Senior Style Bible is written by Dorrie Jacobson. Senior Style Bible was created to celebrate the unmistakable allure of the mature woman and inspire a more modern approach to fashion. Our goal is to inspire “women of a certain age” to embrace an ageless attitude and adopt a more youthful outlook on life.
There's a small window of opportunity in Las Vegas to wear leather and suede before the heat sets in and anything heavier than a whisper is retired to the storage closet for the remainder of the spring/summer season. Luckily I have started obsessing over leather and suede accessories, so even when the temperatures rise, I can still add a bit of edginess to my outfits.
One of my favorite designers in Las Vegas is Jessica Galindo from Leather Couture. A few weeks ago she very sweetly gave me this bespoke black suede scarf as a gift, and I have literally been wearing it non-stop ever since. It's an accessory that I can throw on with almost anything and it completes the look. Now I think I need it in an array of colors for summer. Obsession. It's a slippery slope.
It's pretty hard to thumb through a fashion magazine without stumbling across a feature that boldly outlines the need for "women of a certain age" to dress in an "age appropriate" way. Nothing sends my blood pressure into orbit faster than these condescending, ageist articles. It's as though once a woman hits 40, the fashion police are sent to track us down to confiscate our "cool card" thereby revoking our rights to dress in a trendy and fashion forward way. Suddenly, without warning, we are on the receiving end of a barrage of unsolicited advice about what we can, and cannot wear. Who started this insanity, and how do we make it stop? This idea that fashion is only for the young and hip is absurd. Older women not only still want to be stylish and cool, we have more disposable income to spend than the younger generations, so why limit us with silly rules? Yes, I believe that some looks should be left to the younger demographic. However that doesn't mean that older fashionistas can't style trends in a way that is modern and sophisticated. It's not what you wear, but how you wear it. The wonderful thing about fashion is the multitude of ways it can be worn and interpreted. Just because we're older, doesn't mean we have to disappear into the background in boring, sensible, nondescript clothing. I recently came across an article that boldly declared that women over 33 shouldn't shop at Zara anymore. As an 82 year old avid Zara shopper, this was news to me, and certainly news to the fine people at Zara, I'm sure. As fashion becomes more inclusive, I think it's important for older consumers to speak out against the ingrained ageism still lurking within the fashion industry. Women of a certain age are smart, sophisticated and savvy enough to determine what looks good on them, and what doesn't. We'll shop where we like, and wear what we want. So take note fashion world.
If I had to choose the most important makeup product in my makeup arsenal, it would be Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner. Defining and enhancing your eyes with eyeliner gel is one surefire way to make a dramatic difference in your appearance, which is why I never leave home without putting it on. Whether you prefer a demure, fine line for daytime, a smudged smoky eye for evening or a trendy cat eye, this eyeliner can do it all. I have tried countless expensive, luxury brand gel eyeliners and I always seem to return to this budget friendly Maybelline product. I love the fact that the gel is oil free, smudge-proof, waterproof and lasts for 24hours. Once you put it on, it stays on. Not so with other brands. It’s also available in several shades to enhance every eye color. As an extra bonus it comes packed with its own eyeliner brush.
How many times have you stared blankly into the abyss of your closet wondering how you can have so many clothes, yet still have nothing to wear? We’ve all been there, but don’t despair. What this usually means is that it’s time for a “wardrobe edit.” If you’re not sure how to do that, you are about to find out. A wardrobe edit basically means going through your closet to determine what’s working for you and what isn’t. It means taking stock of your clothing and simplifying things so that you have a wearable collection of pieces to choose from.
The problem is where to start? The first step is to let go of the past. Fashion has changed. It’s become a form of self-expression rather than a list of ever changing trends that need to be followed. Now that you are open to a wider range of possibilities, it’s time to re-evaluate your closet. There may be dozens of outfits hiding in there that you don’t even know exist.
However, before we start to organize your closet, there are some pieces that really have to go first. I know this may be painful, but no matter how attached you are to these pieces, it’s time to part company. They will only serve to make you look frumpy and out of date. Okay, are you ready?
Here are some items that you really need to retire:
Holiday Sweaters.: Anything with reindeer, pumpkins or snowflakes.
Jackets with Big Shoulder Pads (usually from the 80s and 90s)
High Waisted “Mom Jeans” (Google it)
Velour Sweatsuits (Farewell Juicy Couture)
Unflattering Elasticized Pants
Clothing that no longer fit you
Clothing that is worn or stained
Clothing that does not flatter your figure or your coloring.
Okeydokey, now it’s time to organize your closet. First, you need to separate your clothing by category (tops, blouses, sweaters, dresses, jackets, skirts, pants, etc.) Next, try on each one of these pieces in front of a full-length mirror and get ready to be critical. Is it dated looking? If so, toss it. Is it figure flattering? If so, keep it. How many different ways can you wear it? What does it go with? If you love it, but don’t have anything to wear it with, start a list, because you are going to buy something to go with it. The idea is to create a wardrobe of pieces that you love, that are flattering to your figure, and also can be worn a number of different ways. This is called creating a “capsule wardrobe.” It’s better to have fewer pieces, but the right ones, which can be easily mixed and matched together.
It may be a good idea to ask a friend to come over to help you cull your clothing because we all need an unbiased opinion when it comes to editing our closet. It’s hard letting go of old faithful fashion friends, but the idea is to only keep the best pieces.
Once you have purged your closet of everything unflattering, out of style and worn out, put it in plastic bags and set it aside to donate to charity. Next, take digital photos of the remaining outfits that you love. Are there some key pieces that are missing from your wardrobe? Add them to your list. This shopping list is key to updating your look, and creating a capsule wardrobe that will make getting dressed a pleasure rather than an exercise in frustration. If you are unclear what basic elements make a good capsule wardrobe, I have some suggestions.
Two Classic Black Dresses (one for winter and one for summer)
Pants in Black, Grey or Navy, and Camel
Wide Leg Black Pants
Black Straight Skirt (One to the knee and the other long)
Tailored Black Jacket
A Sheer Summer Cardigan
Classic Oversized Cashmere Cardigan
Cashmere Pullover Sweaters in Black, White and a Color
Tank Tops in Black, White and Gray
A Denim Jacket
A Trench Coat
Wide Leg Black Pants
Dressy Black Top
A Leather Jacket
A Pashmina or Cashmere Poncho
These investment pieces are basics that you will have and wear for many years. Add in the outfits that you already own and love, and you now have a well-edited, stylish wardrobe.
The beauty of sheer is that it allows women over 50 to wear strappy tops and dresses, while providing a bit of coverage. Not all of us are fans of exposing our arms, so a sheer jacket is the perfect solution for those of us that still want to wear sleeveless designs, but feel uncomfortable baring too much skin. I live in Las Vegas where it's quite warm year around, so tank tops and dresses are a staple part of my wardrobe. Having said that, at the age of 81, my arms are no longer my best feature, so I have a nice collection of sheer tops, jackets and cardigans that I can throw over any outfit that feels too revealing. This sheer bomber jacket is from Zara and is the perfect cover up for all of my casual daywear. It even has a funky number on the back. I have no idea what it stands for, so I just tell people it was my inmate number from that time I got locked up for misbehaving on the strip. I mean if you can't cause an occasional ruckus in your 80s, when can you?
Double denim used to be considered a fashion faux pas. One piece was amazing, but two was risky territory….however things have changed. A double denim look is not only perfectly acceptable now, it’s actually a chic style choice. Women over 50 can absolutely wear this trend, they simply need to know how to pair denim pieces together in a way that’s stylish and sophisticated. There’s still a fine line between a double denim outfit looking chic and an ensemble that is too much. I mean, let’s face it, no one wants to look like they’ve just stepped out of a rodeo. So here are some tips how to rock the look in a fashionable way.
1. Stick to pieces in similar washes
Seasoned denim-on-denim devotees can experiment with vastly different hues, but if you’re new to the trend, seek out matching, or almost matching, shades of blue. It feels more pulled together and best of all, wearing the same colour head-to-toe elongates the frame.
2. Add modern accessories
A great pair of mules or a polished tote will keep a denim ensemble looking current. Changing up the accessories can also take the look from daytime to evening in a flash, simply by throwing on a fabulous pair of heels and adding an evening bag, like a skin clutch.
3. Don’t pile on other trends
This look requires a bit of restraint, so don’t go crazy with trendy accessories. Adding in neon accessories or a fringe handbag is going to be overkill. Less is actually more in this scenario, so keep the basics, you know, basic.
Clothing for Fall 2016 is finally hitting the stores, and we can’t help but notice that stripes are stealing the show again this season. While some designers are favoring thin horizontal lines, others are going big and bold. Stripes have never been more in vogue than they are at the moment. You can pair them with practically everything, so what’s not to love? However if you’re feeling uninspired by this ongoing trend, here are some fresh ways to wear them to keep them feeling edgy and modern this season.
1. Stripes on Stripes: Up your stripe ante by wearing a few different striped garments at once. My favorite way to update the tried and tested stripe trend is by doubling or tripling them up in one look, like I’ve done here. If you are going to be bold, you really need to go for it. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Fashion is meant to be fun.
2. Striped Accessories: For a look that’s a bit more subtle, but still on trend, try adding a striped accessory like a clutch or a pair of heels.
3. Subtle Stripes: Instead of wearing stripes all over, try more subtle hints like a striped sleeve or hem. Stripes don’t need to shout to make a statement.
There are so many stylish ways to wear stripes this season without looking like an escapee jail bird. So go on, give them a test drive.
Let's face it, good fringe is hard to find. It's a fun trend, but it can easily go horribly wrong, with outfits looking more suitable for a Halloween party, than a night out on the town. But that doesn't mean fringe needs to be avoided entirely. When done well, the trend can actually be stylish. So, what are the best ways to wear fringe in a sophisticated way? Keep it subtle on skirts, barely there on dresses, a tasteful accent on shoes, and dangling on earrings. At the end of the day, if you look like a flapper, a reject from Woodstock or like you've just stepped out of the Wild Wild West, you've gone too far, so keep it subtle.
I discovered this fringed kaftan In H&M recently and immediately fell in love. To me, it's the perfect outfit for entertaining at home or wearing to an afternoon pool party. It definitely has a party vibe, and as Iris Apfel says.... you can never have too many party frocks, because you never know where life is going to take you.
Back in the 80s, my daughter lived in a beaten up military jacket from the Salvation Army all through high school. I hated it and I have held a grudge against the military jacket every since. That is until a recent trip to Barney's where I saw a few stylish versions in the window and my disdain began to thaw. The military jacket has come a long way since the Army Navy store days. It's re-invented itself as a sophisticated wardrobe staple that can be casually thrown over a summer dress or paired with a great pair of leather trousers. I found this cropped version at H&M and decided it was an ideal piece to take traveling with me this summer. It works well with so many things and is also very on trend at the moment...so I decided to forgive and forget. I mean let's face it, there were an awful lot of fashion crimes committed in the 80s. It's probably time to move on.
Summer is the perfect time to indulge in bright pops of color. After a long winter wrapped up in neutrals, it's fun to cut loose and experiment with color. Although mixing and matching contrasting colors is very trendy at the moment, I usually tend to stick to one color palette because it elongates the body and gives the illusion of height, which at a mere 5'2, I need, especially when wearing flats. There are days when running around in heels is just not going to cut it, so if I know I'm going to be doing a lot of walking, I throw on a cute pair of flats by Tory Burch. I've never been a sneaker wearing kind of gal, so trendy flats are my solution to the comfort issue. We all have days we need to dress down, especially when we're on the run...so a pair of flats and a cross body bag are two items that I keep on hand for those busy days when comfort and practicality are key.