Desperately Seeking Persephone
Fashion and style are two completely different sensibilities. Young girls can dress as they please, and are very likely to be complimented on their originality. But contrary to the recent revelation that 40 is the new 20, dressing well is truly the best revenge to unleash upon aging, and dressing stylishly hip is easy to do once you embrace a few basic creeds.
Successful personal style means you don’t ever have to think about what you’re wearing once you’ve gotten dressed. First requirement is to get professionally fitted for a bra. This is actually the most important part of dressing successfully, since nothing will look good unless your undergarments fit well. Since most women haven’t a clue what size or shape bra they need it is best to go to a professional. Reputable department stores usually have a knowledgeable staff if there is not a lingerie shop near you. You’ll need several types of bras, including a smooth style to wear under tee shirts and summer blouses.
Next, go through your existing wardrobe and bag clothing that you haven’t worn in the last year (dressy items are the exception). Be critical of items that don’t fit well, or may be a style yo have not felt completely comfortable in and will probably never wear again. Someone somewhere is going to love it, and you’ll get a warm feeling and a tax write off for your generous donation.
Once you’ve gone through your closet, make a list of the new clothing you’ll need to buy for spring/summer. Depending on your lifestyle this could mean jeans and tops and/or more formal clothing for work. You figure will determine best how you should dress. Accentuate your best body part. For example, long slim legs-if you’re over forty, choose slim knee length skirts, and top with a bright colored scoop or boat neck tee(the most flattering styles for all body types). Add a pair of sandals, flat ballet shoes or a low heel and you’re good to go to work, brunch or an afternoon event. If you wear a jacket, a short peplum or jean style if you are petite or slim will show off your waist; go to a longer hip length if you are curvy or pair the top with slim trousers or jeans. Add a straw Trilby hat. A slightly higher heel will take your into the cocktail hour evening. To pull the look together, a nice bit of color such as a long floral scarf knotted loosely at the neck or thick gold hoops are perfect.
Be inventive. Change the buttons on a shirt or jacket to make it one of a kind. Buy a long white cotton shirt and put if over a pair of leggings and a boyfriend jacket. Add a beautiful necklace of colored stones and silver, a pair of flat black kids shoes. Easy, timeless, chic.
Your eventful goal is to put a complete wardrobe together that you will use for years, adding a few pieces in here and there to update. When shopping for new pieces, choose two anchor colors such as navy and chocolate brown for trousers, skirts and jackets, and three or four accent colors or patterns to pop the look for tops and dresses. Soon you’ll have a closet full of pieces that don’t fight. Getting dressed will not be at all stressful and packing or a trip will be very simple.
As you get older, the way clothing hangs on your body will change. Find a good tailor who understands how to tweak off the rack pieces to fall perfectly. This is an investment that must be considered, no matter how good your figure is. The look of custom made clothing is a luxury that can be achieved and is well worth the effort. A lot of dry cleaners have tailors, and the cost is usually minimal.
Spring is a good time to consider a new hair style or color. Discuss this at your salon or be adventurous and try a new one that has gotten good reviews from your friends or a magazine. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It might be fun to put in a few face framing highlights or lighten your color for the upcoming summer. Do the same with your make-up. Change your winter foundation and blush. Have a free makeover at the make-up counter and try a new lip color. Be fearless.
Visit the spa for a manicure/pedicure and a body scrub to get rid of old winter skin. Join a yoga class or a Pilates workshop. Take a long walk and smell the fresh air. It’s time to get your mind and body moving toward spring, don’t you think?