Ap­pre­ci­at­ing style at any age

Paula Style - - Advice -

Dress­ing well has be­come less age-sen­si­tive and more ef­fort­less, while beauty prac­tices (thanks to re­search) have de­vel­oped far be­yond the ba­sic. Style is more about how you wear clothes than what you wear. It’s also not just about age-ap­pro­pri­ate dress­ing, but about style-ap­pro­pri­ate dress­ing, too. To­day, clothes are age­less. Women of­ten share pieces from their wardrobes with their daugh­ters, per­son­al­is­ing the items with ac­ces­sories to cre­ate the dif­fer­ence. Youth­ful ir­rev­er­ence can make even the mun­dane or the primly con­ser­va­tive look edgy. Women of any age can pull off at­ten­tion-grab­bing looks easily, merely by se­lect­ing one piece as a fo­cal point (say a shirt) then team­ing it with other more re­served items. Great style though, does mean ex­er­cis­ing re­straint when nec­es­sary. For ex­am­ple, short skirts (6cm or more above the knee with­out opaques) look in­ap­pro­pri­ate on a woman over 55 even if she does have great legs. The other styles gen­er­ally only suited to the younger set are fig­ure-hug­ging satin gowns or ex­cess cleav­age un­less, that is, you hap­pen to be Iman or Sophia Loren. Dress­ing age-ap­pro­pri­ately is about hav­ing con­fi­dence as much as feel­ing com­fort­able in your fash­ion choices. It also helps if you love clothes and view dress­ing as a plea­sure – that’s when it re­ally shows. 1. For less cor­po­rate days, wear a tai­lored black pant suit with white sneak­ers and a white T or sin­glet.


If you’re wear­ing an off-the-shoul­der or sleeve­less top or boob tube, and show­ing a lit­tle skin, keep jew­ellery pieces sim­ple – mod­ern and sculp­tural rather than dated or or­di­nary.


When in doubt, tai­lored pieces al­ways work, even in the evening. A tux or tai­lored satin or vel­vet jacket will never fail, even if other women in the room are flam­boy­antly turned out.


A vintage piece teamed with a mod­ern out­fit will give you added style. Con­sider wear­ing a denim jacket with a vintage shirt or a white Ed­war­dian lace blouse with black jeans or leather pants.


If you have a spe­cial fea­ture like great legs, shoul­ders, arms or neck, then why not work your cloth­ing choices to fea­ture that as­set? Women with a beau­ti­ful square shoul­der line, for in­stance, look great in off-the-shoul­der tops. Women with great legs should wear skirts and fem­i­nine shoes, and so on.


Never un­der­value the en­dur­ing style of fash­ion icons – like cash­mere sweaters, trench coats, rid­ing boots, polo jeans, tank watches and white shirts. They’re the items you’ll al­ways turn to when in doubt. Clas­sic pieces worn with a trend item are safe and stress-free.


If your mir­ror says you look bor­ing it’s usu­ally be­cause you need ei­ther a splash of colour, a great belt, an ac­ces­sory at your neck or more tex­ture in your hair.


For women who don’t do jew­ellery, con­sider adding a great or fun watch, a stylish scarf or a throw.


Un­der­stand that cer­tain items work on only a few women, so don’t ever go there if they’re not you. Ex­am­ple: an­kle straps, shorts, tight any­thing, long hair af­ter 60 (worn out), tucked-in any­thing or leg­gings worn as pants with short tops.


Be aware of the cur­rent trends and in­cor­po­rate one new sea­son item into your look ev­ery time you leave home – then you’ll never look or­di­nary.

Fash­ion well ex­e­cuted spells style with a cap­i­tal ‘S’, but style only comes to a woman through ex­pe­ri­ence. Stylish women spend years qui­etly learn­ing the flow and feel of fab­ric, the shades and shad­ows of colours, and the com­plex­i­ties of cut.

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