With the advent of seemingly weekly Fashion Weeks taking place all over the globe, there is a plethora of sartorial advice about what we need to buy and should be wearing at any given point on the calendar.
The problem with these Fashion Weeks is not only their abundance, but also the fact that the designs are catered to, and modeled by, 6 foot tall, under nourished, 20-somethings. I have yet to see a middle aged women who has birthed and nurtured more than one child, strut her stuff down the catwalk. Yet month after month the stores stuff their shelves with designs that are reminiscent of what just went down the runway and they tell us, the 50 somethings with heft in our wallets and our derrieres, what we should be wearing. This piece is to guide you toward what NOT to wear this year as the temperatures climb:
Anything white that isn’t a t-shirt or blouse: White jeans are not your friends! Sure they match with all those pastel and tropical hued shirts that you are jonesing to wear, but they show every bump that you thought was deftly hidden under the term denim. White pants pick up dirt, and if you have any shape that is curvier than a ruler, they add bulk and width. If you MUST wear white denim size up at least one size from your regular jean or pant size. The same goes for that cute white skirt you saw on the mannequin.
Anything cropped: Cropped is designed to make you shorter, stumpier and heavier. Why would you want to do that? Moreover, unless you have been doing Pure Barre every day for the past two years and have abs that rival Gisele or Gabby Reece, why in heaven’s name would you want to wear a cropped top that draws attention to your midriff? Wearing a camisole or under piece makes you look like you are hiding something. Don’t do it. Cropped pants shorten your legs. If you must flash some ankle, roll up a nice 1″ cuff and call it a day, or go for a slim, tapered leg. Wide cropped pants look terrible on everyone, even super models. Just don’t.
Anything too short: Yes, I’m aware that “too short” is entirely subjective. Some people have great legs and can pull off mid-thigh, and even above. It’s also likely that your legs are better than you think they are and you can let the hem creep up higher than your self-imposed limit. But my rule of hem is, if you must wear a full panty rather than a thong, your skirt is too short. And always do the sit test before leaving the house. You don’t want to be thinking about Sharon Stone all day.
Loud prints: Working a little color or pattern into your wardrobe of neutrals is a good thing, but make sure that you aren’t accentuating the wrong body part. I knew someone who thought she was the bees knees in her bold Versace top, but really all anyone noticed was how enormous and prominent her breasts looked.
Trendy Footwear: Leave the sparkles, platforms, stacked heels, and Lady Gaga shoes to the kids and the celebrities. Gladiator lace up stillettos will make you look like a fashion victim or a hooker. And Crocs are ONLY acceptable in the garden when you are communing with Mother Earth. Never wear Crocs beyond your property line.
There is no rule that says when you reach a certain age you can’t wear a particular style, especially if it has always worked in your favor. But by the time you’re 50 you need to have a good sense of what flatters and what is comfortable. And if you question if it’s too short or too bold or too trendy or too whatever, it probably is.
Sara Cornell blogs at www.lifeaftermarried.com