House of French

November 13, 2008

Dressing Your Age

Filed under: Building Your Perfect Wardrobe — xfrenchx @ 8:50 pm

No matter what age you are, there are always rules (or better, advisements) that you should follow. Not every type of clothing looks good on women of all ages, and knowing what works best for age group is very important. Wearing clothing out of your age range can lead you to look tacky or outdated. Below are the general guidelines that you should follow to make sure you are dressing appropriately for your age.

Brittany Snow, 22 and Anne Hathaway, 26

L-R: Brittany Snow, 22 and Anne Hathaway, 26

20’s:

– In your twenties, you are at a stage of experimentation with your personal style. You’re not likely to have or know one style that you prefer; there are probably many faces to your style. Be daring, be playful – you won’t have this advantage for long!

– You can pull off just about anything, (so long as it’s not matronly) from girly dresses with frills, to edgy, rocker chic looks.

– Try mixing it up! You can pull off those crazy, unexpected combinations, so go ahead and mix fabrics and textures, prints and varying lengths. Trying out different styles is the best way to gradually find your own, and you may expose yourself to a new shape or colour that really works for you.

– Show some leg! You only have about 15 years (give or take!) to do this, so take advantage of your time while you have it. This also generally applies to showing all kinds of skin, since as you age that becomes tacky, so be daring while you can.

– Shower yourself in jewelry! You can get away with the bold and funky styles of jewelry that are so in right now – again, as you get older you will no longer have this luxury, so enjoy it while it lasts.

**Girly Brittany Snow opts for a dash of bright orange in the season’s new, loose silhouette – but keeps the waistline trim. She may be prim and proper on the red carpet, but here Anne Hathaway shows us her edgier side by donning this ultra-trendy look of the full romantic blouse topped with a fitted vest.

Cameron Diaz, 36 and Christine Taylor, 37

L-R: Cameron Diaz, 36 and Christine Taylor, 37

30’s:

– You can wear anything with a little sophistication. Your tastes are growing, and you now are likely to realize how important luxury is. You know your body and what works for you, so you no longer need to experiment. You are at the age where you will want to invest in some high quality pieces that will last you many years.

– You should have a tailor you know and trust, for your more expensive pieces, and certain trends you like but do not fit your body well.

– Since you can still wear just about anything, don’t be afraid to try a few bold pieces every now and then.

– Be sexy! As you gain better knowledge of your body, you gain confidence. You now have the confidence to wear a high slit, or a low cut top.

– Start working all your mini’s out of your wardrobe. Women should not wear mini-skirts after the age of 35, as a general fashion rule. Mini-skirts are targeted at young teenagers and 20+ year olds, and can look silly on some women over that age. At this stage in your life, you should be mature enough to know that sexy at this age is less about showing skin, and more about being classy and womanly. It may be okay to wear mini’s so long as you wear stockings underneath (black ones of course – not nude skin coloured ones), but they should generally be avoided. Also try to avoid wearing those bright coloured stockings of the season – again those are targeted at a younger generation.

**Now before all you over-35 women start getting offended by this rule, I need to clear up just what is meant by a mini. When the mini-skirt was first introduced in the 1960’s, it was considered anything above the knee – which was very risque. Today, with all the freedom women have to wear what they want, fashionably speaking, a skirt that falls slightly above the knee is not so much a mini. If you want to wear a skirt an inch or so above your knee and you’re over 35, it can be acceptable. But anything too short is tacky, so try to stay as close to the knee as possible.

**Cameron Diaz does the mini just right – avoiding the extreme trend of mini’s, she opts for a tasteful version with sleeves (as to avoid showing too much skin). Christine Taylor vamps up a simple black sheath with the trendy, boxy jacket. The neutral palette keeps things looking chic.

Brooke Shields, 43 and Halle Berry, 42

L-R: Brooke Shields, 43 and Halle Berry, 42

40’s:

– You should now be more confident than ever in your own personal style.

– This is the time when you should invest in a few great designer duds, like a tailored suit or maybe just a pair of shoes or a jacket – you will wear anything designer for many many years.

– Avoid anything too girly, i.e. frills, bows, Barbie pinks; as well anything matronly auch as pastel seperates or shapeless clothing.

– Stay trendy but with class. Work in a few trendy pieces that can work for you, such as croc handbags, a chunky bracelet cuff, or the latest style of pump. Then you can mix these pieces with your classics, for a updated yet sophisticated look.

– If you’ve got the body, allow yourself to show a little skin – tastefully, that is – and wear fitted clothing.

– Black and white are key choices for you – they’re timeless and scream sophistication. Achromatic colour palettes also work well with the statement accessories that will define your style.

** Brooke Shields stays confident is a tasteful LBD, while adding punch with a bright yellow clutch. Halle Berry does sexy sophisticated in a white skirt suit. She keeps things trendy with an interesteing cut and fitted pencil skirt.

Christie Brinkley, 54 and Michelle Pfeiffer, 50

L-R: Christie Brinkley, 54 and Michelle Pfeiffer, 50

50’s:

– Now is the time to show the real you. Splurge on luxury statement pieces, explore beyond you basic classics and make an impact.

– Monochomatic outfits are ageless (especially when done with a suit) – they look strong and dramatic.

– Keep your casual clothes up-to-date. Look for outfits that layer well together. A cashmere sweater or two will be a long lasting favourite. Casual yoga pants are great, just make sure they’re not too tight.

– Look for new hues. As you age, your skin and hair colour change. Trying out new hues will help you find what works for you now.

– If you’re still in great shape, don’t be afraid to wear something sexy – as long as it’s still tasteful.

– Invest in a few great pair of designer jeans. They will make the most of your new body, and you will wear them over and over again. If you find one great pair, buy a couple in different washes. A great pair of jeans keeps you looking current, and can be dressed down or up. Avoid anything too trendy though (like skinnies), which will only make you look foolish. Sticking with a timeless style, like bootcut jeans will guarantee years of wear.

**Christie Brinkley defines cool-mom in a dark wash bootcut jean, pink top and fitted jacket. Michelle Pfeiffer proves that aging can be sexy, in a blue tiered dress that is semi-fitted, complete with neckline embellishment.

Goldie Hawn, 63 & Cheryl Tiegs, 61

L-R: Goldie Hawn, 63 & Cheryl Tiegs, 61

60’s:

– Your confidence is elegant and beautiful, so feel free to indulge in gorgeous designer pieces.

– Look for current styles and cuts, but avoid trends. Keeping your silhouette up-to-date stops you from looking old, but your classics should be your main focus.

– Indulge in wise pieces of luxury; fur trims, silk tops, or designer handbags are ageless choices.

– If you’re still in great shape, feel free to expose some leg – but keep the hemline below your knee to avoid looking tarty. If your arms are great, show ’em off, but only slightly – never go strapless and consider wraps over thin strap styles.

– Wearing lnog coats/jackets over shorter skirts and dresses help keep the look age appropriate, while giving you the freedom to be free and sexy.

**Goldie Hawn subdues her normally outrageous style with an achromatic palette of rich fabrics like silk. A pair of loose truosers keep the look sophisticated but trendy. Cheryl Tiegs keeps her sexy status well into her 60’s by pairing a gorgeous blue coat with a daring LBD.

**Remember that feeling beautiful relies on following your personal style, along with general guidelines for age appropriate choices. Ultimately, you know (or should be learning about) what works for your body and features, and you should never comprimise your tastes. Check out my features on personal style, dressing your body type and the classics, for more helpful information on finding the right clothing choices for you.

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