Myth: If you’re an older adult, you need to get rid of anything fun and youthful because those things are not appropriate.
Myth: Even if you’re older, you may still wear any fun items you want however you want.
Truth: You need to take the middle ground.
In my last column, I wrote about people accusing me of being judgmental and of shaming other people. The trigger for that was my blog post about how to wear fun, youthful clothing items and accessories in appropriate and flattering ways. Now you get to see what I advise.
From me, you get the truth.
The main myth is that as women get older they have to give up the fun and youthful items they once wore. Women react to this in one of two ways. Some women do exactly this. They get rid of the fun and youthful items and start dressing older and boring and even frumpy. Not good. Others react by rebelling and wearing their fun and youthful items with abandon. The problem is that those items may not all be truly flattering and they’re definitely not flattering when worn all at once.
As you get older, you do have to be more discriminating and judicious about wearing your fun and youthful items, but you can and should wear them. There are two rules on how to do this.
First is flattery. Any item you wear needs to flatter you. If it doesn’t make you appear healthy and active, it shouldn’t be taking up space in your wardrobe. Remember that the whole point of wearing fun and youthful items is to celebrate your good health and energy. Keep in mind that as you get older, your body changes. You might have gained or lost weight. Maybe you had children. Menopause changes your body too. This means that styles that flattered you before may not flatter you now. Plus, your natural coloring gets lighter and softer as you get older, and the colors that flattered you before may not flatter you now. You need to adapt and work with these things, not against them.
Second is to not overdo it. Remember that your age and life experience and wisdom are all a part of you too and you mustn’t hide any of it. Even if you have fun and youthful items that do flatter you, you shouldn’t be wearing them all at once. It’s best to wear them one or two at a time as accents to a sleek, clean backdrop. A fun print skirt looks great with solid tops and great earrings. A fun print top looks great with a solid skirt and solid earrings. A bold and colorful necklace or a mix of three or four delicate necklaces can both look great with a solid top, solid skirt, and no earrings or very small earrings. Bold, dramatic chandelier earrings look great next to solid tops and with no necklaces.
The above examples involve only one fun item at a time. But it’s actually okay to do two fun items sometimes. First, you have to make one the dominant one and the other a smaller accent, such as a print top with a printed mitpachat layered with a solid mitpachat. Second, it’s best if there’s some distance between the two. A pair of colored or printed shoes looks great with a fun item near your face. Third, it’s even better when there are colors in common. That ties the outfit together.
If your personal style is creative, Bohemian, edgy, sporty, or another non-classic style, you do not have to give up fun and youthful items just because you may be older. You just have to be more judicious about how you wear them. But if your personal style is classic, you have to be even more careful to
not give up anything fun and colorful and youthful. You need that extra energy in your appearance to avoid looking boring.
If you stick with what flatters you and you’re careful to not overdo it, you’ll look as healthy and energetic as you are and you’ll look as mature and wise as you are. Celebrate that.