Let’s rejoice in the fact that women are no longer simply growing old gracefully. We look damn good. So it’s no surprise that some of the leading cosmetics and fashion houses have chosen the likes of Julianne Moore, Catherine Deneauve and Kristin Scott Thomas as the images for their brands.
Whatever your age, looking stylish requires repeated calibration of nuances and a certain degree of letting go. The point is to see that letting go not as a loss but as a process of streamlining, simplification, and replacement.
Indeed, the older you get, the less you can do prim, girlish, preppy, and cute, and the more you can do defined, striking, architectural, and subtle. Out with shiny (unless it’s bags or shoes), and in with glossy. Away with fussy complications; in with the kind of clever, unobtrusive touches that make all the difference.
There’s always a way to replace what you think you’re eliminating. You might decide it’s time to stop wearing tight, revealing clothes — and it probably is. But you can still wear slim silhouettes and show some flesh. Collarbones, wrists, and back of the neck are lifelong candidates for display. All the places you’d wear perfume and would like to be kissed. It’s about being adored, not ravaged. That’s ageless fashion.
- Show your legs in your 20s and as you approach your 40s and beyond, stay safely at the knee or below.
- Follow fashion first and just as hemlines rise and fall on the runways, so do skirt lengths.
- The shorter the better — anything else is frumpy.
Thigh-high boots are:
- Cool for a twenty-something’s night out, chic with jeans in your 30s and stored away come forty.
- If Céline does a pair all is fair game.
- A boot collection staple.
A pantsuit suit is:
- Old-fashioned in your 20s, but has a growing style appeal as time goes on.
- Slouchy and louche in silhouette this season.
- Not in my wardrobe vocabulary.
Your closet’s color theory would best be described as:
- 60/40 color and neutrals post-college and 30/70 color and neutrals by the time you are forty.
- Graphic impact with a touch of the season’s hottest hue.
- Brightest of the brights.
Crop tops and shorts are:
- A do till you are 35, then a firm don’t.
- Spring season considerations, especially leather iterations of the top and wide-leg culottes.
- Spring season must-haves.
The red carpet trend of sheer skirts has you:
- Reaching for tights — no matter your age.
- Bowing down to Givenchy’s haute bohemian floral version.
- Dusting off your collection with pride.
Your reaction to the recent ushering in of sneakers as a fashion shoe:
- The right pair can look fabulous at any age.
- If Chanel can show sneakers with couture, I’m in.
- High-tops are always a weekend staple.
How do you feel about pearls?
- The modern day options look so cool and fresh, but a singular strand is something to wear for a lifetime.
- A single pearl earring is on my wish list.
- Something my grandmother would wear.
How often do you purge your closet?
- Every couple of years I remove pieces that feel like the younger version of myself to make room for more sophisticated takes.
- Every season, naturally.
- Never, I will wear what I love for a lifetime.
The style icon that has dressing for her age down is:
- Julianne Moore, she has evolved her style with perfection.
- Gwyneth Paltrow, she is always wearing the next hot trend.
- The fearless Naomi Campbell always looks fierce.
Mostly A’s: Age Appropriate — Always You approach dressing with a thoughtful perspective. You always tow the line of cool, but look perfectly put-together.
Mostly B’s: Fashion Rules Your Age Game. For the love of fashion, as the saying goes, is your philosophy on being fabulous at every age.
Mostly C’s: Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number. You wear what you love no matter what decade of life you are enjoying. Fashion is supposed to be fun, after all.
All books are available at amazon.com. Click on title for more information.
Fifty Beauty Secrets for Women Over Forty
by Bella Sparelli
The Makeup Wakeup: Revitalizing Your Look at Any Age
by Lois Joy Johnson and Sandy Linter
Timeless Style: What to Wear Over 50: Dressing well for the Rest of Your Life
by Anna Harvey
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