Walk into any mall and you’ll see middle aged women wearing trends that definitely don’t flatter: tight tank tops, low-rise jeans, metallic platform heels, plastic bangles and oversized earrings. Or, you’ll see women in outdated jeans, athletic sneakers and frumpy tops. Yikes- isn’t there a happy medium? It’s easy to identify on someone else when they have strayed fashion-wise, but often more difficult on ourselves.
The question is how to dress appropriately and chic once past 40, 50 and beyond. When and what trends do you leave behind? Comfortable and familiar looks are often hard to change even though the style is no longer flattering.
Top Ten Style Killers
- Start from the bottom up (no pun intended). Find bras that fit with straps that don’t show. Pair with underwear that is flattering and not too tight at the waist or leave lines on your bottom. Shapewear can be very helpful.
- Make sure that your eyebrows are groomed and visible. Age wrecks havoc on brows and brows that are too dark, too red or non-existent are style killers. The new process of microblading (a form of tattooing) can help, but is only as good as your technician. I prefer the brow products that we sell at NPR Samples.
- Hair that is visibly dyed with roots showing is a no-go. Dry, frizzy or old fashioned styles are aging. Also, too dark of a color (even though it is the color you were born with) ages you. Question your style if it is the only one you have ever had. A current, modern haircut that enhances your features takes years off your face.
- High waisted “Mom” jeans, or trendy low-rise jeans are deal breakers. Avoid bling on the back pockets, ripped knees or super distressed denim. A jean that fits well and flatters your figure is an essential in today’s casual world.
- Mini anything: shorts, skirts, tops. The arms are often the most vilified body part, but the knees and elbows are where your age shows first.
- Message Tees: avoid “cute” sayings, scottie dogs or pictures of fruit or flowers. Your tees should fit well be the right length for your proportion and “be silent”. Replace tees that are too tight, too short or too boxy.
- Costume shoes: gladiator sandals, stiletto heels, over the knee boots or anything that is clear plastic. You also want to rethink overly plain pumps and loafers. Boring is just that. Interesting shoes add zip and sophistication to your wardrobe.
- Cleavage: avoid anything lower than the “high middle” of your bust line. Plunging necklines look tacky on older bodies. No one wants to see sagging skin.
- Tacky costume jewelry and hair accessories: baubles, bling, multiple gold chains or charms with your name can be dating. Lose the hair clips, scunchies and banana clips.
- Slumped shoulders and poor posture will make you appear much older and heavier than you are. Eyes up, chest out and shoulders down should be your mantra. Essential to being ageless is a big smile. Everything looks better when we aren’t pouting or frowning.
- It’s not to look youthful, it’s to look ageless and looking fabulous is not a matter of age.