What I look like in my friend’s clothes – a fun experiment!

by Sylvia

What I look like in my friend's clothes - a fun experiment! | 40plusstyle.com

Yesterday I reflected on my personal style and why I believe my clothes don’t need to be figure flattering (all the time).

However, both Suzanne and Anja were really keen to see how those kind of clothes would look on me. Suzanne really liked the swapping of clothes experiment that I did earlier with Anja wearing my clothes, and she felt it was time for me to try on her’s.

The perfect opportunity arose when we had a bit of a crazy and fun morning where all 4 of us were dressing up in crazy clothes. That’s what you get when you put 4 bloggers together in one room! I particularly like this glamour photo from Suzanne.

glamour shot of Suzanne Carillo | 40plusstyle.com

Or how about these funny ones from Suzanne and Greetje.

bloggers dressing up in funny costume | 40plusstyle.com

But to see me in Anja’s clothes was serious stuff, so no wigs or funny hats.

Important questions needed to be answered.

  • Would I look better in Anja’s clothes?
  • And how would these clothes make me feel?

Look #1

First up was this dress.

wearing a graphical printed dress | 40plusstyle.com

I liked the colors and graphics of this dress but found the V-neck too low. I would not feel comfortable in this dress except on a beach or perhaps a night club.

In a normal situation I like to be a bit more covered up.

The dress is very body hugging and it shows every shape of my body. The girls may like it, but me not so much. I feel like I have to keep my tummy in a all the time, that I need a push-up bra and safety pins to keep the v-neck in shape and covering the bust!

Still I concede that from this angle the dress looks pretty good.

Look #2

Wearing someone else's clothes | 40plusstyle.com

The next look was the green skirt with the animal print top.

I felt better in this look as the skirt is knee height and the top covered up a bit more. However, looking at the picture now, I don’t like this look at all.

This kind of animal print top is really not for me. Certainly not when it is combined with a shimmering satin skirt. I actually feel that you need a bit more bearing of skin here. Neck could be deeper or arms could be bare.

Another alternative is to add a jacket so that the top does not look so severe and overpowering.

Ultimately tight printed tops are really not my thing. I want an interesting design element. I want them loser. And I want a natural fabric preferably without a print.

Look #3

The third look seemed to be more up my alley. I think the proportions of this look are good. The belt emphasises the waist and the V-neck works well with the knee-high skirt.

Still it’s not something I would wear myself. I think this look makes me look old and am not a huge fan of the colors on me. Again the V-neck is way too deep for me!

Look #4

Wearing a short flower dress in a swapping clothes experiment | 40plusstyle

I think I felt the best in look 4. This outfit had a bit more structure with the added peplum than the others and it strikes the right balance between revealing skin and being covered up. Showing a lot of leg is countered by not showing any cleavage.

I think this dress looks great on my body.

Still, I could not wear it. There is just too much happening in the pattern and I just don’t like to wear flowers all-over.

Look #5

Look no.5 was a green printed dress.

Wearing clothes that accent the waist in a styling experiment | 40plusstyle.com

Again this deep V-neck I don’t like. There is too much all-over pattern and the overall design does not inspire me.

However, the last dress was the perfect outfit to have a little fun with and create a few Marilyn Monroe moments….

Chanelling Marilyn Monroe | 40plusstyle.com

I also think it looks better with the pink wig….

dancing queen | 40plusstyle.com

Phew, that is enough dancing for now. Time for a break and exchange smiley looks with Greetje.

Playing dress-up with Greetje | 40plusstyle.com

And to top it all off: a group photo! Cheers!

40+girls playing dress up | 40plusstyle.com

In conclusion, as I mentioned yesterday, style is so personal. Even though Anja’s clothes all fit me, they don’t feel like ME. I want more structure in my clothes, more natural materials, more asymmetry, no deep V-necks and not so much print.

This whole exercize has further confirmed my own personal style and I’m just going to stick to doing my own thing!

Although swapping clothes with your friends can work for some, you do have to have similar styles. Anja’s and my style are almost complete opposites so it really does not work, but it was a fun experiment nonetheless.

What do you think? Do you like me in Anja’s clothes?


All photos taken by Anja (curly traveller) and Suzanne Carillo. Be sure to check out their fabulous blogs!

P.S. If you want to find YOUR unique style and discover how you can dress your body so that you will look and feel your best, you may like to check out my style course!

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Annette

You look much better in your old clothes. I agree look 4 the best. The rest too drab and ordinary, in comparison to what you usually wear.


2 Sylvia

Yes, I think so too. My own clothes truly feel like ME!


3 Ashley

What a fun exercise! I think this just proves how important personal style is. While you look lovely in all those items, if you are uncomfortable (due to fabric, fit, plunging neckline, etc.) it will come across in your confidence. Confidence is very important. You’ve got to be confident in what you are wearing and OWN it.


4 Sylvia

I couldn’t agree more Ashley!


5 Patti

This looks like so much fun – I must try it with my sister. I think you look splendid, and esp in the last swirly dress!


6 Sylvia

Yes it’s a fun exercize. Definitely try it with your sister and share the results!


7 Rebecca

What a great exercise! As it did for you, it confirmed for me that your own fashion style is truly for you. While these outfits looked wonderful on their owners, they did not seem to enhance you. This really demonstrates for me that we need to dress from the inside out and be truly ourselves. (It’s back to a re-read of your two style course books!!)


8 Sylvia

Absolutely Rebecca. Enjoy your re-reading!


9 Ann

This looks like a fun experiment for all. I do like pattern in dresses and I can see Anja in these outfits looking great. They don’t seem right for you although your figure looks great in them. I could see dress 4 if it was sleeveless and a bit longer. All of you sure did have a great time!


10 Sylvia

It’s always fun if someone styles you and see how they would like to see you. I still believe I’m in the best stylist of myself though!


11 Kim

Yes, I like the clothes but NOT on you! You’re style is so unique and suits you much better. I greatly admire your style and the pieces you wear but I know that at 5’4″ with a petite frame, most of your clothes would swallow me up and not flatter me. Real style is a reflection of the individual as you have just proven.


12 Sylvia

yes, Kim. You have to find your own style and see which clothes work for YOU. Have fun discovering and finetuning!


13 Annette

That is a great experiment, Sylvia! Although I like Anja’s clothes and they fit your body, they don’t reflect your style! I wondered whether I feel like that because I only saw you in your own, more clean chic style before. But although I have never met you in person (hopefully one day!) I think I got to “know” you via your blog and I feel it is not your style and personality.
Great post!

Annette | Lady of Style


14 Sylvia

It was a fun experiment Annette. I highly recommend doing it yourself with a friend. And yes, it would so much fun to meet up one day….


15 Suzanne

This was so much fun! Like when we were kids and used to play dress-up.

I must admit I loved putting together the outfits and although I know they weren’t “you” I was so impressed how you were game to give them all a go and just played with the whole idea.

I personally loved you in all the outfits, I do have a much better shot of you in the leopard and green skirt that is more flattering, as we know, 90% is about the angles in photos as to whether or not an outfit translates into a good photo.

I know they are not your style though, just as I wouldn’t be comfortable wearing your clothes we are all at our own personal best when we are wearing a reflection of ourselves rather than someone else’s interpretation of us.

I would do this again in a heartbeat though : ) I love dressing up other people like they are my own live barbie dolls.



16 Sylvia

Yes me too Suzanne. It was indeed a lot of fun and I love it when others style me. It’s nice to see yourself in a different light. I imagine that is what actors feel too. When they get to wear clothes from an another persona they become that person. You almost feel like a different person when you wear very different clothes to what you would pick yourself.. Thanks so much for being my stylist!


17 Anja van der Vorst

So interesting to read your comments about this experience.

I know and agree that you are not the type for all these flowers and patterns, that the knee length should be a bit longer , in some of the outfits, and yes, for these deep V-necks, a push-up bra makes it look better.

But the funny thing is, that I find you looking way younger in these looks! While you feel you look older! Weird. It keeps surprising and puzzling me, how two people can perceive the same outfit so differently.

Glad we did the other half of our clothes exchange experiment and that you participated so happily. We sure had a lot of fun that morning.


18 Greetje Kamminga

I think I have said everything already in the comment on your post of yesterday.
This exercize has confirmed to me, if your clothes do not reflect your inner self, you feel unhappy. Of course there are a few basic things you need to look at, like height and body shape. And after that it should become YOU.
I liked you very much in the leopard cardigan and the green satin skirt. But it is not you.


19 Sylvia

Yes totally agree Greetje!


20 Cheryl

I loved you in all of your friends outfits except #4. I especially like the colors and pattern of #1 on you. And I agreed with you about the deep V. You don’t need that. You are already very slender and I find a deep v is not neccessry for figure enhancement when a woman is already slender. Also, your friends clothes are so much more dressy than you usually wear. Does your lifestyle call for such dressy clothes? I ask because I recently put together a pie chart of my weekly activities and discovered one of the reasons I never have anything to wear is because my life is very casual and active, but my clothes are not.


21 Sylvia

That is such a good idea Cheryl to do that exercize. It’s so important to buy the clothes for your lifestyle. I tend to have a lot of dressy clothes as I do enjoy to dress up when I attend event or meet friends for lunch. I also spend quite a lot of time in lounge clothes as I work from home and just want to be comfortable.


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