Spring has sprung, and it’s time for your glow up! This is the perfect time of year to refresh your style by adding a few new pieces to your wardrobe. But before you fling an armful of random sale finds into your cart, take a moment to think about what you really need and what works with your lifestyle. Are you still working from home, or have you returned to the office? Did you pick up (or lose) some “pandemic pounds?” Does your new job come with a new dress code? Whatever your situation, keep these tips top of mind as you step out of the dressing room and into your season.
Put fit first. We’ve all been there: You find a shirt you love, but it gapes a bit at the buttons. Those black pants are pulling just a little across the tummy, but if you drop a couple of pounds, they’ll be fine, right? Wrong! Resist the urge to add anything to your closet that doesn’t either fit perfectly as it is or can’t be easily tailored so that it does. It’s one thing to get new pants hemmed, but if you’re going to have to reconstruct a garment to fit your frame or be constantly self-conscious while you’re wearing it, back away from the register.
Forget about “dressing your age.” Honestly, what does that even mean? Do we cross some invisible fashion line at 45, 50 or 65 that forbids above-the-knee skirts and strapless dresses? This concept is as outdated as whalebone corsetry, and you’re only “too old to wear that” if you no longer feel comfortable in it. As a 56-year-old sneakerhead who rocks harem pants and oversize sunglasses, I say wear what makes you happy, no matter how old you are.
Wear white whenever. Here’s another outdated (and uniquely American) dressing rule, dictating that white clothing is only acceptable in the months before Labor Day. Says who? Feel free to wear whatever white, ivory, cream or off-white piece you like, whether it’s a crisp shirt, a cocktail dress or — gasp! — trousers. Bonus: White looks great against our skin tones.
Do we cross some invisible fashion line at 45, 50 or 65 that forbids above-the-knee skirts and strapless dresses? This concept is as outdated as whalebone corsetry, and you’re only 'too old to wear that' if you no longer feel comfortable in it.
Say buh-bye to black. By now we all know the supposed benefits of wearing black: It’s slimming, sophisticated and seasonless, and it doesn’t show dirt. But does head-to-toe black make you feel good about yourself? Is it really your favorite color? Or are you wearing it to blend in or because wearing any other color takes too much thought? Sure, black has its place in all our wardrobes, but when you have an entire rainbow of colors at your disposal, why limit yourself to just one? You don’t have to wear all brights, all the time, like me. But there are plenty of other neutrals — navy, cream, taupe — out there that are equally versatile.
Keep it comfy. As you try on new pieces, consider how you feel in the garments just as much as how you look in them. As a grown woman of 56, I want to look good, but I don’t want to have to suffer for it. Gone are the days when I’d force myself into a pair of too-narrow-but-too-cute stilettos or a blazer that I couldn’t button. Snug waistbands and dragging hems? Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Take a walk on the wild side. At this stage of the game, you’ve probably nailed down your go-to garments. Perhaps you’ve never met a maxi dress you didn’t like (same, same). Or maybe you’re the one in your sister circle who wears jeans six days out of seven. Are sky-high heels your calling card? While it’s great to have a well-defined personal style, it’s also good to be able to shop outside the box and try something new once in a while. Seize this opportunity to try on a pair of chunky sneakers, some tailored shorts or a leather jacket. You may be surprised by how much you love the look.