Basic wardrobe planning may be more cohesive if you figure out your fashion style type. Some types of fashion, offered with the over-50 woman in mind, are:
- arty or bohemian
- simply elegant (or elegant simplicity)
- trendy or trend-setter.
- romantic or sexy.
I call these fashion styles fashion archetypes, because they embody deeper needs and behaviors of our personalities. Expressing one of the types of fashion is a way of becoming the star of our own lives.
As we age, we may have to reassess our fashion style: The suburban mom takes a job and needs a professional wardrobe; the lawyer retires from her professional career and takes up her dream of landscape painting. The suits have to go.
Here are three advantages of basic wardrobe planning around a type of fashion that suits your personality and lifestyle:
- Efficiency shopping and pulling an outfit together, even on the fly.
If you decide your fashion style is sporty, you’re less likely to splurge on that emerald green, ruffled jabot blouse that you will only wear once a year. After all, it hardly goes with the khaki and charcoal cotton slacks that are the core of your comfortable daily uniform.
- Spending limited wardrobe budgets on what will give us the most use. Basic wardrobe planning involves figuring out what types of fashion we most need. It makes sense to add a black skirt to our professional wardrobe when we understand we’ve got 18 tops and three jackets to team with it. Shopping for an item we might have spurned as too ordinary becomes a fashion triumph.
- Feeling well-dressed and comfortable on every occasion. The best fashion advice for women is to decide what feels good and looks good on you. Your personal fashion style emerges from that. What looks and feels good changes over time. Periodic reassessment is essential.
Here’s a summary of eight fashion archetypes.
The arty look is colorful, quirky, sometimes ethnic, and always fearless. Natural fabrics are preferred. A snowy white poet’s shirt, an embroidered jacket that goes from work to art gallery reception, and a luxurious handbag are suggestions for the bohemian wardrobe.
The corporate executive wife and the charity fund-raiser are some typical lifestyle choices of women who express their inner creativity with sophisticated fashions. Wardrobe suggestions are a Chanel suit, a silk dress, gold cloche earrings and a diamond pendant necklace.
This fashion style is tailored. A blazer jacket is a must. It can be worn with a variety of durable, washable cotton pants, such as khaki, a good choice for the active, outdoorsy woman. Sweaters and sweater sets work well. A silk T-shirt adds sophistication. Avoid fussy prints and ruffles.
Suburban fashion goes from town to country with ease. She visits a corporate office in tailored slacks, a fuchsia shirt, an elegantly tailored long jacket, and pumps appropriate for lunch at a chic restaurant. Then she’s off to a soccer game. The pumps are replaced by rubber-soled loafers, the jacket with a sweater. Pick garments for their versatility.
The professional fashion archetype loves suits – pantsuits for every day, skirt suits for court, a tuxedo suit for formal occasions, and a tailored dress when a skirt is a must. Choose suits and tops so you can mix-and-match for maximum versatility. Add an embroidered vest for pizzazz.
If you’ve asked yourself What Would Jackie [Kennedy Onassis] Do?(book by Shelley Branch and Sue Callaway) Or What Would Audrey [Hepburn] Do? (by Pamela Keough), this is your fashion archetype. Stock your closet with solid colors and garments with simple lines such as the A-line, princess, and cheongsam dresses. Shop at designer consignment shops to achieve this look on a budget.
The older woman who adopts the latest fashion trends may end up looking as if she is desperately clinging to her passing youth. For best effect, add fashion trends to classic costumes. For example, an outrageous jacket, with lots of bling and some feather accents, might be worn with simple black or white beneath. Experiment. Every fashion mistake can be changed tomorrow.
Flirty grows up after 50 or risks appearing as if life has passed her by. Ruffles, but not frills; clinging fabrics that hug curves without being skintight; and decollete that knows when to quit are hallmarks of the romantic fashion archetype. Strive for glamor and sensuality using texture and a bit of bling.
In summary, knowing and expressing your fashion archetype starts with identifying the fashion styles that fit your lifestyle and personality. Buy clothes that look and feel just right. Basic wardrobe planning is a snap when we build our clothes collection with our personal type of fashion in mind.
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Spring brides all over Britain have been thrown for a loop by the announcement of the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Once the April 29, 2011 date was set, ordinary women who had already been planning their weddings for the last weekend of April suddenly realized that their wedding would definitely be playing second fiddle to the grand event. What’s an ordinary bride to do when she comes to find out that a royal wedding will be upstaging her big day?
While there is something kind of neat about sharing a wedding anniversary with a royal couple, there are also a lot of headaches associated with it. Brides who had previously selected the April 2011 wedding date which was chosen by Prince William and Kate Middleton are facing an uphill battle to keep their wedding in the forefront of anyone’s mind for that special date. After all, the royal wedding will be a national holiday in England – how many of other women can say that about their wedding dates? The reality is that many of the wedding guests may be wishing that they were watching the royal wedding, when they are attending the one to which they were invited. For that matter, the bride herself may be interested in seeing the royal wedding on television!
So what is an ordinary bride to do when she realizes that her wedding will be in competition with the wedding of the year? One option is to change the wedding date. That is not as crazy as it sounds, especially for brides who were planning to get married anywhere remotely near Westminster Abbey or on any of the streets in the vicinity. Remember the legions of fans who lined the route which Lady Diana Spencer’s carriage traveled to take her to her wedding to Prince Charles? Surely that kind of scene will be repeated when Kate Middleton makes her approach to her wedding site in her custom bridal gown and royal jewelry, with all of the accompanying security and traffic snarls which you would expect. The ordinary bride who is getting married on April 29, 2011 may well find that just getting to her own wedding is a major struggle.
Of course, not every bride will be able to switch her wedding date, especially if deposits have already been made on the venue and vendors, so there will be plenty of women who share the royal wedding date. In that case, there are essentially two options: to either ignore the fact that there is another, more famous, wedding taking place at the same time, or to really embrace the royal wedding and to celebrate Kate and Prince William’s marriage along with your own. Show a film of Kate and Prince William’s vows at your wedding reception. Name the reception tables after famous places in the royal couple’s life (St. Andrews, Kenya, Westminster Abbey, etc.). Rather than trying to ignore the elephant in the room, embrace it.
Brides who wish to keep the focus on their own weddings despite the shared date with the royal wedding would do well to plan an event in a very different style. Competing with any royal wedding head to head in terms of style is an impossibility for most regular folks, so don’t even try! No matter how fabulous your wedding gown and custom bridal jewelry, they will not be instantly copied around the globe. No matter how happy the bride and groom are, their radiant faces will not be put on commemorate plates or postage stamps. So instead of attempting to put together a celebration with a grand style, go a different direction. Host an ultra-modern cocktail wedding in an art gallery or throw a picnic reception on a lawn out in the country. And of course, take heart that despite all the excitement of the royal wedding taking place on the same day as your own wedding, your family and friends will still be just as happy for you.
Luckily for us and our wardrobes, the faithful frock’s made a dramatic comeback. It’s no wonder we’ve loved dresses for so long and with good reason; this style staple is so flattering whatever your shape. Just think how fabulous curvy Marilyn Monroe or slender Audrey Hepburn looked in theirs. Whichever way you look at it, the dress has bags of pizzazz and is used by many women on the Continent in Spain, France, Germany or Portugal to create an effortless style statement. So why not steal a few top tips from Europe’s most stylish women on how to wear them?
Inch Losing Dresses Delivered to Your Door
What dress you choose really depends on your height and shape and with the right choice you could save inches outwards as well as adding inches upwards. So, where to start? If you’re slightly fuller in the bust like many British and German women you should probably steer clear of high neck dresses, instead, try going for a deep v-neck to balance out your heavier top half and lengthen your legs. Equally, for a rounded figure or apple shape, a dress with a pleated waist will help skim over lumps and bumps and give the illusion of a smoother, lither body. If you have a slender Mediterranean figure like the French and Spanish and crave curves, a great dress can help you you can say au revoir to the ironing board chest; try wild animal prints to give the clever illusion of a waist and with a great belt your bust will look bigger too. If a heavy bottom half weighs you down, disguise thighs with a classic wrap dress, just make sure there’s enough fabric to glide over the top part of your legs and bottom to flatter your fabulous form.
How to Accessories Dresses
Finally, dressing up your dress with seasonal or fashionable accessories really can make the difference between a fashion faux pas and a show stopping entrance. So ladies, think like your stylish European neighbors, play with on trend colors and always, always team with fantastic footwear like the Portuguese, a cute bag and if you’re an ex-pat in Europe, you know by now, that no stylish outfit is complete without those essential oversized sunglasses for instant Riviera style glamour.