Signature Styling Thought Leader: Debra Schwartz
We are marvelous, magnetic, magnificent midlifers.
Lost Our Mojo:
We have earned the right to show up any way we wish. But, how are we showing up…for our Life 2.0? Now is the perfect time to think about who we are, style-wise, and assess how we’re showing up. Are we feeling confident? Powerful?
“Start taking positive action so you look as good as you feel.”
Our bodies have likely changed and those jeans we wore in the 2010’s don’t make us feel like a 10 anymore. That plunging neckline is now more alarming than alluring. Our tastes may have changed but our wardrobe hasn’t quite caught up. Why have so many of us lost our mojo when it comes to dressing? Our 30-year-old psyche may be misaligned with our 50+ bodies.
Start taking positive action so you look as good as you feel. And exude the confidence that elevates you. And these are 18 tips to get you re-styled and ready to make an impact.
But first, let’s start with two assumptions and a fact:
Your Mojo Style:
Assumption #1: Every day you’re going to get dressed. Might be for work-from-home, for the office, for social occasions, but it’s an activity for nearly all of us, every day.
Assumption #2: Every day you’ll walk out the door. Might be for work, travel, grocery store run…but you will be out there at some point most days.
And there’s the fact that every day we have the opportunity make an impression, to feel empowered and look amazing, through our choice of what we wear. We can control the impressions we make. And, like it or not, they happen in mere seconds. It’s just human nature.
Follow these 18 top tips to amp up your style mojo, elevate your confidence and make that impression on your terms:
“Wearing one color from head to toe is surefire chic, and simple.”
1. Embrace Color:
Don’t be afraid of color. It has the power to elevate our mood, project power, enhance creativity and more…I love my neutrals, but the power of a bright hue of red, pink, yellow can uplift your attitude, which, in turns shows on your face, and the impression you project. Think how a fresh box of CRAYOLA crayons made you feel. Pure bliss.
2. Play With Prints:
I LOVE prints! Especially stripes (vertical, please!). They can be mood-boosting by way of color, or add texture to an otherwise less-exciting outfit. Playing with multiple prints in the same colorways is very sophisticated and a bit adventurous. I recommend avoiding oversized prints— they tend to wear you instead of you wearing them.
3. Dress In Monochrome:
Wearing one color from head to toe is surefire chic, and simple. The look elongates your body giving a streamlined silhouette. This look works so well with layers. You can create a go-to capsule wardrobe based on monochromes that simplifies travel-packing.
4. Learn The Art Of High/Low Dressing:
This is my favorite, and the well-known tactic of fashionistas worldwide: pairing a dressier piece with something more basic and low-key, like finer fabrics, satin, sequins, with jeans, a sequin skirt with a tee-shirt, or a denim jacket over a cocktail dress. It gives you easy chic every time. Excellent formula when packing for a trip—extends the use of each piece.
“Nordstrom is know to have the best trained bra-fitters.”
5. Get A Professional Bra-fitting:
So many of us don’t know our proper bra size, and get along with bras we’ve had for years. I have a friend who insisted for years that she was a “B”, though the world saw a solid “D”. I took her bra- shopping and she was shocked! Ill-fitting bras not only do nothing to support you, but they make your clothes look frumpy, and, hence, you’ll look older. Nordstrom is known to have the best trained bra-fitters. This style tip requires an appointment – make one!
6. Make Friends With Your Tailor:
Properly tailored clothing elevates even less-expensive pieces. Alterations are not something women expect to make with every purchase, like men do. That mindset keeps us from wearing designers/labels that we could wear if we tailored the piece – we tend to try something on and if it doesn’t fit perfectly, we reject the label. Sometimes it’s just small tweaks like making sure your sleeve hits at the right place on your wrist—it’s the difference between sloppy and chic.
7. Find The Skirt Length That Flatters:
The tailor can help with this, but proportions dictate the perfect length. Too long and you’ll look matronly and frumpy, too short and…well…not a good look in my opinion. Glad that minis were in style when I was young enough to wear them the first time!
8. Use Shapewear To Your Advantage:
We’ve all got lumps, bumps and mushy spots we’d like to smooth over. Good shapewear (a long-line SPANX is the staple you should have on hand, for your thighs!)
“Choose clothes that will show them to their best advantage.”
9. Define Your Waist:
Many of us lose our midsection definition to menopause, so it seems counterintuitive to define it…where IS it? But, by belting the waist, wearing ruched fabric at your middle the allusion of shape is created. Hiding from voluminous folds of fabric, a la Eileen Fisher (don’t get me wrong, she makes some lovely pieces) only creates a larger look…as if you are trying to hide something.
10. Play To Your Best Features:
By now we know which are our best features—a long lean neck, curvy calves, sculpted shoulders. Choose clothes that will show them to their best advantage. It’s about dressing not only to look good, but feel great.
11. Take Risks, Be Bold:
I’ve listed some basic style tips here, but the reality is that this is our time to experiment. Its finally time when most of us don’t care what other people think. And that is liberating! By taking fashion risks, we can discover our signature style. One that feels right, right now.
12. Get The Good All-purpose Bag:
This is the ultimate investment piece, one worth spending a bit more on— a classic-shape leather handbag in black or luggage tan that goes with the bulk of your wardrobe. It silently (or less-so, if you like to display designer logos) communicates quality. A barrel-shape, or a shoulder bag are great shapes in a medium size that can go from day to evening.
“Your feet will thank you, and you’ll always feel better in quality footwear.”
13 Get The Perfect White Shirt:
Ah, the crisp white button-down that makes every “must-have” list. It’s a workhorse in your wardrobe; paired with jeans and a blazer, or leather pants and a cashmere crew-neck, or a sexy pencil skirt with pumps. Very Ellen Barkin! Keep this one of a simple style and in a fabric that’s got some crisp-ness to it.
14. The Classic Pump:
We all need a black pump of medium height (a heel that’s 70mm is just under 3”, perfect). This is also a buy-as-high-quality-as-you-can item. Your feet will thank you, and you’ll always feel better in quality footwear. I prefer suede over leather for its rich black-ness, but leather is all-season. A nude color pump is a second should-have—it’s versatile and elongates your leg.
15. Invest In An Excellent Pair Of Jeans:
Dark denim in a boot cut or flare will take you from day to evening. And the dark wash makes them automatically slimming. Hem them to the shoes or boots you wear most. Mid-waist is most universally flattering. This isn’t a new style tip, just a reminder of the power of the dark jean.
16. Learn To Love Scarves:
I love scarves…they extend your wardrobe, they liven up an outfit—add texture, color and personality. There are a myriad of ways to wear scarves. PINTEREST is a great place to find how-to videos and diagrams for ways to wear scarves.
“Sunglasses are jewelry for the face.”
17. Get Some Fabulous Sunglasses:
Go Jackie 0 with bold black frames, or the perfect classic aviator RayBans (that go everywhere); think about what shape fits your face. Sunglasses are jewelry for the face. Elton John had the right idea…so did Audrey Hepburn, recognized as one of the most iconic sunglass-wearers of all time!
18. Mirror, Mirror On The Wall:
Take a minute before you walk out the door, look in the mirror, and ask yourself “would I want to be SEEN right now?” This is not to say that every day you do a full makeup and hair thing—but, you should dress in a way that makes you feel like you want to be seen.
I hope that these tips serve as a solid start. I’m not a believer in one-tip-fits all, but I do know that these are jumping off points from which you can develop a style that resonates with you, authentically.
I am always here for you to take you on your style journey, and find the signature style that gives you confidence and joy!
About the Author:
Debra Schwartz, of CRUSH.STYLE, is a stylist and designer with more than three decades in fashion, cosmetics, corporate design, branding, and digital media.
As a Confidence-Creator, an Amplifier of Self-Image, and an Architect of Empowerment for women her goal is to have you show up with confidence and style in chapters two, three, (or four!) of life. “My passion and mission is to bring elevation and joy to women through signature style… and reclaim your fabulousness”.
Find Debra on Instagram @crushstylenow. Visit http://www.crush.style to learn more about Debra and how her signature style services can elevate you to the next level.