Now that the festivities are a distant memory and the tantalisingly fresh new year is in full swing, it’s a good time for resolutions of the sartorial kind. Let’s stop making those same old style mistakes (in my case, errors I’ve been making for at least five decades – why do I never learn?)
Although CountryWives has made useful videos about how to dress certain shape bodies, there are also certain style rules that we should all follow, not matter what size, height or shape we are. So, without further ado, read and learn ladies:
Black is best (not) I have worn black clothes for years and definitely think dark colours make one look slimmer. However, as I got older I realised black is not as flattering as it once was. Our skin gets paler as we age and and black highlights its imperfections. Navy, on the other hand, has the same the slimming effect and seems to complement skin tones better. It is a colour that almost all older women can wear very successfully. If you can’t wean yourself off black, use a statement necklace or scarf to add some colour. Also give earthy neutrals a go – camel, cream, olive, chocolate, grey – they too can look very sophisticated and elegant.
Best for older necks Polo necks – seems like a great way to hide up an older neck but I find them very ageing unless they are a snug fit and go right up to your chin. Surprisingly, a V or scoop neck works better, drawing the eye to your décolletage (so long as it doesn’t show wrinkly cleavage). Collared shirts work well too, drawing attention away from your neck while giving a little more coverage. Jewellery – avoid chokers. An all encompassing (and more contemporary than the air hostess silk scarf look) cashmere or lightweight silk pashmina is fab at hiding up wrinkly necks.
Still not sure what your style is? Which women with style do you admire? It could be Helen Mirren or Dame Judy – we CountryWives absolutely adore Ines de la Fressange. Choose one with a similar body shape to yourself and copy them! Simples.
Cotton body – try wearing one over your (right size) bra and knickers. Not so restrictive as shapewear, they nonetheless give you a comforting feeling of being firmer (especially around the wobbly tummy area!). I wear one 365 days a year and feel more confident for it. Usually buy mine from M&S (as Wolford bodies also excellent but way more expensive) – click here to see a selection, including my fave the Light Control Side Seamfree Body which is £19.50 and available in two colours.
Tunic tops & longline jerseys – the longer length beautifully disguises a thick waist and gives an elegant line. If you are blessed with hourglass curves show off your glorious waist by adding a belt.
Highlight the good bits – as someone with a large bust/thinnish legs, I tend to wear dark colours on the top and brighter trousers. If you are smaller on top and heavier in the hips, simply reverse.
The right size – much as I dislike picking up a size 16 instead of a 14, I know the larger size will actually make me look smaller than the one that is slightly too tight and shows up every bulge (even the blobby bits on my back that I wasn’t aware of until I caught sight of them in the changing room mirror!).
Good quality fabric – stick to material that hangs beautifully, rather than clings.
Don’t be dull – most importantly, don’t fade into the crowd. Wear a face-brightening lipstick, zazzy shoes, a stand out piece of jewellery or clashing colours – not all at once, but just enjoy having a touch of edginess that says “Look at me world, I’m not dead yet!”