Honest, Practical, Style Advice

Mutton dressed as lamb?

Age appropriate dressing in your 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.









It’s only natural to want to look good for your age. So many of my clients say that they want to look and feel current but not ‘mutton dressed as lamb’. It gets trickier as we age – when we were in our teens and early 20’s it was easy to go into a shop and find an outfit for a Saturday night. However, as we mature, we have to become more discerning, selective and considered in our style choices.


We can easily be influenced by trends and social media but remember – any trend only works if it suits the person wearing it. Whilst it’s good to be aware of trends so we don’t get too fixed in our ways and maintain creativity in our style, we don’t want to be slaves to fashion and particularly fast fashion and the toll it takes on our planet.


So many of my clients will admit to having a wardrobe full of clothes but still feeling like they’ve got nothing to wear. The secret here is to view your clothes differently – consider everything as an outfit and not as an individual item that you might take a shine to. Every time you consider purchasing a new garment ask yourself:


When would I wear it?

How will I wear/style it?

Will it go with things already in my wardrobe?


You don’t want to be adding to that already overstuffed wardrobe with clothes that remain unworn, but instead you want to make wise purchases that will suit your lifestyle and personality.


If your wardrobe is too large then you’re making your job harder – it means more stuff to filter through and work out what works with what. Of course, you want hard working clothes that represent value for money, outfits that give the impression that they were put together with minimum effort but to achieve this it has to be thought through. So out go spur of the moment impulsive purchases, even if they were a bargain.


Age often doesn’t matter, rarely is there an age when an item stops looking good, it’s more about what suits your complexion and body shape. And obviously how you feel in something – if it makes you feel good, you’ll definitely be able to carry it off but if you have doubts this will show in your body language. That’s why going shopping with someone you trust to be honest is always a good idea.


It’s important to work out what the pillars of your wardrobe should be – what shapes and styles will suit your body-shape best because probably your body shape has changed and you have to start viewing it differently. What are your best features that you want to make sure are on show and where your eye is drawn to first? Different styles will of course have different effects. For example, to create the illusion of a smaller waist accentuate your shoulders and have a single-breasted jacket that shows off a blouse. To elongate your legs opt for a higher waist on your trousers; or if it’s to lengthen your neck, keep your neckline open, creating a ‘v’ shape with your blouse.


However, the area that we tend to find most challenging as the years creep on is our tummies. Once we’ve had children and the menopause has hit this is often what ladies complain about as their problem area. So, you don’t want to draw attention here, that means no contrast colours, no pattern only in this area (it’s ok if it’s all over) and no contrast belts. Keep it all quite minimum and use accessories like jewellery and scarves to draw the eye away to other areas that you feel more confident about. When thinking of your style you want to aim to put the detail, for example, voluminous sleeves or embellished detail at you smallest point or where you consider your best features.


You want to enhance what you love most about yourself but to help you do this think about fabric – your fabric choices can make a significant difference to how a garment sits on your body. The better the quality and cut the better it will flatter your shape. You want your fabric to flow over your curvy bits and move with you. So, aiming for fewer pieces of better quality is the way to go.


Once you’ve worked out what suits your body shape and been kind to yourself about your best assets you can then consider what judicious updates and tweaks you need to make.


As always, if you need some help developing your personal style and feeling on trend for your age whether that be in your 40’s, 50’s or 60’s I can support you by being that trusted friend who will give you honest, practical and creative style advice.









© Copyright Lesley Clarke 2017