Fabulous at 50 (And Beyond) by Ellen Lubin-Sherman, the author of “The Essentials of Fabulous Because “Whatever” Doesn’t Work Here Anymore”!
I refuse to understand why turning 50 (or 60 for that matter) should have a negative impact on the way you present yourself to the world. This is the time of your life when your foot is on the gas, not the brake.
At the age of 50, you have (hopefully) accepted yourself and released yourself from the bondage of abnegating and derisive “inner speak.” If you haven’t, I urge you to read The Essentials of Fabulous as I wrote that book to help everyone rewire their brains so they can catapult themselves to the very top. By the way, the view from the top of the mountain is astonishing.
Let’s consider Anna Wintour, Vogue Magazine’s editor who looks smashing in every photograph. She has her look down pat: She is a minimalist as she keeps everything simple but simply elegant. Through her presentation, her message is clear: I’m fascinated by life and the opportunities in front of me. Age is irrelevant.
At 50-plus, you should be putting style before fashion. In fact, I would focus my energies solely on style in order to build a wardrobe that’s timeless. Timeless is a fitted pantsuit that can be worn with either a crisp white shirt or a turtleneck (leave the dowdy jewel-neck sweater at home…you need to look of the moment) or a pair of grey flannel pants that can be worn with a brown, amber, camel, navy or grey sweater and a beautiful loafer.
At 50, you ought to be having fun with clothes to telegraph your ease and confidence in being a woman with a sure eye for details. This could include a full skirt that hits the mid-calf worn with a fitted shirt or a crocheted slouchy sweater and thick matte stockings. Another modern look is a soigné pencil skirt, a fitted blouse and fishnet stockings with an unexpected shoe such as a high-heeled oxford. No one in her 20s would dare wear a look that sophisticated but you can.
My style mantra has always been to throw caution to the wind but that does not mean wearing leggings with a wrap-around sweater so that everything is on full display. Au contraire. Leggings look absolutely fabulous under a long skirt or dress instead of the predictable pair of stockings. Shop your closet – there are things you haven’t worn because you (mistakenly) thought they were too young for you such as an argyle vest (fantastic with a Peter Pan collared shirt) or a hand-tooled leather bag from the 70s (very cool to mix vintage and new). Avoid any temptation to shop in the same department or store that caters to teenagers. You have one goal and that is to look supremely confident, smart, tailored and polished.
My list for the essentials of a fabulous wardrobe when you’re 50 and older:
- A perfect pair of trouser jeans in a dark rinse; a few white shirts that will give everything a lift (J. Crew has many versions in stores and on-line)
- A chunky sweater/blazer that takes the blazer silhouette and adds a twist
- A pair of linen or wool trousers that give you a long, lean line
- A lightweight wool, raincoat or winter coat that hits the knee in either a gutsy plaid or the classic camel, navy or black
- A boldly striped scarf instead of something “cautious and dowdy”
- A messenger bag in either cotton or felted wool (go to www.esty.com and look for something artsy and stylish)
- …and a pair of driving gloves that have unbeatable flair.
Attitude trumps age. If you think you’re fabulous, you will be fabulous. Make sure your grooming is impeccable – sheer make-up, an easy hairstyle, imaginative accessories and a smile that conveys a warmth and accessibility that’s seductive at any age. Then go rock the essential pieces that tell the world you’re someone to know!