It’s easy to get into a clothing rut as we age. However, making the right style choices can help prevent us from looking older than we really are or at least look the best we can for our age.
The most common fashion mistake midlife women make? Sticking to the same look for years.
You aren’t the same throughout your life, so why should your style stay stagnant? There’s a difference between re-buying your aesthetic season after season and evolving it with current trends – says Dani Michelle, one of the most popular celebrity stylists-. It’s certainly important to dress for your body type, but in turn, don’t be afraid to try new styles that work on you. You’ll feel like yourself and still be in style.
Fashion faux-pas as we age
From dressing too matchy-matchy to wearing outdated eyeglasses, here are some style pitfalls to avoid according to experts.
It may feel like a safe colour to wear but can wash out your complexion. Marie Claire Magazine reported that black can make you look “ill, washed out and considerably older”, especially when worn near the face as it enhances lines under the chin and shadows around the eyes. You should always make sure to wear at least one colourful accessory with your all-black outfits. When Anna Wintour, Artistic Director of Condé Nast and Global Editorial Director of Vogue, is asked how to spice up an all-black outfit, she’s quick to respond, “Just don’t wear all black. It seems too gloomy as if one’s going to a funeral.” But she does offer up suggestions for those among us who insist on wearing all black from time to time. She advises one to think about “adding some colour or favourite piece of jewellery or maybe white boots. Just something that’s a little bit unexpected.”
Women who try to hide their body shape by wearing shapeless clothes tend to look older instead of slimmer. Don’t be afraid of wearing items that reveal your figure. Clothes that fit well can accentuate your favourite features and draw attention away from those you aren’t happy about. Only wear oversized on one half of your body at a time. For instance, pair a baggy piece with something a bit tighter, such as a looser-fit pair of pants with a more structured top.
Wearing floral outfits can be ageing. Especially smaller prints, like a traditional Liberty floral, can look a bit prissy on mature women or at least too ladylike. Florals based on a black background are generally more forgiving. If you like patterns, it’s better to invest in abstract or geometric ones: they are often a safer bet because they don’t date and look modern.
The wrong bra can leave your clothes looking lumpy and your breasts sagging. Don’t wear the same old one just because it’s comfortable: it might not provide the necessary support and it can ruin the overall aesthetic. Treat yourself and get fitted by a bra professional: buy a new one every six to eight months, and make sure your measurement is still up to date after a year. Remember, a woman’s body undergoes a lot of changes, even on daily basis. Weight gain or loss and hormonal changes may affect your breast size.
Chunky or sensible shoes
Do you know that the smaller the shoe you wear, the more petite your ankles and legs will look? Get rid of your chunky sneakers and bulky combat boots and stop wearing sensible shoes. If you can’t wear heels, try a classy wedge. What’s more, avoid round-toed heels as they can look frumpy.
It might be comfortable and flowy, but jersey can highlight all the wrong areas as this material tends to cling to the body. Instead, opt for fabrics like cotton, wool, and silk. If you just can’t get away from this fabric, at least choose pieces that are draped, ruched or try double-knitted jersey for comfort.
Too long skirts
If anyone is going to wear one of those long skirts, make sure to pair them with a more structured, tighter top. Long skirts with a more relaxed-fitting blouse or t-shirt can easily cross the line from fashion to frumpy. The solution? Experts suggest going for a skirt whose hemline finishes at the slimmest area around your knee.
Cardigans and sweater sets
Throwing on that little cardigan to finish your look can instantly age you, especially when paired with a foulard and pearls around your neck. A twin-set, the combo of a cardigan over a matching top would make things even worse. Opt instead for a longer, trendy cardigan belted at the waist, a nice denim jacket or a fitted blazer.
Frames actually help cover undereye wrinkles and camouflage dark circles. However, if you stick to wear those drugstore readers you will end up looking older than your age. Choose a modern, bold frame that highlights your face but avoid geeky or sparkly style. Make sure to update glasses every so often, just like one might update their wardrobe.
As well as understanding those style choices that complement your body shape, it’s essential to know which colours can brighten your complexion, too. Just because you love that particular shade doesn’t mean it looks good on you: as a rule of thumb, if you have cool undertones, you should wear cool colours, if you have warm undertones, warm tones are for you. In general, stay away from pastels: a lighter palette tends to give a washed-out appearance. Instead, pair a pastel outfit with a dark pair of jeans or another contrasting piece. If you love soft colours, opt for neutrals like beige or off-white.