The ongoing – and sometimes fractious – debate about “age appropriate” clothing, or dressing your age, has brought attention to a hard fact of life: we really don’t dress the same way that we did in our 30s…at least not most of us. All that really means is that showing a lot of skin or glittering like a mirror ball doesn’t represent who we are now.

But that certainly doesn’t mean we intend to hide in a corner and disappear. To the contrary. Never before have women owned their years in as spectacular a way as we do now. And we are doing it both with style and within some pretty wide parameters. Here are a few strategies we applaud for dressing your age:

Sophisticated Sillouettes

We’re moving into more sophisticated silhouettes and details, and leaving behind anything too fussy or cutesy. That means we avoid overly youthful prints, exaggerated fringe, or statement T-shirts that just don’t reflect our lifestyle right now. (Those of us who still have a vintage Stones T-shirt get a pass.)

“Accessexories”

We still go for sexy and sparkly, but instead of head to toe, we look for it in a blouse or an accessory.

Savvy Splurges

We forgo trendy outerwear but will splurge on something with a little bit of edge such as a high-quality leather or suede jacket, trench, or skirt. Some of us still rock leather skinnies!

Give us Grrrrrrr

Animal prints, particularly leopard, remain a staple of our wardrobe. We love them in flats, a clutch, blouses; we just don’t layer them.

Nip and Tuck

We refuse to look like a shapeless rectangle or a box. We’ll still show off – or imply – our waistline. That means we wear our blouses tucked in, fitted jackets that nip in the waist, or anything with darts. (For tips on dressing for your body type, read this.)

Go-to Tunics

And if our waistline isn’t our best feature, we have a flattering collection of body skimming tunics and tops that we wear with skinny pants, jeans or leggings.

Leg Appeal

We still like showing a little leg; we just don’t show as much of it as we used to. And we never wear a mid-calf skirt unless we wear them with boots.

What’s Up Our Sleeves

If we’ve missed a few months at the gym (okay, a few years), we gladly replace our sleeveless tops with elbow length and three-quarter length. They give us a very fresh, casual look.

Got Bling

We never go anywhere without adding a little bit of bling: a statement necklace, hoops or dangling earrings, a stack of bangles, or a great scarf. Real or faux? We’ll never tell!

SHOP THE LOOK

 

 

 

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About The Author

Andrea Pflaumer is the author of Shopping for the Real You, and She’s Got Good Jeans. For fourteen years she was a contributing editor to the East Bay Monthly, the San Francisco Examiner and Oakland Magazine for whom she wrote their Shopping Around, Shop Talk and arts and culture features. She offers style consultations and blogs through her website. She’s currently working on a sequel to her first book with her color and style mentor, John Kitchener, Director of Personal Style Counselors.