Tag Archives: Dressing in your 40s

White in Shining Armour

It’s after Labor Day Weekend, so it’s time to pack up your whites until next…naw, just kiddin’ ya. White is sticking around all winter as a strong trend for Fall/Winter 2012. So, for those of us who love to steal out into the frosty streets in shades of white, this is a great season to collect more of the pieces you love.

photo: All The Pretty Birds (Tamu McPherson)

Photo: Jak & Jil

all white street style - style trouve

Photo: Style Trouve

All white street style via Fashionology

Photo: Greg Kessler via Fashionologie

Derek Lam Fall Winter 2012 RTW via Style.com

Derek Lam F/W 2012, Photo: Style.Com

There’s a look here to fit every age. Take your favorite look and tweak it to make the silhouette work for your body type. Do short sleeves with a maxi, shorten (or lengthen) a hemline, and pick a dress that highlights your best parts. Black is a great choice for accessories, but dressing tonally in white and cream is also a strong choice. Go with a shade that looks best with your skin tone.

I think of trends like a fashion buffet. Grab the things that work for you (shapes, colors, accessories, silhouettes), and leave the rest for the next person. Sometimes a trend we love, suits us better in an accessories (i.e. choosing a baroque-inspired clutch over a whole baroque dress.) In the end, fashion is personal and that’s what makes it (and us) interesting.

x Laura

More awesome posts I did (hmm, so humble…) on the white trend, which has been gaining steam since Spring 2011.

Loving: Cocktails in Blue

Blue Cocktail Dress

dress: Julie Dillon, belt: Nordstrom, shoes: Zara, clutch: Rebecca Minkoff MAC crossbody, bracelet watch: Anne Klein.

This is one of my favorite shades of blue, so I was happy to see it on the trend forecast for this year and then post about it on Spring Trend: A Sea of Blue. When my husband told me we were going to a business event with cocktail attire, I knew this dress would fit the bill and was happy to have snagged it on sale a few months back. I also love this clutch, even though it’s a bit big for evening, because of its anthracite metallic sheen. The slight glimmer gives it an after-hours feel. The mid-heel, patent nude wedges are still available over at Zara for a song ($49, also in black) and measure in at only 3″, with a 1″ wedge. They are so easy to walk in, which I appreciate for a business function. I’m thinking these wedges would also be great for an outdoor wedding or any lawn party.

I’m linking up on Monday Mingle (at Momtrends) and Visible Monday (at Not Dead Yet) today, so be sure to head over and check them out.

x Laura

More like this:

Spring Trends: A Sea of Blue
Loving: Painterly Florals
Spring Trends: Graphic Design

Keep It Going

photo: NYC Run Fashion

photo: Elle Street Chic

It’s always perplexing when people assume that once one’s past a certain age, that they stop caring about how they look (not sure what that age is exactly). That somehow reaching the milestones of life: marriage, divorce, kids, career and the need to carry reading glasses) sends a woman straight into shapeless clothes and uninspired outfits. I think this is a load of b.s. Nearly everyone I know cares about how they look at some level, even if they don’t take it to the heights of being a devout fashionista.

Probably, more often than not, what happens is that our life changes, but our closets don’t really keep up with us. There are the unavoidable weight gains of pregnancy and menopause that force us to eye our pants with increasing loathing or roll our eyes when our shirt no longer skims easily over our belly. This is life and it happens to all women. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to build a closet full of clothes we love — whatever moment we are in, in our life. I would much rather have fewer clothes and love them, than to have a lot of things that make me feel cruddy when I put them on.

It’s not often that I run across street style shots of older women. So many of the shots I find are of women who look like they’re in their 20s or not much beyond. Today I’m happy to share some pictures of women who’ve seen some milestones. I can’t be sure what those milestones are, but I like that they are still dressing for life, whatever that life is right now. These women are keeping up with the times, looking modern, confident and vibrant. I’d even venture a guess that none of them wish they were 20 again.

photo: Style from Tokyo

Have a great day!

Related Posts:

Dressing in your 40s

Courteney Cox, 46 (photo: zimbio.com)

Well now, this is the decade where the rubber starts to meet the road. The 20s are a time of experimentation and playfulness. The 30s are spent honing in on personal style and building a foundation with a fashion-forward edge. Now in your 40s, you have a real sense of your personal style and the confidence to carry it off. Probably the most difficult part of dressing in this decade is having the discipline to say no to items that are better left for the younger set. It’s especially difficult now, when 40 year-old women are looking better than ever before. But no worries, this doesn’t mean dressing has to be safe or boring. In fact, this is the time to bring out bold jewelry, luxe fabrics, sexy shoes and gorgeous color. The code words for this decade are sexy and polished. You can wear the sultry looks and own them.

Sarah Jessica Parker, 45 (photo: justjared.buzznet.com)

There’s no reason to pass on trends that work for you. Sarah Jessica Parker, above, keeps her outfit subdued and streamlined, while letting her sexy stilettos do most of the talking. It’s edgy, fashion-forward, but still in line with her age and personality. Here’s the part where I caution any 40-somethings about trends though. If your daughter is wearing it, you can’t do it in the same way. Your choices need to be more refined. Warning bells should go off if anything is too cutesy, ruffled, revealing, tight or over embellished (or my personal pet peeve, anything by Ed Hardy). This can be hard to figure out, I know (except the Ed Hardy stuff), so cut yourself some slack if you go off the rails every now and again.

Invest in luxurious fabric choices. This is the right time for cashmere, fine wools, supple leather, silks and other long-lasting  materials.  Buy classic accessories in the finest quality you can, which will elevate everything in your closet, especially jeans and other casual wear.

Here are a few guidelines for dressing in your 40s:

  • Stick to silhouettes that best complement your shape
  • Buy quality materials
  • Invest is tailoring – fit is especially important now, even for jeans
  • Show what looks good and cover what doesn’t
  • Aim for a wardrobe that is 60% investment pieces and 40% of the moment
  • Be wary of dressing older than you are — there’s plenty of time for that
  • Stock your closet with colors that make your skin glow

Kyra Sedgwick, 44 (photo: justjared.buzznet.com)

You know your body and personality best, so stay true to yourself. As they say, if you look good, you’ll feel good and it shows. I’ll close this Style How-To post out with a quote that seems just right for the 40-something woman:

“Style is very different from fashion. Once you find something that works, keep it.”

–Tom Ford, fashion designer and film director