Sunday, October 19, 2008

Age-Appropriate Clothing

How to dress your age

It is not hard to find a woman these days who is having trouble dressing her age. It's an understandable dilemma, especially for women who live in locations that don't have a lot of shopping options. Wal-Mart has clearly defined kids and adult clothing, but nothing that really speaks to a fashion-conscious person in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. Even Kohls, who only recently has come out with styles by Vera Wang and under the Apt 9 and Daisy Fuentes labels, has a large selection for teens and more mature women, but not a lot for other age groups to choose from.

Women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s
These three decades of women are struggling to claim themselves. Women in their twenties must break free from their childish past without aging themselves too quickly. Women in their thirties are balancing the role of mother and the role of career woman and the many wardrobe changes it makes to do this can make a person feel like she is performing a Superman quick-change in the phonebooth. Women in their 40s are growing into a body that has been slowly changing over the past two decades, and they have to make sure that their clothes are also changing to suit it.

Clothing Choices for Women in Their 20s
Women in their 20s are most free to experiment with fashion trends. Matchstick pants can still be pulled off with plenty of style. Bright colors and mix and match styles can be blended if done with restraint and taste. The styles of the day should be worn with common sense.

Form fitting clothing should be tasteful and accent your body's positives, without exaggerating any negatives. Jeans, dress pants, and skirts can all be worn casually, but care should be taken with business clothes. When you enter the workforce your superiors mostly likely will be a decade or two older than you, and their idea or style might be very different than yours.

Exposed tattoos, facial piercings, and revealing clothing is in poor taste. Express your wild side on the weekend, but prove that you are dependable and mature enough to handle your job by dressing the role. You can customize pant suits with colorful blouses, layered jewelry, and playful shoes. When shopping, some items in the junior section will still be suitable, but your working wardrobe should be bought elsewhere. For fashion inspiration, consider emulating the ways of Mandy Moore.

Clothing Choices for Women in Their 30s
This is the decade when many women leave and re-enter the workforce or maintain both their role as mother and career woman at the same time, or have begun to climb the corporate ladder. Clothing choices can be comfortable and durable but should not rely on sweats as daywear.

There is no harm in putting as much care into dressing yourself as you do your children or as much effort as you put forth in your work. Women in this age group often have a hard time finding casual clothes that represent who they are. Jeans cut for teens are too tight in the thighs and butt and too wide in the ankle area while jeans in the women's section of a department store may be too high waisted and straight.

Look for the new trouser style of jean, which is age-appropriate, trendy, and can make a stay-at-home mom's comfortable clothes also look dressy. For the office, choose something that shows you are still young and bringing in fresh ideas, like skirts with boots and jackets over ruffly shirts. Bright colors are still allowed but a sea of many bright colors all on one blouse are distracting. Thirty-somethings are not dressing for people to look at their clothes, but for people to look at them. Items such as summer dresses with modest cuts and chocolate brown cords are dressy yet casual choices for summer and winter that can work both in an office setting and at home. For style inspiration from a thirty-something celebrity, take note of mom and actress Reese Witherspoon's fashion choices.

Clothing Choices for Women in Their 40s
Women in their 40s know who they are. They know what they like. If they follow a fashion, they pick and choose the elements of the fashion that make them good without going overboard on the style and looking like a caricature.

A little metallic shimery shirt with blank pants and a blazer or knee-high boots with a suede skirt and a merino wool sweater show the world that she is fashion-conscious but not a fashion victim. Forty-somethings have learned how to make fashion work for them. Clothes are tailored but not form-fitting, showing off the best aspects of a woman's figure. The scoop collar and sparkling necklace also highlights the face, accenting the person in the clothes, and not just the clothes or the body.

Simple lines on skirts and shirts show that you are not caught up by complex designs. Clean, classy, and sophisticated works best for women in this decade. Solid colors show that a woman can make up her mind. For a forty-something fashion celebrity inspiration, keep your eye on Nicole Kidman.

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