The only problem in advancing with age is that your personal style needs to evolve as you grow more mature. I know a lot of women in their 40’s and 50’s who keep trying to dress like their 20 something daughters. I also know a lot of women on the other side of the coin and who are in their 40’s and 50’s and dress like a little old lady. Everyone has lots of excuses for doing what they are doing. The women who dress older than their age say they dress that way for comfort and the women who wear their daughter’s aged clothing say they take such good care of their bodies they should be able to wear it if it fits.
As we move along through summer there are a number of ways to dress comfortably and stylishly without looking like you are 20 or 80. Now saying that I know some very stylish 80 year olds and would be honored to look that good when I reach that milestone. You body, good or bad, shouldn’t be an excuse for not looking your best and projecting your best self-image at the age you are at.
Why don’t we go through a few summer occasions and talk about what is appropriate and not for each occasion. Before we start I want to talk about one fashion rule I live by: If I think my niece or son’s girlfriend would wear it I stay away from it, and if it is something my mother or mother in law would be wearing I run away from it.
You need to understand what works on your body and what doesn’t. Are you carrying any extra weight in any places? I am not judging (people in glass houses and all that) just pointing out factors. Do you slouch? Do you have anything that hampers what you can wear? Once you figure all this out, then you can get started.
Back Yard BBQ or Summer Backyard Party:
Our first occasion will be a back yard barbeques or party. The dress is casual. What is the first thing that pops into your mind? If this is what you are thinking about then think again. The short denim shorts are really not for anyone over 40 and yes logo t-shirts are cute, but there are many more appropriate and sophisticated. How to turn this around would be to try a look like this . This is the Nine West Twill short. It is short, just not short short and softly falls above your knee. If you still think you have great legs and want to show them off, this is the way. I would put a more fun sandal with them for a BBQ and a more casual top. But as you can see this soft short can take you anywhere.
For the same type of summer party but you want to be a bit dressier. Something that is trending for 20 somethings is a romper.I agree that this pom-pom trimmed off the shoulder romper from Anthropologie is adorable. But really and truly it is not for us. You still want the same type of look but just a bit more sophisticated? Why not try this Ezra Off the Shoulder Jumpsuit with a cropped leg. This is a great substitute for the above romper and it even has an off the shoulder feature.
One last make over for the backyard summer party. Denim is huge this summer and we are seeing it everywhere. Overalls have made a comeback and so have short overalls. You may be thinking you want to try something like this. We all remember how cute we used to be when wearing overalls in the 70’s and 80’s. But again, save this look for your daughter and her friends. You can achieve the same feel in two ways. You can switch to this Denim Zip Front Jumpsuit and still be a little bare on top, or add a t-shirt with a ruffle sleeve if you want underneath. Or if it’s your legs you want to show off why not opt for a denim dress that hits above your knee ( but is not a mini). This is from Papillion and it is on Nordstrom Rack. com.
Also try to stick with the rule, especially for a garden party, the shorter the skirt and lower the heel. For a higher heel stick with wedges, it’s such a pain when heels sink into grass or get stuck between planks on someone’s deck.
The Girls Lunch or Out to Brunch:
The other main event of summer time is going out for late brunches on the weekends and meeting girlfriends on patios and restaurants for lunch or drinks.
A lot of ‘brunch with the girls’ looks in magazines include shorts. But why not try something a bit more sophisticated that is still fun. I have sung the praises of maxi skirt until I am sure you are sick of it. But really and truly maxi skirts and dresses are your best friends for a fresh summer look. This Tanvi Silk Column dress can take you anywhere. Brunch, lunch, dinner and parties. It is sophisticated enough that you can dress it up with heels and jewellery and fun enough that you can wear slides and sunglasses during the day. It shows a little leg but not too much. A dress that is likely to become your favorite is this Padma Midi dress. It is cotton and can completely be dressed up or down. The online reviews for this dress were off the charts. It is again sophisticated enough and yet casual enough to take you anywhere. This is a tiny example of how many wonderful maxi and midi dresses there are online and in the stores for summer, so skip the minis and leave those for the millenials.
Another piece I want to show you is a fabulous midi skirt. I actually have a maxi skirt I have kept in my closet for about 8 years. It is a vintage Mexx brown skirt that fits me to a T and looks great with whatever I put with it. I have worn it to fancy events and casual barbeques. Everyone needs one piece like this. This Tracey Reese midi skirt could do just that. I love the way it flows and you can wear it with a blouse for the office, a t-shirt for fun and even a ruffle top for going out.
I found this Apron Wide Leg Jumpsuit online at Anthropologie . I absolutely love it, the color and style. To me, why would you try to wear a romper or short shorts when you could wear something like this and look fabulous. This type of style is great on all sorts of body types, it will elongate you if your short, define your waist if you need it and if you have really long legs it will make them look in proportion.
One last piece of clothing I want to talk about that can transform something that is too bare to wear to wearable is a great kimono. The right kimono can dress something up or make your outfit look complete. A beautifully colored Kimono like this Abstract Silk Kimono from Anthro can completely change what you are wearing. It can make the most casual outfit or dress immediately more sophisticated. A short bright kimono can cover an exposed shoulder or make up for a top that is a bit too low. Shorter kimonos are great with pants and skirts and longer kimonos are fabulous with dresses and even skinny jeans!
All of the looks in this blog are either from Nordstrom Rack or Anthropologie and you can buy it all online.
The one question you should ask before you are putting something on is would my daughter wear this? If the answer is yes, then pick something different. On the other side of the coin if you put on something that your mother would wear than please take it off and look for something that is more age appropriate. The beauty of the age we are at is that most of the looks we can wear are sophisticated and elegant. Even skinny jeans and t-shirts can be made to look this way by choosing the right footwear and accessories.
If you feel you need more help and you feel like your wardrobe is too young or too old just email me for a styling appointment. Email me at Suethefashionista@gmail.com to book appointments or to ask a fashion question. Sorry there haven’t been any instagram videos in a while, we are doing renovations and it seems like all my favorite places are being worked on at once. I’ll be back to doing those for fall. Speaking of fall, the Aug 2nd blog will be about what you want to keep and what you want to discard ( or sell) to get your closet ready for Fall 2017. Then there will be a 3 week break and I will be back Aug 30 to break down all the fall fashions for you by trend.
Until next time…