The Cool Factor: Tips on ageless dressing for the holidays
OK, so you can’t fit into your granddaughter’s skinny jeans ... You don’t even remember the last time you wore high heels, and those stretchy waistbands just seem to keep expanding with every Thanksgiving turkey. But this year, you’ve made yourself a promise ... no more holiday pictures with Grandma looking like she got run over by a reindeer.
Your inner spirit is still going strong — so is the gentleman snoozing (or, let’s face it, snoring) next to you. But as the years go by, putting ourselves first may slowly slip by us. You know that looking good makes you feel good, even if you are surrounded by all those 20-something college grandkids slinking around in their tight little sheath dresses and stilettos. Where are their sweaters? Don’t they ever get cold? Hmm...
So how do you get your fashion groove back and look like you’ve got just as much style attitude as they do?
Here are some tips to put some youthful spark back into your wardrobe:
Start with color
This is one of the fastest ways to transform a drab, dull closet. You may have hidden behind black for years and years, but why not break out of a rut! Guys, this goes for you, too. The stores and the internet are loaded with options. Sneak a peek at the color authority, Pantone, Inc. (www.pantone.com), for an update on the latest hues. This year, the purples and reds are making waves. Try a rich burgundy shade, which is flattering on almost everyone.
A quick color tip to update the cool factor: Mix shades of analogous colors (colors that are close to each other on the color wheel). I love mixing turquoise with cobalt or red with orange. Try it for an interesting change of pace.
Think classics with a twist
Just because you may have a closet full of jewels from the ’60s doesn’t mean you have to still wear them the way you did when flowers were power dressing. You may have some interesting “collectibles”; think about mixing them in with new pieces to make them a hit once again.
One of my aunts has several gorgeous hand-painted shawls from the 70s and ’80s. She now layers them over turtle-necks or tank tops and wears them with leggings and ankle boots. She is always a hit, even with the young crowd of fash-ionistas. My dad had a favorite leather jacket from his Air Force days that he loved to toss over black denim jeans and T-shirts. Don’t discount your favorite “oldies” if they are in good condition. Just make them more modern.
Watch your form
There is one thing that can make anyone look old fast: sloppy, ill-fitting clothes. As we age, we have a tendency to go for comfort. The looser the better, right? Not necessarily. Buy clothes that fit and flatter your figure, no matter what size you are. There are lots of ways to camouflage lumps and bumps these days. Don’t be afraid to try a pair of Spanx!
Leggings can be a fun way to update your wardrobe, especially if you team them with a long tunic top or knee-length jacket. They can be a lot more comfortable than jeans. For men, slim-fitting pants (sans pleats) may be an option, too. Low-rise jeans can be hip, too. The only way to know if these newer items will work for you is to try them on. There’s no excuse not to experiment, with internet shopping at your fingertips now.
Accessories can change your life
OK, so you’re not going for the leather motorcycle jacket or the jeggings (jeans that fit like leggings). Well, how about some new accessories? They really can make or break a look. If you can pull off wearing a fabulous rhinestone brooch from your grandmother, go for it! Your grand-daughters will probably try to borrow it! And, guys, now is the time to slip into something more comfortable... perhaps a pair of blue suede loafers?
Stay abreast of a few trends and incorporate them into your wardrobe. You will be surprised how much you can up the cool factor. Wear colored velvet flats, studded ankle boots, huge cocktail rings, giant colorful scarves, handbags and eyeglasses and animal print anything. And don’t forget, an updated hairstyle can do wonders — as can a new makeup routine.
Always be open to change, even in your closet... and treat yourself to a new, cool you.
To find out more about Sharon Mosley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.