Not to dress ridiculous

Newsletter from Jane at Stylemakeover.hq.

I’m often asked for help by women 50 years and older who no longer know what they should be wearing.

I attended a webinar for image consultants recently, ”Grown Up Style”, run by the lovely Sue Donnelly. It was a great session. Mostly it simply reinforced what I already knew about the topic.

What I found most interesting about the webinar was the part where Sue showed us a series of photos of the same woman, most probably in her 50s, dressed in different outfits and asked us to comment on each photo. The photos were presented in groups of 3s, with 1 outfit representing too young, another too old and the other just right.

It was fascinating because while in some outfits the woman was clearly dressed inappropriately (either too old, or too young). There were also photos where it wasn’t so obvious, or where we didn’t all agree, or where, with just a small tweak, the outfit could be made to work. This brought it home to me why women  can find it so challenging to dress appropriately.

I saw a woman in a shopping center earlier this week who had on a lovely, funky, spaghetti-straped zebra-patterned dress. With lovely mid-height heels in this season’s strappy, high vamp-style. She had 2 young children with her. My immediate though was that she was the mother of the 2 children, but looking higher at her face, hair and skin, I realized she was their grandmother.

She was maybe in her late 50s, or early 60s. She clearly took care of herself — she looked toned and fit, with her white hair in a nice medium length modern cut, that was both appropriate and funky (clearly reflecting her personality). However,  the spaghetti-straped dress looked as if it should be on her daughter.

She might have pulled the look off by wearing a light jacket, modern cardigan, or shrug, over the dress,

to cover the slightly crepey skin on her upper arms and neck area. Instead the overall impression I had was of a woman who had not come to terms with her age. She looked slightly ridiculous.

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