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 You were already aware of being out of date and got yourself caught up. 3.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.
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.