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How to Dress Well and Look Great at any Age

Do you sometimes wonder if your outfit is appropriate for your age? If so, you're not alone. I often see clients who want to know how to dress appropriately for their age.

how to dress

how to dress

A commonly held belief is that in your teens and 20s you can get away with wearing anything, but by the time you hit 40 it's time to cover up and hide your body. However, while you may have a wider choice of styles that work for you if you are young and slim, the truth is that no-one looks good in everything regardless of their age.

So, how should you dress in your teens, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s or 70s...?

The secret is that the same answer applies whatever your age: dress in contemporary styles that fit and flatter your body shape, coloring, personality and lifestyle. Let's look at this a bit closer...

How to dress well in 6 steps

These 6 elements of style show you how to dress well and look great at any age...

  1. Great grooming -- this includes good personal hygiene, looking after and maintaining your clothes, makeup and hair.

    Make sure your hair is in good condition by having it trimmed every 6 to 8 weeks and using good quality shampoos and conditioners. A contemporary hairstyle is one of the keys to looking good at any age. And if you're going grey, having your hair professionally colored is an easy way to look younger. If you're not sure what styles are "in" try looking at fashion magazines, celebrities and online hair style sites. It also helps to have an understanding of your face shape and the styles that will suit your face.

    Typically when you're over 40 you will look better with hair that is shoulder length or above, kept off the face, in a style that has some layering to give your hair lift and movement. A good hair cut is like an instant face lift!

    When was the last time you updated your makeup and skin regime? Makeup fashions change as much as clothing fashions and a change in this area is also a great way to keep looking contemporary.

  2. Understanding and wearing your best colors

  3. Having a realistic understanding of your body shape, proportions and figure challenges and dressing to flatter your current shape

  4. Reflecting your personal style in the image you project to the world. When you have the 3 fundamentals of style (the 3 points above) mastered developing your style personality should be a fun and ongoing journey

  5. Regularly reviewing and planning your wardrobe to ensure you have outfits to wear for all the occasions of your life

  6. Shopping to your plan to update your wardrobe. When you stop impulse buying and last minute, panic buying for special occasions you'll find you'll make fewer mistakes and get better value out of your purchases

How to Dress When Everything Changes?

So, if it's this easy why do so many women have problems? It's because things change...

  • Your body changes shape -- as well as gaining or losing weight at different times in our life there are 4 main changes a women's body can go through, the '4 stages of eve' are: puberty; after child birth; menopause and around 75. Men go through only 2 of these changes: puberty and around 75.

    In addition as we age the effect of gravity on our spines mean we gradually get shorter. And our skin becomes drier and looser, so it becomes a good idea to cover more of our skin than when we were young and firm. Upper arms, decolletage, thighs, knees and necks are typical problem areas.

    So clothing shapes and lengths that worked for you one decade may no longer work on your current body shape, proportions and condition. Make adjustments to the coverage of your clothes to ensure you're skimming over the areas that you need to hide, but don't forget to highlight your best features as well!

  • Your coloring changes -- as we age our skin, hair and eyes grey or become 'cooler', especially if you don't color your hair. So you may find brighter or darker colors that worked well in your 20s or 30s now overwhelm you in your 50s or 60s. If warm colors looked good on you when you were younger you may even find that cool colors now look better on you

  • Your personality evolves and matures -- along with lifestyle changes you may find yourself becoming more confident at expressing your personality or less confident
  • Your lifestyle changes -- for example, if you were a rebel or a social butterfly in your 20s and are now a parent, or developing your career, or retired you have very different clothing needs

Your Style Journey

In your teens and 20s it's good to 'play' with your appearance and to experiment with colors and clothing styles. By the time we reach our late 20s we've typically worked out some things that work for us.

However, if these were discovered accidentally rather than being based on an underlying knowledge of why things work for us, it will mean that when things change we will be lost again! You'll know that something is wrong with your current look, you may feel you're stuck in a style rut or dressing too young or too old, but you won't know how to successfully change it.

How to Dress Well Again

It's important to have at least a basic knowledge of the 6 elements of style above. That way when things change you'll have some basis for understanding how to adjust your appearance.

The main point is to periodically assess your grooming, your shape, your coloring, your personality, your lifestyle needs and your clothing choices and make adjustments to ensure you continue to look good.

For further help with how to dress well use my image consulting services, ask me a specific style question or contact me.

What to wear by decade

Contrary to popular belief it's not just women over 50 who ask me how to dress appropriately for their age. The links below are answers to readers' age related dressing questions and articles on what to wear at specific ages.

What to wear in your 20s

What to wear in your 30s

What to wear in your 40s

What to wear in your 50s

What to wear in your 60s

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About Me

jane liddelow

"Your style makeover may require a few tweaks or a total re-think. Using a mix of science and art I show you how to discover your style and look great every day.

Hi, I'm Jane Liddelow, the Personal Image Consultant and Stylist responsible for this site. Find out more about me here."

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