Friday, June 13, 2008

Trends and Older Babes

I'm in my late 30s but I do look a lot younger than my age. This makes it many ways easier for me to find cool stuff to wear although one thing that happens to you when you hit my age is you start to appreciate nicer things and well, you just want to look more refined and sophisticated.

So I read this article on MSN today about which trends women my age and older should avoid. I'll post what they wrote along with my opinions:

Judging by the amount of tie-dye evident on the runways, the summer 2008 fashion shows seem to have been channeling the summer of love. But even if—or especially if—you have fond memories of Grateful Dead shows and making your own tie-dyed tee shirts, skip the trend this time around. “As a general rule, if you’ve worn it once, you don’t want to wear the trend again in the same way,” says Krupp. Get the groovy feeling in a much more sophisticated fabric, by opting for ombré. Designers are using this color-washed fabric for all sorts of summer styles—including dresses, pants, tunics and tops.

Agreed, to a point. Bad acid trip style tie-dye is fine for that Phish reunion show but otherwise it will make you look like an aging pothead. However, I have seen some designs that don't look too bad at all. I think the key is subtlety. Go for more subtle designs and colors, or, as the article says, opt for ombré. I bought a pretty plum ombré shirt at weirdly enough CVS for ten dollars. Even the dye job is subtle. I really dig it, man.

Short shorts
Yes, Madonna is 49 years old and she’s wearing hot pants, but let’s face it: You’re not Madonna! Besides, the Material Girl is spotted wearing them in music videos and photo shoots—probably not out for a family dinner with her husband and kids. “Showing off your knees gets tricky as you get older,” says Krupp. “They can sag or get wrinkles, and at some point it’s just not a body part you want to flaunt.” Krupp isn’t a fan of shorts in general—at least outside the gym—and suggests opting for a casual short skirt instead.

Agreed 100%. Why in God's name would you want everyone to see your cellulite, veins, knobby knees, and other hazards of aging? I've seen some young starlets in short shorts who REALLY shouldn't be wearing them either. I haven't worn short shorts since 1995 and I probably shouldn't have worn them then either. Opt for bermudas and cropped pants instead.

Ripped jeans
“These absolutely don’t have any place in an over-35-year-old’s wardrobe,” Krupp declares. And with good reason: Ripped jeans are sloppy, and that’s exactly the opposite of the image you want to present. Jeans can still be a chic part of your wardrobe—and can even look professional enough to pass muster in more casual office settings—but you need to choose a pair with sleek, simple, clean lines. A stylish look for summer: wide-legged trouser-style jeans in a dark wash. They should fit perfectly (not too tight), have strategically placed pockets to enhance your butt, and no embellishments (like glitter, embroidery, or ornate stitching).

Agreed again. I think I might have had some minorly torn jeans back in the late '80s and I think those were jeans I distressed myself after buying them at the thrift store. Really, you'll just look stupid in them if you are over 35, like you're trying to relive your NKOTB fangirl years. I don't like them on curvy/plus gals either. I prefer a wee bit of weathering on the pockets and seams instead.

Off-the-shoulder shirts
Remember “Flashdance” and the ripped sweatshirt that kept slipping seductively off Jennifer Beals’s shoulder? Well, if you’re old enough to have not only seen the movie (possibly a dozen times) but also to have run immediately home to take a scissors to all of your sweatshirts, then you’re old enough to bypass the one-shoulder trend this summer. To get in on the shoulder-revealing trend—without the sloppy, I’m-losing-my-shirt look—Krupp suggests trying an asymmetric dress or top. It’s a sexy way to show off your shoulders without getting too risqué.

Well, I think they are wrong on this one. If it's a nice off-the shoulder shirt and it doesn't dip too low on your chest, I think it's fine to wear.

Light or bright-colored leggings
White leggings, or ones in any candy-colored shade, are best left to the teenaged set. Not only will light colors call attention to your lower half (and make even shapely legs look heavy), but it’s just not a very sophisticated style choice. On the other hand, Krupp gives the thumbs-up to dark leggings. “Black leggings worn under a dress that’s just a little too short or too sheer to wear alone looks youthful without looking too young,” she says. And you don’t have to opt only for black—any dark color (black, brown, dark gray or navy) is an all age-appropriate choice.

How about this? NOBODY should wear bright-colored leggings. Not young chicks, not mature ladies, not thin women, not fat women. They are tack-y and I can't understand why the young fashion victims are going ape you-know-what for them.

Chunky platform shoes
The description of what you want to look for in a shoe sounds a lot like what you’d want your body to look like too—sleek, slim and sexy. So while you can still wear moderate platforms, reasonable wedges and slightly chunky shoes, you want to avoid any exaggerated versions. “After a certain age, a too-chunky shoe just starts to look orthopedic,” says Krupp. Not to mention that some of those sky-high platforms and wedges can be downright dangerous. Twist an ankle in a chunky shoe and you might find yourself in a decidedly unstylish cast or brace!

There was a time when I loved BIG chunky platform shoes. Now my neck, back, knees, and ankles start hurting even when I just see a picture of them. You're tempting fate wearing those damn things.

This ultra-feminine trend is a good example of the “less is more” fashion adage. A skirt or dress with a wedding cake-like tier of multiple ruffles has the ability to make you look ridiculous. But a single, well-placed frill—at the hem of a skirt or embellishing a simple blouse, for example—can be a very pretty, very feminine detail.

There are good ruffles and there are bad ruffles. Good ruffles look good on everyone in spite of age. Bad ruffles look bad on everyone in spite of age.

Bare midriffs
If you’ve got the body for it, there’s nothing wrong with wearing a tummy-baring bikini or tankini to the beach or pool this summer. But as far as midriff-revealing fashions anywhere else, Krupp says just forget it. “I don’t care if you have six-pack abs or if you’ve just had a tummy tuck, don’t show it off,” she says. What might look cute and sexy on someone much younger just looks trashy on an older woman.

Absolutely. I don't want to see your flab or wrinkly tum-tum hanging out.

Sheer over sheer
Clothes always have a tendency to get lighter, airier and less substantial when summer weather hits. And this season, with a trend toward transparent tops, tunics and dresses, is no exception. Instead of wearing sexy underpinnings with a gauzy top, Krupp suggests trying the trend in a more minor way. “You don’t want to expose too much, so consider a top that reveals just your upper chest beneath a sheer chiffon, but wear an opaque camisole underneath it that completely covers your breasts,” she says. “You can still look sexy, but you can do it without revealing too much.”

I have sheer tops and tank tops or camis or something always go underneath. It's just common sense.

Gladiator sandals
Every few years, the sandals made famous by ancient Roman gladiators—with their multitude of straps, including ones that wrap around and up the ankle—make a fashion comeback. But according to Krupp, they should remain ancient history. “Why would you want to draw all that attention to your calves and ankles?” she wonders. “Shoes like that hit your leg at the worst possible spot, making them very unflattering to older legs.” Skip the ankle-wrapping straps (same rule applies to those ballerina-style espadrilles that wrap the leg and tie around the calf), and opt for a sexy, strappy sandal instead. It can be a flat or have a mild platform or wedge, but what’s going to flatter your leg and foot is one that fits well, is comfortable enough to walk in (at least a short distance) and doesn’t draw all eyes to your ankles.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Come on, most 30-something and 40-something women will look perfectly fine wearing gladiator sandals. I have two pairs, goshdurn it, and I think I rock 'em pretty well! Not all of us have cankles and even if we did, the sandals would look just fine with slim-fitting pants that cover/camouflage the ankles. However, I would avoid the gladiators that strap around the legs.

Too much tan
Nothing ages you faster than too much sun (or too much time in a tanning bed). All that ultraviolet radiation literally adds years to your skin—zapping its youthful glow and leaving it dry, wrinkled and sagging. But even going overboard with self-tanner or bronzer can make you appear old beyond your years. Go for a subtle, natural-looking hint of color instead.

Who wants to look like a carrot? Again, too much bronzer/tan cream doesn't look good on women of any age.

Sparkly makeup
There’s a fine line between shimmer and glitter, and it’s a line you definitely don’t want to cross! A subtle shimmer can act like a diffuser—think of it as a soft-focus lens for your skin—that makes fine lines and imperfections less noticeable. But outright glitter and sparkle has no place on your face. Rather than providing camouflage, glittery makeup is likely to settle into any lines you may have, calling attention to the very issues you don’t want people to notice.

Shimmer looks chic, glitter makes you look like a kid. 'Nuf said.

Dark red lipstick
Fire-engine red lips made their mark on the runways this season, but that doesn’t mean the trend is right for everyone (or every age). “Red lips are dramatic and attention grabbing,” says Krupp, “but who wants to draw all that attention to her lips?” Lips tend to get a bit thinner with age, and by wearing a dark lip color you make your mouth visually recede that much more. In contrast, a glossy pink shade will help make lips look more lush, plump and youthful.

Oh, bee-ess! The women MSN pictured in this article sporting red lipstick (and looking good) were 39-year-old Gwen Stefani and 40-something Salma Hayek. Look, my 91-year-old grandmother still wears red lipstick. I like two new shades of Painted Love lipstick from Kat Von D's limited edition line for Sephora: Underage Red and Misfit. Check 'em out here!

1 comment:

Abby said...

I'm glad you're posting again! I love reading your blog...