Building a Fashionable Wardrobe at Any Age
Originally posted in Cue Magazine July 2, 2018.
Our friends at CUE interviewed us for their latest piece on how to create a fashionable wardrobe at any age…check out the article below:
IT’S EASY TO WAX POETIC ABOUT THE MERITS OF AGE — the wisdom, poise and grace that comes with experience — but it’s much more difficult to shop for it. A lot of ready-to-wear fashion seems created for 20-somethings, but fashionistas of all decades know how to manipulate the trends while rocking the classics. Here are five guiding principles to help you become your most fabulous self, at any age.
Invest in the best.
“We tell clients to purchase the best quality you can afford at the time,” says Aimee Gowland, the personal stylist and image consultant behind ALG Style. Take note of the phrase “at the time.” College students likely can’t afford a perfectly tailored Giorgio Armani suit, but training an eye on quality at each stage of one’s life is important. “Clothing can be inexpensive but should not look cheap. You can find a well-constructed garment at Target,” Gowland says.
But for those with bigger budgets (often another benefit of aging), investment pieces are the cornerstone of a great closet that grows with you.
“It’s definitely worth spending more on timeless, high-quality pieces that you absolutely love and will be able to wear for countless years and maybe even pass down to family members,” says Samantha Brady, marketing assistant at The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk. “For me, investment pieces come in the form of designer items such as a classic trench coat, a leather handbag, black high heels, the perfect pair of ballet flats or a fabulous pair of gold or silver earrings.”
Gowland’s essentials list is equally chic and timeless.
“A structured handbag, pumps in your skin tone, a flattering pair of menswear-style trousers or skinny black pants and gloss or lipstick are items that should always be in your wardrobe arsenal,” she says.
Befriend a tailor.
Fit is essential. Spending a few extra dollars at the tailor makes clothing polished, ageless and enviable.
“Make certain the fit is on point, the fabric will not go up in flames and that it’s not too sheer,” Gowland says. Start with a well-constructed piece in a natural fiber, such as cotton, silk, wool or linen. Select the size that fits best, paying attention to where there’s extra fabric. A good tailor can let out seams, nip in the waist or shorten a hem to graze the knee for that bespoke look.
Discover a signature look.
The key to looking great is knowing how to dress one’s body. Resist the urge to over-compensate for aging: Don’t buy outfits that obscure your silhouette or hug it too tightly to make you appear older or younger than you are.
In seeking a signature style, if you have a confidence-boosting look that always does the trick — a go-to little black dress, for example — use that as a guide. Think about the fit, the fabric and the overall style, and keep it in mind when shopping in the future.
“It doesn’t have to be black and it doesn’t have to be a dress necessarily, but it does have to be an outfit that, no matter your mood and if you’re up a few pounds, you put it on and feel confident,” Gowland says.
Accessories keep wardrobes current and modern and allow women of all ages to embrace the style du jour as much or as little as they like. Once a core closet is established, think of accessories as a fresh coat of paint that energizes and enhances classic pieces. Buying accessories also confines trend-based spending to smaller, less costly items.
“Plans for a fancy night out? Sass things up with a pair of heels and some bling,” Brady says. “Running errands around town? Pair with your favorite flats and sunglasses and you’re good to go. It’s always a good idea to introduce new pieces here and there so that you stay excited about your fashion choices.”
Dress for yourself.
Fashion is hugely subjective and style is very personal. Adhering to any rule is silly if doesn’t serve your lifestyle. The biggest fashion icons have achieved their place in the pantheon by staying true to their individuality, regardless of age.
“The first person that comes to mind is Jane Fonda,” Brady says. “She does a fabulous job of wearing fashion that reflects who she is as a person, and [she] isn’t afraid to try new styles, even if it’s not the fashion critics’ favorite selection.”
Gowland’s ageless style icons are similarly confident and unbothered by public opinion.
“I adore Angela Bassett and Helen Mirren,” she says. “I do not think these ladies can have a bad fashion moment.” Mirren famously has a weakness for platform heels — likely designed for women a quarter of her age — and is unapologetic about her love for them.
Some Ageless Looks We Love
Well look at these two gorgeous and ageless ladies…
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