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How to wear shorts when you’re over 50

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How to wear shorts when you're 50+

“I can’t wear shorts, I’m too old for that”

It’s a comment I hear often from women over the age of 50 (and sometimes over the age of 40!)

They feel that hitting a certain number automatically takes away their right to wear specific types of clothing. Well folks, I’m here to tell you that it just isn’t true.

Saying you can’t wear shorts over a certain age is just as ridiculous as saying someone over a certain size shouldn’t wear a swimsuit.

I understand that you want to look age appropriate, but I have a little secret for you. It’s possible to wear shorts at any age and look age appropriate.

Here’s how.

1. Choose the right length

Obviously, you don’t want to wear daisy dukes, but just because you’re older doesn’t mean you have to wear Bermuda shorts. Finding the right length for your body is key to looking age appropriate in shorts. Essentially, you want your shorts to be no higher than where the inside muscle of your leg ends. To find that spot, stand in a superman pose with your legs slightly spread. The inside of your legs will get thinner as they go from your pelvis to your knee. Whenever they stop getting thinner and just go straight down, that’s where the muscle ends. Here are several pictures featuring women of different body types and shapes. The red line is where the inner muscle ends (and where your shorts should begin).

From left to right: Ashley Graham, Goldie Hawn, Julie Andrews

2. Keep it simple.

Leave the bright floral prints, polka dots, and stripes to your kids and grandkids. Opting for neutrals like white, beige, black, and navy are going to look more classy than cutesy. It’s also a good idea to choose shorts from more structured fabrics like thick cottons and canvases. These fabrics don’t wrinkle as easily, they don’t cling to your skin, and they look more pulled together (aka: age appropriate!) than linens and slinky polyesters. Keep it simple when it comes to pockets, too. Cargo pockets look bulky and will make your legs look bigger than they are. The more hidden the pockets, the better. If you need help coming up with a classic wardrobe of clothes, click here.

Washed Chino Bermuda ShortsWashed Chino Bermuda ShortsWashed Chino Bermuda Shorts7" Button-Hem Short Riviera Shorts with 6 Inch Inseam color Coral Blush

From left to right (LLBean, Eloquii, Talbots (other colors available), LOFT (more colors))

how to wear shorts and not look frumpy

3. Choose the rest of your outfit wisely.

If you’re showing more skin on your bottom half than normal, cover up more on top. A cardigan or long sleeve shirt will keep you from looking like you’re baring all. Also, try to pick tops that match the formality of your bottoms. In other words, if you’re wearing gym shorts, wear a t-shirt. If you’re wearing tailored khaki shorts, opt for a nice blouse (like a button down oxford). Pair nice shorts with the same tops you would wear with business casual khaki pants.

Here are several ideas of how to wear shorts:

outfits with shorts

Left to right (Casual daytime look, more professional look, very casual/beach look)

Creating a wardrobe of clothes you love can be hard, not to mention when you’re trying to achieve an age appropriate look. If you’re looking to boost your style (or even start out in the right direction) keep reading here about my classic wardrobe basics (and the 20 items that make up every great wardrobe- no matter how old or young you are).

How do you wear your shorts? I’d love to know! Comment below. 

xoxo, Leslie

 

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How to wear a long cardigan (for every body shape & type)

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From the runway to stores like Target, the long cardigan is everywhere.

And for a good reason.

It’s comfortable, stylish, and easy to wear. The perfect layering piece, a long cardigan can go with anything from a pair of jeans to a ball gown.

And…the best part is that the long cardigan can be worn by any body type and shape! Here’s how:

Pssst. Not sure what body shape you are? Click here to take the quiz!

Apple:

Apple shaped women are wider throughout the waist than the hips and chest (here’s everything you need to know about dressing Apple body shapes).

Apples will look best with their long cardigan unbelted and open. Resist the urge to close up the cardigan as it will actually make you look taller and skinnier when you can see the rest of your outfit under the cardigan.

Extra weight around the middle? You’d never know it in this outfit!

See more apple outfit ideas on this Pinterest board.

Rectangle:

Rectangle shaped women have a straight up-and-down almost athletic shape (here’s everything you need to know about dressing Rectangle body shapes).

Rectangles tend to look better when long cardigans are wrapped and belted. This gives the illusion of volume and a waistline. It also makes the wearer appear curvier than they actually are.

See more rectangle outfit ideas on this Pinterest board.

Hourglass:

Hourglass shaped women are fuller in the chest and hips and have a smaller defined waist (here’s everything you need to know about dressing an Hourglass body shape).

A baggy cardigan can hide your curves and make you appear larger than you are. For that reason, opt for more fitted options. If you can’t find a more fitted cardigan, try adding a belt to your outfit or looking for sheer cardigans. Either option will keep you from looking like a blob.

A sheer cardigan adds interest (and warmth!) to your outfit without making you look like a sack.

See more Hourlgass outfit ideas on this Pinterest board.

Inverted Triangle:

An Inverted Triangle shaped woman has wider shoulders, a defined waist, and more narrow hips. Here is everything you need to know about dressing an Inverted Triangle body shape!

Choose a long cardigan that will draw the eye away from your shoulder area. For example, look for cardigans with: accent pockets, vertical stripes, multiple colors, or patterns.

The argyle design draws the eye up and down while the big pockets catch your attention- and distract away from the chest/shoulder area.

See more inverted triangle outfit ideas on this Pinterest board

Pear:

Pear shaped women are smaller through the chest, have a defined waist, and are fuller through the hips (psst. here is everything you need to know about dressing a Pear body shape).

The most important thing for pears to watch out for are cardigans that end at the widest part of the hips. This will make your hips/booty area appear bigger. Instead, choose a cardigan that is shorter or longer.

This cardigan makes her look long and lean while the dark belt accents her waist.

See more pear outfit ideas here.

how to wear a long cardigan as a petite woman

Special Sizes:

Plus: Choose your cardigan based on your body shape (above!) Need help finding clothes that fit your figure? Check out this post.

Tall: Long cardigans were made for you. Choose the one that works best for your body shape. Looking for clothes that are just for Tall people? You need to read this post.

Petite: Long cardigans don’t have to make you look short. Opt for a neutral color cardigan that is different than the color of the rest of your outfit underneath to make you appear taller (like the picture below!) Not sure where to find petite sized cardigans? Check out this blog post.

A dark shirt and jeans makes this woman look taller than she probably is!

What’s your favorite way to wear a cardigan?

Let me know in the comments below!

xoxo, Leslie

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How to be stylish and comfortable

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Why is it that we feel style and comfort are mutually exclusive?

When I put on ‘comfy clothes’ they usually consist of cashmere sweatpants and an oversized sweatshirt. Meanwhile, stylish clothes may involve heels and a dress.

That’s probably what a lot of people think…and they wouldn’t be wrong.

But what happened to all the middle ground?

Is it possible to have your cake and eat it too? Of course. Here’s how:

Stop thinking of comfy and stylish as opposite ends of the same spectrum.

Instead, think of them as two overlapping spectra. Some clothes may be a little comfortable and a lot stylish and others may be really comfortable and really stylish. It’s like diet food tasting terrible. Sure, some diet food isn’t good, but not all diet food tastes terrible. Once you grasp that, you will have an easier time with your diet. Likewise, once you understand that comfy and stylish are not mutually exclusive you will have an easier time dressing for comfort.

Choose your clothes wisely

Think for a minute about your comfort needs. Are you on your feet a lot and need comfortable shoes? Do you have sensitive skin and like specific fabrics? Maybe you like how certain clothes like yoga pants and sweatshirts ‘compress and conceal’ certain parts of your body you don’t like. Whatever it is, find your main comfort needs. Now, (here’s the important part) when you go shopping- remember those needs! If you have bad feet, don’t buy 4-inch heels. Buy cute riding boots with a comfy insole. If you love the feel of yoga pants, buy dress pants and jeans with stretch in them. This is especially important for the basics that make up your closet. (Click here to see the 20 essential basics every woman needs). Since you wear these items on a daily basis, the more in tune they are to your comfort needs, the more likely you are to wear them.

Organize your closet accordingly

I make a specific point of giving lounge clothes their own special spot in my closet. Likewise, workout clothes have their special spot. And it’s worth noting- that both of those spots are separated from work and casual ‘outside the house’ clothing. I even separate my t-shirts. My workout t-shirts are on a different side than my cute fashion t-shirts. The point is: by physically separating (and labeling if you can) your house clothes and your gym clothes you won’t be tempted to wear them to the grocery store or work. AND, if you’ve done the previous point correctly, your work clothes will fulfil your comfy needs and you won’t be as tempted in the first place.

I want to know:

What’s your biggest road block to dressing well? Let me know in the comments.

Cheers,

Leslie

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How to look stylish- even when it’s cold outside

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It feels like only a few months ago that I was writing a blog post on how to dress in hot weather.

 

I live in Northeast Georgia where the humidity combines with high temperatures in the summer to create a sort of permanent outdoor steam room. In the winter, though, we may dip down to freezing a few times and scatter some snowflakes every three years for the fun of it.

 

I feel incredibly lucky that I don’t live somewhere cold currently, but seen that side of the weather spectrum too.

 

Surviving in negative 40-degree weather in Upstate New York is one thing. Looking fashionable in said icebox is a whole other thing.

 

I’ve had the privilege of living everywhere from New York to Arizona and quite a few places in between (helloooo Iowa!) Most of these places were cold as an iceberg during the winter and, much against my will, this Georgia girl learned how to dress for the winter- and dress well.

 

Here are the top tips I learned from working in the fashion industry in unbearably cold places:

 

1. Just one coat won’t cut it

 

Living in the South, you can get away with having one or two coats: one navy peacoat for casual settings and/or a fitted black coat for more formal affairs. Try having two coats somewhere cold and it’s like bringing one bathing suit on a three-month cruise. Outerwear is basically innerwear. I know innerwear isn’t a word, but you get the idea. You basically need almost as many coats and bulky sweaters. Your new innerwear outerwear isn’t just keeping you warm, it’s a vital part of your outfit.

 

 

Coats are a lot like shoes- you need a basic black pair, a practical pair, a fun pair, a serious pair…you get the idea. If you find coats to be rather boring, you’re in luck. This year is all about the statement coat…and they are everywhere at all price points. I recommend splurging on your daily classic pieces (psst. here are 20 classic pieces every woman needs in her wardrobe) and then spending less on a few fun statement coats like these:

 

2. Hosiery isn’t dead

Sometimes I feel like the only millennial that wears hosiery, but I’m totally okay with that. Why? Because my legs are way warmer than your legs. Seriously though. Don’t underestimate the magic of tights. Most tights these days are quite comfortable and they can add a little extra to any outfit. You’d be surprised how much warmer a pair of strategically layered tights (think: under your jeans!) is than your normal work ensemble. Here are some of my favorite outfits styled with tights.

3. Choose your fabrics wisely

Here’s something fun to think about: One wool sweater can be warmer than 2 cotton ones. Why? The nature of the fabric. Different fabrics are better (or worse) at helping your body regulate it’s temperature and stay warm. In the hot weather blog post, I wrote about which fabrics work best for hot weather…this time the tables are turned. Here are the best fabrics for staying warm:

4. Layer away!

I’m not going to lie, layering is tricky. Sloppy layering can make you look like a homeless vagabond while strategic layering can make you look like an Olsen twin. What’s worse is that layering is essential especially in today’s workplace. In the overly temperature controlled boxes we work in, the office may feel like Bermuda while it’s blizzarding just outside the window. How does one even begin to dress for that sort of situation…let alone dress well? The answer is layering. Being able to peel off layers and still look work appropriate (and fashionable!) is a skill that anyone can master. Here’s a whole blog post on my magic formula for creating the perfect layers.

Enjoy,

xoxo Leslie

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13 Ways to look like a million for under $10

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin13 ways to look like a million

 

You don’t have to have a million dollars to look like you do! Here are 10 quick tips to have you looking your best…for just $10 or less.

 

1, Wear clothes that fit. You wouldn’t believe how much of a difference this makes- and how many people wear ill fitting clothing. Wearing clothing that fits your body shape is incredibly important and sometimes that means getting clothing altered. (Not sure what your body shape is? Take the quiz here) Many men’s stores will hem pants for free and do other alterations for minimal cost. Nice department store might also offer this service. Going to a tailor to bring in a button down shirt will cost around $15 while changing hemlines averages around $10. If you know someone who sews, they might be willing to do it for free or for an exchange (did anyone say wine?) Cost= $0+ depending on the alteration. 

 

2. Be picky when you’re buying second hand. You can save a lot of dough by buying clothing and accessories second hand, but beware of purchasing items that look too rough. Make sure that you actually love the items you are about to purchase and that you aren’t just buying them because ‘they are so cheap!’ Garments still need to fit and be a flattering shape and color. (Hint: here are the top 20 basic garments every woman needs in her wardrobe- plus the perfect fit for your body shape) They should also be in good condition. Pretend like you’re in a high end store where everything is $500 plus. Would you buy the same thing in that situation? This will prevent you from having a closet full (cha-ching!) of mediocre clothes that look okay on you. Cost= $10 or less for second hand clothes. 

 

3. Fill in your eyebrows. As we women get older, we often lose our hair (sorry guys, who didn’t know this), which is why thick locks are a sign of youth. Filling in your eyebrows is one of those changes that can make you look younger without being blatantly obvious. Make sure you choose the right pencil for your hair color and, if you are in a beauty store like Ulta, ask one of the salespeople to teach you how to use it. Cost= Eyebrow pencils on Ulta.com ranged from $1.99-$24. Want more tips on how to dress your age? Here’s how to dress in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s (coming soon!)

 

4. Improve your sleeping habits. Sleep looks good on everyone, and it’s free (Win-win? I think so) The biggest enemy of good sleep is your cell phone. Avoid looking at your phone (or any other screen) one hour prior to sleeping. I also use the ‘do not disturb (silence except for emergency numbers that I dictate) until my next alarm’ feature. Even if you don’t realize that your phone is glowing and beeping all night long, your REM cycle might. Getting a couple of extra Z’s will improve your complexion and save you money on cucumbers (or all those costly cremes and cover-ups). Cost= FREE!

 

5. Tuck in your shirt. My husband works in a factory setting and this tip works just as perfectly for factory workers as it does for top level executives. Why? Well, tucking in a shirt creates a waist (or any body definition) where there was none which looks better on any body shape. It also looks more pulled together and generally less sloppy. You didn’t just throw on a pair of pants and a shirt, you carefully manipulated your clothing to look more professional. Watch how much of a difference it makes here. Cost= 10 seconds. 

 

6. Take care of your shoes and/or handbags. I have a friend who cleans her shoes off after every wear. It doesn’t matter if they were $300 or $3, she simply takes a clean cloth and wipes them down before putting them in back into her closet. The result is that she always looks polished and sharp, not to mention her shoes last forever. We may be able to fake a million dollar look, but shoes and handbags usually rat us out by looking slightly tattered. If you’re like me and don’t have time to daily clean your shoes, try doing it once a week while you watch tv or talk to a friend. Cost= FREE!

 

how to dress like you have money

 

 

7. Exercise. Another freebie that makes a big difference. When you look at people in upper class society, you’ll see that they look more healthy than their lower socio-economic counterparts. Additionally, clothes look and fit their best when the wearer is at a healthy weight for their body type. You can blame cheap fast food, expensive gym membership access, or a multitude of other things on why this rich/poor healthy/unhealthy paradox exists…or you could do something about your own body. Planning out your meals will save you money, calories, and time. Parking further from your destination, getting off the bus a stop early, or going on an evening after dinner stroll in your neighborhood are all simple ways to start living a healthier life. Cost= FREE + a little time.

 

8. Learn how to barter. You may not have the financial resources it takes to buy the best clothes and purchase the best haircuts, but you might have something else. Think about what talents or services you provide and then use those to barter for what you want. Maybe you are great at social media. Ask a local salon who’s struggling with their online presence whether you can help them with their social media in exchange for haircuts/colors. This usually works best with friends and acquaintances. Just make sure that you are good at the service you’re offering and that you follow through on your end of the deal. Cost= FREE (or the cost of your services). Here are some quick tips on bartering from RealSimple.com

 

9. Straighten up. Standing up straight can visually make you look 5 lbs lighter and years younger! There’s nothing more aging than a hunching posture. Look at any wealthy business person and you will see someone who carries himself or herself (upright!) with confidence. Practice sitting up straight while at your desk, typing, or even browsing your phone. Cost= FREE

 

10. Break out the blush. Our cheeks naturally flush when we are excited or aroused. This almost always reads positively by the person viewing you, because they subconsciously connect your excitability to being with them. Luckily, all it takes to fake this effect is to throw on some blush. A little bit of blush will immediately make you look fresh, vibrant, and youthful. Cost= $2.99+ from your local drugstore. 

 

11. Choose colors that flatter your skin tone. Everyone has a certain color or set of colors that really bring out their best features. Work on identifying your colors (I dedicated a whole lesson to this in my e-course: The Ultimate #STYLE Guide!) and then start wearing them! Cost= nothing if you have clothing in your ‘good’ colors. If you don’t? Try buying a scarf. It’s a lot cheaper than buying a whole new shirt and you can pair it with items you already have.

 

12. Smile. I know it sounds cheesy, but have you ever hung out with someone who has a resting bitch face? Even if they’re saying nice, friendly things it’s hard to not think that they are constantly judging you, or are unhappy about hanging out with you, or are just plain uninterested. Cost = some face exercises.

 

13. Discover the many uses of coconut oil. Coconut oil is incredible. It will make your hair shiny and strong, your skin smooth as a baby’s butt, and your teeth several shades whiter…to name a few. Beauty gurus have been touting the positive beauty affects of coconut oil for years! Check out a whole list of things you can do with the magical stuff here. Cost = $7.99 usually for a jar.

 

Above all, remember to take control of the things you can, and don’t worry about the things you can’t! Money can’t buy attitude, manners, kindness, or presence.

Cheers,

Leslie

 

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The art of layering clothes

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinThe formula to layering clothes

 

Layering clothes– it’s what makes an okay outfit an amazing outfit. It’s where personality and creativity take off.

 

But it isn’t always easy.

 

If basic outfits are simple 1+1=2 arithmetic, then the art of layering is algebra. There are formulas and ways to solve for x and make a great outfit, but you have to know them (by instinct or learning). With that said, I would argue layering is considerably more fun than algebra.

 

Here’s your general formula for layering clothes:

 

Base garment + accent garment(s) + accessories = layered outfit.

 

Your base garment is the simplest version of your outfit and basically whatever is needed to keep you decent. In the below example, the base garment is jeans and a t-shirt. Nothing fancy, just a top and bottom so you don’t get in trouble for public indecency. There are 20 pieces of clothing that I consider base (aka the basics) garments and are the ultimate foundation for any wardrobe.

 

Your accent garment or garments (for the more seasoned layerer- not a word, but stick with me) consists of any extra pieces of clothing that you are wearing aside from the base garment. This could be anything from a cardigan to a vest or even a blouse. Accent garments are a great way to incorporate trends into your outfit. Check out the top 8 trends of Fall 2018 here.

 

Your accessories are the sprinkles on the cake. They fill in ‘visual holes’ (places on your outfit where you need more visual interest) and add the last little bit of personality.

 

Here’s the formula at work:

 

How to layer clothing

 

The basic jeans and t-shirt above layers various garments to create three very different outfit ideas. Some of these outfit examples are more casual and some are more dressed up. See if you can identify each part of the formula: base garments + accents garment + accessories.

 

It’s also important to note that it is easiest when the formula goes in that order: base + accent + accessory. Most people have trouble visualizing an entire outfit all pulled together. However, most everyone can add pieces one at a time (something I talk about in this free webinar). Even if you have to take off part of your base layer (like a dress) to add an accent garment (like a blouse), it’s still mentally easier to put the outfit together in the order of the formula.

 

That brings us to my next very important point. Layering can be done OVER or UNDER (or sometimes both!)

 

We usually think of layering in terms of putting a cardigan or blazer over a shirt. We are not wrong to think that but, but we are wrong to assume that that is the only way to layer! Putting a blouse under a dress is layering. Putting pants under a mini dress (thus making it a tunic!) is layering. Putting a dress under a pair of pants is layering. It may not all look good, but don’t limit yourself! Some of the best outfits are made by thinking out of the box.

 

Look at how this dress (as well as the example above) is layered both over and under.

 

How to layer women's clothingHere we see one outfit that is layered under (the blouse is under the dress) and two that are layered over (the sweater and blazer). Just like the jeans and t-shirt example, the formula applied to this little black dress completely transforms the whole outfit.

 

How to layer women's clothing

 

There really is no rule to how many pieces you can layer, so have fun experimenting and deciding what works best for you! Everyone has a unique style (Not sure what yours is? Take the Style quiz here!) and layering is a great way to show it off!

 

What’s your favorite layered look? Let me know below!

 

Cheers,

Leslie

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4 Easy Ways to Dress Young…without looking like teenager

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinThe most common woe clients come to me with goes like this: “I don’t want to look frumpy because I feel young, but I also don’t want to look like my 16-year-old daughter.”

 

These middle-aged women are often vibrant, active, and far from looking like how their mothers did at the same age. But, it’s one thing to feel young and another thing to dress young.

 

Here are four easy ways to strike a balance between frumptastic and teenager.

 

How to dress young without looking like a teen

 

 

  1. Stay out of the juniors department (and stores specifically geared at teens).

This one sounds easy, but it can be challenging. Have you ever wandered into the juniors department thinking, “oh, that’s cute” without even realizing where you were? This happens all the time to me at Target. (Speaking of Target, did you read about what happened when I picked out plaid outfits for every age there?) One minute you’re looking at work attire and then you’ve crossed the invisible line to juniors clothing. Additionally, try to avoid stores that are geared directly at teens like Abercrombie and Fitch, American Eagle, Forever 21, etc. While you can find suitable items in these places, it’s much easier to pick out age-appropriate items in a place like Banana Republic than H&M.

 

70 c clothes

Sometimes it’s hard to tell where Junior’s ends and everything else begins…especially during sale season.

 

2. Let quality and fit be your guide

Clothes designed for teenagers are made poorly. Companies know that teens and young adults rotate through clothing more rapidly than other age groups, so they don’t spend as much time and money on quality. If you can’t tell whether you’re in the juniors department or not, just ask yourself, “how well is this made?”

 

Choosing well-made clothing is going to make you look more age appropriate because it will actually fit you well. Designers go through lots of measures to make sure their clothing fits their target market properly. That’s why Aeropostale fits one way while Talbots fits another. If an item is too tight, too short, and generally ill-fitting you will look like you stole clothes from your daughter’s closet. On the other hand, if the fit is baggy and ill-fitting in the too big direction, you will look older.

 

Did you know? Every brand has someone called a ‘fit model’ who works for them. The fit model is a woman (or in the case of menswear- a man) who is the exact measurement of that brand’s average size (usually a medium or 6/8). All of the clothes for that brand are based on the body shape of the fit model- and they aren’t always perfect hourglasses. That is why J. Crew fits better on rectangle shaped women and Talbots looks better on apple shaped ladies. Not sure what shape you are? Take the quiz here!

 

 

3. Look for the word: Contemporary 

Many nice department stores like Saks, Barneys, Bergdorfs, etc. divide their products by floor. As a result, you’re likely to step into an elevator and be given options like ‘beauty, shoes, contemporary, designer…” If you don’t understand what defines and differentiates floors like contemporary and designer then you’re already fighting an uphill battle before you’ve begun.

 

Essentially, contemporary is the way to say ‘current’ without saying ‘trendy’. Contemporary clothing is trendy clothing designed for adults rather than teens (that would be the juniors dept.) In a department store like Saks, contemporary clothing is less expensive (though certainly not cheap) and more current and mainstream. It’s not just big department stores that use the word contemporary. Forever 21 uses it to describe their more modern, looser fit collection (which fits more like…forever 31). Current but not trendy is exactly what will make you look your age and these pieces are often categories as ‘contemporary’.

 

 

4. Stay current with silhouettes, not patterns

Loud patterns, bright colors, and offbeat prints will all make you look younger, but not necessarily in a good way. Instead of dressing younger through patterns, do it by keeping your silhouettes in style. That may sound hard, but intuitively you know the difference between a black suit from the 80’s and one from today. The silhouette of today’s black suit is going to be more modern. This is especially important if you are super petite and have to shop in Juniors or Children sections! 

 

When you look through magazines or are window shopping, try focusing on the shape of garments rather than colors and prints. Are boxy jackets everywhere? What about pleated skirts? This will clue you into what is currently in style and allow you to choose colors that may be more age appropriate. With that being said- never buy anything you don’t love or love the way it looks on you! Not all trends and ‘modern silhouettes’ will look good on you and that’s okay. The basic garments that make up your wardrobe should all work well with your body type. Update those garments as they come into style and add trendy pieces only when they work with your wardrobe (and your body!).

 

Lastly-

 

If you’re still in doubt whether an item or an outfit is ‘too old’ or ‘too young’ for you, I always recommend erring on the side of caution; don’t purchase or wear the item/outfit until you can get a second opinion from someone you trust!

 

Dressing appropriately for your age can be tricky. In fact, I created a whole lesson in  The Ultimate #STYLE E-Course that addresses just that issue because it’s so commonly asked about! For the complete guide of style tips, including how to dress for your body type, how to wear jewelry, and how to style scarves, click on The Ultimate #STYLE Course link above.

Cheers!

Leslie

 

Check out these blog posts (60’s+ is coming soon!):

what to wear after 50 3 tips to dressing in your 40's How to dress in your 30's

 

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How to dress in your 50’s

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinHow to dress in your 50's

Careers have stabilized, nests are emptied, and the body is doing whatever it feels like (goodbye, eyesight). Welcome to your 50’s.

 

If you didn’t take time to yourself in your 40’s, then you might find yourself in a style rut, looking frumpy and out of date. Not to worry- it’s never too late to show yourself some love. Start with choosing wardrobe basics that look great on your body type. Set time aside to improve your health and your appearance (this could include anything from walking with friends to doing hair masks). You’ve spent most of your adult life taking care of someone or something else- now it’s time for you.

 

If you were nice to yourself in your 40’s (good for you!) then you are well set up to confront the many changes your lifestyle and body has in store for you during this decade.

 

Here are my top 3 tips for dressing in your 50’s:

 

  1. Decide how you’re going to age

There’s no denying it, a lot of changes in your appearance will start happening in your 50’s. Whether it’s graying hair, a widening middle (thanks, Menopause!), or extra lines on your face, you are really starting to look different than previous years. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing, though! It really all comes down to attitude. Do you want to fall down the proverbial hill or enjoy the view?

 

You’ve heard the phrase ‘aging gracefully’, right? Well, it’s totally up to you as to HOW you age. Are you going to age gracefully (whatever that means for you)? Are you going to fight the aging process? Are you going to let time do its thing why you sit back and watch things unfold? The good news is: there is no wrong answer. Whether you let your hair go gray or load up on botox, the choice is yours.

 

Crossing the threshold of 50 is a great reason to take a step back and review your life. Are you happy with the person you’ve been for the last 50 years? What kind of person do you want to be for the next 50? This last question will dictate, not only how you decide to age, but also what you wear going forth. Maybe it means taking some risks, maybe it means prioritizing comfort, or maybe it means staying true to what you’ve done all along.

 

Your appearance isn’t just fun and games (although it should be fun! see tip #2), it’s a form of communication. The 50’s are a great time to think about what you’re communicating through your appearance and what you plan on communicating as you get older.

 

what to wear after 50

 

  1. Have some fun

No matter what kind of person you want to be for the next 50 years, there is one thing that I encourage everyone to embrace on some level: FUN.

 

At this point, you’re comfortable in your skin, you know what you like, and you know where you want to go. If there’s any time to try something new, it’s now. Is there something you’ve always wanted to try, but didn’t have the confidence (like wearing white booties)? Or maybe, you’re just bored of the clothes you already have and want to spice it up a little, while still staying true to you. Even if you’re totally happy with your current wardrobe, try doing something or wearing something you normally wouldn’t. Switching up your fashion or your appearance has the same effect as going to a different restaurant for your weekly date night dinner with your spouse. It makes things feel fresh, new, and exciting all of a sudden.

 

With that said, remember that is doesn’t have to be anything huge. Try a different shade of eyeshadow or lipstick. Pick up a pair of shoes from Target that you normally wouldn’t wear. Style your hair differently. Put a scarf around your handbag instead of your neck. Go to Charming Charlie and get some funky jewelry just for the heck of it (even if you only wear it out on girls’ night).

 

Your life is really just starting to get fun, don’t let your wardrobe fall behind.

 

  1. Keep learning

One of the many things I love about fashion is how it translates differently from person to person and even the same person throughout different periods of their life. Have you ever looked back at pictures of younger you and thought, “what was I wearing? I thought I was so cool.” I know I have. But that’s part of the beauty of fashion. When I was in college wearing a homemade dress from upholstery material (true story) I was engaging with fashion in an entirely different way than I do now when I buy a polka dot suit from Banana Republic and wear it to meetings (also true).

 

Experience teaches us how to engage with fashion, but so do conventional learning methods. For example, you may have learned throughout the years what kind of jeans look best on you, but you may also read a blog post on dressing your body shape and realize what tops look best you. As your body and lifestyle change and you age, new unlimited learning opportunities open up. You don’t get dressed as a young adult and then decide that’s how you’re going to look forever, do you? No! Your appearance changes throughout your life and it reflects where you are and what you find important. As you go through tip #1 and decide who you want to be post-50, take time to expand your horizons and learn something new.

 

Here’s a nifty list of resources I recommend based on what you might want to learn!:

 

Fashion resources for women over 50

 

I want to…

  1. Overhaul my whole wardrobe and re-organize my closet
  2. Update my hairstyle
  3. Know how my appearance affects how others view me
  4. Get inspiration for age-appropriate outfits
  5. Find a new way to tie a scarf
  6. Know what trends are in for this Fall
  7. Know more about reading glasses (and where to find fun ones!)
  8. Learn how to look sexy without looking sleazy
  9. Know what looks good on my body shape
  10. Find workout clothes that work for my age

 

Ps. You can stay on the top as the hill as long as you want. Enjoy it! Smile

 

Cheers!

Leslie

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How to Dress in your 40’s

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How to dress in your 40's

 

Several years ago, a movie came out called This is 40. Do you remember it? I made the weird choice of watching it (I was in my late 20’s at the time) and found it more depressing than comedic. In fact, I don’t think I laughed at all. ‘Watched in horror’ and ‘silently cried’ were probably more appropriate ways to describe my reaction to the movie.

 

With that said, I think it hit on a good point about your 40’s: they are this middle ground in your life that hit somewhat unexpectantly early (middle aged is after 50, isn’t it?) and can almost be a tipping point. This is the only age decade that is solely NOT about you.

 

Think about it. Your kids are in middle school or high school and you are a taxi service/therapist/referee/short order cook. Promotions in your job mean that you have more responsibility and more expected from you at work. Your spouse and friends still want your love and attention (because, you know, they’re normal human beings). You are being pulled in all directions at once and, most likely, none of them are towards you.

 

No other decade has SOLEY been about others until this point in your life, and to be honest, I see people start to move in one of two directions. They either put themselves on the back burner (never to be seen again) or they take time for a little self-care and love. Fashion speaking, this is the difference between women who ‘let themselves go’ and women who ‘look just as good as in high school’.

 

Because you’re in such an in-between zone, choosing what to wear in your 40’s can be really hard. You still feel sexy, but you are the mom of a 13-year-old daughter and don’t want to look too sexy. You need the versatility of workout clothes (and the comfort of yoga pants) on the weekends, but you also miss looking like a decent human being. How do you find a happy medium?

 

While I don’t have all the answers, I have a few that I think are incredibly important.

 

Here are my top 3 tips to dressing in your 40’s

 

1. Don’t forget to show yourself some love

 

It’s much easier said than done, but TAKE TIME FOR YOU! I know a man who wakes up at 4 am just to have an hour to himself every morning. It’s his way of grounding and refreshing himself before his two teenagers and wife wake up. You may not have an extra hour in your day, but 5 minutes of meditation or journaling in the carpool line can do leaps and bounds for your emotional health.

 

Likewise, doing small things for your fashion life can also make a big difference. Maybe resolve to wear one cute outfit (aka not yoga pants) when running errands this week. Maybe take an hour to go through your closet and remove anything that is damaged or stained. Take a weekend to go shopping with girlfriends and refresh your spirit (and closet!). Or if you don’t have any sort of rhyme or reason behind your wardrobe- make your life easier (and more stylish) by building up the basics in your wardrobe (here are 20 basics every woman needs in her wardrobe).

 

This is often the time women start falling into a fashion rut. Usually caused by pushing their appearance to a low priority, a style rut can (and will!) last until you decide to do something for yourself (fashion speaking). While your appearance doesn’t need to be your top priority all the time (that would be considered vanity) it should ideally stay around some sort of happy medium. Some days are yoga pant days while some days you put on makeup and steal the show. (Psst. Already in a rut? Here’s how to get out)

 

Case in point: don’t ‘let yourself go’! Find ways to show you, you care. Decide to do one thing for yourself this week (it can be big or small!) that will help keep your appearance at that ‘happy medium’.

 

how to respect yourself with your clothing

 

2. Mastering the balance between sexy and sleazy

 

This is something I get so many questions about, I literally just did a whole blog post on the topic. Essentially, you feel (relatively) young still, but you don’t want to look like your teenage daughter. How do you find a happy medium between sexy and too sexy? How do you look like you’re not trying too hard?

 

The key is an easy formula that I call the rule of alternating zones. Read the whole post and see examples here.

 

3. Dress Respectfully

 

As I mentioned in the first tip, your appearance is your message to the world- and it’s a message you get to choose! My big question for you is: does that message say you respect yourself? Does it say you respect others?

 

Does it say you care enough about yourself to buy quality jeans that fit your body shape?

 

Does it say you respect your kids enough to show them an example of a well-dressed adult?

 

Does it say you respect yourself enough to take the time to find clothes that make you feel happy?

 

Does it say you respect your significant other to the point of looking good so they can look even better? (This goes both ways, btw. I dress well because I know that the way I look reflects upon my husband. He dresses well because he knows the way he looks reflects upon me. It’s important to note that we don’t dress well just for other people’s comments. We take care of our personal appearances out of respect for ourselves and for the other spouse- who has to be seen with us!)

 

I know that all sounds really intense, but the big lesson to be learned in your 40’s (if you haven’t learned prior) is that: Your appearance shows how much you value yourself and others. People who stop valuing and respecting themselves are the ones that ‘let go’. People who learn to take time to love themselves and dress respectfully appear to look great for a longer time (even if they gain some weight, get wrinkles, and have to start dying their hair!) It isn’t about fitting a certain size or wearing the right brands…it’s about dressing in a way that shows you understand how powerful and incredible you actually are. 

Keep scrolling to see 3 ways you can easily upgrade your appearance.

 

3 tips to dressing in your 40's

 

If you’re looking to improve your appearance, here are 3 ways to do that (depending on how much time you have available):

 

If you have 30 minutes to an hour:

Look through a Style E-book like Building a Classic Wardrobe- the Basics and see which styles of the 20 basics highlighted work best for your body shape and lifestyle. Filled with pictures, like a magazine, this is both a fun read and informative. It’s great for waiting at doctor’s offices, carpool lines, and football practices.

 

If you have a free night:

If you enjoy reading, pick up a copy (available on Kindle or paperback) of Dressing Your Personal Brand. This book talks all about the message your sending and how to make it your own. It also discusses dressing at work and at home. This easy read is entertaining but also very informative and can easily be knocked out in a night on the couch with a good glass of wine.

 

 

If you have a weekend or more:

If you’re more a video person than a book person, you’ll really like The Ultimate #STYLE Guide E-course. It has separate videos on everything from ‘Dressing for your Body Shape’ to ‘Wearing Scarves’ and ‘Finding the right glasses for your face shape’. There’s also a whole section on making your life easier (ie: organizing your closet and stylist approved shopping tips). You don’t have to do the whole course at once- each section is made up of 15-20 minute videos discussing different topics.

 

The Style E-book, Book, and E-course mentioned above are all made by yours truly because I am so over the top passionate about the subject of looking great (and sending the specific message you want to send!). I want this message to be available to everyone no matter how much (or little!) money and time they have. If you have any questions about any of the books or e-courses, I’d love to answer them. I never want anyone to buy a product that isn’t right for you, so I love it when people ask me before they purchase! Just send an email to empowerme(at)leslie-friedman.com or leave a comment below and I’ll back to you ASAP.

 

TLDR: Your appearance is sending a message about who and what you respect. Make sure to take time for yourself and show YOURSELF a little respect. 

 

Cheers,

Leslie

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The secret formula to dressing sexy (without looking sleazy)

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How to dress sexy without looking sleazy- formula for women's fashion and style

It’s an age-old question and, quite honestly, a very fine balance: how to look sexy- without looking sleazy

 

Let’s face it. There are times we love to dress up and look pretty. Who doesn’t like looking pretty?

 

But as a stylist that works with people to find the perfect outfits, one question crops up every time when we are discussing going out/date night/sexier looks (whatever you want to call them!).

 

IS IT TOO MUCH?

 

As women, how many times have we gotten dressed for a night out (or even a coffee date if I’m being honest) and thought, “Is this too much?” You may not be necessarily dressed like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman pre-Gere (aka a prostitute) but that doesn’t mean you can’t still question the ‘too muchness’ of your outfit. The ‘is this too much?’ question is usually seen hanging out with the ‘is this age appropriate?’ question- but more on that later.

 

Although different people are comfortable dressing at different levels of showiness- I’m going to go over a general rule for keeping the balance between sexy and classy in an outfit.

 

The rule of alternating zones: Put together outfits with alternating sexy and conservative pieces.

 

*Note: For the clarity of this post, I am going to use the words sexy, showy, or revealing as synonyms. I will also use conservative, classy, and casual to mean the same things. I do not mean to use any of these words in a negative manner and will refer to the above sets of words as opposites rather than good and bad. Everyone has their different ideas of what constitutes sexy, conservative, etc. so please keep in mind that I am aiming for middle ground. Smile

 

This rule is one of those things that seems easier said than done, right? I know you have follow-up questions, so keep reading.

 

First, think of the body as three or four different zones (as shown below).

 

Zone 1: Your hair or face

Zone 2: Top (shirt)

Zone 3: Bottom (pants/skirt)

Zone 4: Shoes

 

Zones 2 and 3 would combine in the case of a dress.

 

Let’s go back to the rule: Put together outfits with alternating sexy and conservative pieces.

 

When I say alternating, I’m referring to alternating ZONES. Below are four examples of different ways you can alternate zones between sexy and conservative.

 

Example 1:

Edgy look | Turtle neck sweater dress with grey over the knee bootstarget athleisure, sweatshit dress, how to do athleisure, how do you do athleisure, plus size style, sweater dress with suede OTK bootsZone 1: Hair or face (More made-up face and hair)

Zone 2: Dress (Casual dress)

Zone 3: Shoes (Heels)

 

Don’t both of these ladies look amazing? Notice how zones 1 and 3 are sexier (makeup/fixed hair and over the knee boots) while zone 2 is more conservative (loose sweater dress).

 

If either of these ladies switched out their sweater dress for a skin-tight mini dress, the outfit would look a whole lot different. That’s not to say it would look bad, but (in my opinion) it would look less stylish and make the wearer appear like they are trying hard to look really sexy.

 

Love these Fall outfits and want some more inspo? Check out the biggest trends of Fall 2018 and 150+ ways to wear them here.

 

Image Credits: Left and Right pictures

 

The opposite works also.

Example 2:

Stay comfy and stylish as the season transitions in our plus size Indie Flair Maxi Dress. In a fall-ready color, you’ll love the ease of this floor length dress. Shop our entire collection at www.kiyonna.com. #KiyonnaPlusYouZone 1: Hair or face (Light makeup and ponytail)

Zone 2: Dress (Fitte/shorter OR fancier)

Zone 3: Shoes (Flats or sneakers)

 

This time, zones 1 and 3 are more conservative and zone 2 is sexier. We have a fancier dress and necklace that she has toned down with flat sandals. She still is pretty made up, but I’m taking these pictures off Pinterest and it’s hard to find images of women looking too casual in the makeup department. Haha.

 

Did you know: that you look better when you wear clothes that look good on your body shape? I mean, just look at how great this pear-shaped woman looks in her dress! It seems like a no-brainer, but you’d probably be surprised to discover how many things in your closet are working against your body shape. Take the quiz to figure out your body shape and see personalized advice for your shape.

 

Image Credit: Pinterest

 

 

 

The same concept works if you have a top and bottom rather than a dress.

 

Example 3:

Modest, Feminine Dressing for the Plus Size WomanZone 1: Hair or face (styled hair and statement earrings)

Zone 2: Top (jean jacket and tank)

Zone 3: Bottom (maxi skirt)

Zone 4: Shoes (flats)

 

In this picture, zones 1 and 3 are dressier with statement earrings and a maxi skirt. Zones 2 and 4 are more casual, featuring a jean jacket and flat sandals.

 

I love this example, because it shows that you can get dressed up without looking super flashy or (skin) showy. I don’t know who this woman is- this outfit may be her idea of dressing down. However, for the sake of this example, let’s pretend she’s a primary school gym teacher (speaking of, if you’re a teacher, you’ll want to check this out) who favors casual clothing over getting fussed up. If her everyday outfits are more along the lines of athleisure, a hip-hugging skirt and perfectly coifed hair give her a sexy look that isn’t out of character.

 

Image Credit: Pinterest

 

 

Example 4:

21 Pinterest recomended woman oufits

Casual-Work-Outfits-for-SummerZone 1: Hair or face (lighter makeup)

Zone 2: Top (off the shoulder/low cut shirt)

Zone 3: Bottom (jeans)

Zone 4: Shoes (heels)

 

This example is one I tend to gravitate towards when I have to attend a casual function but still want to look nice (without over-doing it, of course!)

 

It starts with more casual hair in zone 1 (although, once again, it’s Pinterest- so everyone’s hair is looking amazing…but it’s still not pulled back in a perfect french twist or anything) and then zone 2 alternates to a sexier top. For the woman on the left, sexier may mean an off the shoulder top, while for the woman on the right, sexier is a low cut v-neck. They are both wearing more conservative, casual pants (zone 3) and, lastly, they dress up zone 4 with heels.

 

Image Credits: Left and Right pictures

 

 

 

Do you see how alternating zones between classy and conservative not only keeps you from looking too frumpy or too dressed up- but it keeps your whole outfit balanced and visually making sense?

 

This is THE MAIN WAY you can dress sexy AND age appropriate. The rule of alternating zones can be applied to any body shape, body type, and age of woman. It works because it gives you just enough guidance, but also leaves room for you to determine what works best for you in terms of sexy and conservative. If you look at the last two pictures, you’ll see how two women used the rule of alternating zones to make an outfit age appropriate for 20 and 30-year-olds (left) and also 50 and 60-year-olds (right). Both are equally sexy, don’t you think? By the way- did you know that I dedicate an entire lesson to dressing age appropriate in my e-course? Check it out here.

 

Does this rule always work? Keep scrolling to hear my honest opinion.

 

how to balance sexy and classy clothing

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Lastly…there is one big question: do you have to always keep the rule? What if you want two adjacent zones to both be casual or sexy? Is that okay?

 

The answer is YES! (Come on…you knew I’d say that) Fashion is meant to be fun! Try experimenting with different levels of sexy and see which one fits best for you. I personally know my comfort level of sexy and make sure to have at least one or two more showy options in my basic wardrobe that I can easily make into a sexy outfit at the last minute.

And don’t forget: the above is really only intended to be a good starting guide; don’t forget to have fun!

 

xoxo,

Leslie

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