Great clothes for women over 40

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Marisota makes great clothes for grown-up women – why on earth does it call itself ‘outsize’?

Marisota poloI came across a great new mail order fashion firm the other day (well, new to me…) – Marisota.

I linked to it via the Guardian and had browsed around pleasurably for ages before finally twigging that the reason I’ve never heard of it before is that it’s meant to be for outsize women. 

Just what is outsize about a UK size 12, I wonder? Most of the garments start at 12 and go up to size 36 but more importantly, they have the kind of fashion details that most women over 40 are looking for – decent wide straps that you can get a bra under, skirts that don’t end at thigh level and t-shirts with vents at the bottom (see polo shirt at left). There is a strong correlation between wanting to hide your muffin top and wanting to flatter your ageing flesh – it is only a shame that women over 40 have to head to the outsize ranges to find anything with decent design features.

lace-neck teeMarisota offers a good range of tees with long sleeves and extra length in the body – useful for those of us who prefer a slightly low-waisted jean but don’t want to expose any midriff – I get truly fed up with working out ways to cover the gap between my t-shirt and my jeans. Many of the tees also have nice details like a Henley button front, a crocheted sleeve or a lace neckline (as at left) on an otherwise clean silhouette. 

Paisley topThe woven tops also have some nice features. I am seriously considering ordering this paisley one, which looks beautifully cool for summer and is also practical for my lifestyle (I tend to get dirty). And note the pleasing cuff and hem detail on this white tunic below – it gives just that extra bit of interest compared with a plain white shirt. 

White blouseThere are lots of maxi dresses for those who fancy an extra bit of length for a summer dress – many with a float panel under the bustline that can nicely disguise a pot belly. I was very taken with this deep, border-print one (below right), though at my height I’d end up chopping half the hem off, sadly. Note the slightly loose sleeve, which makes all the difference on both a hot summer day and a fat bicep. Border print dress

The skirts are mainly peasant-type – not my cup of tea, but for those for whom that appeals, there is a broad selection.

One item that would probably be of interest to a lot of women is the Magi-fit jean or trouser. These look completely normal but have a built-in control panel and an elasticated back for a more comfortable fit. Styles include straight leg, bootcut and wideleg.

Long-sleeve shrugKnitwear, which originally drew me to the site, comes in a wide range of colours, styles and lengths, including long-length and three-quarter. I also found this useful long-sleeve shrug in knits. A shrug is a really useful item with a sleeveless dress, but so many end at the worst possibl spot on your arm so it’s good to see one with a long sleeve. 

Add wide-fitting shoes and wide-leg boots (a particular bane for many women who carry weight on their calves), a range of lingerie including bra-camis, and sports and nightwear and a girl could do a lot worse than spend some time browsing around this site. I only wish they wouldn’t call it outsize. 


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