Refresh your style

Cindy Block, 54, a Raleigh retiree, volunteer, wife and mother, has a common case of I-wish-I-was: She wishes she were thinner (the Size 0 she once was) and taller (she's 5-foot-2). To find a casual, updated style that suits her busy life, she needs to ignore the size tags and dress her figure as is.

Leave this for the teeny-boppers

Cindy couldn't do more to accentuate her pear shape with this outfit that looks far too young. The too-long top and round-toe boots shorten her leg line, the top's pattern overwhelms her petite frame, and skinny-leg jeans draw attention to her thighs and hips. Petites, you don't have to shop in the juniors and children's departments.

Casual and trendy

The Liz Claiborne petite jeans fit perfectly off the rack. (No more saying "nothing fits me!") Bandolino boots are sleek, and a Tommy Hilfiger coat shows signature style. The Tignanello bag suits her compact size. Her handmade jewelry adds sparkle.

Mature and youthful

This teal INC sweater looks great with Cindy's coloring and draws attention to her small waist, helped by a Wacoal bra with better support. The dark wash of the INC trouser jeans lengthens her leg line. The purple Liz Claiborne bag is just the right size, and the JM Collection tweed coat is classy.

What she liked (and what her husband liked)

Macy's gave Cindy $250 worth of merchandise, including the tweed coat, blue jeans, two sweaters and the bra. Her husband, Ian, liked the patterned coat so much he bought it on the spot. "This is so great," Cindy said. "I can really see myself wearing these clothes day to day and feeling good."

Stylist: Sheon Ladson,

Photos: Juli Leonard and Shawn Rocco

Clothes courtesy of Macy's at Crabtree Valley Mall, Raleigh

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