Women in their forties are smart. Their confidence is mesmerizing. Through years of trial and error, middle-aged women have learned how to shop strategically and navigate their way through decades of trends. They know the juniors department is off-limits after 35, and stilettos are not to be worn everyday. Are you heading into your fabulous forties? If so, keep reading because this month we’ve brought you some tips on how to enhance your personal style to reflect this fantastic phase of life. Here’s the secrets to fashion in your forties:
Stay In Line
For teens and twenty-something’s, layering trendy threads may be an effective way to create an eye-catching ensemble. For more mature women, it’s best to let your body be your guide. For example, if you have a fuller frame, it’s more flattering to have less bulk and simpler lines. Instead of piling on the layers to create interest and hide your curves, look for styles that have both a simple cut and elegant details to enhance your natural shape. For example, a typical fitted blazer can be jazzed up with details such as princess seams, contrast stitching, piped edging, intricate buttons, or a double slit in the back. Small details have the ability to make a ho-hum piece look like it was tailor made for you. Keep in mind that wrap dresses, long A-line skirts, and princess-seamed peplum jackets are all classic, go-to styles that naturally create a slimmer look.
Polyester and spandex may fit the bill for a budget-conscious teen, but if you are old enough to have a job, a mortgage, and children of your own, it’s time to start curating a wardrobe that includes several high-quality pieces. Keep in mind that price alone is not an indication of quality; you must be able to spot sloppy workmanship and poor fabrics in order to stay savvy in the shops. When you are considering a purchase, check the fabric content labels for natural fibers (wool, silk, cotton) or high-end blends, which tend to hold up better over time. A quick stitch test will reveal if the garment has tight seams and will stand the test of time. This is done by gently pulling the fabric to reveal the seam inside of the garment. If you see light between the stiches, it could be an indication that the piece is poorly-made and may unravel or snag. A well-made piece should be tightly sewn and therefore have more stitches per inch.
Creating a “uniform” is one way to ensure that you always have outfits on-hand that reflect your personal style.
Tailor to Fit
Ready-to-wear clothing isn’t always ready to be worn by middle-aged women. Don’t settle for ill-fitting clothing; instead, find a good seamstress. Tailoring is the simplest way to make clothes more flattering to your body. Customization of clothing can range from button placement to increasing or decreasing length to creating a tapered waistline. One popular adjustment is altering the length of a skirt. Veer away from shorter skirts, and instead opt for a hemline that hits the lowest part of your knee. The lengthier cut will elongate your legs and show off your calves. More popular tricks include adding lingerie loops inside of the shoulder of a silk blouse to keep the blouse in place and adding nips to a dress to accentuate the smallest part of your waist.
Create a Collection
Even when you are running errands around town, it’s important to look classy and put-together. Creating a “uniform” is one way to ensure that you always have outfits on-hand that reflect your personal style. Stock up on high-quality tees, dark denim fitted jeans, cardigans and jackets, and stylish flats. If you come across a comfortable, flattering tee or button-up top, buy multiple pieces in a variety of colors, then create several looks by adding in different jewelry, scarves, throws, and cardigans. Mixing and matching designer labels with pieces from box stores is another trick to looking polished when you are in a time crunch. Invest in a few designer pieces such as leather flats, custom jewelry, or a name brand trench coat. When you are creating an outfit to wear around town, pair the luxury items with boutique basics such as jeans and a tee.
Experience comes with age. So does an appreciation for high-quality wardrobe pieces and savvy shopping. Knowing how to accentuate your figure and stretch your shopping dollars sets you apart from the crowd. Next time you decide to edit your wardrobe, keep these tips in mind to continue being fashionable through your forties and beyond.