It’s an unfortunate reality that many women over forty often feel as though they’ve become invisible in today’s society. Transforming this perception has become a personal mission of mine.
The catalyst for my current journey, after years in an executive role with a telecom giant, stemmed from a remarkable encounter following one of my seminars. A poised and well-dressed woman approached me and candidly shared her deepest concern about growing older – feeling invisible. She described how everywhere you turn, you’re bombarded by images of women in their twenties and thirties celebrated as the epitome of beauty and style. Mature women seldom grace TV and print ads, while some fashion magazines feature teenagers as their models. The lonely exception is “More Magazine,” dedicated entirely to the mature woman.
The passing years need not consign us to invisibility. Aging doesn’t equate to letting ourselves go, gaining weight, or adopting a frumpy appearance. I fondly remember my late Aunt Josie, a stunning octogenarian who radiated Vogue cover-worthy elegance whenever she stepped out.
Growing older can still mean looking and feeling great, but it requires acquiring the right knowledge and skills.
Many makeup techniques that flatter a twenty or thirty-year-old can be a disaster for a woman in her forties and beyond. Sadly, not all older women have grasped this lesson. As we age, one of the beauty secrets we should embrace is the principle of “less is better.”
Wardrobe mishaps become even more glaring. Recently, a national magazine sought my insight on some celebrity outfits. Regarding an ensemble worn by the wonderful Kim Cattrall, I had this to say:
“Belly-baring cutoffs and lace-up tops aren’t suitable for women over forty. Longer, boy-cut shorts paired with a fuller-cut tank featuring built-in support can achieve the same bare look.”
Every woman over forty should anchor her wardrobe with these timeless pieces:
- The Classic Little Black Dress – Black or Navy Pencil or A-Line Skirt – Black or Navy Slacks/Trousers – Black Cashmere Sweater – Crisp White Shirt – Comfortably Chic Black 2-inch Heels – Timeless Trench Coat
Fashion Tips: Opt for pants with clean lines, devoid of pockets or pleats, as they are universally flattering due to their slimming effect. Black or navy can create a slimmer silhouette, but don’t shy away from adding vibrant accessories to infuse your look with personality. Elastic waist pants or skirts are best avoided, as they do little to flatter anyone.
Develop a signature style – a cherished ring or a special bracelet that becomes your trademark – something people instantly associate with you and fondly remember.
The scarf deserves a permanent spot in your wardrobe. Learn the art of wearing it in multiple ways – looped through your pants as a belt or tied onto your handbag’s handle, for instance.
Until our next rendezvous, remember to always look your best and proudly claim your power.