Tips to put a spring in your step

I often meet incredible women. I recently met a lady at a corporate workshop who had shaved off all her hair. She told me that she is going to keep her hair shaved for the next ten years to honour God for surviving cancer. I got teary-eyed, not a professional look as an image consultant. But I lost my mother 12 years ago to cancer, so it really resonated with me.

I hoped to encourage this woman to take care and pride in her appearance, so that she could be an example to others. She would inspire others by embracing her health and vitality and by celebrating life!

Embracing life and showing us your best self, is a vital part of influencing and impacting people. The way we look on the outside is often indicative of how we see ourselves on the inside.

For example, if your appearance can be described as ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ it tells me that you’re insecure about ageing gracefully and holding onto the past.

So this raises the question “What’s too old, too young and just right?” Is the age-old belief of ‘age-appropriate’ dressing still relevant in today’s forward thinking times?

Thanks to post 40 celebs like Demi Moore, Sandra Bullock, Oprah and Michelle Obama, the prehistoric view of wearing previously ‘age-appropriate’ clothing has been obliterated.

40 year olds today don’t look like the 40 year olds of, well, the old days.

Brad, Demi, Sandy and the likes can still rock a pair of good fitting jeans and a t-shirt. They just opt for a more stylish and refined cut. An item like a pair of jeans is timeless and ageless. But it must be said that there are certain items and lengths that should be reserved for the hatchlings of today.

Feel free to raid your daughter’s wardrobe but for a single item like a blazer, jersey, t-shirt, slim-leg pants, etc. and only if you share the same body type and clothing size. Wearing her look top-to-toe, seems desperate. Anything too tight, too short and too sheer is not an option. Mini-skirts, hot pants, showing off your midriff (ahem Gwyneth Paltrow) over the age of 16 is a no-no! Just because it might flatter your shape, does not make it automatically age-appropriate. To make your look age-appropriate, add a grown-up element like a well-fitting cardigan, classic necklace, loafers, etc. The luxury of ageing is that you can confidently adopt an edgier and contemporary look with a sense of both dignity and simplicity versus feeling the need to be trendy.

Embracing neon whole-heartedly is not classy or sophisticated. Classics never age. Add a twist and you’re all set. Take your cue from women who repeatedly do it well. Victoria Beckham, Eva Mendes and Michelle Obama. These gorgeous women, irrespective of their age, ethnicity and body-types, successfully dress for their age but still look edgy and current whilst staying true to their personal sense of style. These guidelines are not set in stone. They are my personal beliefs and of course, they are circumstantial. They have to be. No two people are the same therefore no rule applies to all. All I encourage you to do is lead by example. Inspire those around you with class and dignity, whilst remaining truly you.

Style suggestions for all ages

  • Choose classic, contemporary clothing and not the latest trends.
  • A well-fitted white shirt is timeless – add a trendy necklace or colour, and you are ready for Spring.
  • Shop for your body type.
  • Tight is too tight whatever your age.
  • Buy what suits you – irrespective of label and size. A perfect fit is better than an expensive item.
  • Be 100% confident in your purchase. Confidence shows. 
  • Revive. Refresh.And re-invent yourself.


Written by Petra Laranjo

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