When you’re in your 50’s or 60’s it can be tricky to look younger. Especially as a woman who’s always felt fashionable, many of the current styles are not what we’re used to. And there are so many choices! Capri pants, wide leg styles, straight leg styles, long blazers, boxy blazers, cropped tops, etc. It’s hard to know what’s flattering, not to mention what to match together. Getting dressed can be like that old optical illusion trick, where the lines always look wider than they are. The key is to stick with more classic styles, while experimenting with fabric and proportion.

Classic Styles

Classic styles are the ones you’ve been wearing all along, and they will never be outdated. Classic styles include notch lapel blazers, denim straight leg jeans, cowlneck cashmere sweaters, and traditional loafers. A white blouse, black ankle boots and a tan trench coat round out the list. You may have many of these items in your closet. If there is a difference between today’s classic styles, and those from the past, it is in the fit, or the fabric, not the actual style.

Fit and Proportion

The fit of many items today is looser. People are looking for comfort, and everyone’s weight is shifting. There are more options for length of pants or skirts, and shirts have varying sleeve lengths: cap sleeve, elbow length, bracelet or wrist, not to mention ruffle details and bishop sleeves. The good news about classic styles, regardless of what fabric they’re in, or which details they have, is that they’re cut to fit the body. In other words, with classic styles you won’t have droopy shoulders, a ton of billowy fabric or tops that show your midsection.

Proportion is what may seem tricky about the styles available now. There are really only two things to keep in mind about proportion: longer jackets or tops look better with ankle length or cropped pants, while shorter jackets are best paired with longer skirts, or full length pants. If your preference is shorter jackets, wear them with full length pants, or midi skirts or dresses. If you like a longer style jacket better, pair it with more fitted, ankle length pants or a skirt to the knee. And, never wear a full outfit that is completely boxy and loose. It is fine to wear a boxy jacket, flowy blouse, or drapey wide leg pants, but please not at the same time.

Update on Fabrics

There are so many new and different fabrics available. Some to look for are vegan leather, tencel and bamboo. These can be worn mixed with more traditional fabrics like wool, cotton and silk, or on their own. Corduroy, along with other textured fabrics, is getting popular again. Classic style lends itself to both simple fabrics, and more intricate or textured ones. It is your choice on which to choose.

Other Suggestions

My last suggestion is: have fun with your accessories! Don’t save those good earrings for a special event, or wait to wear the whimsical necklace you got on vacation. Put them on whenever you feel like it. So long as you only wear one special piece at a time, it doesn’t matter if it matches your outfit perfectly. Your smile and joy at discovering a new, personal item will overcome any discordant vibes from the unmatched or dissimilar items.