Age vs. Fashion

Earlier this week, I was having dinner with my aunt and uncle from Ohio when my Aunt Alice proceeded to ask me what women over 60should be wearing and how to dress age appropriate.  My dear aunt always looks wonderful and should be giving fashion advice, I feel, rather than asking for it; butnevertheless, these have been questions that have been brought to my attention for some time now and because there are endless things to consider when explaining what is appropriate vs. what is not, I have put the subject matter on hold; however, it is time to tackle to topic and to the best of my ability, assist those who might question their wardrobe choices in proximity to age.

First things first, age today is viewed and represented inan entirely different way than it used to be. I feel as though our culture is split between those 50 and under (generally speaking) and those who are 50+. Both sides have opposing views in terms of what age means.  The younger half has had idols such as 53 year old Madonna who refuses to give up her “material girl” image and Sex andthe City tigress, Kim Cattrall, whom while she refused to reveal her true agoon the popular series until the end, never let the audience believe she wasover 40 from her flawless skin to her vibrant wardrobe.

Madonna at the Met Ball 2011.

Young and chic 20-somethings are dressing “old” today with tapered, cropped pants, suit jackets, and heeled suede boots, portraying different trends every week while 50+ women in Hollywood are showing off more skin than ever before!

So much of what you wear depends on your level of confidence and body type.  Certain body shapes canbe a challenge to feel confident in even as a 25 year old!  The best thing we can do is to take care ofour bodies to the best of our ability – watching what you eat, protecting your skin and eyes, and making sure exercise and laughter are part of your daily routine.  Nobody is perfect.  We all get off track at times and when that happens, remember that each day is a new start. You’re worth the effort to take care of yourself.

Probably the biggest reveal of age is your skin and teeth.  We all know that as you age your skin loses its’ elasticity, showing more wrinkles.  Besides taking care of your skin through anti-aging products such as creams and moisturizers, it is paramount to show off your best assets. If necessary, reveal less up top and fore go those thin fabric dresses (such as jersey knit) and instead, opt for a mini skirt that shows off your amazing legs (since legs are usually the last to go).

Kim Cattrall and Miley Cyrus shooting a scene from SATC.

Tip: Bronzed skin can help hide a boatload of previous since and instantly boost confidence.  Skip the cancerous UV rays and apply a self bronzer to immediately take off years from your skin.

My best advice is to think simple and refined.  What always looks classy and stunning on 50+women are flattering solid colors or prints that aren’t too girly.  Wrap dresses and sheath dresses will forever remain effortlessly appropriate.  Don’t forget to show off your shape and know (and wear) your true size.  So many customers I deal with daily are wearing 1-2 sizes too large of clothing.  Bagginess does not aid in generating youthful or even age appropriate appeal.

What makes so many women unique and different with their apparel is how they accessorize their look. A Kate Middleton-like fascinator tells a completely different story than a baseball cap. Jewelry is one thing that doesn’t have an age restriction. I love seeing older women play up their look with fun accessories.  The choices are endless!

All-in-all the golden ticket of an answer to the question of, “how do I dress my age” is almost irrelevant.  A great sense of style comes from knowing who you are, your figure, and what works best with it.  Be comfortable and confident in what you present yourself in and remember, just because it’s pricey doesn’t mean the designer or company is trying to rip you off. Quality clothing will cost more and it’s worth the investment for timeless, staple pieces such as a suit jacket, a well fitted and made blouse, and shoes.

Dare I perform a fashion sin and say that Coco Chanel was wrong when she said, “There is no fashion for the old?”  I think even Coco made mistakes.