The clerk at Macy’s practically purred to me “Oh girrrrrrrl! You are still relevant!” Huh? What? I thought, “As opposed to what?! Irrelevant?” I was still baffled when I got home. I gave myself the once over. I was wearing a sloppy ponytail, t-shirt, jeans and Sperry flip flops. That’s what I wear to the mall and pretty much everywhere. Sometimes I’ll add a little lip gloss and mascara if I have time. What’s wrong with that? Apparently LOTS.
It seems that after 30 rewarding years of marriage, kids, and career I had gone from fashionable to functional. What was “no time” then, became “no desire” later. “But wait! Christie Brinkley rocks jeans, tees and Sperrys, right? And she’s 60!” Yes, but she takes the time to make sure her clothes ‘fit’ her age, size and occasion. So here’s where we can start to do the same…
First, find a friend who will be honest (and tactful) to help you determine fashion colors and styles that best suit your personality. Or, choose a celebrity whose style you might identify with. Elizabeth Hurley (50), Michelle Pfeiffer (58), or Sandra Bullock (52) are beautiful examples.
Now, get ready to gut your closet. Get rid of the clothes you don’t wear or are waiting to wear again when you reach your goal weight. Nothing says “the ‘80s called, and they want their pants back” like acid washed, pleated, or high waisted jeans. Avoid raiding your daughter’s closet. Clothes that say “Hot” on a 20-year-old scream “trying too hard” on her mom. Today’s woman is fashion forward and classy.
Finally, take this list and let’s go shopping!
Hair and Make-up
It won’t break the bank, but it will make you feel like a million bucks!
Do look on Pinterest, search ‘Hairstyles for Women over 50.’ Short or long, colored or natural, it’s all there.
Don’t wear too much make-up; less is more. Remember the eyes or lips rule? Heavy on one means light on the other.
Do look at solid colors and bold styles. Stick to clean lines with monochromatic themes. This will streamline your look without drawing attention to your size or trouble areas.
Don’t buy clothes with large floral or animal prints. Avoid appliques, sequins or rhinestones. Women do not “bedazzle.” Save the sparkle or print for your accessories, which will add color and flare and draw the eye away from your face, neck, and any other trouble spots.
Skirts and Dresses
Do invest in hemlines that fall just above the knee or to the floor.
Don’t wear mini-skirts and skorts (i.e., “trying too hard”).
Do invest in a good pair of dark blue jeans. Try them on before you leave the store! High rise, midrise, or low rise, flare, straight or boot cut, you’ll need to see which is best for your body type. Jeans can be worn over and over – better to spend more on one great pair, than to spend less on several pairs you won’t wear.
Don’t wear acid wash or light blue jeans. These are dated. Avoid bulky jeans i.e., elastic waist, cargo, pleated, or pockets with flaps/ buttons. Better to wear bigger jeans that fit well than to add unnecessary bulk under your shirts and sweaters.
Do look for flattering collars and cuffs. Boat neck, v-neck and collared shirts lengthen the neckline, drawing attention to the face. Scarves and drop necklaces will distract from aging décolletage. Capped sleeves accent long arms; ¾ length sleeves will accent slim forearms while hiding any upper arm concerns.
Don’t wear turtlenecks; they’ll bunch up sagging décolletage, crew necks draw attention to it. Avoid ruffles and baggy clothing. Don’t hide your curves. It makes us look bigger.
Seriously, you deserve better! Your underwear may never be visible to anyone but you, but it is how YOU feel on the inside that shows on the outside.
Do go to Victoria’s Secret to get measured properly. Regardless of your cup size, no more “off the rack” for you. Buy them anywhere you like (Lane Bryant has amazing undergarments for women with larger cup sizes). The more lace and frills the better. It will be our secret.
Can women’s fashion over fifty be fabulous? You bet! We are more confident. We think and feel younger than our age. And with the right wardrobe, we’re going to look mah-velous, too!