Remember when Samantha Jones in Sex and the City 2, announced she was going through menopause while in the midst of a devastating hot flash?
The Sex and the City movie had fun with this storyline, even though Kim Cattrall, the lady herself, hadn't start going through menopause until two years later. Regardless of her plight, Samantha created a plan of action to look and feel fabulous during "the change." She made menopause look fabulous...hot and sweaty...but fabulous.
I myself officially started menopause at 46 and have to admit, despite all of the unpleasant side-effects, I was happy to welcome this new chapter in my life. For me it was a rite of passage and a reminder that I've made it to another "level" in my life.
At the time my husband was less than amused by my need to keep our bedroom at a cool 40-50 degrees at night to balance of horrible night sweats. Sorry babe. Almost 10 years later however, I'm happy to report that the temperature in our room is back to normal.
Regardless at what age you join this club, there will be a few adjustments you'll have to make in your life with regard to both your health and your fashion.
Gone are the days where you become a fashion casualty to menopause, donning anything tent-like or with lycra (did I mention you're prone to weight gain around the belly...yes it's a bummer).
In addition to taking care of yourself so you feel amazing during this time, including eating right and getting some sort of exercise; now is the perfect time to take another look at your wardrobe and those items that may not be "menopause friendly."
1. Plan What You're Wearing in Advance - Remember when your mom used to lay your clothes out for you when you were little? Well, now is the perfect time to revisit that habit. Check the weather first to see if it's going to be rainy, sunny, or cooler than usual and then plan accordingly. This is actually a great tip for anyone, but if you're menopausal it's a requirement.
2. Dress in Layers - That's worth saying again...dress in layers! When a hot flash hits you will not be able to take off enough clothes (and you'll want to) so be sure to dress in a manner that allows maximum comfort. I usually start with a cami or tank and then add a shirt/blouse, and then jacket or light sweater. If you're concerned about showing your arms (and let me just say don't), then look for 3/4" length sleeves on your shirts, jackets, and sweaters or invest in a few sleevey wonders (they're fabulous).
3. Choose Lightweight Fabrics - Now is the time you may want to rethink those turtlenecks (unless thin or short sleeve), bulky sweaters, wool items, and pretty much anything that's designed to keep you warm. Breathable (and absorbable) cotton, gauze-like linen, and silk in short or no-sleeve items will be your best friends when a hot flash comes on.
4. Invest in a Beautiful Fan - And speaking of hot flashes why not endure them in style. There are great little portable fans you can attach to your cell phone, which work great. However, why not invest in a beautiful old fashion fan? When I travel, I love to pick up a new decorative fan so that I can use a beautiful accessory while going through a very challenging moment.
5. Keep a Positive Attitude - A lot's going on with the body during perimenopause and menopause and it's important to acknowledge and be aware of those changes. Now is not the time to be in denial. However, it is the time to keep a positive attitude, be creative, and have fun.
Embarking upon this new chapter can be overwhelming but it's not the end, it's a new beginning. Try a new look with your make-up or do something different with your hair like a new cut or color. Rethink your wardrobe by taking a good honest look at what you have in your closet and making some hard decisions about what to keep and what to toss.
Rediscover who are and your authentic style and fill your closet with clothes you love and feel incredible in. When menopause starts it's also a great time to start thinking about what this change in your life means. It may be time to set a vision for going after lost dreams, goals or other aspirations you've put off until this time in your life.
Overall, the key is to be positive, take care of your changing body and hormones, and definitely take the time to look fabulous!
Live, laugh and unapologetically shine,