6 Ways to Always Look Stylish as You Get Older
Just a few tweaks will ensure you never fall off your fashion game.
Looking stylish is tough at any age—it requires learning your personal preferences and the things that look best on you and seamlessly blending them with what feels modern. However, it can be especially tough as we get older and want to look put-together and sophisticated without appearing stuffy or outdated. That's even more true now when fashion trends come and go faster than ever before. To help you look and feel incredible whenever you leave the house—yes, even when you just step out for a quick grocery run—we asked personal stylists for their best tips for always looking stylish as you get older.
Know your shape—and dress for it.
Fashion is art and the canvas we're working with changes as we age.
"Growing old gracefully starts with understanding your shape, proportions, and scale, and how to dress for them," says Elizabeth Kosich, certified image stylist and founder of Elizabeth Kosich Styling. "Be aware of how your body shifts and, if necessary, update your go-to silhouette to a more flattering one."
For example, if your body is widest below the waist, Kosich suggests adding volume, structure, and prints above it. If you're widest above the waist, do the opposite. If your body is straight up and down, add volume to the top and bottom. And if you're fullest in the middle, de-emphasize your midsection with structured garments that skim the area, like tunics, shackets, classic shirting, and blazers. By keeping those guidelines in mind, you'll be well on your way to creating more balanced outfits.
Limit your colors.
When it comes to putting outfits together, Michelle Barrett, stylist and founder of Capsule Closet Stylist, recommends limiting yourself to three colors: two base colors and one highlight color. "This creates a cohesive and put-together look with minimal effort," she says.
For example, you could pair black jeans, boots, and a hat with a grey coat and an emerald green sweater and ring. Or, match camel trousers and a cream top with a burnt orange silk scarf and clutch.
If you have difficulty putting outfits together often, Barrett advises creating a capsule collection that features fewer than eight colors: three or four neutral colors and three or four brighter colors. "This will allow for mix-and-match versatility," she says. Whenever you reach for a garment, there's a high chance it'll match with anything else you select.
Try some trends—but not all.
The trend cycle is super fast these days (in the past week alone, we've heard a dozen different opinions about whether skinny jeans are "in" or "out" ). However, you don't need to comply with any of them.
"Instead of looking to trends, focus on what works for you in terms of color and style, and use that as the basis for building your wardrobe," says Barrett. "Update your wardrobe with trends that align with your personal style, rather than trying to change your style to fit the trends."
A good rule of thumb: Before jumping on a trend, ask yourself if you'll still be wearing it next year. If not, it's a pass.
Go for quality over quantity.
By dressing in high-quality pieces, you'll instantly present a more sophisticated and stylish aesthetic.
"Choose premium materials, premium brands, and cost per wear over fast fashion, investing in a designer handbag to start," says Kosich. "Then upgrade wardrobe mainstays with swaps like athletic shoes for leather sneakers, wool for cashmere and daily denim for dark denim."
Over the years, you'll collect a closet of sturdy basics that you can mix to your heart's content.
Curate a fun jewelry collection to finish your outfits. "A touch of luster says fancy without pretension, so make sure every outfit is artfully appointed with statement jewelry that's sleek, modern and says something about your life story—for example, a gift, milestone purchase, or world travel acquisition," says Kosich. "Keep it traditional with diamond or pearl studs, gold or silver huggies, or a birthstone pendant." It'll go a long way in adding interest to your ensembles.
You might also add a drop of makeup. "Find a statement lip color that pops without overwhelming, and try the same hue for a nail color," says Kosich. "Consider brown mascara for a softer, less severe look than black, and the same with eyeliner." A fresh cut and color can also go a long way in helping you feel confident.
Get the right fit.
Finally, you'll want to avoid the mistake of buying the wrong size. "By buying larger sizes to cover up areas you're not happy with, it will make the area look bigger than it is," says Barrett. "At the same time, avoid buying clothes that are too small; instead, opt for clothes that skim over areas you're not comfortable with."
Choose tailored pieces, and you'll always look polished.
For more style tips sent directly to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.