Dressing when you are over 50 does not mean giving up your personal style. Women and men of all ages should be encouraged to dress in a way that makes them feel confident. However, for many people, turning 50 brings some changes in body shape and appearance that may make buying clothes feel challenging, especially when society encourages us to maintain a youthful appearance. You may be afraid of choosing clothes that make you look older than you are, but some styles that may seem youthful can accentuate your age. We encourage everyone to embrace their age, but we also understand the desire to maintain a youthful appearance.
If you're old enough to have worn ripped-up mom jeans the first time they were in style, you're too old to be wearing them this time around. Forego the holey, super high-waisted, acid-washed jeans in favor of a more conservative, classic look. Everything you wore in high school will come back in style eventually, but you don't want to look like you've been wearing the same clothes all along.
Candy-colored locks are a fun way to add bright flair to your personal style. If you are not ready to give in to nature’s gray, the right hair color can look fresh, healthy, and even youthful. However, much like with natural hair colors, a bright hue can look unflattering if it doesn't work with your skin tone. Work with your hairstylist to determine the right color for you.
Wireframe and frameless glasses tend to add years to the face. Thick, bold frames in a dark color result in a cutting edge, more youthful appearance. Black frames are considered the "little black dress" of eyewear that pair well with any outfit. However, acetate frames come in a variety of styles and colors, making it easy to select frames that accentuate your features and fit your style.
Makeup is a great tool for personal expression. Some prefer bold, theatrical makeup and consider makeup as an art form. However, if what you want out of your makeup is to enhance your facial features and reduce the signs of aging, minimal makeup is usually best. Too much makeup can make wrinkles and pores seem more prominent. A light application of liquid foundation and natural-looking neutral lip color creates a more youthful appearance.
Suits and sneakers don't mix once you get past a certain age, and neither do skirts and athletic shoes. Have you ever seen those women downtown, briskly walking in skirts and tennis shoes on their lunch break? Unless you're under 30 and doing a power walk around an office building with your arms swinging in an exaggerated motion, wearing a skirt or dress with tennis shoes can make you look like a bag lady. The only thing missing is a shopping cart loaded down with all of your worldly possessions.
A tasteful open neckline or V-neck top is attractive and works for many women, but necklines that expose deep cleavage do not do much for mature women. The societal standard for revealing clothing dictates that older women should show as little skin as possible because skin showing signs of aging should be concealed. If you feel confident in your skin, however, wear a deep V with pride — go for bust and ignore this rather dated rule.
Jewelry, like makeup, is designed to enhance the overall look, not detract from it. Excessive bling can appear tacky. A chunky and eye-catching necklace may bring unwanted attention to an aging neck or a chest with wrinkled skin. A few good quality but not necessarily expensive pieces look attractive, classy, and can add finesse to an outfit.
A mini skirt or dress and a nice pair of legs go together like bread and butter, but after fifty, it might be a good idea to re-evaluate hemline length. Women can wear dresses and skirts that they feel comfortable in, but a short hemline doesn't necessarily give a more youthful look.
When you're over 50, there's no such thing as being overdressed. Gone are the days when you could show up somewhere in pajamas or sweats and be considered "cool." Yoga pants aren't very forgiving, and by the way, leggings are not pants!
Much like mini skirts, leggings and tight clothes may seem like they offer a younger appearance because they tend to be worn by younger people. However, tight clothes should not be chosen over well-fitting clothes. Choosing cuts that match your style but still feel comfortable can enhance your natural figure and make you feel good in your own skin.
Some looser-fitting styles can look trendy and chic, but baggy clothes can look ill-fitting and sloppy. Many people wear baggy clothes because they don't feel confident and want to hide their bodies. However, embracing your body type and learning to dress for it will enhance your best features and can offer a slimming appearance. There are many guides online offering tips on how to choose clothing for your body type.
When you're over 50, your cheeks lose their rosiness, and wearing pale pastel colors can wash you out even more. There's a reason pastel colors have names like baby pink and baby blue — those colors look good on babies. Mature adults should stick with black, tans, or bright, vivid colors instead of a more vibrant, youthful look.
Decades-old clothing can appear frumpy. Sometimes individuals become stuck in a clothing time warp, falling in love with a particular look or style. Pieces like classic blazers are timeless, but that 10-year old floral blouse or Hawaiian print shirt in your closet probably looks way out-of-date.
Old shoes may be comfortable and suitable for lounging around the house, but they detract from nice clothes. Scuffed shoes, frayed laces, nicked heels, and worn soles can ruin a perfectly good look. Sometimes all it takes is a little shoe polish and heel dressing to breathe life into a pair of shoes that have been around for a while. However, when shoes can’t be made to look better, it’s time to toss them for a better-looking pair.
None of these prohibitions are set in stone, so if you're young at heart, let it show in your wardrobe! Fashion rules were made to be broken, so wear whatever you feel comfortable with. You just might be able to pull off a look that nobody else your age can. Age is just a number after all.
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