Reader Question: My biggest issue right now is finding age-appropriate clothes that I LOVE. I’m 55 and (based on your quiz) I’m a Classic style and I do like to always have a “put together” look, but that is getting hard to do. I don’t want to look like my 27-year-old daughter, but I also don’t want to wear “frumpy” clothes. I’ve also started reading that as I age I shouldn’t wear black-which as an an 8 body shape , I wear a lot of black because it’s slimming. So I struggle daily with an inner voice that tells me I look ridiculous in a tiered dress with my jeans jacket, but I also love to have someone compliment me on my outfit and don’t want to wear “old lady clothes”. I’m not even sure where to shop anymore as nothing fits correctly. My staples are Talbots and Loft, but I’m afraid Loft is getting too young for me
What’s Age Appropriate Clothing Anyway?
There isn’t any sort of specific criteria for age-appropriate clothing – really it’s a question that only you can answer for you. I know 80-year-olds who rock a pair of jeans and a leather jacket and do not look in the slightest bit ridiculous because what they wear is an expression of their personality.
So you have to feel comfortable in the clothing – if you feel like clothes are too revealing, that’s a sign to you that the clothing isn’t right for you. So all those dresses with cutouts at the waist may feel too young for you and your current body. That’s a choice you get to make.
As someone who is a similar age in my mid-50s, I may not want to wear what my 18-year-old daughter wears, such as cropped tops (she’s got a 6-pack stomach, and I don’t) but we may both wear the same style of jeans. I’ll just wear it with a jacket or blouse, she’ll wear them with her crop tops and hoodies so our styles look very different. Wear the fashion trend items that work for you but leave everything that doesn’t for someone else.
Why Neutrals Other Than Black are More Slimming
Most of us have been brainwashed to think that black is the most slimming colour, yet this is a myth which I talk about here.
When black is not a colour that is a colour that suits you (and it really only suits a very small percentage of the population – those who have very dark brown to black hair, with a cool clear complexion and brightly colour eyes), then there are much better and more slimming black alternatives that will make you look heaps better. Black is harsh, it’s a bright colour (when it’s muted it becomes grey and is no longer black) and it reflects a lot of shadow onto your face, making you look dull, and making any line, wrinkle or double chin look more apparent, who wants that?
Black also outlines us so makes people notice your edges as there is a bigger difference between the white walls and your hips.
Instead, any neutral that relates to your colouring, because it’s a background colour, will make your body less apparent, and when you also use focal points to draw attention to your face. Any neutral that suits you that is darker than your skin will be receding and more slimming. The easiest way of finding your best neutral is to look at your hair colour and choose a neutral similar to it or a slightly darker version.
Wear Your Signature Colours
“When You’re Looking in My Eye’s You’re Not Looking at My Thighs” Imogen Lamport
It’s one of my favourite sayings and so wearing a top, scarf, item of jewellery or jacket in a signature eye colour will make your eyes appear brighter and then you’ll find they draw attention to themselves, making people notice them and focus on your face, not on your body.
Wear a Column of Colour
A medium or darker column of colour will be more elongating and slimming. I’ve got heaps of tips for putting these together here.
Rather than wearing the tiered dress with a denim jacket which may not work for you as you have an 8-shaped body and this dress style lacks a waist, instead, why not try a wrap dress with a denim jacket, the dress style will suit you and your body.
Knowing what works for your unique body – your body shape, body proportions and body variations are key, along withing knowing which colours suit your colouring makes it easy to decide which fashion trends you should bring home to your wardrobe and enjoy, and which should be left on the hanger in the store as they are not for you.
Becoming More Sophisticated With Age
Think more sophisticated, rather than falling into the frumpy trap because you’re too scared of looking too young, it’s time to get your education in colour and style so that you become the boss of your wardrobe and know what you should wear and what is not for you, no matter your age. You can just keep adapting your personalised style guidelines as you age rather than thinking you have to throw everything out and start again. This is why I developed my 7 Steps to Style program, so that you can be empowered to know what is right and wrong for you and shop with confidence, and find out how to put outfits together in a way that works easily for you. Not only will you discover your best neutrals in the program, you’ll also learn how to adapt your wardrobe for your body and personality as well as your lifestyle.