“Fashions fade, style is eternal.”
– Yves St. Laurent
While many magazines have stopped publishing in print, dozens of big, glossy fashion magazines still line newsstands each month, and especially in the fall. That’s when the fashion industry predicts which clothing, hair, and makeup trends will be big in the coming months, encouraging us to take stock of our wardrobes and consider an upgrade. After decades of catering only to young consumers, designers are finally creating clothes and products that work for people of all ages.
There are ways to work new trends into your existing wardrobe without spending a fortune or going so far from your usual look that your new pieces end up in a donation pile after just one season. Here are some tips for incorporating new looks into your own personal style.
See what you Already Have
Shopping for new clothes without knowing what you already own is like going grocery shopping without a list. You don’t want to end up with too much celery, or yet another celery-green top when you already have three. Taking stock of your current closet before buying can help avoid that type of misstep.
Be Honest about Whether Something Should Stay or Go
If you find pieces that you haven’t worn for a long time, don’t enjoy wearing, or never wore at all, take them out of the mix. Separate your pieces into two piles, one pile for keepers and the other for donations, then focus your attention on the keepers. Check with the groups you’ve donated to in the past, as their policies for accepting clothing donations may have changed.
Make sure you can Return an Item if it Doesn’t Work Out
Before you buy anything new, read the return policy and look for limitations. Many retailers have changed their policies about clothing returns, and you don’t want to be unnecessarily stuck with yet another item for your donations pile.
Find Ways to Add Flare
If your wardrobe reflection turns up a lot of dark colors and solids, consider searching for new pieces that would add color or patterns to existing outfits. Look for items that are different but still compatible with pieces you love and wear often.
Update Old Standbys and Look for New Takes on Wardrobe Essentials
If you’ve been married to the same dark jacket as a topper for your casual-yet-polished look, consider a chic sweater or even another jacket in a brighter color or different fabric. If one of your essentials is a little black dress, look online for this year’s model and see if it’s time to trade up. You know your go-to pieces – your favorite blouse or bag, bowtie or boots. Keep your eyes open for new and different versions of these essential pieces.
Stick with what works for your Shape
When considering new styles, be sure to respect your body type and avoid pieces that aren’t flattering. Just because the trend is toward flouncy sleeves, skinny jeans or tapered tops doesn’t mean you need to follow lock step. Buy clothes that make you feel confident and comfortable, rather than wasting money on pieces that make you second guess your look. Many online retailers have virtual tools that allow you to see how a piece would fit. Give them a try!
Break the Color Code
Each fall, two or three colors emerge to dominate the fashion landscape. The fashion magazines are predicting chartreuse, marigold, and rust will take the lead this year – but let’s face it, those colors won’t work for everyone. Look for clothing and accessories in colors that complement your skin tone and eyes. Choose pieces in colors that make you happy, confident and lift your mood. Chances are, you already know your signature colors and how they make you feel to wear them.
New jewelry, scarves, bags, and shoes can breathe new life into an older outfit, and also can be more affordable than buying everything new. Smaller purchases are often enough to update your look and reinforce your style personality. Accessories are also a great way to experiment if you want to make a major shift in style or want to try something daring.
Don’t Let Age get in the Way
Think twice before bowing to conventions that discourage older people from wearing certain styles. Dress to suit your mood and personality. Impeccable style is ageless.
Need more ideas for what’s coming on the fashion horizon? Search for “fashion trends”, “fashion tips for the older man” (or woman) and see what you find. Scour some of the big clothing retailers’ websites and learn what they have lined up for the season. “Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by designers,” said supermodel Lauren Hutton, 76, “and style is what you choose.” Choose what works for you!