1. My secret weapon.
There’s one outfit that never ever fails to make me look amazing. It never goes out of style. I’ve been doing it for decades now and it always get compliments. Denim jeans and a crisp white shirt. Dress it up with big hair, bling and sky-high heels or down with sandals, a fedora and a slouchy bag.
I’ve had an obsession with mens’ dinner shirts for as long as I can remember (current count is around 25). As an older woman it never fails to make me look ‘current’. When it comes to jeans, I don’t go for tricky cuts. The crisp white shirt throws light up into my face, it always makes me feel fresh and I’m convinced it makes me look younger.
2. Never say you’re “too old” to wear a bikini.
When it comes to the beach or lying around the pool, if you’ve got it flaunt it. None of us are perfect! It’s our imperfections that make us uniquely us.
This summer don’t be afraid to throw on a bikini, just get out there and have fun. Last year I modelled in bikinis for Target. To be truthful, it was the first time I’d ever worn one. I’d just never thought I had the body for one. I have a little weight around my middle and my boobs are big.
Yet the image went viral around the world (it’s how Mamamia discovered me) and the feedback I got from other women saying it made them more comfortable to don one was music to my ears.
3. Don’t care about what other people think.
We can spend a lot of time worrying about what others think. Most of the time no one is thinking anything at all about you. It’s simply all in your head. Even if it’s not the case, people can think what they like right? You have no power over others’ judgment so simply move along and empower yourself by doing so.
4. Take a few steps away from the mirror.
Focusing on your entire perceived myriad of imperfections is time wasted you will never get back. Long ago I decided to take another step away from the mirror every few years and look at the bigger picture that’s me. I’m so many paces away from the mirror now top-to-toe, I look absolutely banging.
5. Think carefully about cosmetic intervention.
I know everyone is doing it but that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for you. I would advise being cautious about just how much you tweak yourself and make sure you have a good understanding of why you are doing it.
Changing the outside won’t necessarily make you feel better about your insides. If you do decide to go down the path make sure you consult someone who has the ethics to say no when you push too far, someone who isn’t just interested in making money from you.
6. Confidence is key.
The older we get, the more confident we should be. Leave your insecurities behind and have some faith in yourself. You’re older, wiser and more discerning, you have bench marks and just like a good wine you’ve matured, you’re more measured, deeper and much much more interesting.
7. It's fine to keep something to the imagination.
Okay I get it. You’re fit and fabulous and that’s great! But seriously when it comes to dressing yourself, leave a little to the imagination. When we’re 20-something its cool to get our bust and our legs out in public in that little dress. When we’re 40 something and beyond I think being subtle is much more alluring. Boobs or legs but not both together.
8. Shape-wear! I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again.
Invest in some! Get fitted for bras too while you’re at it. It doesn’t really matter how much you spend on clothes, you could be wearing a $50 dress or a $500 dress and if you don’t have the right underwear on then it can all look terrible. Shape-wear nowadays can lift you up, suck you in and generally perform absolute miracles.
9. Don’t over tan yourself.
Everyone is obsessed with tanning and being brown, either with the sun or spray tans. Sure that makes you feel good, healthy even. But don’t underestimate how beautiful your natural skin can look. And if you’re still actually tanning out in the sun, then please stop, even with sunscreen your frying your dermis and when you're 60 you’re probably going to look 80. Did that scare you? It should.
10. Don’t take trends right ‘off the rack’ make them your own.
I’ve never been a big follower of trends. People are always talking about them, it's how the fashion industry keeps us consuming. I tend to cherry pick what works for me. If there’s a certain cut or line in vogue for the season but the shape doesn’t suit my shape I’ll avoid it.
I might pick up on the colour palette of the season yet keep the cut to those that suit my shape. Even if the ‘it’ colour of the season doesn’t suit me I might still pick up on it but keep it to my accessories like a pair of earrings, scarf shoes or a bag.
11. Be comfortable.
There’s nothing worse than suffering for fashion. Above all things just be comfortable. If I know I’m going out for a banquet then common sense generally prevails. I’ll choose something that has a little more volume, maybe show more leg
At least that way my waist-line will be able to accommodate my appetite. The same can be said for heels, sometimes my feet will only last a few hours in those sky high ones, so if I have to last eight hours I’ll usually opt for the not so high ones. After all in a crowded situation most people won’t be looking at my feet, they’ll be looking at my face.
12. Pay attention to detail.
This covers everything. It’s an overarching statement. Keep your hair clean and keep the style and cut sharp and simple. Look after your skin; if its good then don’t cover it up with a ton of makeup. At 54, I know I look my best when my makeup is minimal and dewy.
Pay attention to your wardrobe, re-sole shoes when they need it, dry-clean the things that you’ve spent good money on. When something has sat unworn in your wardrobe for more than a year or it no longer fits, give it to charity so someone else can love it.
(published by Mamamia October 2016)