What’s your style after 48?
I was turning 50 and had dropped 44 pounds. I needed new clothes, but I never really had a “style” fashion wise. Not that I didn’t try. After reading books on French Style, Fashion over Fifty, How to Reinvent Yourself to the World, and whatever other blogs I could get a hold of, I took a serious look at myself and my pathetic closet. What was I thinking when I bought that top you can’t wear a bra with, or that skirt with the weird “modern” pockets? Or the bolero style jacket from the giant Jrs. Store? (its name should be a warning, not an invitation, who wants to be 21 Forever anyway?) After purging my closet of anything that wasn’t in perfect condition (I did keep clothes for dog walking and the gym), it was time to go hunting. BTW, jean shopping is not for amatuers. Turning 50 and dropping 40 plus pounds was what I needed to shake me out of my fashion Grand Canyon.
I tried an different shapes, lengths, colors (no matter what the trend setters claim, yellow isn’t for everyone, and pencil pants are only proportioned for women who are giraffes.) It was discouraging. I would see chic women wearing these amazing artsy jackets, these sweet handmade shoes, the wide legged pants that hit the shin. I put them on and I look like i scrounged my mother’s closet. I tried every trend on and it just didn’ t work. I spent hours watching What Not to Wear. I would have gladly worn my wardrobe mistakes to get on that show.
I look at the runway shows and go ohhh thats pretty!! But nothing makes me want to run out and get the newest fashions. I have discovered I have a fairly simple palate when it comes to clothes. Below are some links to what I like. Sure there are some variations, but mostly I am drawn to vintage styles that flatter, are fitted and are timeless. No new silhouettes for me, no trendy cuts, I am all about the old school shape, design, and form. Give me a sweater and tight jeans any day. Put me in a wiggle dress (check out http://www.bettiepageclothing.com/ and http://www.pinupgirlclothing.com/).
I love a classic blazer over a crisp white button down blouse or a pair of skinny cords (yes cords-thank you Loft).
My point is that sometimes vintage styles can be your best friend. Maybe the esthetic of the twenties or forties eras is for you, maybe they work amazingly well for your body type. Personally, I wish hats were still in. Hats would compete with shoes for may discretionary spending. So its time for you to take a good long close look at yourself and what you are wearing. Does the style flatter or did you buy it because it was on the mannequin? Are you trying to be one trend just because you feel you must to be modern and hip? Can you go into your closet and honestly say Yes, I love everything in it and could pack for a trip in an hour? If you get an invite to an event, will you have something to wear no matter what? From rodeo to black tie event?
It doesn’t take a huge wardrobe to have a great wardrobe. It’s okay to have the same dress style in different materials with different embellishments. It’s fine to wear things over again. Unless the dress is so far out there, most people won’t remember you wore it two years ago.
So starting today, pick one aspect of your wardrobe and brutally go through it. Take all your tops, try them on, and do one of the classic tricks- stuff what you haven’t worn in a bag in back of closet, if in six months you haven’t missed it, away it goes. Or do the turn the hanger backward trick. But this is the spring of our lives (thank you Japan) and to replant ourselves.
Next post will be all about the very basics every woman over 48 needs. In whatever style you love.
(these are some of my fashion inspirations…not to mention they are super fit women…
pretty much anything Mia or Katherine or Yvonne wear on the tv show Vegas…worth watching just for Mia’s dresses and Katherine’s pencil skirts, and Yvonne’s pant.