No matter how old you are, you’re still growing up as you age. The grown up lessons you learn along the way evolve to include new relationships, families, careers — and of course, personal style. Our friends at Health.com devised a list of mistakes worth trying to avoid. We loved it so much that we’re sharing it with you — along with a few tips of our own.
1. Not realizing you need to change. Sure, that haircut has always framed your face well. And your favorite dress? It got that title for a reason. But as you grow, your style choices need to expand with you.
Barbara Grufferman, author of The Best of Everything After 50, explains that “many women keep doing the same things they’ve been doing for decades, which very often no longer work and may not be as flattering for a woman over 50. “They often don’t even realize they are making mistakes, so its all about finding what those mistakes are before they can happen.”
2. Not accessorizing. The addition of a great necklace or earrings can spice up any outfit and can make a killer combo with an otherwise boring black shirt. Especially if you’re not sure what clothing is too young or too old. Go after jewelry to rejuvenate your look.
3. Wearing “Mom” jeans. We know you might feel like hiding your stomach and thighs after a kid or two but trust us, trying to cover them in high-waisted, baggy or elastic jeans will only make you look worse — and your age more obvious.
4. Being self-deprecating. Embrace your age and your look! If you go into a party joking that you look old or never thought you’d “be caught dead in this,” you’re just drawing attention to flaws no one probably would have noticed otherwise.
5. Not spending enough on your clothes. That purple button-down shirt on the JC Penny clearance rack is $15. Why would you shell out $120 for pretty much the same thing at Nordstrom? Because it’s worth it. Stylist after stylist has said it — and we’ll say it again: clothes that fit right make all the difference in how good you look and feel. If they cost more it means the designers have more spent time and effort making sure the piece will flatter its owner. Don’t want to buy a whole new wardrobe? Invest in a tailor and have your clothes fitted to personal perfection.
6. Comparing yourself to you 20 years ago. You don’t look at pictures of yourself at 6 and wonder why you don’t have that body anymore, right? That’s because our bodies change as we grow older and there’s nothing we can do about it. Don’t waste time pining for your “glory” years. Be the woman who people say looks better now than she ever did 20 years ago.
7. Thinking there are hair rules. Throw out any preconceived notions about what hair length, color and style you must adhere to after hitting a certain age. Hair varies as much as body type, so the same rules don’t apply for everyone. Grufferman noted that treatment depends “on a woman’s height, shape, lifestyle, and the condition of her hair.” Consult with your stylist — or your friends — to decide what look suits you.
8. Using the wrong makeup. Just like with clothing — because you’ve always used a certain color on your eyes, cheeks, or lips doesn’t mean it still looks good. As your face ages, make sure that your makeup choices and application techniques adapt with it. Grufferman advises using a magnifying mirror to avoid caking on concealers. Also? Update the contents of your makeup bag every 6 months to a year so that your powders and foundations stay fresh.
9. Wearing the wrong bra. Did you know that over 80 percent of women wear the wrong bra size? And that statistic includes young girls, who haven’t yet dealt with the effects of childbirth and aging. It’s unlikely you’ll stay the same bra size throughout your whole life, so why not spend 10 minutes and get properly measured at Victoria’s Secret or a local department store? The right undergarment can have a huge effect on how the rest of your clothes fit, giving your figure — and your self-confidence — a boost.
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