I’m not convinced that a number is enough to define your age so much as your attitude towards it. That said, a spirited attitude racing through a misguided fashion forest could be disastrous.
Similar rules apply when it comes to dressing appropriately for your age – whether you are a teenager or a pensioner. Old-fashioned creeds like ‘one shalt not make a spectacle of one’s shoulders, nor shall one wear skirts an inch above the knee after the age of 40’ are surely archaic and irrelevant these days?
The thing with ageing gracefully is that it’s all relative and of course, totally biased.
So, how do we answer this age-old question that has perplexed fashionistas over the ages?
Whatever your age wear clothes that accentuate your assets, whether it’s your eyes, your beautiful legs or nice butt! If you’ve got it flaunt it. OK, let me rephrase that. Take your body shape into account and be sure not to squeeze into anything too tight, too short or too eccentric.
Draw inspiration from other stylish and confident women that you can relate to. Hollywood’s leading ladies are always a safe and aspirational reference. Look at Joan Rivers (80), Angela Basset (54), Sandra Bullock (47), Halle Berry (46) and Helen Mirren (67). Linda Fargo, Diane von Furstenberg, Lauren Hutton and Vera Wang are less conventional but magnificently stylish.
When I look at them the three words that stand out are: Vibrant, Sophisticated and Edgy.
Vivacious, alive and as my professional slogan goes: ‘refreshed, revived and re-invented’ if necessary. Looking after your skin, hair, lips, nails and other small details will ensure you keep looking vibrant and full of life. The correct shade of lipstick and a flattering hair colour will lift your complexion in a flash.
There is nothing more sophisticated than a polished, well-dressed woman, even if she is just wearing blue jeans, a t-shirt, pumps and a well-cut blazer or cardigan. Sophistication doesn’t mean old – it means classy, refined and stylish.
Like a comfortable glove that doesn’t restrict your fingers from bending, wearing clothing that fits you correctly is vital. Clothing that’s obviously a size too small will leave you looking desperate to hang onto your teenage years. Bear in mind that baggy, shapeless clothing may just have you looking sloppy, which is very ageing as well.
Modern meets classic. They should co-exist – like soul mates as they complement one another. Contemporary basics give classic cuts or details an updated look whilst classic clothes give modern, en-vogue items timeless elegance.
If you’re over 30, the hope is that you’re not following trends anymore, but rather defining your own personal style. It’s far more gratifying and easier to get dressed in the morning when you’re playing instead of copying. Leave the trends for the teenagers and adopt your own identity.
That’s not to say that if you identify with a certain trend you shouldn’t explore it. Use trends as an inspiration but don’t commit to them 100%. Pick an über on-trend graphic print clutch bag or some pop-art shoes. Get a trendy blunt-cut bob and wear red lipstick or dark nail polish. But, don’t do it all at once. Why not invest in straight-cut structured pants to fit your shape in slate grey and team them with a rich textured coat and a scarf to liven your complexion? Mmm… I think I’ll be wearing exactly that tomorrow!
Demi Moore put it so well when asked about her age: “That’s the tradeoff. You have greater effects of gravity, but the better sense of yourself that you have is something I wouldn’t trade”.
Style for all ages
• Choose contemporary style over trends.Rather choose modern classics with an edgy twist versus wearing overwhelming seasonal trends head-to-toe. Invest in classics. Play with trends.
• Dress for your body type.Your proportions and silhouette are unique to you. Style them as such.
• How little is too little? Err on the side of being conservative when it comes to flashing too much skin. Keep trim and toned for extra zest and confidence.
• Fit first. Size second.Don’t trust the label, it needs to fit perfectly.
• You have to be 100% convinced. If you’re not comfortable or if you’re unsure about how you feel in it… don’t buy it.
Here’s to enjoying your age and making the most out of each season.
Written by Petra Laranjo