I was reading a fashion blog for the 40 plus woman and the blogger was talking about Brenda Blethyn who stars in a British detective series, Vera. DCI Vera Stanhope is a solitary, obsessed, caustic, brilliant investigator, and a bit disheveled; think female Columbo. The blogger went on to discuss the brilliant way in which the studio displayed this disheveled woman in a fashionable way and it got me to thinking about the challenges we have in remaining fashionable as we grow older. Not always an easy task for those of us that crossdress as the sags of the male body don’t exactly match those of our female companions.
Middle aged women don’t need to look frumpy and our looks don’t have to scream “middle aged,” either. Women of any age can look pulled together, sexy, and professional. Fashion for women over 40 has come a long way. It’s all about incorporating select trends into a wardrobe that you’ve carefully created with items that fit you so well they seem to have been made with your body in mind.
With that in mind, here are some tips to help you achieve the look of a chic and stylish older lady. And believe it or not, it’s far easier to blend in as a mature woman than trying to be a hot chick.
This Not This
Stay Age Appropriate
Women of all ages like to feel pretty and feminine, so there’s no need to drastically limit your style because of your age. Most women beyond their 20s should probably skip the tiny miniskirts and cropped tops, but you don’t have to wear unflattering skirt lengths or shapeless shirts simply because you think you’re “too old” to wear certain styles. No muumuus for you. Staying age appropriate when it comes to fashion for middle aged women means wearing clothing that fits, flatters, and reflects your unique sense of style. And yes, you can wear revealing clothing if it’s done in the right proportion. And you can wear current trends too by learning to pair them with more timeless pieces. For example, the fringe look which you can read about here.
Go for the Minimalist look
Less is more when it comes to fashion for women over 40. Choose pieces that have fewer embellishments and cleaner lines, you’ll be able to get more wear out of them, pair them with more (trendy) things, and accessorize with your favorite jewelry pieces. They’ll also make your look more polished than some of the busier pieces out there.
Choose Timeless Classics
There’s a way to incorporate trends into fashion for middle aged women, but it takes having some staple, well-tailored classic pieces in your wardrobe. Keeping your trendy picks grounded in a sea of simple styles will keep you from falling into the trap of looking as if you’re trying to dress younger than you are.
Figure Flattering Tips
Become a master of disguise by learning how to camouflage those problems areas such as sagging, wrinkling skin (especially on the arms and neck) or protruding abdomens. Some tips to create figure flatturing looks include:
• Two-piece outfits with jackets that fall just below the hip line work wonders at concealing that area, and tops worn out instead of tucked in may be more flattering than those with fitted waists or belts.
• The best overall colors for middle aged women are the tried and tested fashion staples: black, white or navy. Grays or neutrals may cause you to look pale or drawn. But don’t be put off by color. Consider the many beautiful jewel tones that complement your skin color.
• Accessories such as shawls, stoles or shrugs work double duty by providing a little extra warmth while concealing the arms, while scarves, turtlenecks or mock turtlenecks are just the trick for covering up that jowl and neckline area.
Check out the many possible looks on our Sister House Pinterest boards.
Fashion Sense Transcends Age
You can create a wardrobe and style to accommodate fashions for middle aged women that are still fun, exciting, and sexy without looking too young or out of step with the current trends. It all boils down to finding simple, figure-flattering pieces that balance out the trendy styles you’re dying to try. Here’s another Pinterest board that demonstrates this point.
1. Pairing tops and bottoms in the same color is a quick, fool-proof formula for style. A monochromatic look is one of the easiest ways to create style and opens up a simple piece for day or night wear by changing the accessories.
2. One slim belt is all you need to refresh structured dresses, to feminize tailored jackets and suits or to give flat-knit sweaters worn over skirts or pants a hint of shape. Read All About Belts in the Sister House Library
3. If you absolutely crave color, buy classic red. It always looks in style and brightens mature skin like a dash of blush. Read my latest piece on the Iconic Red Dress
4. Update your eye glasses, whether they are prescription or just reading glasses. Changing the style and or color of your eye glass frames can instantly update your look and give you some added flare.
5. Update your make up. As our skin changes, so does our need to change the way we do our makeup. I recently changed my lipstick colors and it made a world of difference in achieving a more youthful look.
6. Get your eyebrows shaped. Learning to how to shape, changing the shape or dusting a small amount of colored powder on your eyebrows can completely change your face. See my article here on Eyebrows Do Make a Difference.
And as you age, remember age is just a number. Many of the most beautiful women in the world are over 50.
And while we’re all just hoping we live a life of longevity, one supermodel is giving everyone a run for their money. Carmen Dell’Orefice, 82, is featured in New You magazine’s spring issue, transforming simple glam with an all-black look, killer cheekbones and a fabulous wave of grey hair. I should look so good at that age