I’ve been doing a little research and here is a list of seven things any women over the age of 40 should keep in mind when selecting a wardrobe.
1. Covering Up
Nothing says past-her-use-by-date better than being swathed head to toe in baggy shapeless clothes. So, no baggy cardigans allowed, no shapeless polyester frocks and no boxy t-shirts. They are old lady clothes. Being over 40, or over 50 or even over 60 is no reason to give up looking hot. I met a women the other day who looked classically casual and down right sexy and she was 73. She looked it too. There was no attempt to hide her age but she certainly didn’t look dated. She looked fantastic; like a elderly Grace Kelly, all classic understatement.
2. Elastic Waistbands
An elastic waistband will immediately make you look ten years older than you are. It will also make you look fatter, a double whammy, so it’s really confusing why so many people buy them. Manufacturers make them because people buy them; STOP buying them! I don’t want to here any cries of ‘but they’re comfortable’ because a well fitting skirt or pair of pants will be as comfortable, possible even more so, and will look fabulous as well. Pleated skirts have the same effect if you have even the faintest hint of a spare tire around the middle.
3. Any Revival Trend
One of the latest trends to hit the shops is a blouse tied at the throat, a signature look for Margaret Thatcher circa the 80’s. In those days it was the height of sensible, steady good sense but now it’s a sign that you’re hip and well dressed. Go figure. Sadly that’s for everyone under the age of 40. If you were an adult the first time the trend hit forget jumping on it a second time. Rather than look modern you will just look like the women that time forgot ie old.
4. Missing Modernizations
What’s a trend and what’s a modernization? A trend will be in and gone faster than the latest pop song. Sometimes the way we wear things start out as trends but then they become evolutions. For instance, nothing says late 90’s more than a pant hemline that finishes above the shoe. The modern style is that hem lines finish about 1/2 an inch above the ground covering most of your shoe. Another example of an evolution is wearing colored shoes rather than matching your shoe to your hemline. A black outfit with black shoes will instantly age you and it’s also kind of drab. Pair it with a pair of bright colored heels and you’ll instantly look modern and chic.
5. Pleated pants with tapered legs
I have no idea when this style was popular but it’s just unflattering to practically everyone, regardless of body shape. It’s not a question of fit rather of style, or more specifically lack of it. For everyone but a select few they will make you look bigger than what you are, or for the slender, you’ll look positively anemic. To me this style says “I’ve given up looking good; now I just want cheap, comfy pants”, which is not a bad thing but there are other, more stylish ways of saying it. For almost all body shapes a flat front, straight leg pant with a side zip is going to be more comfortable and, since it’s a classic, instantly chic.
6. Red and Black; Black and Pastels
Red and black together is a very matronly look. Red’s are usually vibrant and pep up an outfit but when paired with black it seems to leach the liveliness away and become staid and frumpy. Like a football uniform. It can be transformed immediately by adding a neutral color – for instance a black skirt with a red shirt and a camel jacket.
Similarly pairing black and pastels is aging, which is bad news for curvy women as the majority of plus size clothing tends to be black and/or pastel. Black actually works best with other shades of black, but if your wardrobe is mostly black then look for brights, white or other neutrals to pair it with. Match your pastels together or pair them with neutrals and denim.
7. Long Skirts and Clumpy Heels
A long skirt, mid calf or longer, is predominantly the most unflattering length because it hides your shape. Combined them with clumpy heels and your ankles will look like twigs set in concrete supporting a big blob of color; a cartoon stick person. Those long skirts look better paired with a finer heel that will showcase the turn of your ankle and your foot. Clumpy heels are best paired with a delicate, feminine skirt to toughen it up. Together they just say “old maid”.
The best length of skirt is just below the knee, particularly if your legs are heavier, as it shows the curve of your calf which is thinner than the rest of your leg.
Check out these tips of things to do over 40 for ideas how to look sexy.