Open up the net, and you'll find dozens of articles telling you what you shouldn't wear...and half a dozen articles protesting those lists on grounds of gender politics. This isn't one of them. Whether you're past 30 and dressing like a 13 year old, or a big-bellied belle rocking those low-rise jeans, if you have the confidence, more power to you. Having said that, here are five things to remember so that your clothes don't end up hiding your youthful personality.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that most of us ladies wear the wrong size bra. The percentage of those in this inner-wear conundrum varies between 85-95%, but let's just accept that this is the majority of the bra-wearing population, and thus a big problem indeed. Aside from the fact that wearing the wrong size can lead to a number of back and shoulder problems and is just plain uncomfortable, too-tight bras can create unsightly lumps and rolls, adding bulk where you have none, while too-loose ones can cause the girls to sag, neither of which will make you look any younger.
So if it has been a while since you got measured for a bra size, do yourself a solid and go to Sweet Dreams and get it done, or grab a measuring tape and use an online bra-size calculator to do it yourself.
Fit for a queen
Whether you're a size 0 or a XXXXL, fit is key. The shoulder seams of your garment should hit your natural shoulders, and there should be a nip at your natural waist. Above all, there's no beating a tailored garment whose fit and flare is customised for your unique shape. No matter what your size is, clothes that fit well will give you that boost of confidence, and make you look amazing at any age.
The easy way to solve this problem will be to try on everything before you buy it. And if you find a tailor who gets you, you've found a friend for life
The denim dilemma
This isn't an indictment against “Mom jeans” which are enjoying their moment in the sun once more. The right high-waisted denim can actually be a slimming, comfortable option for many women. What one wants to avoid is a pair of jeans with too much stretch. These tend to lose their elasticity before you can say “snap back” and end up creating droopy folds and puckers, making your bass seem saggy and tired.
The common wisdom when buying jeans is to go for 98% cotton and 2% Spandex/Lycra. Jeans are meant to be worn several times, so don't wash them too often (7 wears before a wash is standard in western countries, 3-4 is perfectly alright in our climate). Read and follow the washing instructions, and if it's a pair you're loathe to part with, then at least take it to the tailor for alterations.
As we age, our tolerance for heels and stilettos starts to go down, but that doesn't mean you should break out the clunky Granny heels already. Swap out those slinky stilettos for some tasteful chunky heels, or opt for wedges, which are super cute. If you're committed to flat shoes, do experiment with pretty ballet flats or polished loafers, or even women's brogues.
Don't forget to treat your feet to regular pedicures, whether at home or at the parlour. On those occasions where you have to bust out the sandals or peep-toes, a badly-groomed pair of feet can let your whole look down.
The recent trend for mermaid and unicorn hair means you can even have white hair and not look old. Straight or curly, dyed or natural, dark or silver, you have a lot more freedom as far as colour and style are concerned. What will age your look is the grooming of your hair. Lacklustre hair, split ends, exposed roots and fly-aways unchecked can take your look to “crazy old hag” in no time.
Give your hair the love it deserves and treat it to regular trims and conditioning treatment. If you like playing with hair colour, don't forget to touch up the roots. Drink plenty of water, and incorporate more fibre into your diet, and not just your hair, but your whole body will reward you with that youthful glow.