Growing old(er) gracefully
Have you endured a ‘Julia’ moment when a salesperson snubs you? If so, it’s time to fight back and prove that you can still look absolutely fabulous at 50, 60 or any old age.
Maybe you have been ignored when you’ve entered a trendy store and thought about slinking right back out again? I’ll let you into a secret – from time to time, so have I, which is plain dumb when you think about the buying power and influence of mature woman. So here are my top five tips for staying stylish and managing rude retail staff:
1. Chanel reigns
No, no you don’t have to buy Chanel – oh dear, there goes the mortgage. But remembering Mme Chanel’s best-ever fashion insight helps us all to choose outfits which suit us. And that is “Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportion.” So if you don’t own and use a full length mirror, get ye to a Bunnings store now, to make this significant style purchase. You’ll never look back. So what does proportion really mean? It means that, by adjusting the proportion of your garments, you can reduce defects and highlight assets. If, like me, your derriere is ‘generous’, then longer tops layered over slim skirts and tapered pants are very flattering. And Remember Helen Gurley Brown? She said that after a certain age the only way a woman could improve her appearance was expensive jewellery and good posture. I don’t buy the jewellery part, but good posture helps everyone look immediately better.
And along the same lines …
2. Layering hides a multitude of sins
So you love that short printed top (Feathers image) but it cuts you in half, like waving a flag at your generous (back-in-the-day child bearing) hips? If the print is flattering, of course you can wear it, just make sure you have the essential longer line cami or t-shirt in a neutral colour (think black, black or black) to pop underneath, and match the bottom, be it a skirt or pant.
3. Accessories rule – but not too many!
Accessories provide the focal point of your outfit. You actually can’t go too bold when it comes to funky costume jewellery. But to carry off this look, channel the Parisians, and dump all other jewellery or adornments. So pair a large costume necklace with a simple one-colour dress, t-shirt and pants or sweater and skirt. The drama in the necklace is all you need.
4. Grooming is everything
It may be old school, but it works. Nothing shouts style louder than impeccable grooming. This means head-to-toe, 24/7, cleanliness and attention to detail. We’ve all broken this rule, maybe Saturday morning when you head to the café in workout tights, with unkempt hair and chipped nail polish. And of course, that’s the day you bump into the friend you haven’t seen for 15 years and you can tell by their surprise, they think you’ve aged. DON’T DO THIS TO YOURSELF. You are better than this. So make a promise to love yourself enough to do a weekly, at home, facial and manicure – like we did in the old days – with no need to spend a fortune on salons or expensive product. By all means pamper yourself in a beauty salon if money is no object, but don’t miss out if you’re on a budget. The best style spend is always on a good haircut and colour that you can maintain yourself between visits to the hairdressers. Great hair and a winning smile trumps everything else.
5. Last but not least, the shout-out-loud lipstick
Hollywood glamour girls would never be seen without it. Sales go down in recessions, except for lipstick. And, in times of war, it was the ‘red badge of courage’ that kept many women feeling strong and able to do whatever was necessary. So make sure your spirits are high – shout yourself a new season red [link] and head out the door – your outfit in perfect proportion thanks to layers, your upright posture, shiny hair and nails and an unforgettable smile. Stylish over 50? You’ve nailed it, girlfriend!
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