Every season, the fashion and garment industry trot out hundreds of "must have" looks for the months
ahead. Some of these looks are trendy, some are classic with updated twists, and some are truly timeless, but with few exceptions, they
are all designed with young, thin models in mind. Because of this, most women, as they get older, find that they face a diminishing
selection of choices in clothing styles.
Many make the wrong choices of how to deal with this situation.
They want to look young, and think that wearing the latest fashion
trends will help them achieve that youthful look. While keeping your
wardrobe current is important in helping you to look young, some
women fall into the trap of wearing clothing that is entirely to "young"
for them. The British have an expression that I like: "Mutton dressed
as lamb" which refers to someone older (usually a woman) dressed far
too youthfully. The result, instead of making her appear more youthful,
is that the woman emphasizes her age. Just imagine, say, Sharon
Stone dressed the same as Brittany Spears or Jessica Simpson.
I had a friend in high school in the mid-80s whose mother was determined to look young. She bought
acid-washed jeans and distressed t-shirt tops and wore her hair "big" with bold, blonde streaks. She and my friend, her daughter, dressed
very much alike. I only wish now that I'd had the courage to tell her the truth when I had the chance.
The truth is in order to look young you do need to keep your wardrobe current. Fabrics, colors,
patterns and shapes change from year to year and all serve to date the wardrobe and wearer alike. But keeping your wardrobe current
doesn't mean you should go for the trendy or hip looks. Instead, you should look for classic styles and shapes that flatter your figure in
the colors and fabrics that are up to date. As a woman ages, she must pay attention to these details. Remember, vintage clothing and retro
styles are only for those young enough to have never worn them when they were new fashion.
That doesn't mean you can't still have fun with your fashion. Accessories like scarves and
jewelry allow you to add a "retro" flair to a modern look without assuming the age of the original fashion. In fact, fun and playful
accessories can dress-up dowdier designs, by giving you the image of a youthful attitude. Imagine wearing your "power suit" with a string
of chunky beads, or outrageous earrings. Just remember not to overdo it there's a fine line between youthful spirit and desperately clinging to youth.
Another important thing to remember in dressing to look younger is fit. Whenever someone
sees you in clothing that seems too small the first thought is that you are trying to wear something that no longer fits. The assumption
is that you would never purposefully buy something ill-fitted. It must have fit when you bought it (meaning that you've had it long enough to grow out of it).
Even if they assume that you purchased the item for future wear intending to lose weight
to fit into the garment you generate the idea that you've been struggling long enough to have 'given up' and wear the item anyway. The
situation is equally problematic when ill-fitting refers to baggy clothing, which implies loss of weight, and sagging body shape.
Whatever is assumed, weight and body maintenance are considered to be issues for aging women, and ill-fitted clothing leaves poor
impressions and only serves to give the appearance of age.
There's one final aspect of how you dress that can add or remove as much as a decade from
your appearance. Yet, most women never give it more than a passing thought. I'm referring to undergarments, specifically support, or
foundation, garments. At least half of women today aren't wearing the right bra, and less than half are even aware that they could look
years younger with the right body shaper. Most people know from grade school science and health classes that women have a layer of fat
cells surrounding their bodies. This is natural and is largely responsible for giving them the softness and curves that men find so
appealing. And a woman's breasts are made up of fat tissue surrounding the mammary glands.