Fabulous Forties…or at least that is what they should be! You have every right to look and feel fabulous! The last thing that you want to be is caught between teen and old lady in look and style. And there is no reason to be. Just because you are 40 doesn’t mean you are over the hill when it comes to trying new trends and nor does it mean that fashion is no longer geared toward you. It’s all in how you do it.
That means it’s time to stay away from the super fussy like lots of ruffles and bows, the too girlie such as eyelet tops, baby prints, and especially the matronly like shapeless suit pieces, tops and pastel separates. Forties are tricky because you are in the parenthesis of youth and mature. If you are not carefully you can be wearing clothing that looks too young, which ages you, and you can go the exact opposite spectrum by dressing matronly and looking older than you are. Forties is all about balance.
Keep the Edge to Your Fashion.
Speaking of balance, this can be achieved by selecting classic pieces and balancing them with edgy and trendy accessories such as a great tailored gray pant suit pair with metallic peep toes, oversized clutch and wide belt. Or wear edgy outfit such as a bold graphic print dress but pair it with classic pumps, simple solid purse and simple jewels.
Embrace Your Dark Side.
In fashion that is. It’s time to look at a darker wash of jeans and forget the acid wear or faded areas. Dark wash or true blue shades are your friends as they are extremely flattering and favor most figures. Avoid pastels or colors that blend into your skin tone. Look for bold jewel tones or darker shades, think rich. Don’t be afraid to mix and match color either. It’s about choosing coordinating colors rather than matching colors. Teal does go with navy and magenta. Blue does blend well with yellow. Color combos you may want to avoid unless they are in a print with other colors are pumpkin orange and black…opt for coral, black and yellow…try gray and yellow or gold and black, or bright red and dark green…pick a kelly green and pair it with a rich deep pink or navy and rich jewel red.
If you have not already done this, go into your closet and separate suit sets. Put the jackets on one side and the pants and skirts on another. Matching can look old, not classic, unless it is done with care. That doesn’t mean you can’t wear an awesome fitted pant suit but that shouldn’t be the rule of thumb. To pull off a matching suit, pair it with bright and rich prints or colors, add a wide belt, or other element that breaks up the monotone wall of suit.
Speaking of matching, shoes and handbags should be different or you run the risk of looking too much like an oldie. Instead try pairing a fun print purse with a solid shoe in one of the colors in the print or vice versa. Mix your neutrals – black, brown, navy and metallic all go well together. And don’t be afraid to mix black with black, whatever the shade. And mixing patterns can be an awesome way to add color and freshness to a look – just make sure they have the same color palette. Also, make sure you don’t mix animal prints…no leopard and zebra in the same outfit…one print per outfit.
Time To Tone.
Okay, so not a wardrobe tip from a buying clothing standpoint but seriously, whether it’s going to the gym to tone up your arms or grabbing a great pair of Spanx or the Genie Bra, looking like you are tone is important, regardless of your size. Sagging or rolls even on a size 2 isn’t flattering. In all honestly, sagging anything can make for a drastic rise in age factor. Good bras with lift and support, shape wear to keep muffin tops and jelly thighs under control and a great workout routine of at least 30 minutes that includes cardio and strength training will go a long way to keep you looking hot and fashion forward.
I know I have said fit is important before but, now more than ever. If the fit doesn’t accentuate your body right, trust me it ain’t gonna impress anybody. If you have something that’s too tight or too loose or too short or too low or puckering at the seams, you are likely to look a little frumpy and disheveled. If it doesn’t flatter, walk away. Look pieces that are structure and will help define your shape and use fashion to accentuate your best elements.
Skin or No Skin…Both.
That doesn’t mean you can’t show a little skin but do it appropriately. Skirts should be at the middle of your knee. Shorts should come to the bottom of your fingertips. And sleeves should cover your upper arms if they aren’t toned so your turkey neck does flap visibly if you have one. It’s the same concept of if you want attention somewhere, add bling or detail there. If you don’t, then don’t. So ask yourself, do I really want people to see my midriff or muffin top. If the answer is no, then don’t show it. Because if it’s exposed, people’s eyes are just going to go there naturally. Now, if you happen to have smoking hot arms and biceps like Sarah Jessica Parker or curves like Halle Barry, show them off with well structure, properly fitted clothing that reflect the state of your body.
By now most people have a personal sense of style. Jennifer Aniston is one who exemplifies the look of minimalist, which is actually a really hard fashion style to do well. But she is often found in simple, frill-less outfits that are defined more by shape and structure rather than bling. You will rarely, if ever, see her sport a full on glamorous old school Hollywood starlet look.
Halle Barry on the other hand has embraced a more modernized glamorous Hollywood starlet approach to fashion. Dresses with detail in shape, drape and bling are staples. Interesting cuts and details can be found in everything she wears. When it comes to fashion, it’s rare that you would see her in t-shirts and jeans. And when you do, there is a unique drape, rouching, or other detail to them. Neither woman is trying to be something they are not. Rather they are embracing their style and defining themselves and their personality with it. At 40, I encourage you to do the same. Embrace who you are, your life style and flaunt it through your fashion.
Not sure what your fashion style is? Look up actresses and start seeing who you gravitate towards as something you say…”Oh, I’d wear that.” That is generally and most likely your style.
Also, you can play around like I have been on www.polyvore.com and try different styles and looks. Do you gravitate to a certain look or shape? Are you more attracted to sparkle or cut? These will help you define your preferred style.