Fashion Tips for Mature Women

The biological clock doesn't stop today's fashion-forward woman from wearing the latest trends.

"There's no age limit for looking stylish," said Suzanne Bishop, owner of Frankie and Julian's, a fashion boutique in Chattanooga, Tenn.

"Women of all ages want to wear stylish fashions," she said. "You just have to know what looks good on you and what doesn't."

Ms. Bishop said her customers range in ages from 18 to 65 and over. Many older women tend to have a few physical issues they want to hide, Ms. Bishop said, noting that most look for fashions that hide arms, knees and the neck.

She has some tips for mature customers.

"Select dresses/skirts that hit just below the knee, get tops with short or long sleeves and wrap a scarf around the neck (or wear turtlenecks) when the weather gets cooler," she said.

Ms. Bishop's mother, Julian O'Neal, 60, said that even though she likes wearing stylish clothes, she draws the line on some fashion trends.

"Many of the clothes that are trendy today are fashions I wore back in the '60s and '70s -- miniskirts, hip-hugger pants, wide-legged jeans," Ms. O'Neal said. "I wouldn't wear a miniskirt, but I'd definitely wear jeans and wide-legged pants.

"It's hard to put your finger on what is too young to wear and what's not. Jumpers, for example, are adorable on younger women but not for me. It's an individual decision."

Ms. O'Neal said that though she does own leggings, she's not comfortable wearing them."I know ladies older than I am who wear leggings under skirts, and they look really good," she said. "But I feel it's a too young look for me."What you wear has a lot to do with attitude, she said."I feel young, I dress relatively young, and I think it makes me look younger," she said. "I have fun with fashions, and I like looking at all the exciting new styles coming out.""Sixty is the new 40," Ms. Bishop said. "So many women in their 60s look 20 years younger because they are health conscious and in good shape. They're in a stage where they don't want to look old but not too young."Cynthia Nellis said on www.fashion.about.com that keeping up with trends can be even more difficult for older women, because many fashion magazines ignore them."And even when the glossies try to address the issue, they tend to forget that mature women can be just as fashionable as young girls," she said.Some stores, such as Frankie & Julian's, as well as most department stores and chains like Chico's, Talbot's and Coldwater Creek, carry the latest fashions for women of all ages and sizes."A 60-year-old can look just as chic as anyone half her age," Ms. Bishop said. "Just don't overdo it. Pass up the miniskirt for one that is knee-length. If you have issues with the neck, wear a scarf. And don't wear too much jewelry."E-mail Karen Nazor Hill at khill@timesfreepress.com.Source: Chattanooga Times/Free Press, Tenn. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. Powered by Yellowbrix.
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