Photo credit (above): Art G. | Flickr
Embracing the natural process
It was a night of glitz and glamour where successful women entrepreneurs from all over Asia were honoured and celebrated at The Palace of The Golden Horses, Mines Resort City in Seri Kembangan.
I happened to be one of the recipients of the Golden Phoenix Award. It was stated in the invitation card “gown or formal attire”, but due to time constraints, I didn’t put much thought into what I was going to wear and had opted to go for something formal.
Upon arrival, my jaw dropped upon seeing the other ladies – they were like phoenixes, literally!
Granted that it was for women entrepreneurs, the majority of them were in their 40s and above.
Some were the epitome of grace and style, beautifully garbed in evening gowns. Some could have done better.
Age is just a number – so says the optimist. However, there is no doubt that mirrors don’t lie too.
We can’t stop time, of course, but we do have a choice to look good no matter how many candles there are to blow on the cake. And there are some do’s and don’ts that we really can consider.
Here are some tips on how to look fabulous after 50!
Styles change and so do our faces. One easy guide to follow to take some years off is to keep your hair length between your chin and your shoulders, and consider adding layers.
It gives your hair volume and instantly lifts up your face. Adding a soft fringe of bangs can do wonders if you want to cover a wrinkled forehead intentionally.
If you are thinking of visiting a hairstylist, a great tip is to wear your best youthful clothes. By doing so, chances are you will get a hairstyle that matches your youthfulness!
Whilst a great platinum mane shows a gutsy and mature you, some of us may prefer more colour.
Strands of white or gray hair may indicate that you are not young anymore.
If you plan to colour your hair, try brown, dark brown or mahogany, which help to lighten your face and de-emphasise fine lines and wrinkles.
Such colours help exude the youthfulness and modernity in you.
Windows to our soul
Gone are the days of applying heavy makeup. Soft, subtle and au naturel is the way to go.
With fine lines and wrinkles, frosty or shimmering makeup will show up in your creases.
Instead, accentuate your eyes with a little mascara. Also, groom your eyebrows, and opt for creamy blushes and eye shadows to “plump” up your skin.
Elongate your neck
An opening that visually elongates your neck and pulls the eyes to your face can visually take years off your age.
Steer clear of blouses and t-shirts that sit at the collarbone. V-necks or plunging necklines are always better than high collars and turtle necks.
Another great option is a wrap top with V-neck, which slims you down instantly. A chunky necklace also helps to fill in the bareness and make you look fabulous!
Avoid small or overly big florals
Florals, especially the tiny little ones, can make you look frumpy.
Opt instead for simple lines or subtle abstract prints. And keep it simple. Avoid the frills and flounces and anything you’d expect to find on a little girl.
One loose garment at a time
The older we get, the more obsessed we are with comfort. If you pick too many loose outfits, beware – clothes that are too big will make us look old and unsophisticated.
So, go for wide over narrow or narrow over wide. In other words, pair a loose top with a slim bottom, or slim top with a more voluminous bottom.
Pick semi-fitted over fitted
Even if you are in your 40s or 50s and haven’t gained a kilogramme since your 30s, parts of our bodies will begin to deteriorate and undergo the ageing process.
If you are still wearing the same outfits you wore 20 years ago, then it’s definitely time for a wardrobe update.
Rule of thumb: dressing younger won’t guarantee you will look younger.
So, pick semi-fitted over skin-tight outfits. The aim is to look ravishing and elegant.
Avoid muddy colours
Clean colours are pure hues without being mixed with much gray to muddy it up. Muddy colours are typically muted with gray or black.
“Dirty” colours like dusty pink can make you look pale, especially at an age where we are toning down all makeup colours.
Black is slimming, but it will emphasise shadows, double chins and wrinkles. So, consider brighter, richer colours near your face to give you that glow.
Add spice with your bling
Don’t go too plain in your dressing up. You need a focal point to add some “oomph” in your overall look.
As you grow older, it is important to become a little bolder and more confident in your accessories. So get yourself some statement necklaces, earrings or brooches to amp it up!
Go for flattering shoes
Shoes that are all about comfort but lack any style is a sure way to make you look old instantly. Shoes with chunky heels and high vamp visually shorten you.
Pick instead a low-heel sling-back, kitten heels or platform soles for protection and stability. If you must go flat, then go for a pair of chic ballet shoes.
So, for those who are stuck in a style rut, it’s probably time to do a wardrobe overhaul! Give yourself an overall makeover because you are worth it, and get yourself ready to stage your comeback!
Wendy Lee is president of Mabic (Malaysian Association of Brand & Image Consultants) and a director of BII (Brand Image International Institute). She is a firm believer that with style… there must be substance! For more articles related to image, click here. Get in touch with her at firstname.lastname@example.org
First published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 18 October 2014