The Only Rule Is No Rule!

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Is your fashion style along the lines of “whatever still fits me”? I’ll be the first to admit that when it comes to fashion for myself, I tend to lean toward whatever feels comfortable. I do know that, in my 50s, my wardrobe is significantly different than what my mom’s wardrobe was when she was my age. Whereas she opted for slacks, skirts and dresses, my tastes lean toward running clothes, yoga pants and fun sneakers.

Fashion is not just for the young. Your age demographic doesn’t dictate a bland and lifeless wardrobe. It’s perfectly fine to embrace the body and personality you have without having to dress like your grandma did decades ago. So, should you ditch the jeans when you are ten years away from retirement age? Absolutely not! Fashion for those at this stage of life is about celebrating your unique sense of style, no matter what that is. If you want to wear red tennis shoes with jeans, a black T-shirt and a white jacket, be my guest. If a floral print dress suits your fancy, go for it. Whether you’re classical, contemporary, or simply full of whimsy, the fashion stage belongs to you.

Seniors today tend to be more mentally and physically healthier than seniors of prior generations, so it simply stands to reason they want to remain in fashion for as long as possible. I have directed my husband what to put on me at my wake should I predecease him, and it does not involve anything boring! I live in style and will go out in style!
No matter what’s on your agenda, such as shopping, dining out or even going to the office, there are myriad ways to dress that give a hat tip to your personality without making you appear as if you’re moving backwards a few decades.

Consider a wrap dress. This is perfect for all body types because they gracefully drape your curves and camouflage harder-hit areas associated with aging, such as wider hips and larger midsections. A modest V-neck dress with three-quarter length sleeves will not only make you appear slimmer, but it will also enhance your overall physique.

If bigger thighs, larger hips and even swollen kneecaps frustrate your style, wide-leg pants may be the solution. Not only will they disguise your presumed imperfections, but they will also give you more freedom of movement and more comfort.

Elastic waist pants can be your friend, but don’t think we’re talking about those old-fashioned frumpy ones. Instead, opt for a stretchy fabric that will smooth out figure flaws without clinging or appearing lumpy. Go bold with black and then pair the pants with a fun and festive top. Throw in an accessory or two, and you will be runway ready!

Grab the jean jacket. It’s on trend again. Today’s modern jean jacket cuts will hug your body in such a way to create a shapely figure.

Another great item is the fashionable and versatile tunic. Not only are they trendy and up-to-date, but they can also hide those problem areas, such as tummies, hips and thighs. You can pair them with some leggings or a skirt.

The open-front boyfriend cardigan is a look that never goes out of style. It can transition into warmer weather or cooler weather. Look for the chic belted style or a flowing drape for a little extra; textures, cabling and prints will keep you 2021-2022 ready.

But sometimes style must take on a new form.

Certain older adults need clothing that is easy to wear and care for. It’s no secret that with age comes a decreased ability to stretch, bend, twist and move at times. This can make getting dressed a challenge for some individuals. It’s important to support someone in this chapter of life by giving them access to clothing that can facilitate a more independent lifestyle, making the daily task of dressing less troublesome.

Bearing that in mind, choose fabrics that are easy to launder and wear and do not require ironing. Easy-to-grasp zipper pulls, buttons and snaps work wonders when someone has manual dexterity issues. Even Velcro® can help someone who suffers from arthritis or limb weakness as a result of a stroke.

Here’s the bottom line. Style can be comfortable and practical, while also meeting the psychological needs of the individual to boost confidence and self-esteem. This applies to both men and women.

So, the next time your doctor tells you to purchase a pair of compression hose to help with your varicose veins, it is perfectly acceptable to pick up some new earrings, a brightly-colored scarf, or a new pair of shoes. Practical and fashionable can go hand in hand! ■

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