Who's that lady?
Being over 40 presents a few problems for a woman, one of which is how to dress. There are many things to consider, such as your profession, where you live, what works on your body, or how you’re feeling on a particular day. There’s the mom thing, too. I have found myself thinking while trying on a dress that is on the shorter side: I’m someone’s mom. Can I pull this off?
Just because you’ve got it doesn’t mean you always have to flaunt it. Appropriateness, whatever the occasion, is key. I'd like invoke the word 'ladylike' in this case - with the definition being overall more put together, updated, befitting your lifestyle, and most of all, you.
Good judgment (not to mention taste) is something you either have or your don’t. So I’ve put together a list of tips/things to consider when you are shopping and getting dressed.
1. Does it fit? Too tight or too big – either way it’s unflattering. If your clothes are very snug you lool like you’re trying too hard. Hoochie always ages you or makes you look like an Orange County Real Housewife. Too loose and big and you look like you are trying to hide something. A good fit is always in style, as someone’s Grandma must have said at some point, right?
2. Do you feel comfortable in it? This is tricky, because by comfortable, I mean not physically but that we all have a certain style or way of dressing that we feel good in. That’s great unless you’re stuck in what I call a uniform. You know, that go-to look that is your signature is not always your best asset. My uniform is that of a 12-year-old boy – t-shirts, jeans and sneakers. Knowing that, I’ve been trying to dress a little more feminine when possible, which is challenging considering my job. Because pink leggings are not finding their way onto this body. So assess how you dress by considering who you are and how you want to be seen. (Will they take me seriously when I walk into the bank dressed like my teenage son and ask for a loan? I think not.)
3. Get out of your rut. This refers to item #2 above. To bust out of your uniform and try something new can be scary. Start slowly and keep one of your favorite pieces and then branch out with different shoes or a new kind of jacket that you’ve perhaps admired but didn’t was quite you. Or try patterns. You don't wear patterns? Why not? It can be you, the new you!
4. Work clothes vs. civilian clothes. If you wear an actual uniform – you are a postal worker/hotel clerk/etc. then you should have fun with your playtime wardrobe. The same goes for a corporate job that requires you wear a suit or office wear. Keep those clothes in the closet and mix it up on your days off.
5. Don’t give up. Just because you’re taking the kids to school then off to errands and the gym doesn’t mean you should wear your pj’s, old sweats or workout clothes everywhere you go. Don’t embarrass your kids. Conversely don’t let them dress you. Your 10 year old might have a flair for fashion but that’s not necessarily going to work on you. Put something on – something that makes you feel good about how you look. You can still be you and even look cool without going too “Mom.” You’re over 40, not homeless so pull yourself together!
And money need not be an obstacle – there are flattering clothes out there for all price points. Have an idea of how you want to dress then go forth and find what works for your body and your budget.
Need more tips? Give me a holler.
We can't all be as glamorous as this over 40 mom, but we can be...ladylike.