As women age, redefining and reimagining their style can be a deeply personal journey. Favorite clothing items may not fit the same way anymore, and certain styles might start to sit differently.
Considerable spoke with a few professional stylists to find out how to take care of both your body and your attitude as you find your new and improved look.
“Finding your fit is always a challenge no matter your age,” Megan Moran, owner and wardrobe stylist at The Style Foundry told Considerable. “This is nothing to be discouraged by! It’s simply part of your evolving style.”
The stylist, event planner, and motivational speaker Catherine Bachelier told Considerable the main thing to remember is that when it comes to fashion, age really is nothing but a number: “Don’t buy into the stories around what you can or cannot wear at any particular age. When it comes to looking and feeling good, YOU make the rules.”
Bachelier is often asked things like, “Is there such a thing as ‘trying too hard?’” And, “If I wear jeans and a T-shirt, do I look like a teenager?” To which she responds: “The difference between teens or 20-year-olds and older women, I’ve noticed, is that with fashion, older women know themselves more.
“Older women can make a generic jeans and T-shirt look and feel more representative of themselves. That is, she pairs it with the great jacket she bought on a trip to India. Or she marries it with the scarf from Mexico City that her friend brought her. Or even, she jazzes it up with the earrings her mother gifted [her] for [her] 55th birthday. The basic jeans and tee-shirt is a basic at any age. It’s timeless.”
Forty-year-old style blogger Ann Adams offered similar advice to keep in mind when you’re shopping.
“A common misconception is that you need to start dressing more conservatively as you get older and that style trends are only for the young,” Adams told Considerable. “I say wear whatever makes you feel like your own authentic self. I want women to spend more time developing their own personal style and less time asking themselves what others will think of their style choices.”
For those looking for direct advice to take, Elizabeth Kosich, a New York-based image stylist, offers these five actionable wardrobe tips to her older clients:
Wear more knits
“Knits are breathable, less restrictive and have more drape, all of which make for a more flattering silhouette. Knitwear is a forgiving fabric, too, which accommodates fluctuating waistlines,” Kosich told Considerable.
Wear matte fabrics
“Shiny fabrics (satin, sequins, bright silks, etc.) [tend to] bring out imperfections in the face and body, so are less flattering fabrics as we age. Instead, stick with matte fabrics that tend to soften the overall appearance.”
Consider adding layers
“Adding layers is one way to maintain your personal style yet age with grace. If your style is body con dresses, for example, add long sweaters over them to help camouflage and soften the line.”
“Since we tend to gain weight as we age, tricks like wearing vertical stripes, vertical pleats, asymmetrical hemlines, and princess seams lengthen the silhouette and so are more flattering.”
“As we age, creating a waist becomes more important. Adding a belt, peplum details or changing to an empire waistline is the best way to flatter the silhouette,” Kosich recommends.
Whatever choices you make, what’s important to remember is that they’re your choices.
“Determining your style does not have to be an overwhelming feat,” Moran said. “It’s really a matter of noticing what colors, patterns, and textures you gravitate towards combined with the message you want to send and your personality.”