What’s a woman over 60 to do? Style and fashion advice flys in uninvited from everywhere. For a fresh perspective on mature style, check out What Not To Wear After Age 50 by Michele Combs. Meanwhile, we thought this article by R.J. Wilson (possibily a man?) for URBO has some good suggestions.
If you’re not old enough to have watched The Golden Girls when it originally aired, then you shouldn’t be dressing like them. OR wearing your hair like them.
As we age, we develop the tendency to try to hide our new wrinkles. Ironically, nothing adds years to your look like straggly hair that’s a bit too thin to be as long as it is.
Instead of growing your hair in a vain effort to cover up the visible signs of aging, choose a layered cut that frames your face nicely. There’s no need to go full-on pixie cut, but mature hair has a different texture, so work with it, not against it. Not only will you look younger, you’ll probably save on shampoo costs too.
When you’re ready to give up on dating, start wearing ill-fitting pants. Baggy bottoms are a must when you’re simply over it. If you’re still into attracting dates, though, make sure your pants fit.
They don’t have to be skin-tight, but if there’s enough fabric on your behind to double as a parachute, you’re not going to win any beauty pageants. That’s okay. You don’t have to win a beauty pageant. More power to you. We’re just telling you how it is; what you do with that information is your own business.
Unless you were born a goth, stick to a bit of gloss. Natural shades create a supple, youthful look. Darker colors draw attention to lines around the mouth, and though those are usually the product of a life full of laughter, it’s generally a look most women want to avoid.
Even bold shades of ruby red can end up making you look older than you actually are by highlighting wrinkles around the mouth. If your skin is unbelievably smooth, then you can get away with it. For the rest of us, dark lipsticks aren’t the best choice. There’s a reason most older woman usually wear shades of nude.
Neutral pantyhose make you look like you’re applying for a corporate job in the 1960s, which, come to think of it, is fine if that’s what you’re going for. But when it’s a youthful appearance you seek, skip the hose or stick with black.
If you’re black is a little too dark for your outfit, go for a color. As long as the neutral hose of the mid-century is behind us, we’re good.
Black goes with anything, but it can also give you a funereal look, like an Irish mourner from the 1920s. Even a bit of contrast can help prevent the sense that you’re going to start keening at any moment.
Try pairing a black dress with a bright pendant necklace and dangle earrings. Even better, wear break up your outfit with a colorful scarf or cardigan.
Contemporary fashion has a thing called a “boyfriend blazer.” The idea is that these jackets could have come from your boyfriend’s closet, but in fact, these items are cut to create a slim, feminine silhouette.
Do not actually wear your boyfriend’s blazer if you don’t want to add a decade or two to your appearance. Big, boxy blazers make you look like David Byrne, circa Stop Making Sense. Just remember: Shoulder pads are the enemy, now and forever (but not in the ’80s).
Shopping at the thrift store can yield gems. Just be wary of picking up too many floral, lace-lined numbers. First off, you’ll look like a walking doily. Second, you’re not an extra from Little House on the Prairie.
Finally, wearing a grandma’s dress will make people think you’re a grandma. That’s awesome; grandmas are great and we love them all. That doesn’t mean they all look super-youthful, though.
8. Stretched Out Skinny Jeans
This is not exactly the same thing as item No. 2 on our list, which, as you will recall, was labeled “Baggy Bottoms.” It’s sort of the same, but not exactly. We mention the hazard of stretched-out skinny jeans because it’s such a widespread issue, a special subset of the Baggy Bottom debacle.
The problem began when clothes manufacturers stopped using any denim that wasn’t at least 80-percent rubber bands. That stretchy denim looks great for about a week and a half, then it loses its elasticity, just like your skin does when you age. That’s not a good look when you’re going for youthfulness.
What do we mean by “Herbert frames?” You know, black plastic glasses that are big and thick and might have made you look punk in the early ’90s but now mostly just make you look like someone who was young in the early ’90s, i.e., an aging hipster.
Plastic frames lined with bright colors are all the rage these days. Try them to keep your face looking smooth and youthful.
10. Jersey Fabric Dresses
Jersey fabric is the most comfortable cloth in the world. Wearing a jersey dress is like wrapping your whole body in your favorite old T-shirt. Everything is wonderful about this soft, light fabric, except for the way it treats your figure.
Jersey tends to cling to everything. That can create some unflattering angles, which increases the appearance of age. Plus, the fact that you so clearly dress for comfort suggests that you’ve given up on standing out in the crowd. Try double-knitted jersey for a similar feel on your skin without the unforgiving fit.
In general, the trick to emphasizing your youthful features is to avoid drawing attention toward your more autumnal qualities. We’re thinking, specifically, of eye wrinkles.
The area around your eyes is one of the first places that your years of life, laughter, and loss are etched into your face. Thick, dark eyeliner acts as a spotlight on this frequently wrinkled area. Avoid, avoid, avoid.
The sun preserves life on the planet, but it also gives us wrinkled old leathery hides when we spend too much time basking in its rays. It’s all about the ultraviolet light, which wages an all-out attack on collagen fibers in the skin.
We’re not saying you should wear a face-kini every time you leave the house, but it’s worth investing in a little high-SPF sunscreen. Your skin will thank you sooner than you think.
This may seem obvious, but the temptation to throw on a muumuu and rush out the door can be overwhelming at times. Resist it.
Also, we just realized that ironic muumuus are probably going to be this summer’s big fashion trend, so maybe ignore everything we said on the subject. All hail the muumuu!
14. A Short Scarf Around the Neck
You’ve probably seen ladies with colorful silk scarves tied around their necks. Do you think any of them get carded at the grocery store? No, they do not, and the simple reason why is that short silk scarves around the neck went out of fashion about 50 years ago.
If you just stocked up on colorful silk scarves and are wondering if Etsy issues refunds, don’t worry. There’s an awesome way to wear them that actually looks pretty youthful. Try tying them around the strap of your purse. You get a pop of color without looking precisely 150 years old.
15. Brooches and Lapel Pins
Even the word “brooch” sounds old. So does the word “lapel,” come to think of it.
Anyway, sticking an old gilded piece of finery on your boxy jacket makes you look a little out of date. Try a few one-inch round buttons instead. That’s what the kids are into these days.
Too much makeup fuels the suspicion that you’re hiding something under there. Plus, there’s something unnatural about a face with a ton of foundation. Make sure no one could credibly use the verb “to cake” while describing the way you put on your face.
Keep it light and natural. Otherwise, people might stop carding you, too, which is always a shock the first time it happens.This post originally appeared here on URBO