There are style secrets that some women just seem to know. Some women embrace their lives and always look fabulous in their clothes. Age is just a number, and they wear it confidently. The truth is, there are no secrets, just a few basic guidelines to remember about evolving your style. Making the right clothing choices prevents you from looking older than you are. These simple rules will help you enhance your silhouette, add sophistication, and still create a look that is uniquely you.


Wear jeans for your shape

A great pair of jeans compliments your body shape and helps you feel beautiful and confident. Jeans should be comfortable, yes. But, they should also accentuate your body shape and flatter your curves. Straight leg and skinny jeans are great choices for tall or thin figures. Pear shape and petite body types are well suited for curvy fit jeans, while bootcut and flare cut are the best choices for hourglass shapes. High-rise jeans are ideal for women desiring support in the stomach area, and boyfriend and mom jeans are great for apple shapes, and women who prefer a looser fit in the hips and thighs. Don't be afraid to pick a pair of jeans with a few rips or patches and give your wardrobe a trendy update.

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Choose fashionable, leg-enhancing shoes

The right shoe can make your legs look longer and slimmer. Some women opt for comfort over style as they get older. But the wide range of styles available makes it easier to find both. Shoes with cutouts and open toes are fashionable and add some youthful flair to an outfit. Avoid horizontal ankle straps and chunky heels that make your legs look shorter. If you can’t wear heels, try a classy wedge. Choose knee boots that elongate your legs rather than ankle boots that diminish leg length. As for shoe color, nude shades enhance the slender illusion.

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Let go of your past

It’s easy to get in a clothing rut. The problem arises when you don’t realize you’re in one. If you ask stylists their views on the most common mistake women make with their individual style, they’ll tell you that some of us tend to hang on to a look from a previous decade. But just because you looked great in that oversized baggy outfit and branded gear from the 1990s doesn’t mean it makes sense now. Avoid clothing that is too tight, too baggy, or has a print that is blatantly decade-related. Throw out those hippie skirts and distressed denim jeans.

previous decade branded clothing Eva-Katalin / Getty Images

Wear statement shoes

You can transform the most basic outfit with a great pair of statement shoes. Replace round-toe ballerina flats with a pointed-toe version. A leopard print or bold color will add stylish flair to simple jeans and a t-shirt. Wear sneakers with skirts and dresses. Pick a low top, flat sole shoe, like Vans and Converse, for comfort and effortless style. Ankle booties pair nicely with frayed hem jeans and with dresses. Take a walk on the wild side and opt for a snakeskin print, some zippers or buckles, or an open-toed pair. For business, church, and date night attire, replace wedge heel dress shoes with a modern block or kitten heel style. For those days when you need something to slip on quick, replace sandals and slip-ons with athletic slides.

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Stop going back to black

Black is classic. Black is slimming. And, yes, black is always fashionable. But wearing it, head-to-toe can make you look older than you are. The color black, especially when worn near the face, enhances lines under the chin and shadows around the eyes, say color consultants. It flattens your skin tone and accentuates dark patches that occur naturally in older skin. Wear black, but avoid high collars. Elevate your favorite monochromatic outfit with bright colors. Try a jewel-toned jacket, or if you prefer quieter colors, choose one with an interesting texture, like tweed.

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Avoid those enticing trends

Fashion shows, red carpets, and catwalks inspire much of the clothing women buy. Every season, there is a new aesthetic that seems to take over. Be picky when it comes to choosing trendier items and wear them sparingly. Instead, choose tailored clothing with timeless, classic styles in quality fabrics. Most fashion trends look good only on specific body types, and they don’t last. Clothing is an investment. If it’s not flattering and doesn’t make you feel confident when you put it on, don’t waste your money on it, no matter how popular the trend is on Instagram at the moment.

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Choose the right layers

Layers are trendy and functional. Layers help transition your outfit from day to evening and provide extra warmth as the weather changes. Put too many wrong pieces together though, and you create frumpy volume that makes you look older and less shapely. Pair tunic-length tops with skinny jeans or leggings and add a boxy jacket for a slimming, well-dressed look that's comfortable. Wear a long sweater, long sweater vest, or kimono over a fitted dress. Pair a trendy faux fur vest with a thinner, lightweight sweater to avoid mixing bulky fabrics. When wearing fuller skirts, avoid long tops or tops that have peplum bottoms as these create extra fluff in the midsection, which none of us need. Instead, pair long or full skirts with slim-fitting blouses or tops and add a belt to draw attention to the waist and elongate the body.

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Make sure the clothing fits

Women who try to hide their body shape by wearing shapeless clothes tend to look older instead of slimmer. Waist-nipping dresses enhance your silhouette. Skinny jeans add length to your body and adapt to just about any occasion if you find the right style. Clothes that fit well aren’t necessarily tight and should never be uncomfortable. They can accentuate your favorite features and draw attention away from those you aren’t crazy about.

clothing fit waist woman NeonShot / Getty Images

Purchase Timeless Styles

Wearing outdated styles can be a big giveaway to your age. So can trying too hard to wear all the latest fashion trends. Keep your look forever young by choosing timeless pieces that are always modern and chic. Rips and patches may add flair, but a pair of classic fitted jeans in a dark wash can be worn with a t-shirt for a casual look, and a fitted blazer for a polished, professional look. A solid black pencil skirt can be worn with a fitted tank top and accessorized with a trendy patterned or colored cardigan sweater. Instead of tapestry, gingham, and paisley, opt for leopard, small dot, and small floral prints. A white button-up fitted shirt is a closet staple that can be worn with jeans, trousers, or skirts, and layered under sweaters.

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Adapt your skirt length

Hemlines can be confusing. The general rule is, with casual or daywear, the longer the skirt, the frumpier you look, especially as you get older. Most women look best with lengths that are either slightly above the knee, slightly below, or in the middle. Your hemline should land at the slimmest part of these three points. Remember, some fabrics, such as rayon, cause a skirt to decrease in length once you put it on. While some hem lengths age you, shorter, tighter skirts don’t flatter most women’s body shapes either.

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Step away from jersey

It’s comfortable and looks beautiful on a hanger, yet it can add years to your appearance. Jersey material only works if it is draped or ruched. Clingy doesn’t usually indicate that a garment is well-fitted, and jersey fabric draws attention to every part of your torso. Clothing should skim your curves, not latch on to them and announce their arrival. Try double-knitted jersey instead if you like the stretch and comfort. It’s easier to find tailored options that create a more attractive silhouette.

jersey material fabric clingy Chris_Tefme / Getty Images

Accentuate your best parts

Many women feel that once they reach a certain age, it’s time to cover up instead of showing off their assets. Hiding your body from head to toe under layers of clothing adds years to your appearance. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of cleavage. But if you tend to be a bit more conservative, don’t be afraid to show off your neck, arms, shoulders, or legs. Choose great-quality, beautiful clothing that enhances the body parts you’re most proud of.

best parts arms shoulders LumiNola / Getty Images

Toss out that old, comfy bra

Breasts change with age. They lose firmness and shrink in size. Most women think if they wore a 36B in their 20s, they still wear the same size in their 40s. According to statistics, 80% of women wear the wrong bra size. It’s not the size, but the fit that matters. And as most women know, size and fit aren’t always standard from one store to the next. Some women resort to wearing an old bra because it’s comfortable. The problem is, it probably doesn’t provide the necessary support. No matter how stylish your ensemble is, the wrong bra can ruin the overall aesthetic. Try buying a bra from a boutique with professionals who can properly measure you for the right fit.

support measure professional bra izusek / Getty Images

Make a statement with your jewelry

Just like your shoes, your jewelry can make or break your outfit. Matching earring, necklace, and bracelet sets are a thing of the past. Pick one primary piece and add visual interest by pairing with other smaller pieces. Mix metals by layering bangle bracelets or necklaces of different lengths. Make sure the length and style of your necklace is appropriate for your neckline. V-neck looks best with a v-shaped necklace. Short or choker style necklaces work well with lowcut and strapless dresses, as they draw the eyes upward to your face. Longer necklaces are a great accent for round neck tops. When wearing cold-shoulder tops, accent your look with dangle or hoop earrings. Avoid adding bulk to your top area when wearing larger prints. Make your jewelry statement with bracelets, rings, or earrings.

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Adapt your clothing colors

Just because you love a color doesn’t mean it looks good on you. As we age, skin colors tend to cool. Light colors don’t always look as attractive as dark ones on most women. Pastels are usually too similar to women’s skin colors as they age. Wearing these lighter colors tends to give a washed-out appearance. Turquoise adds glow, and a medium-red violet or toned-down fuschia creates a more youthful look. Women who have a touch of purple or violet in their hair color should try a periwinkle color, which works well with all skin tones.

colors youthful turquoise woman Eva-Katalin / Getty Images


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