Dressing Your Age

Dressing Your Age

We’re all going to get old some day, so why accelerate the process? I am sure you are thinking, or quoting the line we hear every day from our clients, and the line I had never heard of until I came to New Zealand:  I don’t want to be ‘mutton dressed up as lamb’!

I find this a very colloquial term. However, what is not so humorous is ignoring the fact there are a lot of ‘lambs dressed like mutton’.  A lot of men and women are dressing a lot older than they really are!

Clothes are an extension of our personalities. Can you think of someone you know who is a fun and vivacious person, yet their exterior reflects someone whom you wish to invite to tidy up your stamp collection? The message our exterior conveys cannot be ignored, and if you have read past articles you will understand we do not breed self-obsession or vanity, but a healthy self-image pride that boosts your self-esteem.

If you were an ad, what messages would your ad convey? Are you sending mixed messages?  I heard a good saying once:  “no one likes to do business with people who look like the past”.

Our life expectancy is increasing. Men and women in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s + are more fit than they were in their teens. We are no longer institutionalised by the ‘power suits’ – we have been upgraded to corporate casual. The ‘mother’ role has changed – having a child doesn’t mean wearing baggy T-shirts and polyester trousers, we can be ‘yummy mummies’ who wear comfortable, stylish clothes that still enable us to run after our child when needed.

Also, if you are working hard at maintaining a youthful body you want to ensure this is not camouflaged by baggy or unflattering clothing. Did you know most people are dressing two sizes larger than they really are (even when they have lost weight)? Society has made us believe the ‘cover-up’ system is slimming, when in fact it adds weight and gives the illusion of being broader or more rectangular than you really are.

So what can we do to avoid looking like you live in the past, or your old school librarian?

1: Take Stock of Yourself

Take a good look at yourself objectively and become aware of your best features. Dressing appropriately for your age is all about knowing what suits you. Knowing what suits you is all about knowing what your best features are. Yep, it is a Catch-22!

What are your best 3 features?




Eg: Do you have a nice face, long legs, nice lower legs, small waist, good upper torso? Don’t worry, we will be dealing with those less flattering areas later.

2: Market Your Unique Features

Once you become aware of your top 3 features, ask yourself if your current wardrobe maximises them. Are you flaunting these with confidence?

If you have nice legs, don’t be ‘mutton’ by wearing very short skirts if you’re in your 50’s, or be a ‘lamb’ by wearing really long skirts at any age if your legs are an asset. Keeping up-to-date doesn’t mean everything in the catwalks is for consideration. What we really mean when we talk about dressing our age, is dressing our shape!

Strappy dresses are not so flattering as our skin looses elasticity; however, this doesn’t mean you have to eliminate showing your arms altogether. Depending on your shape, a short or flutter sleeve can look so much better.

Style, as we mature, is all about intelligent updates and regular evaluations!

screen-shot-2017-02-04-at-8-15-10-pm3: Update your Hairstyle & Footwear

The quickest way to re-vamp and update your look is to change these two. Quick question, how long have you had the same hairstyle? Can you think of a good example on how shoes can outdate your look? Have you ever seen a man dressed nicely in a suit and as you scan your eyes to the feet, they are wearing chunky sole shoes? Sorry guys, shoes are really important. Keep them current.

4: Have a Present Marketing Plan

Don’t live in the past, or in the future. Enjoy who you are now! I cannot over-emphasise this as this is the secret to looking & feeling great! We have clients who lose weight by just enjoying who they are at present, even if they have not reached their goal weight as yet. Ensure, through your fitness and health goals, you have clothes in your wardrobe you enjoy wearing NOW and become aware of the ‘once I’ lines.  e.g. Once I loose the weight, I will buy new clothes, get a new haircut or pamper myself. The day may never come and you may have wasted years in the process.

5: Black OUT!

When men & women go grey they tend to think all they can wear is black, grey & red. This look is too hard and very ageing. The secret to looking youthful and slimmer is mastering the power of colour.  As we mature, black does become our enemy; it ages us. It also cuts us in half, as when we wear colour we tend to wear it with black pants/skirts stopping us, rather than allowing us, to enter the room as a whole. Learn the art of monochromatic dressing (all in one colour or hue).

6: Fashion vs Trends

We are often told men & women do not shop at specific stores as they feel the fashion is too young and they are afraid of becoming ‘mutton’.  The interesting thing is, when we take our client’s shopping, guess what stores we take them to and how delighted they are to find fantastic garments that flatter them?

Try not to feel intimidated and be willing to have an open mind. It is paramount as we mature we become more confident with whom we are and our true potential.

In our 30’ & the 40’s
The everyday haircut becomes updated with one with a bit more cheek. We ‘walk-off ‘ cheap shoes and opt for good quality ones. We start becoming aware our bodies are changing and the styles we used to be able to wear in the past, no longer work. So we need to re-evaluate our shape. We have also made a lot of shopping mistakes and we have had enough of a wardrobe full of ‘orphans’ waiting to be paired.

In our 50’s
You value quality over quantity. You are mastering the art of the capsule wardrobe of fewer clothes which give you more combinations (13 garments can create 60+ combinations). You have become a trend critique. As you learn to understand your colouring and shape you can identify in every fashion trend the one or two relevant to you.

In your 60’s
A fabulous age (if you are not living in the past) to perfect the art of layering with nubby textures and fabrics. It is about less, which gives you more. Focusing on key pieces that really make you look & feel fabulous in your own skin. Growing grey gracefully can look wonderful when complemented with the right colour of tops which reflect your complexion.

Your 60’s & the 70’s

You should be in Zen and know exactly what flatters you and have a love affair with clothes. Great hairstyle, stylish but comfortable shoes, fantastic accessories, the ‘statement handbag’ that suits your body scale, think Sophia Lauren. Stylish and simplistic. When I think of ageing gracefully it reminds me of the beautiful ladies back home in Peru who wore beautiful colours with matching handbags & shoes, chatting at a cafe with their life-long ‘girlfriends’ who look the same and they all have an aura of warmth and confidence and truly shine!

Whatever our age or circumstance in life let’s never compromise our self-image and how we feel. Let’s not slip into baggy clothes, elastic waistbands, wearing all black, and stop taking care of the most important person in our relationships… ourselves!  Only when we fill our cup first can we give to our loved ones.

Live in the now, don’t accelerate the ageing process and have fun in your wardrobe!