Fashion After 40

With so many designers and trends targeting the svelte body

of the twenty-something, is it possible to look fashionable

as the years pass and your body begins to tell the tale?

Absolutely!

In fact, with a little ingenuity and sleigh-of-hand, it’s

easy to be fashionable and stylish regardless of how many

candles are on your birthday cake.

Now let’s be frank: unless you work out religiously, you

probably don’t have the same body at 40, 50, or 60 that you

did at 25. Time, gravity, and pregnancy all take their toll

on the female body, as does menopause. And when you mix a

mature body with fashions obviously made for a younger

person, it can lead to self-doubt, frustration, and

confusion.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Getting older also

means getting wiser, and like a fine bottle of wine, you’re

improving with age. So you don’t have the same body as

those twenty-somethings you see in magazines or on TV. So

what? Would you REALLY trade everything you’ve learned

since your twenties for the body you had back then?

Probably no sooner than you’d like to re-live puberty,

thank you very much.

So how can you be fashionable without wearing all those

body-conscious clothes so en vogue these days? By

remembering the “3 C’s” when you dress: clean, classic, and

coverage.

CLEAN

Clean lines create a clean silhouette which makes the body

appear more youthful by skimming the trouble spots instead

of calling attention to them. Complicated cuts, seams, and

details usually call for a killer body to pull off, so if

you haven’t got it, steer clear of those styles.

CLASSIC

Classic styles are called classic because they remain in

style year after year. Why? Because they look good on so

many bodies! Sheathes, A-line skirts, flat front pants –

all tend to flatter a variety of shapes. What’s more,

because they remain in style year after year, classics are

easier on the budget than trends.

COVERAGE

Covering appropriately is the key to aging gracefully. If

your upper arms, thighs, and décolletage have all seen

better days, it’s time to cover them up a bit instead of

sharing the wear-and-tear with the world. Now I’m not

talking about draping yourself in a tent for the rest of

your life. Far from it. I’m talking about wearing short

sleeves instead of going sleeveless, Capris instead of

shorts, and modest necklines instead of plunging necklines.

Now I know that covering up the parts that used to turn

heads and draw envy can be tough to take for some women.

Which is precisely why beautiful jewelry and fine fabrics

are the revenge tools of choice for many well-dressed

mature women.

So your bustline isn’t as perky as your twenty-something

daughter or granddaughter. So what? Add a beautiful

necklace and draw envious glances from women of all ages.

Don’t have the same backside you did as a teen? Encase it

in a fine fabric and see how many men go out of the way to

hold the door open for you. People will look where you

focus their attention, so use that knowledge to redirect

their interest to the parts you want them to see.

Or, as actress Cybil Shepard once said, “I like to flaunt

what I have left.”

Don’t flip through fashion magazines and bemoan the fact

that you don’t look like the models. Instead, look at the

various fashion elements to determine what will and won’t

work for you. Are printed scarves all the rage this year?

Grab a few and be trendy. Are mini skirts the style of

choice? Pass and bank your money.

See how easy this is?

“A woman has the age she deserves,” Coco Chanel once said.

You don’t have to go under cover and dress “like a little

old lady” just because that’s what your mother or

grandmother did. You’re your own person.

If you remember to dress in clean lines and classic styles

and cover appropriately, you can still be fashionable – AND

draw long, lingering glances from handsome men — whatever

your age. And if THAT doesn’t make you feel like a

blushing girl again, then honey, nothing I can say will!

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