I remember there have been some major differences between my mother’s and my own personal taste when it comes to clothing and accessories since I was a teenager. These differences have often been the reason why my mother and I ended up screaming at each other without realizing that each generation has its own fashion trends and it is completely normal not to like the same things, even being a mother and daughter.
I must confess that after entering my twenties, and especially after I turned 25, my relationship with my mother became more relaxed and we even started ending up with the same opinion about some matters. Of course, the tension when it comes to clothing has not completely disappeared but I noticed that my mother takes my opinion and has even started to trust my taste, which resulted in my mother letting me buy her a few pieces of clothing.
Of course you can dress any which way you like, but if you don’t want to look like you are sixteen, like you are trying too hard to stay young, or worse, appear older than you are, you will need some guidelines as to how to dress after 40. Here are just some of the things women over 40 need to be aware of.
Please note that these are just GENERAL guidelines. They certainly don’t apply to everyone. I offer my best advice for dressing and style in my article.
What are some of the things you should avoid?
1. Don’t buy clothes that do not flatter you, even if it’s the trends this season. For this it’s important to Know your body type, which I will discuss in upcoming posts.
2. Try not to be too matchy matchy or too polished. It’s nice to mix things up and be a bit more playful. A 2 piece suit will quickly look old. Better to mix that jacket with another skirt or pants and look effortlessly chic.
3. Avoid buying fabrics that are too cheap as they are usually not flattering or will not last. Best to buy only the clothes that you love and that have a chance of lasting.
4. Don’t mix a tight skirt or pants with a tight top. Aim to have either a tight skirt with a loser top or vice versa.
5. Clothes to avoid:
really short shorts
coloured cowboy boots
mini dresses (but do wear those over trousers)
too long skirts
Fashion Sins for Over 40
Gross said there are a few guidelines that will help you look your best:
Don’t dress too young. “The worst thing you can do is to dress younger than you are,” said Gross. “It makes you look older.”
No miniskirts, regardless of how great your legs are, said this former model (who is thinking about making pillows out of her minis).
Skip baggy clothes and look for pieces that give you shape.
Don’t think you can wear the same colors you did in your 20s (at least not against your face).
Don’t pick colors from color charts; experiment by trying on different colors when you go shopping. “You’ll know it when you see it instantly,” she said.
“Trendy is no longer attractive,” she said. “Don’t worry about the trend of the moment.” Instead, she suggested you find a print or a bold piece of jewelry and develop a signature look.
Fashion and Beauty Fixes
Gravity takes its toll on women of a certain age, but Gross said fashion tricks can camouflage most of these problems:
Wrinkled neck – Stand-up or turn-up collars, according to Gross, are a great way to cover that area and bring focus to the face. She mentioned Candace Bergen in “Boston Legal” as a good example of making that look work for her.
Thick in the middle – Add jackets and pieces that will give you shape, she said.
Thinner hair- “Your hair has to suit you. Get a fresh cut,” she said. She also said shorter hair gives more of a lift and the variety of new products can improve your hairstyle.
Focus on shoulders and legs – They are the slowest to age, That doesn’t mean short shirts or wearing miniskirts, but you can bring attention to legs with a knee-length skirt or shirt and sext shoes.
Change in coloring – Gross reminded women to lighten up. One tip she got from a chic former fashion director was to always wear a bit of white close to the face. Soft colors — pale pink, white, beige, ice blue — bring light to the face, she said.
Get Started Looking Your Best
Look at mature television and movie actresses you admire and emulate their look, said Gross.
Shop at stores that cater to stylish, mature women. Gross listed Chicos, Liz Claiborne, Giorgo Armani, St. John and Escada as a few of the manufacturers and designers who offer great selections for women over 40.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. By the time you are 50 you have some sense of what your style is, she said. You probably have the basics down and now it’s time to add pizzazz like adding bold glasses or wearing a collar turned up.
Recycle pieces from your closet (with caution). Gross said that some trends can come back and you can revisit them with a twist. She says chain belts are a good example. But she said the classics — trench coats, leopard prints — are the best pieces to keep pulling out.
What are some of the things you should do more of?
1. Know your style! Nothing is more important than dressing in a way that pleases and represents you. If you know your style and understand your body you can break any of the rules or add items from the ‘don’t list’ as you please.
2. Determine the wardrobe essentials that are unique to your style.
3. Have more lasting high quality items in your wardrobe. These vary for each style personality but some important classics are:
A white button down shirt.
A long coat (could be a trench coat).
A beautiful dress that fits you perfectly. Don’t automatically go for a little black dress. Many women over 40 will actually look better (and slimmer) in a colorful dress.
Well fitted long pants.
A well fitted blazer.
A good pair of dark denim jeans that fit you well. Boot cut or straight leg is usually the most flattering.
4. Mix and match designer items with non-designer ones.
5. Take a good critical look at yourself before you go out and see if you look too overdone. The aim is to look effortlessly chic so just evalueate and if necessary you may have to add on something a bit more casual.
6. keep current with the fashion trends and make sure you have a few current items in your wardrobe. Only pick those trends that work for you!
7. Wear skirts that are just above or on top of the knee which is the best skirt length for women over 40. Try not to go too far over the knee as this is not flattering for your calves and your overall look will be older. You will look the sexiest and chicest if the skirt is not too wide and not too long.
8. Play with accessories like belts, jewelry and hats. They can make a real difference to your outfit.
9. If you want to hide some of the bulges, If you don’t like shape wear, then learning how to skilfully hide with the right clothes also helps.
10. Make sure you wear a good bra.
11. Wear shoes with heals that you are able to walk in. Mid high heels can look fabulous.
I want to emphasise that these tips are not set in stone and it’s up to you to decide what works best for you. But if you want to look young and hip, then these ‘rules’ can certainly help. The more you understand your body and your style, the more you can break these rules as you please.
Originally posted 2015-01-12 08:23:04.