4 In Getting Dressed

Get your edge on when things go soft

Metal accessories: important for spring outfits

Metal accessories can bring edge and presence to your outfits
























I was with a client on Monday helping her shop the Nordstrom pre-season sale. She spotted a necklace that was so out of her comfort zone. “I don’t need anything,” she said. “Great!” I said. “Let’s try on this necklace. We’re not shopping for needs, we’re shopping for wants. Today is about checking things out. Here, let me slip it on you.”

While she liked it, she protested that she’d never wear it to work. I had other ideas! While we were scouting the selling floor to select a few non-essentials to try on, I asked her to wear it on our walkabout. It was not dainty at all but rather a statement piece that nestled nicely at her throat inside her white collared blouse and turquoise cardigan. Later in the dressing room, she said, “You know, I think women can wear more jewelry as they get older.”

Agreed! I am particularly a cheerleader for wearing defining pieces. Part of it could be that fashion has been bringing out statement jewelry for awhile. But the other reason is that as we get older, we need to add more definition.

Metal jewelry like in the pictures above, bring edge and presence to outfits. And if we’re 50 or better, we need more of that. Here’s why.

1. Where we were harder, now we’re softer — like in our bodies. Perky breasts change to relaxed breasts. (Don’t you like how I phrased that?) We still have cheekbones but the skin around them may be less taut than when we were in our 20s.

2. Our coloring may have gotten softer. Eye color can soften, hair color can certainly soften. In fact, many hair colorists will recommend softening our hair color as we get older because it can look harsh and aging otherwise. The better-than-50 woman who lets her hair color go to its natural color will see softer colors as well. I sure have. My once chemical auburn/red color is now a much softer chestnut.

3. Pierced earlobes now look like dashes, not periods. Holes on ears that were pierced 20, 30, 40 years ago are often now actual lines, not holes. Anything that hangs where it didn’t used to hang is aging and not in a good way, even if it’s a small thing like earlobes. The earrings (upper left) will cover holes that have lost their original shape and will perk up our faces like magic!

4. We’re wearing softer clothing pieces. As our wardrobe has gotten more casual and our bodies have changed, we often exchange body-hugging silhouettes for looser garments that won’t show our rolls. (If you’ve got a better word for “rolls” would you please share it with me?) But without those edges that structured clothing and stiffer fabric used to give us, we can look more limp and wimpy. I want to change that. Jewelry that has edge and definition toughens up our outfits and balances anything that’s gotten too soft.

My client walked away with a few good pieces that I’ll be playing with in her closet on our next closet date in August. And guess what she was wearing around her neck when she left and went off to work? Yup! The necklace we spotted at the very beginning of our shopping trip. It looked fabulous on her!

All jewelry in these images came from Studio Collections Jewelry in Sonoma, CA. You can find some great pieces there at 126 E. Napa St. (707 935 6772).

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  • Reply
    September 25, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Great article Brenda! This one really needs a big broadcast. Typically when I describe the ‘rolls’ of a woman’s body, I use phrases not a word. “The softness at your hips,” instead of muffin top. “The softness at your tummy,” instead of fat stomach. “The molded parts at your back,” instead of back fat. I learned a lot of the flavor of this language from Sharon. Although, when you say rolls, I think of a yummy breakfast splurge w/cinnamon! xox

    • Reply
      Brenda Kinsel
      September 25, 2014 at 10:11 am

      And I can hear those words coming off your tongue, Colleen, sounding so lovely. I wonder if I could use them the same way with the same results? Not sure! I do love having a broader language base for these discussions. Thanks, Love!

  • Reply
    Nancy Nix-Rice
    September 25, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Thanks for sharing Brenda. I always use the term “soft tissue” no matter where it happens on the body. Women chuckle, but it sure sounds more affirming than “back fat” – heaven forbid. And I believe that affirming our clients’ attributes is at least 50% of our work in the world.

    • Reply
      Brenda Kinsel
      September 25, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      Thanks, Nancy, for adding to the lexicon! And I agree about affirming our clients’ attributes. It’s simply divine when someone can verbalize attributes and then to be able to match them with clothing styles, colors and accessories is 100% affirming. The world could use more of that. Thanks for all you do!

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