As a boutique that focuses on career clothing for women aged 30 and over, I often get asked if wearing the trends means a woman is dressing too young. My emphatic answer is a resounding NO! I have ladies in their sixties and seventies that keep up with the trends while still always looking age appropriate. I think there is a misconception that at a certain age, you should stop worrying about being trendy. I totally disagree. We’ve all seen women who looked like they were dressing too young, and these experiences cause us to worry that we might be doing the same thing. But, the key is not to avoid the trends; the key is to wear the trends appropriately. Here are my 5 tips for embracing the trends while still dressing your age.
- Keep it classy: If you are over forty-five, you may want to avoid plunging necklines, too short of hemlines, spaghetti straps and overly tight fitting clothes. These, more than anything else, can make you look like you are dressing too young. If mini-dresses are in, for example, this doesn’t mean you avoid them altogether, but it may mean that you look for a longer rather than shorter mini dress and wear it with tonal tights to avoid drawing attention to the hemline. If you love skinny jeans, wear them, but choose a longer top that covers your front and rear. Use jackets and cardigans to cover problem areas and make the look more conservative.
- Choose the more conservative version of the trend: Every fashion trend has a scale from edgy to conservative. As an example, consider the cold shoulder trend that we have just seen come and go. As a buyer, I saw everything from the whole shoulder and half the arm to just a small sliver of the shoulder being exposed. The latter of these would be the more conservative version of the trend. Staying away from the edgy side allows you to wear the trend while still making it appropriate for your age. As a general rule, the older you are, the more conservative you should go.
- Wear the trends correctly: Being knowledgeable about how the trend should be worn is key. Oftentimes, a trend is dependent upon the other items in your outfit being the right style to pull it off. As an example, right now the trendy hem length in bottoms is an ankle length (an inch above the ankle bone). This style needs the right type of shoe to make it work. If you are short, ankle length bottoms work much better with a little heel or wedge. It is also important that the bottom hits you at the right place on your ankle. Too long or too short, and the pant looses its trendiness and just looks strange. Another example is the long, printed blouses that are trendy this season. A long blouse worn with bootcut jeans will look strange. You need a skinny or slim bottom to help balance out the volume of the top. To be sure you know how to wear a trend, ask your favorite boutique sales staff to educate you or google the trend and look a images.
- Let the brand help you decide: If you shop by brand, paying attention to the marketing images that company is using can really help you decide if the label is appropriate for your age. Are you 50 but all the models for the brand are 20? That would be an indication that the target market for the brand is a bit younger than you. If this is the case, you can go back to tip number 2 to be sure you are choosing the less edgy pieces from that brand.
- Pay attention to what other fashionable ladies your age are wearing: We can learn so much just by being observant. Do you have a friend who dresses well that you admire? What is she wearing? How do your clothing choices compare? Perhaps you’re in a rut with your style and need to freshen things up a bit. Either your friend or a trusted boutique can help you transition into a trendier wardrobe that is age appropriate.
I hope these guidelines help you and encourage you that being trendy is not just for the young and thin. Staying up with the times helps us feel beautiful and stylish. There is no age limit for that!
For examples and more detailed information on this topic, please watch my video How To Embrace The Trends And Still Dress Your Age
When you are making your spring purchases, it may be helpful to know what will be trendy for this coming fall so you can buy with an eye to what will transition into the next season. After all, that is just smart shopping. Fortunately, many of the strongest trends for spring will also be important for fall. If you think carefully about your color choices, you will be able to make spring purchases that will carry over.
Top Fall Trends To Buy Now:
- Printed tops: From beachy to polka dots and stripes, printed tops are a great way to add a pop of color to your neutral bottoms. Since there are several carry over colors from spring to fall like mustard, navy, pink, and wine, if you choose your top styles carefully, you should be able to wear them this fall too. This adorable leaf printed tank could easily be paired under a grey blazer and worn with black slacks for fall, as an example.
- Printed bottoms: look for animal, camo, and herringbone to be key prints for fall bottoms. As you are shopping spring and summer, you will see many of these same prints, but in lighter colors. Keep in mind how you might be able to transition your purchases now into fall later. Grey animal prints, for example, are season-less and can be paired today with a grey tank and next fall with a grey sweater.
- Colored denim: I saw everything from mustard, olive green, wine, and even pink for fall, so this is a trend you will definitely be able to carry into next season. Obviously, some of the more summery colors like mint won’t work, but if you buy a mustard or pink jean now, you will most definitely be able to wear it next season.
- Colored blazers: Just as a rainbow of colored denim was a key trend, I saw this same idea in blazers. Again, thinking forward, if you buy a color like denim blue, mustard, or pink, you will be able to wear it now while it is colder and then use it again when the leaves start to fall.
- Embellished jeans: The market was flooded with all kinds of embellished bottoms for spring and summer. See my spring trends blog post for more info. This trend will continue to be very strong into fall. Look for raw edges, painted designs, and embroidery to grace the bottoms of jeans. Again, since everything is about the ankle length right now, the ankle jeans you buy now will most definitely be wearable in the fall as well. The great thing about ankle length bottoms is they are season-less!
- Teddy Bear Coats: This trend takes nubby fabric, like you might find on a teddy bear, and applies it to an over sized, zip up coat body. The most popular color that I saw was teddy bear brown, see below. We saw this trend be strong for this past fall season too, so if you bought one, you will definitely be able to wear it next fall or if you find one this spring that you like, you can feel confident that this trend will continue.
- Wool Dress Coats: I am doing the happy dance on this one! While I love my down coats for warmth, I have missed the classic wool dress coat! They are back for next season. Now is the time to shop for coats, so if you find a wool dress style you like, buy it and put it away for next season.
- Vests: Here in Wyoming we love our vests. They are so versatile, and a very handy extra layer when it is 2 degrees. They will be fashionable next season, and I saw everything from down puffy vests to suede vests to menswear inspired styles. Vests are 3 season items, working for spring, fall and winter. Thus, they are always a great investment.
- Shoe boots: Because the ankle length bottom is so strong, shoe boots continue to be an important trend in shoes. I saw quite a few printed shoe boots, especially in animal prints. Again, these are a great transitional style that will work now as well as into the next season.
- Polka Dots: The dots just keep going and going. There is no slow down in the pre-occupation of designers with polka dots. Again, a black and white dot top will work well for spring and fall. Another great choice, would be a navy and white or mustard and white option. These are colors that will transition easily into colder weather. Wear white with them in the summer and then choose navy or black in the winter.
As I sit at my desk to write this trend review, the snow is softly falling outside, coating the barren tree limbs just outside my window with a white blanket. As I look over the top of downtown buildings from my loft, steam is rising in multiple places in a Dickensian scene. It seems a bit strange to be thinking spring, but the store is full of new spring arrivals and bright pops of color, and March is only a few weeks away.
Having just returned from market in Las Vegas, my mind is filled with the new colors and styles that will be dominating fashion for this upcoming season. I always feel excited to see the seasons change, even when they change faster in the store than they do outside!
The spring/summer color palate is a combination of bold, bright colors and earthy neutrals. From bold Flame Scarlet on the left to Biscay Green (mint) on the top right and Orange Peel (tangerine) in the middle, these colors will have you feeling cheerful and flirty. And, since balance is the key to life, you’ll also be able to choose from Chive green, Saffron, Cinnamon and Lavender on those days when earthy colors suit your mood better.
After looking through some trend reviews, it’s pretty easy to see there are some trends that will likely never make it to Wyoming. Things like Bermuda short suits, hot pants, corsets, blazers and bra tops, or feather shirts are just a bit too edgy for us out here in the west. There are other trends, however, that I feel confident we will see here on our streets. The following are my top 10 trends for spring:
- Ultra feminine dresses: This will definitely be a season of dresses. Look for everything from ribbed sweater mini dresses to classic shirt waist styles and all over floral maxi styles. Other dress trends you will be seeing are all over 60’s wallpaper prints, tiered dresses, and ultra feminine touches like ruffles, peplums and frills.
- Tie waist pants: Look for these especially in striped linen or linen looking fabrics. Many of these pants have a ruffle detail at the top of the waist and then a belt that you tie in front. Because of the focus on the waist, you will want to pair these pants with solid tuck in tops or cropped tops that don’t hide the waist.
- Gauchos: Again, by in large, the trendiest styles have horizontal stripes and can be found in a variety of fabrics. The trick with a gaucho is to balance out the wide, cropped leg with a tight fitting top. Tuck in tops or cropped tops are also good choices here. For shoes, try a wedge sandal with a bit of a heel. Adding length to your calf will help you pull off the wide leg.
- Neon: Even though neon colors were not included in the Pantone color forecast, they are everywhere in the market. Think highlighter colors. Use these as pops of color. Maybe a lime top under a black blazer, as an example. Neon colors also work great in scarves and accessories.
- Raw edge, embellished, clipped front bottoms: Everything is about the ankle pant right now, so designers are drawing attention to this trendy length by adding fun details at the hemline. Look for everything from embroidery, stones, raw and un-hemmed edges to clipped front details (as if someone clipped out a square from the front of the pant at the hemline). Remember, to make an ankle pant work, it should hit you an inch above your ankle bone. If you are short, it helps if you wear a wedge sandal or something with a heel to elongate your calf.
- Jean jackets: From colored denim to vintage washes, the jean jacket has been re-imagined in all its glory. Pair them with dresses, striped pants, gauchos….the sky is the limit.
- Floral printed and vintage wash denim: This season, denim is playing a strong role again, but the washes have lightened up with vintage washes taking center stage. If you’ve been only buying dark denim, this is the season to work some lighter denim into your wardrobe. Also look for floral printed denim, especially in jean jackets.
- The Front Tuck: With the emergence of the over-sized sweater last season, you will now be seeing light, over-sized sweaters paired with everything from skirts to pants. What makes them trendy is the “front tuck” or simply tucking one part of the hem into your waist and letting the rest fall out. This trick tames the over-sized nature of these tops.
- Polka Dots: We’ve seen this print be strong now for 2 seasons, but I especially love it as a spring/summer trend. Polka Dots just seem happy to me. Black and white is, by far, the most common way to do this trend, but I’ve seen it used with other color combinations as well.
- Color Blocking: Take two or three colors and put them together in geometrical squares, and you have a color blocked print. This trend was also strong for fall and winter 2019 and continues to be strong for this spring. It brings a bit of the “mod” to this season, and is a clean and bold style.
To see some examples of these colors and styles, watch my video on our Fashion Crossroads Facebook Page. If you read my last blog post, I finished part 3 of my 3 part closet clean out video series. In that post, I recommended making a “trends I want to buy” section to your buying list. This would be a great time to start that list. For some added inspiration, check out our Latest Trends Collection on our website.