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Fashion Tips for Mature Women

By: Hsin-Yi Cohen BSc, MA, MSt - Updated: 21 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Fashion Tips Mature Women Older Women

Everyone may be saying that 50 is the new 30 but when it comes to fashion and keeping up with trends, things can still be a struggle for the mature woman. It might be claimed that fashion is ageless but that’s no help when you are having to search through racks of clothing designed for much younger women or even teenagers! Even fashion magazines often seem to ignore women over a certain age, with many using models in their 20’s to present clothes that are supposedly for women in middle age.

But don’t despair – with a few tips and suggestions to guide you, you can still find fresh, modern clothes that are on trend and also fit your figure, budget and lifestyle.

Don’t get stuck in a time warp

Keep reviewing your style. Yes, every woman should have her personal style but this style should also keep evolving as she matures and her body (and maybe even lifestyle) changes. It’s true that in fashion, what goes around comes around – and many of the so-called “new trends” we’re seeing now may be things you wore in your youth, when it was fashionable then. However, just because you looked good in a certain type of outfit 40 years ago does not mean that it will still work now – even if this type of outfit is considered “fashionable” again. Remember, your body and the way you present yourself will have changed in the last few decades so take that into account.

Don’t make the mistake many younger women make which is to think that to dress sexy means you have to bare a lot of flesh. Aim for sensual rather than sexy, sophisticated rather than sassy. Suggestion is much sexier than outright display and briefly revealing one body part while leaving the rest to imagination can do more for your seductive powers than wearing open, provocative clothing. You can also still show your sensual side through the use of luxe fabrics, such as silk, cashmere and leather, and through the use of rich colours, such as deep plums and chocolates, metallic shimmers and textured blacks.

Don’t forget the small details

These can often be the things that are most ageing. For example, a zipper is much more youthful than gold buttons. In general, go for minimalist chic rather than overdone, fussy details such as gold trim. While it is good to embrace colour, don’t be afraid to wear an all-black outfit either. If done right, this can look incredibly chic and elegant, as well as modern and on trend. The key is to mix textures when wearing a single solid dark colour – so perhaps leather with satin, wool with silk, lace with linen. Don’t be afraid of wearing smart trousers instead of a skirt – especially in a suit. This can often be a more youthful look than a skirt suit.

Spend time on your accessories

Accessories can make the whole difference to your image. Choose your handbag carefully – it is often the single biggest ageing item a woman carries. Don’t be too conservative – have some fun in your choice; try different colours, materials and shapes. Be prepared to try a few different kinds to determine the best one in proportion to your size. Consider your jewellery carefully. Don’t wear too much – that is a very ageing look, in particular if you wear too much gold. Don’t be afraid to experiment with costume jewellery – these don’t have to look “cheap” – many well-designed brands these days are just as prestigious as the real thing. Also think about wearing your jewellery in different ways – for example, wearing pearls as a belt – this will give your look a fresh, young edge.

What to Avoid

In general, it is best to avoid “girlie”, fussy prints like tiny florals and also anything that is too frilly or “romantic”. By the same token, don’t go too “bohemian” otherwise you might look like a hippy stuck in time! It’s fine to wear short skirts if you have good legs but a micro-mini skirt is probably not a good idea. Choosing a skirt which stops just above or at the knee is usually the most flattering if you have good legs to show off.

'Classic' is always

“Classic” is definitely always in fashion – so choose classic shapes when selecting clothing: things like trench coats and shirt dresses. Also go for classic patterns, such as argyles, stripes and houndstooth check. Finally, don’t forget your grooming! Like with jewellery, avoid the temptation to heap on the make-up. Wearing strong nails, lips, eye shadow and blusher all together can be very ageing. And definitely no helmet hair! Don’t think ponytails are only for teenagers – a sleek ponytail can look very smart and chic on a middle-age woman as well.

Keep up to date on fashion news and trends. A good source of this is the many TV programmes and reality TV shows devoted to fashion and makeovers. Don’t be afraid to seek the advice or opinions of your younger friends or relatives. If you can afford it, having a professional consultation with a stylist may also be very useful and will help you make the most of your budget.

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