How to Dress Fashionably at 50 and Beyond
by Gill Hart
However hard it is to accept, clinging to the fripperies of youth, is not a good look unless a woman is genetically gifted. The answer is to learn how to show some skin in a stylish, more elegant way, and this will help you to minimize any mutton-dressed-as-lamb moments.
So you've now hit your 50s and the question is: How low or high should you go, and How much skin should be on show? Unless you look as good as the poster girl for 60-something women, Helen Mirren, in that now iconic red bikini
, one failsafe rule of fashion over 50 is not to reveal too much flesh.
Style Tips for Fashion-Consious Women Over 50
You can avoid looking like you are trying too hard to be young by keeping the amount of skin on show age-appropriate. The tip for flashing some flesh is simple: if you are showing off your legs then make sure you are covered up on top, and visa-versa - this is known as keeping you body "in proportion." When wearing an outfit that has a revealing neckline then it's advisable to balance out the rest of the body's silhouette. This is done by covering up on the bottom-half with a longer hemline. Conversely, when you wear a short dress or skirt, then make sure your upper-half is not revealing too much.
Show Off Your Cleavage
One part of the body that you can draw attention to with confidence its your décolletage, but keep it in-check. Go for elegant necklines that show off some cleavage, such as a square or scoop neckline, rather than being very low cut and overtly sexy. An outfit in strong jewel tones of burgundy, purple, mauve or blue will highlight and flatter your face and provided a welcome change to black, which can be draining
against an older woman's skin.
If you don't feel comfortable revealing your cleavage, then a draped low-back dress is an stylish and elegant alternative.
Whether aged 50 or 70, any woman can look elegant in a stylish one-shouldered dress, particularly one with draping. Stylish yet still sexy, showing some shoulder is a sure way to keep on trend. Asymmetric dresses and tops have ruled the runways for many seasons now and 2012 is no exception. A well-fitting strapless bra is essential though, and the outfit should follow the "in proportion" rule, with a more demure hemline such as maxi-length or one that finishes on or just below the knee.
Cover Those Bingo Wings
When it comes to flabby arms, cropped (three-quarter length) sleeves cover a multitude of sins and will make your arms appear slimmer. If you are self-conscious about your bingo wings then its time to shun strapless and cap-sleeved dresses and tops in favour of those with longer sleeves. As an fashionable alternative, sleeves in sheer fabrics such as chiffon or lace will give the effect of baring flesh.
Keep Your Footwear Fashionable
Whilst any woman can wear classic court shoes, a pair of on-trend peep-toes shoes is a fashionable alternative. As these show off what some in the fashion world dub "toe-cleavage" this style of footwear also serves to elcongate your legs. Lower, kitten heels are a great alternative if you shy away from a higher heel, and are popular on the catwalks in 2012. Flat, loafer-type shoes can be ageing if worn with skirts and dresses but look great with copped trousers.
Show a Leg but Watch Your Hemlines!
Women with less than lovely legs should never underestimate the power of a pair of opaque tights. A high denier in a dark color will slim down pins and cover-up any flaws, allowing you to still look good in a tunic dress or a short pencil skirt.
Team your tights with shoes of the same color, this will give the impression of über long, leaner legs. Thick opaque tights give good leg coverage and provide an opportunity to wear shorter hemlines without feeling self-conscious. They are also more age-appropriate than leggings, which seem to have a bit of a stigma once you get to a certain age. Skirts or dresses that finish half way down the calf can be unflattering and aging, as the hemline finishes at the fattest part of the lower leg. A hemline that finishes at the knee is far more flattering as you get older.
If you are the kind of woman with a passion for short skirts, then knowing how much flesh your should bare can be tricky as you get older. Take for example, model and ex-wife of Mike Jagger, Jerry Hall, who having turned 50, was told by her youngest daughter not to wear short skirts in public. Her daughter Georgia Jagger actually confiscated Jerry's miniskirts saying in an interview with the Daily Mail
:"I did take all her miniskirts. I told her one night that her skirt was too short – she came down the stairs and I was like, 'God, Mum, you are 50.'"
It pays to remember that gorgeous women over 50 like Jerry Hall, Helen Mirren, Joanna Lumley and Carol Vorderman are living proof that just because you have passed that half-century mark there is no reason why you shouldn't be fashionable
and flaunt your assets!
In the words of the iconic French designer Coco Chanel, "You can be gorgeous at 20, charming at 40 and irresistible for the rest of your life."
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