Saturday, May 26, 2012

You Are Not Alone

One of the best things about turning fifty-five was finding the confidence to dress to please me again. My earlier corporate lifestyle wardrobe was influenced by my peers, meetings and the fashion industry I worked in until my early forties. Later in life experiences and being self-employed took its toll on my appearance. I had gained weight and lost social skills from spending many years working almost around the clock and being alone most of the time. I had become a sloppy dresser who tried to hide all the things I didn't like about my new body. While I knew a great deal about my industry, I had lost all touch with fashion trends and even what was right for my now not so great body. Many women have a similar experience when their children become adults and go out on their own. You've spent so many years devoted to them, you may have lost your "self" in the process. If you are also newly single during this time the journey becomes even more confusing and overwhelming. You are not alone! You will survive this and you will be stronger. 

Being able to get dressed without added stress might not seem very important at this time in your life but I know from experience it is. As someone who has stood in her closet in tears and exhausted from trying on clothes for a special event only to become more frustrated with every discarded piece, I can tell you it makes the difference in showing up and participating in life or staying home and eating ice cream alone.

Today's anything goes fashion trends don't even work for some young toned bodies so they aren't likely to flatter those of us who have had our fiftieth birthday party either.

Some of the hot trends we might not want to try are stacked platform high-heeled shoes with ankle bands. Honestly, I can't think of any reason for anyone to consider these but here is an extreme example for you. High skinny heels tend to make our calves look even thicker. Walking in high heels isn't easy. If you must wear them, be confident in your stride and wear cushioned insoles to help with the pain. When your feet hurt...everyone can tell at a glance.

Another trend that isn't right for most of us is the tiny top with skinny or no straps. Anything that shows too much of our upper arms and waistline may not be a good look for us. Tops are very important to your total look. Spend most of your clothing budget on nice blouses, jackets and lightweight cardigans worn open with a great fitting tank top to reveal only part of your body. I love the variety that comes from owning pieces that work together to create many looks rather than dresses. Prints and patterns are very limiting and memorable. Try solids in colors that flatter your skin tone and can be worn together.

Accessories will allow you to dress up or down that great white shirt and black pants for any occasion  in life. You really don't need to spend a lot of money on a lot of clothes.

Great for evenings!

Out to Lunch!

Strictly Business

Hear me Roar!

Be strong! Be beautiful! 

Be your best you everyday!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Fashion tips for us!

If you are on the plus side of fifty you may feel a little overwhelmed when it comes to making new choices for your wardrobe. Many of the fashion news articles and store displays seem to be geared to the twenty somethings. Those styles may not be appropriate or comfortable for our bodies so we must make adjustments to create a style that is flattering and comfortable but keeps our look current. It's also a plus if we can use what we already have in our closet and update it with a few key fashion pieces.

I've named the photo set below "Street Style" because it represents my formula for getting dressed for daytime. Layers allow you to be prepared for cooler restaurant temps, a sudden Spring rain or a ride in a convertible. Push up the sleeves of a light weight cardigan in a color that is flattering for your skin tone and wear a body skimming tee underneath. This gives you a flattering deep V neck and pushing up your sleeves to show forearm always adds height and takes away pounds visually. Layering in light weight fabrics allows you to feel confident that you aren't showcasing those extra pounds around the middle that we find so very difficult to get rid of. 

I often wear a hat in summer for several reasons. My hair is not as full and thick as it once was but I also like covering my hair when it is likely going to be stuck to my head with perspiration. (Never a good look!) Some rules will always apply when wearing a hat. Your other accessories need to be less in number and scale when you wear a hat. I like to add a small clutch to my tote bag so that I am not carrying a big bag and wearing a hat at the same time but I still have all the things I need for a day in the country or shopping in a nearby village. The brim of your hat should never exceed the width of your shoulders. I like to add a flowing sheer scarf over the band to relate to another color I'm wearing. If the weather becomes too warm later in the day I can take off the cardigan and drape the scarf across my shoulders. Try on several styles of hats to find the one that is flattering to your face shape. Remember round plus round is never good when it comes to faces and accessories.

Sunglasses in shapes that flatter your face and protect your eyes are a wise investment for anyone. I have several styles and always make sure I have the correct sunglasses and shade of lip gloss before I leave for the day. Lip gloss or lip color of any type should blend with the color of your top. Image a beautiful red blouse with a lip color in the orange tones. (Clash!) I like to wear earrings and bangles in my accent color in hot summer weather. A necklace, earrings, sunglasses and a hat all at once are way too much going on in a small area.

Platform sandals are much more flattering with cropped pants or walking shorts because they visually add length to your lower leg to balance out the fact that cropped pants shorten the length of your leg.  A nude color leather with accents such as jute, straw or cork are great summer neutrals with white or khaki pants. 

I hope you have a happy, healthy, fashionable summer!