Fashion Rules to Ignore in 2013

Stamp 2013Only four days to go and 2012 will be over. At this time of the year we are bombarded with articles on New Year resolutions.

Instead of creating resolutions of what to add to your life, today I am writing about fashion rules I believe you need to ignore in 2013 and probably for years after that.

Times change and today’s Baby Boomers and women over 40 do not want to be restricted in their thinking about dressing and life. We are not stagnating into out-of-date thinking or wanting to disappear into stay-at-home babysitters for the grandkids. We are active, visible and embracing new technology while creating businesses and professions that allow us to grow and mentor women of all ages.

So here are my three piece of fashion advice to ignore in 2013.

Cover Up Your Arms After 40

Butterick pattern 5455I read this one often in magazines, newspapers and online. What rubbish! Yet women buy into this and examine their arms for perceived faults they must hide. To me it’s all part of the ‘anti-aging’ monster that is aiming to convince us women that we must stay looking young and perfect forever.

I recently saw a magazine article claiming that ‘36’ is the magic, desirable age for women. Being suspicious, I think it’s because they found a lot of models and actresses who are 36.

Be the age you are and as healthy as possible. Wear sleeveless or cap-sleeved tops and dresses if they flatter your colouring and shape. If you feel confident in the clothes you wear, people will notice this first. Then they will come and talk to your face not your arms. Go for a variety of sleeve lengths to suit your professional and casual lifestyle. Baggy sleeves are dowdy, especially on shirts and jackets. They cover but do not flatter any woman.

Fashion is about confidence. So ignore this one with my blessing.

Every Woman needs a White Shirt

Articles on ‘the 10 essential fashion items every woman needs in her wardrobe’ pop up regularly. And the classic white shirt is always high on the list because you can wear it to the office or casually with your jeans.

I have two arguments with this. Yes, a white shirt may be useful in a corporate office but so many of us over 40 do not operate in that setting anymore. A classic white shirt does not fit our business casual environment. My second argument is that clear white suits only those with a cool colouring. The other half of women find that classic white is too stark for their warm colouring.

Butterick pattern Cream ShirtWhat are the alternatives? Wear a cool white shirt if it suits you. Look for one with feminine, sensual or dramatic touches or add accessories that create a modern look that is unique to you. White suits women with grey or white hair and is as versatile to accessorise as black. If you have warm colouring, search for a soft, pearl white or cream as these are more flattering for you. Soft whites and cream always look feminine and elegant.

Bottom line – If you can find a white shirt that is flattering and versatile, buy it because it works for you not because someone said every woman needs one.

Never Wear Elasticised Waists Over 40

Butterick pattern 4803McCall's pattern 4097I am now gentler about this one than I used to be. Elasticised waists have an image of being worn by women who have let themselves go or who have chosen comfort over looking good.

Not so today as elastic and its uses have changed. Elastic now is used more on smoother-fitting clothes. You can find it on dress waistlines where you cover the elastic with a belt. Elastic is used in straight skirts, slim dress pants, jeggings and jeans. These all skim your body and create a more modern impression than the elasticised flowing, gathered skirts and baggy pants of yesteryear. Wear them with hip-length or longer tops rather than tucked-in shirts. It will be your modern style that others notice not your waistband.

There is nothing like a personal secret to make your confidence soar. Accept the compliments and do not reveal your secret.

Last Words

Fashion rules full of ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ may seem like expert advice. Relax! To be more self-confident in 2013, have fun. Rather than adding more stress to your life, bend or ignore old rules to please yourself and fit your lifestyle in 2013.

(Don’t miss out on upcoming articles for Baby Boomer Women. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine and get your weekly info every Thursday.)

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