I just read an article in the Sydney Morning Herald: “the secrets of stylish women” (no longer online). As so often in style guides and these kind of articles, true style is said to be synonymous with less is more, neutral colours and elegance. Truth be told I have always adhered to these principles and have been a minimalist for most of my life both for my home and my wardrobe. But as you know I have been advocating more colour, more wildness and more risks on this site. So which way to go with style as you get older? Let’s have a look at the points listed and what I think of them.
1. Less is always more
This one is probably up for the biggest debate. There is a reason why women like Miuccia Prada make statements like: “as you get older you need to get wilder“. Your face and body changes and let’s face it, in many cases they don’t look so perfect as they once were. Your perfectly minimalist clothes in pale colours may have done wonders when you were younger, but as your face pales, gets more creases etc, you may want to wear some clothes that distract a bit more from all of that. Wearing black only accentuates the shadows in your face. Older women often look much better with a bit of colour and more adventurous clothes make you more dynamic, less old and less boring. Of course you can also dress minimal with bold lines and colours. Or you can use your accessories to make the bolder statements.
2. Effort equals elegance (Grooming)
One point that is made in the article is that of good grooming. I think that is spot on. Good grooming is important at any age, but never more so when you get older. At the same time grooming gets harder to do. I don’t know about you, but I’m finding it more difficult to keep up with my eye brows, facial and body hair, nails and toes and keeping my hair in a good shape. But it is indeed the basis of a good appearance, so make time for your beauty appointments ladies!
3. Trends fade fast.
I agree with this point too. You all know that I love trends. But I only love those that suit ME. As I have discussed in the last week, I feel it is most important to wear clothes that suit you as a person. So get to know yourself and the message you want to give with your clothes, then see which trend can complement you with that.
You may want to develop a signature style. Perhaps you already know it or you are still evolving and growing into it. Or perhaps you will never develop a true signature style, because you like variety. But it can certainly be powerful to have items that are just so YOU. You might want to make a list of things that are definitely NOT you and a list of some that you ALWAYS want to include. If you keep buying things from your definitely YOU list, you may develop your true signature style almost automatically. For example, I have decided to focus even more on asymmetry as that is so truly ME.
4. Fit is everything
Of course. No need to go into too much detail here. You will never look good in an outfit that does not fit you.
5. Bravery is style & style evolution
And here is the icing on the cake. You will want to add that little bit extra. That something special. It would be the best if that something special had something to do with your signature style or the YOU part of your dressing. That extra something can make you look fantastic.
In the book I’m reading right now “Style Evolution” by Kendall Farr the author talks about how you should evolve your style as you get older. Experimenting with every trend was for you 20s, starting to get to know yourself for your 30s and hopefully by 40 you know your style. But she also writes that many women over 40 can get into a style rut. If that is the case for you or even if you have a clear style, it is always great to evolve, which is to try new things and get better. To find out which clothes work with your newly changed body (through menopause and the like) and to embrace new colours.
So let’s take this last point to heart and be a bit braver with our style. Even though you may like to keep your looks elegant and simplistic, add a litte twist. Wear that exuberant statement necklace with it or the crazy shoes!
So what do you think. Is “less is more always more” a statement that you agree with? What are your style rules?