Not very often but every once in a while I get so inspired by something I see I have to write about it. As I move forward into my 50’s the one thing I think about a lot is how to dress age appropriate while still staying current with fashion. I am sure it is something we all struggle with. Let’s face it, once you turn 40 there are things that become just less attractive to wear. For some of us it’s mini skirts, for some shorts and for others it’s halter and off the shoulder looks. And of course there are somethings that no woman over 40 should think about wearing ( even if you look like J. Lo) and that is mid drift baring tops and bralette tops worn as tops. Leave those for your daughter and her friends, that is who they are made for anyway.
So what is the key to ageless dressing. One important key is knowing your body and how to dress it. Everyone has a different body issue. I am not exactly skinny and my legs are certainly not my best feature. So I stay away from body con dresses, mini skirts and shorts. You just have to know what works for you!
I am constantly on the look for what an ageless outfit looks like. I happen to be glancing on Ann Taylor’s website and I really think they have it nailed. They have some ‘must have looks’ that really illustrate what I am talking about. Ann Taylor’s pleated shoulder top (comes in 3 colors) with jeans is a look absolutely everyone I know could wear. The blouse is very forgiving to a thick middle or a big bust and just wear it with the jeans that fit your body best. On the website they show these Brinley suede flat sandals with it, and you could wear these sandals with lots and lots of other looks as well.
Another look AT is showing with the same sandals that could take you a little dressier for spring and is also totally ageless is this pair of Wide leg crop pants in Jungle floral. On the website they show it with their Lace detail Flare sleeve top and our same sandals. The same top comes in black as well and so do the sandals so you can take the same top and shoes and pair them back to denim or white jeans and you have another fabulous ageless look! Why does this outfit work to be ageless? The crop pant in the right proportion for your body ( petite if you need it) can really work on almost everyone. Crops done right can make you look taller and leaner. And the floral pattern is perfect for spring 2017. The Flare sleeve top will also work on any body and has the important details for Spring 2017. You can wear this look in a creative office environment, to a casual party and it is fab for a casual evening out!
Something else that works to make your wardrobe ageless is a skirt that hits below your knee AT is showing a Side Pocket Circle skirt in a beautiful cotton double weave in Ecru. They are pairing it with a tucked in sweater. You could wear it this way or pull back your pleated shoulder top above for a lighter look. All skirts that hit below your knee or just at your knee and flow over your hips work. I am absolutely in love with maxi skirts. They too are an ageless option for all women. One of my faves is this Joe Fresh lace trim midi skirt ( except on me it’s close to a maxi skirt!). It’s polyester and hangs really well. It has the right color and a bit of lace which makes it perfect for Spring 2017. Another skirt style that really looks good on anyone is the pencil skirt. The beauty of the pencil skirt is that it can fit your body and it doesn’t need to be super tight to look good. AT is showing this Fan Leaf pencil skirt which sits and 24 inches or 60 cm in length. That hits most women right at or just below the knee. I love the sophisticated print of the skirt while still being playful enough for spring. This skirt could take you out in the evening and to the office.
One really simple casual skirt look that is completely ageless is a pattern maxi skirt, pick a floral maxi like this Venita pleated maxi from Anthropologie for a spring 2017 fit, with a casual t-shirt. This skirt you could wear a black or white or colored T. J. Crew has this fab V neck Linen t-shirt in 9 colors. This t-shirt ( V neck elongates everyone’s neck) over the skirt above and flat black sandals and a cute trendy hat this one is J. Crew’s wide brim packable straw hat, will work for everyone! It’s completely ageless and the details of the outfit, especially if your sandals tie around the ankle, are trendy, yet sophisticated.
Let’s go back to cropped pants. I really believe that a proper fitting cropped pant is ageless. Slim fitting ( not tight!) cropped pants look good on everyone, no matter what size you wear. This pair is the Slim fitting Crop pant from Whitehouse Blackmarket. I wear crops all the time, denim crops, wide leg crops, slim crops, you name it. I really like the way they make my legs look longer and leaner. Some of my favorites have either a little flare at the hem or some sort of hem detail.
Wide leg crops can be worn a little dressier and you can wear a bit of a heel with them to take them to the office or out to dinner. Most fashion designers also make them in fabrics that move and sway with your body, so sometimes they almost look like a midi skirt when you are wearing them. Another way to wear crops are to wear them semi fitted, or a straight leg and printed. These are AT and they are the Kate Fit crop pant in Wild Flower. I have a black and white pair from WHBM, as seen here, and I wear them with black and white different tops from t-shirts to tunics. Denim is also a way to wear crops. You can go as wide as a culotte , this pair is from Anthro. I have a pair of denim culottes just a little shorter and they are a fantastic summer pant with sleeveless tops and flat form sandals. Or you can do your denim closer to the body and go with a pair of straight leg crops, perhaps with a little flare at the hem. They work to elongate your leg and the flare at the bottom adds interest and detail. For balance I usually wear a top with wide sleeves or a peasant style like this ladder trim blouse from WHBM which would work to balance the pant with softness at the top.
Or you can always go traditional and do a slim fit denim crop. Some fashion houses call them ankle pants, but ankle or crops in a slim fit will always look great. These crop straight leg jeans from 7 for all Mankind will always be in style and will always look good. A slim leg and a dark wash are perfect for ageless dressing. A higher waist will help as well. Wear these in the spring with heels and sandals and tuck them into high boots in the winter. They are a keeper!
The last group of items I want to talk about in ageless dressing is dresses. So many times do we turn to dresses. They are great for work, events, casual and you name it. I have never seen a dress code where it says no dresses. For ageless dressing choose a more classic silhouette in a dress. Stick with tunics, fit and flare, shifts and even wraps. Stay away from mini dresses, off the shoulder and cold shoulder or bareness anywhere in the dress. Those dresses are for your daughter and her friends, not for you. A shift dress in a fabulous color, like this Ruffle sleeve shift dress from AT, is the most versatile dress you own this spring. Wear it to work, events and even casually just by changing the accessories. Shift dresses also look great on every body. Just make sure it’s not too long or too short on your body. Shift dresses are not supposed to be fitted, they are supposed to float over your curves. That is why they work so well. For something dressier you can go wrong with a sheath dress. For spring 2017 try one like thisTonal Lace Sheath dress from WHBM. Yellow, especially this soft canary yellow, looks great with a summer glow and the lace is so trendy yet classic. For a casual look why not try a casual maxi dress? This loose-fitting maxi is by Joan Vass, it is 100% cotton and super easy and breezy to wear. I have one just like it and wear it with flat sandals and it can take me any where. I actually have about 3 or 4 casual maxi dresses. I get a lot of wear out of mine. I take them travelling ( especially the jersey ones I won’t have to iron) and I love them when the weather is hot. A good fitting, casual maxi can work on any body. If it fits properly it can make you look longer and leaner. Trust me, on a good day I am 5’4″ and if I can wear maxis, than anyone can.
One of the great things about classic and sophisticated clothing in ageless dressing is that you can use your accessories, shoes, jewellery, purses to be the trendiest part of your outfit. Take a look at some of the shoes I have shown in this blog. This spring sandals that have a tie at the ankle are huge. Maybe try that as your trendy item with your classic crop pant. Big earrings are a fun accessory. These dandelion pom pom earrings from J. Crew will be so cute with almost everything above. Try a fun pair of earrings with your maxi skirt and t-shirt, that will truly make your outfit look current. Big purses are also something we are seeing a lot of for Spring 2017 why not try a print tote or a trendy back pack to accessorize what you are wearing. Have fun with your accessories. That is the place to try whatever trend you want to. But remember for ageless dressing the best plan is to stick to classic clothing and save the trend pieces for your accessories and shoes.
There you go, my take on ageless dressing. I think it is something every woman struggles with as she enters her 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. And never underestimate how far a classic wardrobe can take you. My late mother was a style icon, she wore beautifully tailored classic clothing all the time and when she was in her 60’s people still thought she was in her late 40’s. I think that is something every woman would like.
If you find buy clothes to fit your style, career or budget a challenge I am here to help. I specialize in helping you be the best version of yourself. For an appointment please email me at Suethefashionista@gmail.com. Even if you feel it’s impossible, I promise after a couple of hours with me you will feel brand new! You can use that email for any fashion questions you have as well and I will do my best to answer in a timely manner.
I hope I gave you a lot of food for thought. Until next time…