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4 Easy Ways to Dress Young…without looking like teenager

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The 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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10 days, 1 backpack: the SECRET to packing like a pro

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 style bonus fashion cheat sheets skinnyBONUS: FREE Fashion Cheat Sheets!

Get all four sent to you today: Scarves, Necklaces, Closet Cleanouts, and Packing tips


I’m that super nerdy person that really loves packing for trips. The further the destination and more moody the weather the better. Packing strategically probably appeals to me because it combines two of my favorite things: travel (including the wonderful anticipation beforehand) and problem solving.

In the videos below, I let you in on my three step packing process while I get ready for a 10 day excursion half way around the world. Check out below the videos for a full step by step checklist to packing.

Step 1: Pull

Essentially, pull everything that you would pack, but don’t actually pack the items (because, let’s be real, there’s probably waaay too many).

___  Choose any clothing/accessories you feel you’ll need for your trip

___ Group all items in categories (ie: underwear, tops, bottoms, jackets/cardigans, jewelry)

Step 2: Edit

Time to get rid of everything you don’t really need!

___ Choose a color family to adhere to (blacks or browns)

___ Eliminate anything that doesn’t fit into that color family

___ Eliminate anything that doesn’t go with almost every other piece (ex. take out that shirt that only goes with one bottom)

___ Eliminate any ‘solitary use’ items. If they are only used for one purpose, (with the exception of undergarments and swimwear) they don’t belong in your bag.

___ Choose 1 or 2 (at max!!) jewelry accessories for your trip. Chosen accessory should work with every outfit. I am bringing two long necklaces (not shown in videos).

___ Choose 2 pairs of shoes (max!) to wear while on your trip. One pair you will pack, the other (the bulkiest) you will wear for travel.

___ Think creatively. I packed a skirt that could also be worn as a dress. I also packed a rash guard that can be layered under tees or just worn like a normal long sleeve shirt. The more versatile each piece is, the more outfits you end up with.

Step 3: Pack

Most people assume that packing light has to do entirely with HOW you pack rather than what you pack. This isn’t true. If you haven’t done the Edit step well, there’s no amount of packing knowledge that can fit too many clothes into a suitcase.

___ Take out your bulkiest outfit. This is what you’ll wear to travel in.

___ Shoes always go on the bottom. If you have closed toe shoes, fill the cavities with rolled socks/underwear/etc.

___ Roll tops and bottoms by category (as shown in video 3)

___ Roll socks, panties, other undergarments individually and stuff into the free space around the larger (tops, bottoms, etc) rolled clothing.

___ Put items you’ll need on the plane or immediately upon arriving (phone chargers, eye mask, earplugs, etc) in a separate bag at the very top of the backpack for easy accessibility.

___ Always leave room so that you could take things in and out easily!! Your bag shouldn’t be bursting full. Packing your bag should be more like solving an easy Sudoku puzzle than a rubix cube. Traveling is stressful, and the last thing you need while having to roll through airport security is to have to figure out how exactly you stuffed everything into your bag in the first place.

___ Enjoy your vacation!!

Ciao! Leslie

Ps. For more videos, check out my YouTube channel!

 


 style bonus fashion cheat sheets skinnyBONUS: FREE Fashion Cheat Sheets!

Get all four sent to you today: Scarves, Necklaces, Closet Cleanouts, and Packing tips


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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Leggings, Jeggings, and Treggings, OH MY!

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Y’all, we’re in the middle of an epidemic. It’s been going on since the late 2000’s and while I would love to say we might see the end soon, I’m afraid it isn’t so. Pant imposters are taking over the market left and right and as the consumer- we can’t seem to stop purchasing, or wearing, these spandexy numbers. It’s getting bad. Case in point: we  have leggings, jeggings, and now…treggings.

Here’s an example of each:

Legging:

Nothing new to the fashion scene (did we forget what happened in the 80’s??), leggings are essentially thick tights with less seams. The pair above is $3.90 from Forever 21. You can also have running leggings (made from athletic material).

Jegging:

A jegging is literally a legging made from denim (or denim like) material because…jeans weren’t comfy enough as it is? This pair is also from Forever 21.

Tregging:

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A tregging is a legging with trouser details. It is technically a mix between a trouser and a leggings, although honestly, only a few small trouser details made it into the batter (like pockets and waistband). This pair is from h&m.

In my opinion, they’re all pretty much leggings. I feel like some very savvy marketers came up with the name ‘tregging’ to help Millennials justify that they are actually wearing real pants to work. Attaching real pockets is also a way that girls are cheating their way through this very famous buzzfeed chart:

While I’m not condemning leggings of any sort, I feel that they are very much reserved for weekend wear. I am a Millennial and during this horrible epidemic I have been guilty of wearing everything from tights as pants (yes, 2008 was not a good year) to treggings (before they were even called that). The important thing is that you know what works for your body and how to style it correctly for your shape (sounds like good potential blog post). And remember- if it ends in ‘–egging’ keep it out of the office!

xoxo,

Leslie

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