Finding your style after a certain age can be a journey. I found that my style automatically changed alongside big life changes – first with having kids, and then with changing careers. More slowly though, my style changed as my body changed over the years. While the day you turn 35 doesn’t mean that you will automatically want to change your style, you may find that the things that go a long with that age – like changing jobs or spending more time doing fitness activities or running around with kids – will influence your changing style.
I have definitely had some style failures along the way amongst finding what I think works for me. Lots of the lessons that you may commonly hear or read about style seem like common sense in theory. Maybe they are even things you have heard before. But I find them hard to navigate and implement into your own life. In the past I used to follow a lot of fashion & style bloggers but I never found any that were in my age category or really had anything very inspirational to say. If putting a cute dress on a cute body is styling, then anyone can do that. Cute dresses are great for photography and inspirational Instagram feeds – but not very practical for the everyday woman.
I am going to outline a few key things that I have discovered which have helped me figure out my style – although its always an evolution. I have found that comfort and denim really are the two main drivers for me, with a dash of my own attraction to colour and pretty things.
Figure out what works for your lifestyle
Cute party-dresses don’t work for me day-to-day. And I have a closet full of ’em. I am probably wearing less than 20% if my wardrobe right now, due to my work-at-home-lifestyle and also because I just am not dressing up as much as I used to.
Dressing age appropriate sounds like a common-sense-thing, but I find that lines are blurring a lot in terms of what is appropriate age-wise. And I find myself struggling with it also, when a) I am the same size as my daughters and b) we like a lot of the same things.
Does it look a tad silly when we are wearing the same styles? Or am I just a hip and cool mom?! Since I am mostly living a casual life-style, I gravitate towards the same things. Jeans and a cute top with booties and some cool jewelry or accessories. That’s my nicer-dressed-go-to outfit.
There is really a lack of style advice for women that are still hip and interested in style at this age but aren’t working in either the corporate world or in a fashion-type-of-job. A blazer, which use to be a go-to-easy-to-wear-piece, can look a tad over done, and well…..just old! Blazers were really so popular in the 90s – and then the shrunken ones came into style and I found I felt like they never fit my boobs and seemed like they looked too small.
So what does work for this age that is beyond either wearing your yoga pants and a hoodie from your workout all day, or graduating to a dress and booties? There has to be more in-between-stuff, right?
Analyze photos of yourself to learn what fits properly on your body type…
It’s never easy to look at old photos and realize that maybe you cannot wear what you once wore. I love the idea of a high waisted pant and crop top, but it’s just not a look that’s going to work for me. If your waist is thicker now, like mine has become, you probably want to choose things that accentuate elongating your torso.
Sometimes what we love just doesn’t look good on us. I have very thin legs and so skinny-jeans are just not as flattering as a straight legs on me. But I love them! But every time I see a photo of myself in a skinny-jean I just think it makes my hips look big. So it is part of figuring out what looks good on you, and that means analyzing your own photos and shopping accordingly.
This is the age where you should start wearing some makeup.
When you get a little bit older, in my opinion, a little bit of makeup is absolutely necessary. While this may be a time in your life where you don’t really care about wearing makeup, a little bit of concealer, blush, mascara and eye shadow can really enhance your looks.
If you were a non-makeup wearing girl before age 35, it is time to realize that you need it now. You just do. You can’t get away from it, you need it. Sorry to offend you if you think that you can go bare-faced because you cannot. But you can apply makeup to look like you aren’t wearing much. But you do need it. There is just no way around it. And learning to apply it right now will help take you into your 50’s, 60’s and 70’s when you really do need it even more.
To summarize, here are my Style Tips for what I believe works for the 35-49 age range style-wise. If you are a casual working mom, or someone working part-time while taking care of your family, this is my take on a casual capsule wardrobe – and makeup suggestions – that should work for you.
- Fancy t-shirts (lace, or silk or something with a cool texture)
- A flowy blouse. Bohemian style or something unstructured
- Chambray shirts (I like lighter weight ones so as not to look bulky)
- Any kind of straight-leg jean or a slight flared jean, preferably dark wash
- Light jewelry, like layered necklaces or a few bangles or bracelet stacks. 3-5 is the magic number
- A great message tee or sweatshirt. These are super hot right now and look great layered with jeans and boots
- Lipstick, in a pinky neutral that works with your skin tone. Preferable a lipstick with a more intense colour rather than a lip gloss. Leave the glossy look for the girls
- A great tote bag or purse (need not be Coach or LV or any other namesake brand, just a great shape and colour)
- Nicely groomed eyebrows, use pencil or shadow to fill in. It’s the most overlooked part of the face. Microblading is a current trend which is similar to eyebrow tattooing. Do your research before committing to microblading. Styles change specifically in eyebrow looks, so be sure it is what you really want before you commit
- Concealer – absolutely necessary if you are over age 35
- A nice denim jacket or a bomber jacket
Following is a gallery of some inspirational images that outline some of my tips….
Comment please if you have opinions….that is my favourite part. I’d love to know what you are are wearing as a go-to-style look in your second phase of life.