As a boutique that focuses on career clothing for women aged 30 and over, I often get asked if wearing the trends means a woman is dressing too young. My emphatic answer is a resounding NO! I have ladies in their sixties and seventies that keep up with the trends while still always looking age appropriate. I think there is a misconception that at a certain age, you should stop worrying about being trendy. I totally disagree. We’ve all seen women who looked like they were dressing too young, and these experiences cause us to worry that we might be doing the same thing. But, the key is not to avoid the trends; the key is to wear the trends appropriately. Here are my 5 tips for embracing the trends while still dressing your age.
- Keep it classy: If you are over forty-five, you may want to avoid plunging necklines, too short of hemlines, spaghetti straps and overly tight fitting clothes. These, more than anything else, can make you look like you are dressing too young. If mini-dresses are in, for example, this doesn’t mean you avoid them altogether, but it may mean that you look for a longer rather than shorter mini dress and wear it with tonal tights to avoid drawing attention to the hemline. If you love skinny jeans, wear them, but choose a longer top that covers your front and rear. Use jackets and cardigans to cover problem areas and make the look more conservative.
- Choose the more conservative version of the trend: Every fashion trend has a scale from edgy to conservative. As an example, consider the cold shoulder trend that we have just seen come and go. As a buyer, I saw everything from the whole shoulder and half the arm to just a small sliver of the shoulder being exposed. The latter of these would be the more conservative version of the trend. Staying away from the edgy side allows you to wear the trend while still making it appropriate for your age. As a general rule, the older you are, the more conservative you should go.
- Wear the trends correctly: Being knowledgeable about how the trend should be worn is key. Oftentimes, a trend is dependent upon the other items in your outfit being the right style to pull it off. As an example, right now the trendy hem length in bottoms is an ankle length (an inch above the ankle bone). This style needs the right type of shoe to make it work. If you are short, ankle length bottoms work much better with a little heel or wedge. It is also important that the bottom hits you at the right place on your ankle. Too long or too short, and the pant looses its trendiness and just looks strange. Another example is the long, printed blouses that are trendy this season. A long blouse worn with bootcut jeans will look strange. You need a skinny or slim bottom to help balance out the volume of the top. To be sure you know how to wear a trend, ask your favorite boutique sales staff to educate you or google the trend and look a images.
- Let the brand help you decide: If you shop by brand, paying attention to the marketing images that company is using can really help you decide if the label is appropriate for your age. Are you 50 but all the models for the brand are 20? That would be an indication that the target market for the brand is a bit younger than you. If this is the case, you can go back to tip number 2 to be sure you are choosing the less edgy pieces from that brand.
- Pay attention to what other fashionable ladies your age are wearing: We can learn so much just by being observant. Do you have a friend who dresses well that you admire? What is she wearing? How do your clothing choices compare? Perhaps you’re in a rut with your style and need to freshen things up a bit. Either your friend or a trusted boutique can help you transition into a trendier wardrobe that is age appropriate.
I hope these guidelines help you and encourage you that being trendy is not just for the young and thin. Staying up with the times helps us feel beautiful and stylish. There is no age limit for that!
For examples and more detailed information on this topic, please watch my video How To Embrace The Trends And Still Dress Your Age