process.”
$228.00, Eileen Fisher
$30.00, Purple Carrot
Annette Hoeldrich, founder of Lady of Style
Empowerment and confidence sum up Annette Hoeldrich’s approach to menopausal dressing. “I’m a firm believer that you shouldn’t be invisible after menopause,” explains the Lady of Style founder. True to form, she favors bold tailored separates, slinky slip dresses, and trendy leather leggings.
“My red trouser suit is a real statement piece—it makes me feel visible, and I can easily dress it up or down,” she says. Her denim jacket is another piece she describes as “youthful, not frumpy,” and she contends that it’s “a must-have for women of any age.” Leather leggings are her cold-weather staple that “flatter a changing shape after menopause”; she prefers to pair them with a long blazer, oversized tunic, or extra-long cardigan.
When she wants to feel sexy and alluring, she reaches for one of her many slip dresses. “You can look sexy after menopause—slinky slip dresses aren’t just for young women!” she says. “I wear them with understated accessories or classic pieces, like my black velvet blazer, for an elegant, grown-up, and sexy look.”
Isabella Thorp, founder of Confessions of a Super Ager
Sartorially speaking, lifestyle blogger Isabella Thorp firmly believes in embracing midlife in style. “One of my favorite brands for achieving that is Ala von Auersberg—their pieces are comfortable, elegant, and breathable,” she says. “I feel wonderful and feminine in their dresses and cover-ups—the fabrics are exquisite, soft, and cool to the touch.”
In addition to her wardrobe, she’s amassed an arsenal of products to combat the thinning hair, hot flashes, and sleep issues she started experiencing during menopause. “All of the hormonal changes made it difficult for me to sleep,” she says; she now relies on a sleep CBD spray. To curb hair shedding, Thorp started taking Nutrafol supplements. “It has really helped minimize my hair loss—I now see fewer clumps of hair after shampooing.” Finally, for the skin changes that often accompany menopause, collagen-rich skin care sits at the center of her menopausal self-care routine.
$650.00, Ala von Auersperg
$79.00, Reed's Remedies
What I Wore When is a podcast hosted by Glamour digital director Perrie Samotin in partnership with iHeartRadio and was chosen by Apple as one of 2019’s must-listen audio series. During each episode, Perrie sits down with actors, musicians, reality stars, cultural critics, chefs, and other influential women to discuss what they wore during a pivotal moment in their life—and why it mattered. Subscribe to What I Wore When on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.
Originally Appeared on Glamour