Dress your age – There are defining moments in life when it’s time to take stock of your wardrobe. Once every five years, take a hard look at staple garments, shoes and boots, underwear and swimwear, jackets and going-out outfits. Ask what they say about you. Are you reliving your 20s in your party wear and your wedding night in your underwear? Do dog-walking clothes serve for dates too? Now’s the time to reinvent yourself to flatter your current age and lifestyle.
Seasonal dressing – To keep your wardrobe updated, buy the catwalk edition of fashion magazines each season to see what’s in and what’s not. Not everything you see will necessarily be easy or practical to wear. Look at how perennial labels, such as Chanel and Armani, make slight changes to freshen up a look; see what collections designed by older women, such as Chloe, Donna Karan, and Marni, have to offer.
Play to your assets – Don’t cover up in oversize garments. Clothes that fit flatter. Make the most of your best assets: highlight great legs or well-turned ankles in flirty skirts and fabulous shoes; show off a long neck with a bobbed haircut.
Get styling advice – Book an appointment with a personal shopper at a department store or a fashion adviser at a high-end chain. They will pick out garments that fit, flatter, and update your look with no obligation to buy.
Timeless classics – Try clean shapes and simple silhouettes, and invest in a few timeless pieces: a classic trench coat and wrap dress, a fabulous bag, great shoes. Wear stunning jewelry if you feel underdressed in classic chic. Conceal trouble spots with garments that cover the arms, are tailored to flatter a shortened torso, or offer the benefit of a plunging neckline without views of wrinkles.
Pick your palette – In daylight, stand in front of a mirror and hold your favorite garments to your face. Do the colors still suit you? If hair and skin have faded a little, you might need to adapt your palette. Rich tones might suit better than wash out pastels; chocolate or charcoal can be kinder than black; green tones play down flushed cheeks; and creamy tones near the face reflect illuminating light upward.
Wardrobe ClearOut Tips
Before doing a wardrobe clear out, take 6 drops of the Australian Bush Flower Essence Five Cornersâ€” this is a great remedy for low selfishteem, especially concerning physical appearance. Tune into your sense of self-worth.
Detox your wardrobe – If your wardrobe makes every morning a misery, it’s time to detox. Cast away anything that makes you feel fat, items that remind you of failed relationships, and impulse buys with labels still attached. Create a wardrobe containing only clothes you love (and which fit and flatter).
What not to wear
All-out fashion “looks” worn head-to-toe, rock-chick chic, and sleeveless vests might not be appropriate to those of us who haven’t maintained the training regime of Madonna as we enter our late 40s. Here are some other items that should now be donated to daughters or nieces:
* leather pants
* hot pants
* puffball skirts
* baseball caps
* the punk look
* military chic
* day-glow colors
* midriff-exposing tops
* slogan T-shirts
* animal prints
Ditch and switch – Get together with a bunch of girlfriends to dump and swap clothes that no longer fit or suit you. Everyone empties bags of cast-offs into the center of a room, then scrabbles to find a new outfit that does suit. If more than one person hankers after the same piece, you all try it on and ask for honest (but kind) opinions about what really suits you at this stage of life.
Burn your bra – Japanese studies suggest that the body works harder to keep breasts perky against gravity when we go braveless. However, a well-fitting bra can offer a psychological lift. Get measured by a professional.
Choosing role models – When you despair of the bright young things adorning TV and magazines, look out for the models hitting 50 and beyond who are becoming the new faces of cosmetic conglomerates and fashion houses: Twiggy, Christie Brinkley, Sharon Stone, and Catherine Deneuve.
Natural moth protection – Launder or dry clean, then store away the previous seasons clothes (moths like sweat). Add cedar balls as a deterrent. If moths make inroads, place clothes in a freezer (in bags) for three weeks or zap in the microwave to kill live moths and eggs.