Fashion After 40
With so many designers and trends targeting the svelte body
of the twenty-something, is it possible to look fashionable
as the years pass and your body begins to tell the tale?
In fact, with a little ingenuity and sleigh-of-hand, it’s
easy to be fashionable and stylish regardless of how many
candles are on your birthday cake.
Now let’s be frank: unless you work out religiously, you
probably don’t have the same body at 40, 50, or 60 that you
did at 25. Time, gravity, and pregnancy all take their toll
on the female body, as does menopause. And when you mix a
mature body with fashions obviously made for a younger
person, it can lead to self-doubt, frustration, and
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Getting older also
means getting wiser, and like a fine bottle of wine, you’re
improving with age. So you don’t have the same body as
those twenty-somethings you see in magazines or on TV. So
what? Would you REALLY trade everything you’ve learned
since your twenties for the body you had back then?
Probably no sooner than you’d like to re-live puberty,
thank you very much.
So how can you be fashionable without wearing all those
body-conscious clothes so en vogue these days? By
remembering the “3 C’s” when you dress: clean, classic, and
Clean lines create a clean silhouette which makes the body
appear more youthful by skimming the trouble spots instead
of calling attention to them. Complicated cuts, seams, and
details usually call for a killer body to pull off, so if
you haven’t got it, steer clear of those styles.
Classic styles are called classic because they remain in
style year after year. Why? Because they look good on so
many bodies! Sheathes, A-line skirts, flat front pants –
all tend to flatter a variety of shapes. What’s more,
because they remain in style year after year, classics are
easier on the budget than trends.
Covering appropriately is the key to aging gracefully. If
your upper arms, thighs, and décolletage have all seen
better days, it’s time to cover them up a bit instead of
sharing the wear-and-tear with the world. Now I’m not
talking about draping yourself in a tent for the rest of
your life. Far from it. I’m talking about wearing short
sleeves instead of going sleeveless, Capris instead of
shorts, and modest necklines instead of plunging necklines.
Now I know that covering up the parts that used to turn
heads and draw envy can be tough to take for some women.
Which is precisely why beautiful jewelry and fine fabrics
are the revenge tools of choice for many well-dressed
So your bustline isn’t as perky as your twenty-something
daughter or granddaughter. So what? Add a beautiful
necklace and draw envious glances from women of all ages.
Don’t have the same backside you did as a teen? Encase it
in a fine fabric and see how many men go out of the way to
hold the door open for you. People will look where you
focus their attention, so use that knowledge to redirect
their interest to the parts you want them to see.
Or, as actress Cybil Shepard once said, “I like to flaunt
what I have left.”
Don’t flip through fashion magazines and bemoan the fact
that you don’t look like the models. Instead, look at the
various fashion elements to determine what will and won’t
work for you. Are printed scarves all the rage this year?
Grab a few and be trendy. Are mini skirts the style of
choice? Pass and bank your money.
See how easy this is?
“A woman has the age she deserves,” Coco Chanel once said.
You don’t have to go under cover and dress “like a little
old lady” just because that’s what your mother or
grandmother did. You’re your own person.
If you remember to dress in clean lines and classic styles
and cover appropriately, you can still be fashionable – AND
draw long, lingering glances from handsome men — whatever
your age. And if THAT doesn’t make you feel like a
blushing girl again, then honey, nothing I can say will!