Dressing for Digestive Illness: The Drapey Lady Look

I was shopping with a friend of mine the other day on King William Road.  For those of you who know Adelaide, you’ll know that the shopping strip along KW Road in Hyde Park is infamously well-to-do and predominantly inhabited by wealthy mature ladies.  As my friend and I peered in the windows of the clothing stores who cater to this market, she stated to me most matter of factly, 90“There’s a look I really don’t like for older women… the drapey lady look”.  I quizzed her on this subject and it seems the “drapey lady” look essentially comprises of leggings and long, loose, “drapey” tunic tops and cardigan coats.  The kind of thing you might see at Metallicus or the like.  I looked at her, looked in the shop window, looked down at myself and began to laugh.  I may only be 32, but it would appear I am already one of the dreaded “drapey ladies”!

You see, draping is brilliant for covering up less than desirable lumps and bumps.  It is the perfect style for the mature woman as it is feminine, functional and bets of all, conceals tummy, hips and thighs.  A couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have dared attempt this look.  I was fit, firm and happy to wear jeans and a tee shirt.  But then I got sick.

Maintaining a slim figure never came easy to me.  I exercised 6 times a week, doing resistance and cardiovascular training as well as yoga and dance.  I ate a dietician recommended diet, low fat, low calories and truckloads of vegetables but still it was a struggle.  So when I got sick and all of a sudden I didn’t feel like going to Pump class and eating a green salad, the weight came piling on.

In addition to getting bigger all over, there was the daily bloating.  My midriff may not actually be expanding like some kind of gas-filled blimp but by Jove, it sure feels like it!  Some days just wearing clothing with a waistband can be excruciating and so enter drapey lady fashion.  Hey, any excuse to buy a new wardrobe, right?

I’m a bit of an unusual drapey lady, my shape is more hourglass/skittle than apple, so the draping for me tends to begin at the high-waist, rather than the chest.  By wearing clothing that fits snugly through the bust and high waist, then skimming over my hips and thighs, I feel I’m adequately concealing my sore and swollen belly and what’s more important, I’m comfortable.

Here are a few pieces I bought recently to further my drapey lady look.

Glunge, long sleeved pullover in Limeade, $24.95, Cotton On

This works well with stretchy skinny jeans or leggings and a mini skirt for a Rodarte Black Swan inspired off-duty ballerina look.  Plus, because it’s such a sheer lightweight fabric, it drapes gently across the body without adding extra bulk so can be worn layered on cold days or as is on warmer ones.

Chic Style oversized white shirt, $46.99, Romwe.com

Every lady, drapey or not, needs a classic white shirt and this season’s oversized interpretation is perfect for covering thunder thighs.  I’m a big fan!

Neutral Pleat Detail Culottes, $25, Warehouse

Ok, so it’s not exactly the drapey lady signature style, but it is drapey and it works for me.  I love anything high waisted… I can cinch the waistband up and over my bulging belly on bad days and take the pressure off.  Waaaay better than the whole hipster jeans trend, that was just painful.

Meridian Wood Post earrings in Neon Lime Green, US$7, Paragraph Loop on Etsy

I’m a bit excited about the coming neon and pastel colour trend coming for Summer, even though both neons and pastels typically make me look sick.  Well, that’s one good thing about being sick I guess… nothing can actually make you look any worse- ha!  Seriously though, I’m in love with these earrings and if a drapey lady needs one accessory, it’s a pair of bright and exciting earrings to draw the eye up and away from all that drapery.  These definitely nail the brief.


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