Saturday, August 23, 2008
Ladies, please dress your age!
Since I was just featured in InStyle's Fall Makeover Issue as a specialist on how to dress when you're fifty, I thought I like to share my pearls of wisdom for dressing at every age. It seems like this should be a no-brainer for us gals, but we've ALL seen them; the 20 year-old hiding behind a college sweatshirt and Levis from junior high, or (god bless her) that 50 year-old mom rocking the too tight bedazzled jeans, the bedazzled tee, the bedazzled trucker hat, the bedazzled... well, you get it. As a wardrobe stylist, I have seen it all throughout the years and have honed a few tips for women of every generation. Enjoy:
Guess, what? You're not in college anymore, so please, please burn those flannel PJ pants and University sweatshirt. Conversely, you're not a teenager anymore ( ahhh, the good ol' days), so please keep your midriff and bum crack covered at all times. Your twenties are a perfect time to explore every style (classic, Goth, modern, feminine etc); and you lucky bitches still have the bod to pull off most looks. Experiment with color, fabric and style to find a look that is truly your own. I recommend playing with a few trends but mixing in some classic staples as well. For example, this fall, the boho look is making a strong comeback. Wear a boho print mini dress with black tights and peep-toe ankle booties, and top it off with a fitted cardigan. It's a perfect balance of trendy meets classy.
By now, every woman should have her own signature style and know what she can and cannot wear. Perhaps you have learned that not everyone is meant to stuff themselves into skin tight jeans like a little sausage about to burst out of its casing. Highlight your best assets in a classy way. Love your gams? Wear a structured mini skirt with a blouse and leather jacket. Have fab cleavage? Show it off in a top with a plunging neckline, and wear fabulous high waisted jeans (Try Rich & Skinny's, they're amazing, you'll instantly look 5 pounds slimmer). It's all about proportion and rocking those assets you feel most comfortable with.
40 is the new 30 in my book. You just keep getting better with age, as should your style. Wear tailored pieces such as pencil skirts in lace (one of fall's favorite fabrics) and a crisp white blouse. Mixing patterns in a subtle way is one of my favorite trends for ladies in their 40's. Keep the 2 (or 3 for the hard core fashionistas) patterns in the same color family to keep the look more chic than clown-ish. Accessory wise, I think a lot of ladies date themselves by wearing just studs and a dainty necklace. You have many, many good years left my dears, so please stop accessorizing like your grandma. A chunky men's watch looks gorgeous on a lady's delicate wrist. Layer a few delicate necklaces, or bracelets; wear one giant and fab cocktail ring. Have fun with it!
No mid-life crisis here ladies; please don't raid your daughter's closet in attempt to look younger; you're not fooling anyone. There is good news is though, you don't have to dress like a nun. One mistake I see a lot of women making is hiding themselves under baggy layers to look smaller. This technique actaully has the opposite effect; it makes a body look bigger and dumpier. Keep your lines clean and fuss free. Try a wrap dress. it's one of the most universally flattering looks a woman can wear. It nips you in at all the right places. Pencil skirts are a great look as well. Just pay attention to the hemline; keep it in one inch above or below the knee. Anything shorter looks a bit street-walker and anything longer visually cuts your leg in an unflattering place.
Okay ladies, I think I have given you some gems to work with here. Now, go try some of these looks and watch your style evolve.