I get this question from my clients, “How do I find clothes that still make me look vibrant and attractive, but aren’t so young looking that they make me look silly or like I’m trying to look young?”
This is a question that I feel is a total and complete indication of the sexism and ageism that exists in our world today, and the time has come for women over 50 to scream at the top of our lungs, in unison, “I am sick of worrying about dressing too young, and I’m going to wear whatever I darn well please!!!”
Isn’t it time we put to rest this notion that once we reach a certain age we have to stop wearing something that we still feel good wearing?
If you like to wear your skirts three inches above your knees and you have great legs (or, even if you don’t!), then go for it. Here’s a beautiful woman of a certain age, Linda Allen Kuzak, who can pull this off because she has a relaxed, playful attitude toward her style.
If you are petite and crazy about bright, colorful prints and accessories, like Jenny Kee on Advanced Style, then mix those colors and patterns.
Basically, the most difficult thing I see in stores is that they cater to younger women, so the clothes are just not interesting or well tailored. Most young women cycle through clothes quickly because their lives are in transition, or they just aren’t able to afford nice clothing yet. Understandably, they don’t need clothes to last twenty or more years when their careers and lives are still changing. When we reach a certain age most of us are more settled into a routine and our clothing needs are more streamlined. Generally speaking, we’re looking for quality over quantity.
Here’s some advice on how you can find great clothes that will appeal to your mature style sensibilities, without breaking the bank or sacrificing your confidence:
Tip #1: Dress in a Youthful, Energetic Way At Any Age
There is a big difference between dressing in a youthful way and dressing young. You probably want to appear as youthful as possible because it signifies that you’re relevant and living your life to the fullest. So finding a style that conveys youthfulness is a positive thing.
One way to create that youthful look is to BE CREATIVE. Have fun with your clothes. Try out new styles from INSIDE YOUR CLOSET. I am constantly creating new outfits because everything in my closet is color-coordinated and mixes and matches. Adding color is the quickest way to appear more youthful and vibrant because your skin looks radiant and your eyes sparkle! Try layering necklaces of different lengths or put on 3 or 4 bracelets up your arm. Go out and purchase huge round eyeglasses, ala Iris Apfel!
Tip #2: Identify Your Favorite Designers and Stores
When you find a designer brand that speaks your style language, fits your body shape, and fulfills your lifestyle needs, keep returning to that brand. It’s important to refresh your wardrobe every season with a few new pieces — keeps your look interesting! With all the brick and mortar stores closing these days, you may need to step outside your comfort zone and broaden your search to online sources, such as online boutiques, Ebay, or Etsy. You may not want to spend the money for an original DKNY or Missoni piece, but if you can find it at a consignment store or on Ebay, and it’s in perfect condition, that makes you a very happy camper!
Tip #3: Wear Clothes That Flatter Your Body Shape Today
I don’t know about you but my body weight is shifting and it’s changing the styles I wear. I’m more conscious of where waistbands hit me, whether or not fabrics are too snug around my midsection, and I look for elongating silhouettes because I’m not wearing heels. Once you realistically look at your body shape and understand the clothes that flatter you, it will be so much easier to buy clothes that you’ll actually wear. There’s nothing worse than having a closet full of clothes that used to fit you, and not have the right clothes to wear TODAY.
Tip #4: Tap Into Your Personality
It’s so important to own your own style instead of being owned by the style industry. You deserve to be as comfortable in your clothes as you are in your own skin. Your wardrobe at a certain age is pretty much staples mixed with AMAZING signature pieces. Center your look around one great piece and build your outfit around it. Your signature pieces will be individual – expressing your personality and style preferences. Things like a soft, flowy skirt or a fringed leather jacket or several strands of cultured pearls. These are collectable items that stand the test of time. They’re classically YOU forever and ever. When I get up in the morning, I actually look for one particular article in my closet that I’m going to feel comfortable wearing for the day. It always has to be something that makes me feel psychologically and physically comfortable because that sets the tone for a feel-good day.
Tip #5: Wear Clothes That Withstand The Test Of Time
Look for quality fabrics, fit and construction. When your clothes are made from good quality fabrics, fit well and are well made they will last longer and look like they’re made just for you. This will make you look and feel young, vibrant, and confident!