It's interesting the different shapes and sizes people come in. As I've gotten older I've become more tube-shaped, kinda squishy and round-y like a tube of toothpaste. My friend says she's shaped like Spongebob. I was looking around the mall the other day (my favorite people watching location). There are a lot of barrel shaped women camouflaging their shapes with "completer pieces" aka sweaters, jackets and those awful new kimonos. I didn't even know about "completer pieces" til I watched 'What Not To Wear' and they demonstrated how much more finished these women looked with their "completer piece". I still don't have a lot of "completer pieces" in my wardrobe. I just leave the house being "incomplete".
I wish someone would have explained the "middle aged - expanding middle" theory to me...though I probably would have been too horrified to actually listen and absorb the facts of my fate. It seems to be evolutionary because all but three of my girlfriends, in all my circles of girlfriends, have been hit with "expanding middle" syndrome. It's fashion altering but not necessarily life threatening.
For instance, low-rider jeans are the tin for your muffin. The new high-rise jeans, formerly known as Mom Jeans, are just going to take that now expanded backside and highlight it in the name of fashion. Don't go there! But if you must, at least cover it with a kimono.