I was asked this week to contribute to an article for the Huffington Post UK. The last time they asked for my thoughts it was for my fashion advice about what I thought all 40-year-olds needed to know about fashion.
Now they wanted to know what I’d tell my 20-year-old self about taking care of finances. That answer was easy: Save 30% of your earnings.
But of course, all thoughts lead back to fashion like the snap of a rubber band so ten seconds after sending that reporter my answer, I got to thinking about what fashion advice I’d have given my 60-year-old self.
I have the great pleasure of working with women every week who are in their 50s, 60s, 70s, or so. So my advice to them is one-on-one and very specific.
It was fun to think about this stage of life as a whole and to think about what I’d tell every woman over 60 if I had the chance.
I don’t think I had a clue about what fashion and style would be like when I hit my 60s. Especially when I was wearing ripped up jeans and clogs in my 20s and short skirted suits, tights and heels in my 30s.
In my 40s I wrote a book for women in their 40s. I gave them all the advice I could to help them them figure out how to dress when their teenagers were piercing everything and dying their hair purple and their memories of their mothers were of being in house dresses that were sold on the basement floor of department stores.
But things change and whoever is saying that 60 is the new 40 is working for an ad agency.
Why does a 60-year-old need fashion advice?
Wowie zowie, a lot has changed since our 20s! Jobs, partners, locations, income and waistlines. Lots of changes.
I sat down and thought about what I’d tell anyone’s 60-year-old self and this is what I came up with.
Fashion advice for the woman over 60: Do not be afraid!
Don’t be afraid to be noticed.
Don’t be afraid to stand out in a crowd.
Don’t be afraid to dress like you’re heading to a party even when you’re not.
Don’t be afraid to be inspired by what a 20-year-old is wearing. Steal her color combo idea, the way she stacks her bracelets, her choice of socks with shoes. Your version will be right, right now.
Fashion advice: Don’t be mad about the things you cannot change!
Don’t get mad at your body for moving its weight around. If your weight settles into a new location, do a fashion workaround.
Don’t deny yourself the pleasure of looking good for no reason, no reason at all. Some people live their life overdressed for every occasion and it’s just their style DNA. You can’t argue with genetics.
You can’t change how everyone else is dressing. You can make your own style statement and it’s okay. We’re 60. We don’t have to do what other people do.
Fashion advice: Don’t be flustered when someone compliments you.
Don’t get flustered when someone compliments you. You don’t have to tell anybody that you got “it” at a flea market, or on a markdown rack, or it was handed down to you by your sister. Nobody cares. Someone found you delightful and got the courage to tell you so.
Don’t spoil it with the schematic details of your outfit. If they want to know those details, they’ll ask. Just smile and say thank you.
Fashion advice: Don’t wait.
Don’t wait; don’t hesitate. Have fun with fashion now because you can!
What advice would you give your 60-year-old self?