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Recently I was hired by a 50 something psychologist to help her update and develop a work and age appropriate wardrobe.
Her biggest concern was that her patients were getting younger, while she was getting older and she wanted some advice and tips to come across as professional yet current, vibrant and youthful. But at the same time she didn’t want to be seen as “mutton dressed as lamb”.
There comes a time in every woman’s life when she questions what type of clothing is age appropriate and what type to steer clear of. This is a tough one because there is no simple solution or formula as everyone is unique and one size doesn’t fit all.
When I met ‘Dr. Lisa’ for her first appointment, she showed up dressed in very ‘sensible’ shoes and clothing. She favours cardigans as they provide a layer of warmth and are easy to wear.
However baggy cardigans did nothing for her other than hide her shape and contributed to her being perceived as dowdy. The solution was to invest in updated clothing that skimmed her body contours rather than hugging it too tightly. We replaced her baggy cardigans with chic shorter shrugs and her "sensible" shoes with comfortable non-stiletto pumps. Of course, a hair and make-up update were on the agenda too.
One could argue that as long as a woman works out and maintains a strong and fit body that she can wear anything. Well that may be true but within reason. I know of a hair stylist in her late 40’s who works out with a personal trainer and has the physique of a 25 year old. But she favours fashions that her teenage daughter would wear and unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work – it just makes her look harsh -- like she’s trying too hard to preserve her youth.
“Mutton dressed as lamb” is anything worn too tight, too short, or too girly. Add to that list, too much make-up or excessive and cheap costume jewelry. A woman may still have great legs but they may no longer be evenly pigmented so my advice is good options are wearing hosiery, slightly longer skirts or pants.
A wardrobe update should make you look better and current without feeling like you're trying too hard. This season’s bare midriff look may have to be relegated to the beach rather than out for dinner. The sleeveless clothing may need to be teamed with a shrug or a ‘sleevey wonder’. (Check out a wonderful triceps camouflage www.sleeveywonders.com)
If you don’t see anyone your age range shopping in the boutiques you’re accustomed to shopping at, that may be a sign than you need to find another boutique.