The older demographic can afford to buy better quality, well-made clothes that highlight attributes and camouflage flaws,” says fashion guru Prasad Bidapa in reference to those who dress age inappropriately. “Some take refuge in shapeless clothes that look dowdy as they get older while some tend to dress in stuff that would make a teenager shudder. Both are no no,” he adds.
Bangaloreans expressed their opinions on age-appropriate fashion. “I used to love mini-skirts and strappy tops but would not dream of wearing anything too revealing now. Skirts stop at the knee and if I do wear a halter, I carry a discreet wrap or stole to drape over. I shop at trendy stores but very carefully, preferring to go in for timeless classics rather than current fads,” says Sharon White, who has evolved a more mature personal dressing style over the years.
“Nobody wants to see ‘batwing arms’ or ‘muffin tops’ that peek out over low-rise jeans.The same goes for flabby stomachs or drooping cleavage! Heavy make-up and slashy red lipstick looks equally unattractive as you get older.That doesn’t mean you should look frumpy — just more elegant and sophisticated.”
Lola Coutinha is a mother of two in her 40s who moves between the UK and Bangalore. “I wear what suits me regardless of which ‘age’ department it belongs to. I like stylish clothes and often pinch something from my daughters’ closets. However, I do avoid strappy tops, big plastic jewellery, graphic tees with slogans or writing on them and heavy make-up. Accessories are a great way to make a statement without going overboard or overhauling your wardrobe. Add chunky accessories like cuffs or layers of necklaces but stop short of bling. There are plenty of ways to wear ruffles, vests, tights and other trends also and still look your age.”
Favouring mostly jewel-toned or black classic tunic, teamed up with trousers or skirts, Lakshmi Puri feels that the mature woman can step into her individualistic style statement with a little taste and awareness. “Elegant, yet trendy and hip, should be the goal for any woman, whatever her age might be. That is what I try strive for in my choice of clothes and accessories even though as a working woman, keeping up with changing trends is something of a challenge. A 40-something trying to look like a 20- something is a complete no no and reeks of desperation,” she opines.
Naseer Ansari is in his 30s and feels that adapting your wardrobe as you get older is very essential. “Men often get beer bellies and receding hairlines by the time they hit 40. Fitted body-hugging tees, loud ties and too many prints should give way to polo shirts, well-tailored jackets, ‘khakis’ and good quality jeans. Fashion fads are meant for guys still experimenting with their style quotient and it only looks creepy, not cool on older men. If you are going bald, have the chutzpah to wear it with attitude but for heavens sake, don’t fall into the combover or toupee trap. You aren’t fooling anyone!”
By the time you’re half way to 100, you should have been able to gather the style momentum to figure out your own personal style.