I just finished reading Cathy Horyn’s excellent article "Older, Better, but Harder to Dress" in today’s NYTimes. After she swore on a stack of of Vogues at the start of her career she would never write a piece about older women and how they can never find clothes appropriate for their age, she has done just that. What changed besides her age? "Juvenility has mobbed us." Even if a woman has a clear idea about what looks right on her body and for her age and personality, it’s hard to avoid the window displays of baby-doll and trapeze dresses; the T-shirt bars of ruffled cotton, the girlish necklaces and charms, and all the companion editorial in magazines, with the frosted pinks and the long, long hair with little curls.
“The choice is to wear something juvenile or be a total killjoy,” claims Linda Wells, the editor of Allure. “You can’t live in your Linda Evans suit.”
She finds it ironic while women in their 40s and 50s, even in their 60s and 70s, have probably never looked better, healthier or younger than at any time in recent history, they are still torn about wearing clothes that make them look ridiculously young.
“If you understand that that part of your life is over, there is plenty to wear,” said Ms. Ephron, who prefers trousers to skirts. She admits that age-appropriateness in style can be very confusing, since “the new 50” can be 40 or, suddenly, with the wrong hairdo or outfit, 60, and it irks her when a designer discards a perfectly good look.
She added, “You feel there has been an act of genuine hostility toward you by the designer” when they stop making something you’re able to wear. It’s like they don’t want you to have it, she said.
“A great tailor is a better than a surgeon,” said Ms. Wells, who suggests a little padding in a jacket’s shoulders to give you a lift. Nothing is more aging than makeup and hair. So avoid heavy concealer and dark lipstick and nails.
“Hair looks better when it’s slightly lighter than it was in your 20s and 30s,” Ms. Wells said. “And you don’t want it to look stiff — that’s just as aging on Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen as it is on a 60-year-old woman.” Amen to that, sister.
Read Cathy Horyn’s entire article: "Older, Better, but Harder to Dress"