A 40 something re-living the 80’s

The really sad part is that I am old enough to remember the 80’s.  In fact, I was in junior high and high school during this decade, so I wore most of the trends that are hot again all those years ago.  Seeing them come round again makes me feel old.  But is also is a little exciting too.  I’m finding that neon isn’t as offensive as I thought it might be.  I like seeing those colors in the store and mixing them with other brights to create fun and eye catching cominations.  I’ve always loved BIG handbags, so that trend doesn’t bother me much either.  I never was a fan of the big, boxy overcoat, and that sentiment has not changed.  I WILL NOT, however, be embracing big hair, leg warmers and dramatic makeup.  I think that trend is better left to the young at heart!

So, how do you make the 80’s look fresh?  Everything is based around oversized tops paired with skinny legged bottoms.  You can avoid the Olivia Newton John look by staying away from off the shoulder tops and big belts combined with very large hair!  That is, unless you are headed to an 80’s theme party.  Designers always trend up an old look so it seems re-envisioned and not vintage. 


For example, big shirts are in new fabrics like liquid metal and tunics are meant to be worn without belts and with leggings rather than stirrup pants.  Another fresh perspective is the ankle length crop which harkens back to yet another decade.  Still, with its skinny legged fit, it works great with all the 80’s looks and keeps everything modern.  Do embrace bold jewelry.  It works beatifully to balance out all the enlogated tops. 

So, as a 40 something, I am enjoying this look back at my teens.  I’ve done a little teasing of my hair but at the crown of my head rather than at the front and sides.  I’ve fully embraced leggings and am enjoying that look very much.  I’ve even been wearing bangles again and big necklaces.  It reminds me of a younger time, and that is a good thing.  In fact, I think I’ll go listen to Rock of Ages on my iPhone. 


Three More Steps to Dressing Your Age, Part II

If you followed my advice from Part I of this article, you probably fell into one of three categories: 1. You already had a pretty good idea of what was in fashion and felt good about your self assessment exercises. 2. You were already aware of being out of date and got yourself caught up. 3. You had no idea how behind the times you were and made a few shocking discoveries about yourself. Wherever you find yourself today, be encouraged. Dressing your age and looking great are easy if you follow a few key guidelines.

Step 4 – Necklines and Hemlines Are Key
One of the big mistakes women make in trying to stay young is wearing necklines and hemlines that are too revealing. Dressing past 40 should be about flattering your figure. Choose balance. If you are wearing a skinny jean with a boot, don’t wear a tight fitting top too. Choose instead to “balance” the figure revealing jean with a top that has a bit more volume. If you are wearing leggings, make sure your “uh hums” are covered by more than just an inch of fabric. Tunics should come to the middle of your thigh in the front and the back. If you have great legs, show them off with a skirt that comes to the top of your knee, not the middle of your thigh. The point is, you can still show off your figure, just not all at once.

????????Step 5 – Don’t Show Your Muffin Top
Okay, so I’m going to go there. Please forgive me but someone has to. We seem to be living in a time when showing our few extra pounds has become okay. Gone are the Steel Magnolia days when our thighs didn’t leave the house without lycra on them. Yes, there is freedom in just letting it all hang out. But should we? Now I am NOT saying that we women should have perfect figures. But, what I am saying is get that Spanx on! Better yet, choose clothing that flatters your body and doesn’t require a shaper. Low rise jeans just emphasize a bigger middle. Choose mid rise or…gasp…high rise and you’ll be amazed at how much they hold in. Choose tops with rouching that are designed to hide a belly. Teez Her makes an amazing shaping tank that you can use under any other top or jacket. You will never go wrong when you choose styles that flatter YOU rather than trying to wear trends that don’t. Dressing for your age, always means dressing for your body type first and foremost.


Step 6 – Interpret the Trends for Your Age
How old is too old to wear leggings and skinny jeans? I just did a fashion show for the Geo Wives Club and most of my models were in their 50’s and 60’s. We put several of them in either leggings or slim legged pants, and they looked great! The issue isn’t whether a 65 year old can wear leggings. This issue is how to interpret the trend for a mature woman. First of all, we didn’t choose a slim silhouette unless it flattered the woman wearing it. In other words, those with larger hips and legs wore a-line skirts or looser fitting slacks. Those with slim legs wore leggings or cigarette pants and loose fitting tunics that came down to the appropriate length. About 90% of the models wore layered tops. A jacket and tank, for example, work well together to hide figure flaws while still showing off a waist. With some well thought out clothing choices, they were all dressed in the latest trends and looked classy, fashionable and perfectly dressed for their age.

Tunics do a great job emphasizing small shoulders and hiding a bigger middle

Tunics do a great job emphasizing small shoulders and hiding a bigger middle

If all of this just seems overwhelming, there is still hope! A friend who has good taste can be helpful if she is able to be impartial. Far too often, however, I see friends giving advice based on what looks good on them rather than what looks good on the friend they are advising. And, of course, you always have the option of choosing a great store with experienced sales people to help you dress for your age and look your best.

Do a Self Assessment You have probably n

Do a Self Assessment
You have probably noticed that when it comes to celebrities, forty is the new thirty and so forth. Likewise, if you look ten years younger than you are, you also can dress ten years younger. However, there is a difference between dressing to hide your age and dressing to embrace your age. Be careful of the former. For example, a slim forty year old working woman will want slacks that look professional and youthful so she’ll choose a trendier, lower rise waist and perhaps a slimmer leg. She’ll also likely choose a more form fitting top or sweater in a key color or style for the season. Her co-worker who is also the same age but has a few extra pounds will do the same, but she will need to focus more on choosing styles that are youthful and figure flattering. Their sixty year old boss who also wants to be fashionable will likely choose higher waisted slacks with a straight or even flared leg and perhaps a figure flattering jacket to coordinate over a less form fitting top. The essential trends are the same, but each woman has interpreted the trend for her age.

Know your Brand and Yourself Just as mag

Know your Brand and Yourself
Just as magazines have a target audience, so do clothing lines. When the designers get together for a new line they make two significant decisions – who is their target market and what is their lifestyle? Take Multiples by Sharon Young for example. The very first time I sat down with my vendor to see this line, he began by telling me that Multiples is targeted toward a fashion forward 50 and over customer. That meant the rises on the pants were higher and the cuts on the tops fuller. Likewise, most stores have a target market too. Chico’s, for example, is aimed at a more mature woman while American Eagle at a younger woman. Any store worth its salt should be able to give you target market information for the brands they carry, and it would be worth your time to ask them.

Wyoming Women Bloggers – Reaching Out To Share Our Experiences

One of the hardest things about being a young business owner is feeling alone.  Working in a family business, I have had the benefit of my mom as a mentor, but she is 20 years older than me.  Our philosophies are very different, having grown up in two different generations.  She looks at my generation and those younger than me and criticizes us for not being willing to work hard, missing the days when employees stayed at the same job for 20 years.  For me, having a good work family balance is essential, and sometimes I think my mom misinterprets that as my not being dedicated enough.  And that is just one of the many differences I have noticed in our approaches to things.  I often feel alone wondering, are these just personality differences or generational differences, as I suspect.  I have a very good friend who has her own business, and I know we see things similarly but how I would love to connect to other 30 and 40 year old women running companies or businesses to see if my ideas jive with theirs.  

I really enjoyed reading the article in Live Well Wyoming today about women bloggers from Wyoming.  I loved what Elisa Camhort was quoted as saying, “Blogs are an opportunity for us to hear women’s voices and have a window into women’s lives.”  She really touches on an important point- we women need each other.  We need those older women who can mentor us and we need some our own age with whom to share our ideas and struggles.  Perhaps seeking out other bloggers is a way I could connect with other business owners like myself.  I hadn’t considered that before today.  I followed all of the bloggers listed in the article and am looking forward to reading their blogs.  

Color affects your mood. Red is the colo

Color affects your mood. Red is the color of passion, blue promotes a sense of calm, green makes you feel refreshed, yellow lifts your mood and makes you feel happy, and orange can bring out your creativity. For more on this topic, check out “How Color Affects Our Mood” in the Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/27/how-color-affects-our-moo_n_1114790.html. Indeed, research shows the first aspect of a product a consumer responds to is color. I’m sure you’ve had the experience of walking into a store and having an article of clothing jump off the rack. You might have even heard yourself utter, “I love this.” More than likely, you were responding to the color. So I encourage you this season to think about the colors in this new palate that bring about that response in you. Take a copy of this color palate with you as you shop and choose clothing that brings you equilibrium.

Stay Current The truth is you will never

Stay Current
The truth is you will never know what age you are dressing if you don’t know what is happening in fashion right now. Find a fashion magazine targeted at your age. Glamour, for example, focuses on a twenty something audience while In Style targets women in their thirties and forties. More Magazine is a fashion magazine targeted at ladies fifty and over. Browse through and pay attention to everything. Is your hair cut modern? Are your shoes and accessories in fashion? Is your makeup up with the times? The thing about being fashionable at any age is the whole package; there is little gained by dressing well if your hair cut hasn’t changed in a decade.