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Defining your fashion style as you age

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Age gracefully

One’s choice of clothing, accessories and cosmetics highlights one’s best features and sense of style, and it greatly affects how one looks fresh, bright and full of enthusiasm.

While no one can change the fact that people age, the best way to tackle aging is to aim on how to age gracefully. Eating well and having an active and healthy lifestyle are definitely part of the process. But one thing is being overlooked by most people: it is having a great sense of style. Indeed, one’s fashion sense can help a woman look fabulous as she ages.

Developing a personal sense of style

At 61 years old, Marianne ensures that she is well-dressed for any occasion. She carefully chooses the clothes she wears, the jewellery she matches with her outfit, and the shoes she pairs with her overall look.

“I feel younger whenever I wear something that fits me well. I tend to develop a sense of style as I age. I keep on experimenting, mixing and matching. With that I realize that there is no formula. I used to keep a list of things that worked for me and did not. I read articles and took note of advices on mixing and matching clothes, make-up, accessories and shoes. I think it is fair to say that I put a lot of effort before I was able to develop my own sense of style,” she quipped.

Nina Garcia, former fashion director of Elle and Marie Claire magazines and a renowned fashion journalist and critic says the same. In her book “The Little Black Book of Style,” Garcia concludes that “style comes from within, from knowing who you are and who you want to be; not from wanting to be somebody else, or wanting to be thinner, shorter, taller, prettier.”

At one point, Marianne has stopped looking at fashion magazines as these mostly features younger and slimmer models who are out of Marianne’s league. She feels that these types of magazines do not address her styling needs.

“It is important to read through magazines and websites for inspirations and ideas that address styling concerns of people of my age and body type. They understand my qualities, my strengths and my weaknesses. That is why I do not read some fashion magazines that feature younger and slimmer models as I cannot relate with them,” she quipped.

Aspiring for class and uniqueness

It is easy to look at what’s in and hot. Following trends makes one look fashionable. There are cuts, colors and style that each season dictates and being followed by different fashion merchandises. However as one ages, being unique becomes more of an aspiration rather than blending in and be the same with the crowd.

 “I don’t usually go for trends. I find them very much into-the-moment. It makes me look like I am trying to be younger and share the same things as people way younger my age. I love to have a classic set – something that I can wear over and over again for a long period of time. I want to wear clothes or accessories that I can say are uniquely mine,” Marianne added.

Timelessness and authenticity – these are the magic words that women of age look for when they look at fashion. A timeless beauty brings class. Authenticity reveals confidence. Uniqueness stands one out from the crowd.

“I love wearing a unique piece, like this sterling silver necklace with a New Zealand fern I bought from David Tasker. The fern is a classic symbol of New Zealand and does not go out of style. The material used, the sterling silver, gives a very elegant touch to the necklace. But the design is very unique. Only 2 of this kind were done by my favorite designer David,” says Dianne, a 58-year-old retired school teacher who lives in Botany.

The silver fern, a timeless beauty

“In a recent birthday party of my elder sister, I wore this together with a pair of NZ fern earrings, complementing with a black, belted dress I bought from Lavish in Taupo. My friends took notice of my overall outfit as simple and elegant, and this pendant made me stand out and they kept on asking where I bought it,” she said, recalling how happy she was upon hearing the praises uttered by friends during the party.


Let confidence do the work

“More than the necklace, the earrings and the dress, I think what made me look stylish that night was the confidence I had wearing these items. When a woman is confident, it exudes from within and tells everyone to take a look and admire you," Dianne added, telling us how comfortable she was showcasing her overall look in the party.

Confidence is the the most important fashion accessory. There is simply an undeniable attractiveness to someone who walks, talks and dresses with the utmost self-assurance. Any style, color and material of clothing and accessories can be pulled off by someone who exudes confidence.

Going for fashion that is versatile

Experimenting on mixing and matching for different occasions, and for different seasons is key. Investing in fashion items that do not go out of style is key. These items can be used for a long time, even be handed over to your children and grandchildren. Also, these pieces of clothing and accessories give a new twist to any wardrobe or get-up.

Debbie, a mother of 2 and a grandmother of 4, has been keeping a collection of dresses and accessories with pieces as old as 40 years, some of which she still uses up to this day.

This floral collection makes a difference in one's outfit

"I was able to wear my favorite white dress in different occasions. One time, I had to go to a beach outing by wearing that dress. I just paired it with a buri hat and I wore floral necklaces, bracelets and earrings from David Tasker. I wore the same dress for a cocktail last week and I complemented it with a silk scarf and a pair of Swarovski jewellery which thankfully I was able to buy online from my favorite shop, David Tasker," says Debbie.

 Final words of wisdom

One has the ability to decide what to buy and what to wear. As a person ages, it is important to always go for things that will make you feel comfortable and confident about wearing them rather than be single-handedly dictated by fashion trends. One needs to feel empowered to define oneself and one's own sense of style, rather than allowing fashion to define oneself. As Giannie Versace once said, "Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live."

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