— Style —


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Many women over 50 say they feel invisible. While the cloak of invisibility is a real phenomenon, many of us forget to update our style, or if we do, we buy haphazardly with no thought about putting together an outfit instead of separates that just hang in our closet. It takes more than a great blouse and a pair of pants to have style. Regardless of your personal style, or your figure, here are seven tips that will give you that extra “je ne sais quoi.”

A style that says we’re vibrant and interesting, someone you’d like to know.

  1. BUY A NEW BRA: When we gain or lose weight, we don’t hesitate to buy a better fitting pair of pants, but do you update your bra as well? An old bra that’s lost the elasticity in the straps, doesn’t fit well, or makes our back fat hang out–the original muffin top–makes us look frumpy and older than we really are. When wearing a bra, ideally our nipples should align halfway between the top of our shoulders and our elbows. If your nipples are closer to your elbows… You need a new bra! 

I never would have thought of tucking a leather top into a pair of pants, but paired with this cool belt it’s fabulous looking! Such great style! Unexpected… Perhaps I should have added “Unexpected” to the list, like wearing a pair of red shoes instead of black ones.

  1. PROPORTIONS: Don’t wear a baggy top and baggy pants. They’ll make you look heavier than you are, plus it’s sloppy looking. If you’re wearing wide-legged or baggy pants, pair it with a more form-fitting top or consider tucking a looser top into your pants. Some fashionistas only tuck the front of their top and leave the rest untucked. Sometimes that works… Sometimes it doesn’t. On the other hand if you’re wearing slim legged pants you can get away with a boxy or looser top.

  1. SHIRT SLEEVES: Sometimes all it takes to add some pizzaz to your outfit is to push your sleeves up to your elbows or neatly fold the cuffs back once or twice. It instantly adds that certain something that sets you apart from someone who’s wearing the same thing but hasn’t taken the time to style the sleeves. You can even wear a cardigan or a blazer over a blouse or slim fitting tee, but still fold back the cuffs or slide the cardigan up toward your elbows and let two or three inches of the slim fitting tee show.
  1. LAYERING: Instead of wearing your favorite crewneck, turtleneck or tee by itself, try adding a crisp white shirt over it with the cuffs folded back and then add a blazer. If you’re going to layer make sure your first layer is slim-fitting so you’re not adding bulk.
  1. BELT IT: Even though you’re wearing something wonderful, sometimes all it takes to elevate an outfit from nice to great is a belt. Belts can make most outfits more interesting. Diane Keaton belts dresses and blazers, and it’s one of the styling tricks that makes her a fashion icon.

Look for a great piece of costume jewelry that lays nicely on your collarbone. Imagine this necklace with a long-sleeve white blouse, cuffs turned back, a great belt and a pair of jeans. Who knew blue jeans could be so chic?

A circle crossbody bag adds flair to any outfit plus it forces you to leave the kitchen sink at home. 

  1. UNIQUE ACCESSORIES: A unique necklace or handbag adds flair to what you’re wearing. Handbags have become supersized and for some reason we feel compelled to fill them up with “stuff” and schlep them everywhere. Perhaps it’s a throwback to when many women needed tissues, diapers, toys, snacks and meds, but our lives have changed. Unless you’re traveling and feel like you absolutely need a bigger bag, consider downsizing. A smaller bag is easier on your neck and shoulders plus it shaves years off of your age and makes you look more put together.

I want to be a woman who looks like she’s confident in her own skin and is enjoying life, and if I’m not… I’m going to “behave my way there.”

  1. ATTITUDE: As we age gravity takes over. Our shoulders hunch forward and the corners of our mouth turn downward and our jowls sag. Attitude may very well be our secret style weapon to help combat Mother Nature. We can look like a fashion model straight off the runway, but if we don’t remember to hold our shoulders back, stand tall and put a smile on our face, we might as well be wearing our cloak of invisibility.


  • Laurie April 5, 2019 at 1:16 am

    Some great tips here, especially the bra. I think every woman should be professionally measured yearly. It’s surprising how the size can change without realising. A well fitting bra can make all the difference.

    • 1010ParkPlace April 5, 2019 at 7:40 pm

      Hi Laurie, A month ago I was measured for a new bra. Because of breast cancer one breast was recreated with tissue from my stomach and the other is an implant. Over the years the implant has changed shapes and is noticeable so I got a new bra. Makes all the difference in the world. Thanks, Brenda

  • Taste of France April 5, 2019 at 4:34 am

    I love this! Reject invisibility! And Diane Keaton is a goddess.
    I’d say that Nos. 1-3 should be attitude, attitude and attitude. And Nos. 4-5 should be posture, posture.
    I see lots of fabulous older women around here. This is a popular retirement destination, so much so that when I go to Toulouse or Montpellier (both big university cities), I am struck by how many young people there are. Anyway, here we have quite a range. There are those who have let themselves go. I don’t mean gaining weight, though that might be involved. I don’t mean not coloring their hair. I don’t mean not dressing up, though HOW you dress is important.
    I see women whom I gauge as somewhere in their 60s, others in their 70s, and there are those who seem to get ignored, pushed around, cut in front of. Invisible. And there are others, of the same age cohort, who seem to make conversation stop and heads turn when they walk into a place, and staff are all “oui, madame” to them. The ones who turn heads aren’t always the tallest and thinnest (but I can think of two who definitely fit that; both are pushing 80 but look like they’re in their 50s). The standouts have impeccable posture, even when overweight. Even when they are dressed casually, it’s with style–a scarf, jewelry, a definite color palette. Above all, they enter every place as if they own it. They command respect and get it. They look people in the eye and either lavish them with attention or make them wither with the power of a glare. There are some who go the eccentric route, coloring their hair orange or purple and wearing wild bohemian clothes. I say, you go, girl! There are others who prefer to stay classic. Again, you go, girl! Whatever your choice, own it, because that’s what counts.

    • 1010ParkPlace April 5, 2019 at 7:49 pm

      What a delightful response, TOF! I can picture all of these women. I think you may even have a Cruella de Vil there. Wouldn’t you love to know their real stories? I feel sorry for women who don’t have self-confidence or the strength of their own convictions. I can’t imagine being self-conscious, ignored and having life kick you around any more than it already does. You’re right about attitude and posture. They’re everything! For most of my life everyone’s always complemented me on my posture, but lately, I catch sight of myself in the mirror and realize I’m starting to slump. Other than age and gravity, sitting here at a computer all day doesn’t help. One of the reasons I love Instagram is we can see other women, of all ages, and it’s so fun to say, “You go, girl!” They’re not always my style, but then that’s okay. They may not like mine, either, but isn’t it great when give ourselves permission to go our own way? Love, love, love your comment! xoxox, Brenda

  • Eileen April 5, 2019 at 6:53 am

    I agree with Taste of France completely. I live near a retirement area as well, and see the same things. I know two ladies in their nineties, who out dress and have an attitude that out shines even the young and beautiful. I believe women would try more things if given encouragement and help. If hair stylists would give advice, make up counters were more trained, and clothing store stylists had more stock to choose from, it would help. If we could “see” ourselves differently, it would get us thinking. The current “ badge of honor” involves giving up our lives for others, including how we look, we need to change our thinking to, we ALL get to enjoy life EQUALLY.

    • 1010ParkPlace April 5, 2019 at 7:58 pm

      BRAVA!! Right on point, Eileen! Really older women in their 80’s and 90’s always dressed well. They’re elegant and know how to carry themselves well. It’s hard at midlife to learn what looks good on you and how to do your hair and makeup if you haven’t been aware of these things before. Not impossible because in my 20’s I did a 50 year-old woman’s makeup. When she looked in the mirror she cried and said, “Is this really me?” From then on she learned exactly what I did and how to do it. It changed her life and how she felt about herself. It was a wonderful experience. I really wish store makeup artists understood older faces and what’s flattering on us. Great addition to this conversation! Thank you! Brenda

  • Libby April 5, 2019 at 7:52 am

    I DO live in a retirement community (well, it is mixed a bit as a school bus comes through!) and oh my. Women can just let themselves go. Period. But you never know if maybe they were always that way? Enough with the baggy, frumpy clothes in muted colors. Style can be so elusive for so many and it’s a shame. I will direct them to your blog!!

    • 1010ParkPlace April 5, 2019 at 8:04 pm

      Hi Libby! Yes, please send women to 1010ParkPlace! I’d appreciate that. Taking pride in ourselves and how we look is a big part of our self-esteem! I wonder if the retirement community had a “makeup, style and self-esteem” event if women would come, take note and make changes to their appearance? It’s so easy to just get up and not do our hair or put on any makeup. My husband died a number of years ago and I’m a writer and work from home. There are days when I do that but no one’s going to see me. If I go out, I at least do my hair, put on some lipstick and blush and a big pair of sunglasses. I appreciate you reading and leaving a comment! Thank you! Hope to see you, again! Brenda

  • Donna O'Klock April 5, 2019 at 9:21 am

    Everyone made such great comments – so much to learn from this! LIBBY is right, enough with the muted colors… an older woman with a bad haircut, no color, dressed is beige from head-to-toe is not a good look. Talk about invisible! I see lots of this in the retirement community where I live.

    • 1010ParkPlace April 5, 2019 at 8:06 pm

      Donna, You must stand out like a rose in bloom! Perhaps some of your neighbors will take note and step up their game. xoxox, Brenda

  • Barbara April 5, 2019 at 11:09 am

    I totally agree with everything here. I refuse to look my age, and I’ve had no work done. It’s all about attitude and style!

    • 1010ParkPlace April 5, 2019 at 8:07 pm

      And you’ve got attitude and style and your hair always looks pretty and you do your makeup and have a big smile! You, my dear, are a beauty! xoxox, Brenda

  • Hilda Smith April 6, 2019 at 2:57 am

    Great post Brenda and wonderful comments too. I agree with Taste of France..and yes attitude, posture, confidence, and a sense of fun all help to be VISIBLE..

    • 1010ParkPlace April 7, 2019 at 1:17 pm

      Hilda, “A sense of fun! So important! Diane Keaton has a sense of whimsy. She doesn’t take herself and her style so seriously. The other night I caught the Kardashian sisters on Jimmy Kimmel. Khloe… think that’s her name, the tallest one… she was wearing a gazillion dollar dress, cut down to her navel and sat there constantly fidgeting with it, tugging and looking down to make sure her breasts weren’t exposed. She was visible, but in all the wrong ways. I didn’t see a confident, fun loving woman. It was very sad. Even Kim sat there… in a super short dress, with her hands along side her thighs to keep you from seeing too much. They’re cartoons of real style. xoxox, Brenda

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