Decades of style

Decades of style

A woman’s style – and stylistic needs – change as she ages. Following are suggestions of how to approach style at different stages of life.

20s

Welcome to your 20s! Pretty much every style you try is going to look reasonably terrific on you. Now is the time to experiment. Try on different looks you love for size, shape, and the most flattering fit. See a trend you like? Give it a shot. The worst that can happen is you’ll realize it’s not what you’re going for and give it a miss next season. Key things to look for:

Color — Experiment with a little flash. Try a bright eyeliner or lip color to boost your daytime look, a fun winter coat to balance out your everyday jeans, or go glam with pop-art earrings to set off a basic graphic T-shirt.

Silhouette — Not sure how to wear that fun deconstructed look all the celebs are wearing this year? Just remember, if you’re going for volume on top, wear it with slender pants or skinny jeans. Dying to try some cozy harem pants or a long maxi skirt? Pair fullness on the bottom with a fitted top and bring some emphasis up toward the face (a bright pop of blush on the apples of the cheeks freshens even the drabbest February complexion).

Sparkle — Embellishment is where it’s at this season. Bring some flair to your look with a little platinum highlighter (wear it on the lids and cheekbones for a look that glows), or go full-on with a sequined minidress, textured tights and patent pumps – all in one color or in black with mixed metallics – for a fresh, bold New Year’s look.

30s

It’s time to rock your 30-wonderful look, girls. Now is when you get to start finding that singular style that’s all your own. Ready to show the world that you feel comfortable and confident in your skin? Show ’em how it’s done with work looks that shine and evening style that sparkles:

Proportion — Take it from Audrey Hepburn, there’s nothing that looks sleeker and more stylish than slim black pants, a narrow-fitting sweater or blazer, and the cutest shoes on the block. Modernize the look with a pop of color that goes from day to night – bright pink heels with a matching lip, anyone?

Pattern — Nothing says style like a little color in the dead of winter. Layer in some cheerful texture with a bright umbrella and matching rain boots, a nubby wool loop scarf that can stay on after you take off your coat, and some cool graphic prints that hint at the promise of spring. Modern geometrics add life to your look. Select a few in colors that work well together, and have the guts to mix and match against a neutral backdrop of dark denim or gray slacks. Your coworkers will thank you for the boost.

Complexion — If you haven’t begun already, now’s the time to introduce a solid skin-care routine that will last. Starting early means minimizing the time you’ll have to put in repairing damaged skin later. Find a good quality cleanser, toner and cream that work for you, and use every day and night.

40s

Girlfriend, you are one hot mama. You’ve figured out the looks that work best on you and now it’s time to start defining and refining your style. Now’s when you get to say “out with the old!” and welcome in a polished new you. Here’s how to work it:

Hot denim — Skinny jeans are great for the kids, but those of us with a few more curves will do better with a straight-legged silhouette. Look for pencil- or cigarette-cuts in a dark wash with a medium rise, and make sure the hem is as long as your favorite flats or heels will allow without touching the ground. Wear tucked into high boots with semi-fitted tunic tops that graze the thigh for a lean, modern look.

Highlighting — Shimmering neutral highlighters and eye shadows give daytime styles a boost and bring light to the face and eyes. Go for cream formulas over powders to add hydration and cut down on crepeyness. Rose gold tones brighten sallow winter skin, while bronzes and champagnes add depth and dimension.

Skin care — The dry air of winter means parched and irritated skin, so bump up the moisture factor and cut down on retinols and peeling agents until spring. Your skin will thank you! A high-quality toner is worth its weight in gold – look for hyaluronic acids that plump the skin while reducing redness and flaking. Invest in foundations that contain fatty nut oils to add hydration while smoothing the skin. Finally, switch to an oil cleanser that will help you add moisture right from the start of your daily skin-care regimen. Better skin means less makeup, and more time to play in the snow

50s

The kids are out of the house and it’s time to implement that healthy and happy work-life balance you’ve been dreaming of for years. Put the focus back on you with a few fresh pops of polish and sophistication.

Color — Sick of looking at drab winter browns and grays? You’re not the only one. Brighten everyone’s day with a chic, fitted, knee-length coat in a rich color palette. Believe it or not, even the wildest patterns will always match your outfit if you tend to wear jeans or dark trousers on the bottom. Want to go one step further? Switch out your glasses frames for a collection of brightly colored pairs to mix and match with your moods – and watch your outlook change before your eyes.

Creativity — Don’t be afraid to play with shape and texture to bring an eclectic feel to your look. Deconstructed silhouettes are all the rage, and when paired with luxe textured fabrics such as nubby silks and soft wools, nothing looks more modern. Worried about doing it wrong? When you’re trying out a new silhouette, keep volume isolated to either tops or bottoms, and make sure all your tones are in the neutral palette – it’s hard to go wrong with natural colors like taupes, creams, and grays.

The right fit — With the winter chill comes the overwhelming temptation to shroud ourselves in layers of bulky warmth and hibernate until spring. Resist the urge to reach for cozy sweats and invest in thin, figure-framing layers of cashmere, merino and other light wools. Like silk thermals, the thin layers will trap body heat more effectively, and the reduced bulk will show off your curves (and your narrow spots) to better advantage. Meaning you’ll feel smoking hot no matter what the thermometer says.

60s

You’ve earned the right to relax, and expressing your personal style doesn’t have to mean trading comfort for fashion. Master the timeless look of low-maintenance elegance with a few easy tricks:

Healthy hair — Whether you color, highlight, or go natural, maintaining great hair will enhance your look at every age. Start with a killer cut, add in a glazing treatment for sheer pigment, manageability and shine, and finish with soft layers around the face for a polished look that is easy to touch up. Experiment with going darker if you’re battling frizz or your highlights have gotten too blonde. You’ll love the way it plays up your eyes.

Bright eyes — For a look that stands out without screaming, skip the heavy eyeliner and layer on mascara from roots to tips instead, concentrating the color at the base of the lash line for added intensity. A black-plum hue will bring out gold tones in brown and hazel eyes, and will really pop those baby blues. Add an extra twinkle to your eye with a stroke of eye cream or depuffing serum at midday.

Comfort — Forget clunky diamonds – jersey is a girl’s best friend. Has there ever been a fabric as flattering, forgiving and easy to wear as this stretchy staple? Pair tailored stretch-denim trousers with flexible feminine tops. Try fitted leggings or yoga pants under a long cozy sweater. Even the little black dress can now feel as comfy as a pair of PJs. Find fits that hold you in and up, but breathe and stretch like your favorite sweats. The right pieces can go from the garden to the gym, from lunch with friends to dinner in the city. Look for blends with 5-10 percent Lycra, and always machine-wash cold and dry flat to preserve your stretch for the long haul.


Beth Alyse Snyder, who wrote the tips By the ?decades, is the owner and executive stylist of the premier personal style consulting company Guerrilla Makeovers (www.GuerrillaMakeovers.com).

Ashley Jordan

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