A reoccurring theme I see with clients is the fear of dressing "too young". They don't want to look silly, or like they raided a teenager's closet. But, in the quest to look "age appropriate", the pendulum swings too far the other way, and they end up looking years older than they really are. Here are 6 things that are adding years to your look. Are they hiding in your wardrobe?
This post was orignially published last year, and updated for those who didn't see it!
The Wrong Bra
There’s a reason I make every woman I work with get a professional fitting before we work together—the right bra is the most important step in looking your best. Not only does a good bra make all the clothes you already own look better, but the farther your boobs are from your waist, the taller, leaner, and YOUNGER you look! The right bra can give you back what time, gravity, and kids have stolen, so spend your money on good bras before you buy anything else. BTW, did you know you should be refit every year, after gain or loss of 15 pounds or more, or after every baby? Our breast size fluctuates, so make sure you're keeping your girls perky by getting refit often. I'm often asked where to go for bra fittings, and my #1 answer is Nordstrom. They have experienced bra fitters and a wide size range.. Any store that doesn't carry a 32A-44G (or H) in store may not be able to fit you properly. If you're outside of the standard size range, look for a specialty retailer in your area.
Too Much Black
We all love black. It’s chic, it’s slimming, it’s everywhere in the stores….what could possibly be wrong with black? Just one teeny, tiny, thing—it makes most women look washed out and older. Just like a blue shirt brings out the color in blue eyes, black brings out shadows and dark circles--and highlights wrinkles. You don’t have to ban the harsh color altogether (I tried once. It didn’t last), but consider adding more flattering colors to your wardrobe, and use black sparingly. If you can’t bear the thought of less black, add a colorful necklace or scarf-- or add a little extra lipstick to brighten you up. Navy is a more universally flattering neutral, and while it can be hard to find for fall and winter, it's a fantastic choice for warmer months.
Saturday Night Live immortalized “Mom Jeans” in 2003, but sadly the ill-fitting, unflattering jeans haven't gone anywhere! Most women we work with spend a lot of time in jeans, but most don’t invest enough time or money to get a great pair. I mean, REALLY great jeans, the kind that make you feel like a million bucks, and make your butt look amazing! Most women are buying their jeans at least a size too big. Unless you’re wearing an intentionally roomy fit (like a boyfriend cut) your jeans should hug your body. You shouldn’t be able to grab handfuls of fabric at your hips, knees, or below your bum. Don’t forget about pocket placement either. Avoid small pockets that are placed high on the rear--they'll make your butt look bigger and longer. Pocket placement can make the difference between Mom jeans and Hot Mama jeans. Which would you rather be?
I get strongly worded emails every time I talk about upgrading your shoes, so I’ll tread lightly on this one, but the fact remains that shoes define your style. Look at your feet. Do your shoes match the style you want to project? Or are they an afterthought—just a covering for your feet? Yes, comfortable shoes are a necessity, but comfortable and cute don’t have to be mutually exclusive. It might take a little more effort, but you can find shoes that are kind to your feet, and to your style. I read once that the thicker the sole of your shoe, the older it makes you look. And with the exception of platform sandals and wedges, it holds true every time. Christian Louboutin (maker of the gorgeous red-soled heels) once said, “I wouldn't take it as a compliment if someone looked at one of my shoes and said, 'Oh, that looks like a comfortable shoe.'’”. If you want to look more youthful, add a little of Mr. Louboutin’s philosophy to your wardrobe and buy shoes that are comfortable, but don't shout "Comfort Shoe!". Take the time to find shoes that fit both your style AND your lifestyle. I wrote a whole post about comfort shoes, which you can find here. While some of them definitely fall in the "comfort shoe" category, my tips will help you pick the best of the bunch.
Are you still hanging on to those sweet sweater sets you bought for a job 15 years ago? I hate to break it to you, but no one’s wearing them anymore. Same with chenille sweaters, and textured matte jersey dresses. Lots of women define their style as “classic” without knowing what it really means. Here’s what it DOESN’T mean; “I bought decent clothes in 2002, so I never have to shop again”. Sorry friends, styles, patterns, and fabrics change, and most wardrobe items (even the basics) need to be replaced/updated every few years. When you hang on to styles/colors/patterns that have passed their prime, you look just as outdated as the clothes, which adds years. Do a little online shopping, and see if the clothes in your wardrobe look like the clothes that are being sold today. It's an easy way to tell a classic piece from one you just wish was a classic. Also, check out this list of pieces that didn't become classics!
Too Much Fabric
Women want to avoid the "f-word" at all costs. Yep, I'm talking about Frumpy! Too much fabric is a one-way express ticket to Frumptown, ladies--and let's face it, "frumpy" is synonymous with "old". Drowning yourself in fabric because 1) you don’t know what size you are or 2) you don’t WANT to know what size you are adds pounds and ages you. Strip away the extra weight and years by wearing clothes that fit, and looking for styles that show a little skin. Hiding behind extra fabric has never been a successful strategy for looking your best.
If you're reading this post and feel like it was written just for you, it's time to call Apple & Pear! I can help you build a wardrobe that flatters your body, fits your lifestyle, and makes you look actIally age-appropriate. I never push my clients to be more trendy than they want to be, or to buy anything they don't feel great in. I want you to help you find the best version of you!
Ok, closet confessional time--did you read any of these and thing "OMG, that's SO me"? If so, which ones?