What You Don’t Have in Common with a 20-Something Style Maven
‘Doesn’t matter what our calendar age, we all want to look our best. As we become more “seasoned” in life, there are a few new tricks to pull out of the style bag. They’re easy, though. Natural, in fact. It very simply boils down to using the adult sensibilities that are part of our wise and experienced nature.
Consider kicking these old-school style strategies to the curb:
Follow the latest fashion trend to a “T.” Of course not. Copycatting a fashion magazine’s look head-to-toe is a tactic best left to fashion slaves of the striving-to-fit-in youth. Over-fifty women are too savvy to settle into “mimic mode.” A cheetah-print handbag is style smart. A leopard-print dress, shoes, and turban (all in one outfit),… not so much.
Tip: Integrate a style trend one piece at a time for a grown-up expression of style (see Helen Mirren’s cheetah shoes, right). Consider a statement necklace against a classic sheath dress, or a quirky-patterned jacket over a solid-color pant and sweater for tasteful balance. Bold watch? Why not – just go subtle in other elements of your ensemble.
Take advice from your bestie while shopping. Probably not. She’s got her style; you’ve got yours. The most well-meaning friend is going to lean to styles that she relates to. Make decisions based on your current body shape, natural coloring, and unique personality.
Tip: If you haven’t been shopping in a while, take a quick browse of online shopping sites to get the lay of the land and identify the season’s looks that appeal to you. You’ll be less likely to get slammed with a case of “overwhelm” once in the mall. Consider going it alone and meeting up with your BFF for an after-shopping lunch date.
Never buy boring underwear. Never use the word “never.” Racy lingerie does, as a matter of fact, support a sexy self image. That said, a maturity-perfected body often craves undergarments with support and smoothing power.
Tip: Put support first, then shoot for the moon. Why not go for sexy and bump smoothing? The Lust Have Slimming Teddy by Spanx offers a “cheeky cut that flatters rear” and “back ruching that prevents uni-butt.” Why settle?
Subscribe to multiple fashion magazines and style blogs. Maybe, but they’re not your style bible. You’ve raised a family, managed a successful career, and traveled the world. The last thing you need is a fashion editor telling you the “Styles to LOVE this Season.” Advice on flattering shapes for a changing body and tips for complexion-flattering color choices, sure. But only you know what you’ll love. You’re way past buying something because it’s the thing to do.
Tip: Take in current fashion trends through a best-for-me filter. Let’s say waist-cinching belts are the must-have item of the season. If Midlife Midriff has left you full in the mid section, a belt will only draw attention to this area of your body. Assuming that’s not your objective, steer clear. On the other hand, if you’ve maintained a naturally-cinched waistline, then this trend is your friend.
Borrow from your sister’s closet. You’re the outdoors-loving sporty type; she’s a statement-making adventurer. There’s no way you’d even consider painting your closet doors the colors she did; you’re definitely not going to feel natural wearing something from inside those doors.
Tip: Wear what speaks to you. Your wardrobe is a reflection to the outside world of who you are, how you live, and what you believe in. Build the wardrobe that feels good to you – that’s what’s called authentic style.
When we’re young, we choose clothing that builds social acceptance and helps us fit in. After 50, well, we’re done with that. Celebrate the uniqueness you’ve earned and build a wardrobe that validates YOU.
Have a comment? Question? Let me know your thoughts in the comment box below. I read them all. (You just might be the inspiration for my next blog post.)
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Patty Buccellato is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups.
Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls! To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact Patty.
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