You are not listening for comments like ‘you always wear pants’. You are listening for a compliment like ‘you always look fabulous in pants’. There is a subtle difference.
Here are my practical tips for women over 40 to help you blossom into the beautiful woman you are so that you attract compliments rather than comments.
We live in a visual world; so people notice colour first. This is a good starting point. You cannot accentuate your best feature by only wearing conservative, basic, one-colour combination eg all black, grey or beige outfits. One-colour outfits may downplay your negatives but they do not accentuate your best feature. They may be easy to choose but they will never give people that one point of reference that makes you memorable. Classics combined with other colours are fine, especially if you use those other colours to draw attention to your best feature (your face, eyes, waist, height, body shape, legs or hands).
Colour is used in one of two ways. You either compliment or enhance. Complimenting is using a lighter, deeper, stronger or brighter tone of a colour to consciously reinforce a colour. Enhancing is using the direct opposite colour to subconsciously magnify a colour. If your eyes, skin or hair is brown, other shades of brown draw attention to that body part by intensifying the colour. Blue is the opposite of brown and the subconscious immediately recognises a perfect contrast. Blue shades may range from aqua blue to blue-purple (ie jacaranda), depending on your shade of brown. Wearing these colours from light to dark, in patterns or combining both near your best feature brings attention to it and gives you a positive lift.
Using style to highlight your face is wearing your best hairstyle plus accessories that are in the same shape as your face or that incorporate the third part of your personality eg elegant or feminine. If you have a round face and feminine is your third and often hidden personality trait, you would play with accessories and tops that include rounded and floral shapes and patterns in your best complimentary and enhancing colours. Your hairstyle would be more feminine that pixie or dramatic. You might also add feminine accessories to your hair.
For your body shape, height, arms or legs, a good starting point is to do the online ‘My Private Stylist’ Program or come to me for a personal consultation so you know what to wear that plays up your best body part. Peplums are in fashion at the moment and they are a great way to highlight your waist or body shape. Choose one in a classic style and it will always look beautiful and stylish for years.
Use the same guidelines to highlight your hands through flattering sleeve styles, accessory shapes and colours.
These are the icing on the cake and an un-iced cake is easily forgotten. Use accessories strategically placed to bring positive attention to your best body feature. A vertical scarf, a brooch or a full or half-belt in a contrasting colour draws attention to your waist even if it is not as small as it used to be. Accessories above your bustline draw attention up to your best facial feature. An interesting hemline, tanned legs, silky stockings or interesting shoes draw attention to your long or shapely legs.
Every woman has one body feature that others recognise them by. Discover it, learn to love it and use these practical tips to celebrate it. Play with colour, style and carefully chosen accessories and you will find so many simple ways to celebrate and love being ‘you’.
(Article sent to subscribers of The Fashion Translator eZine’ on 4 October 2012. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine.)