Basic Wardrobe Planning For the Over-50 Woman

Things change – our bodies, our lifestyles, our budgets. The third trimester of life is time for some basic wardrobe planning. It’s a snap if you follow this three-stage process:

STRATEGIZE
ORGANIZE
SHOP
or S-O-S.

Perhaps you unconsciously adopted the look you now have. Maybe you planned it to achieve a particular goal, such as corporate success or suburban mom. Is your clothing and hairstyle the same as it was when you were 20 or 30?

Fashion strategy starts by deciding how you want to look now. Consider what feels good on you, looks good, and serves your lifestyle. And go a little crazy. If you had to wear dark suits to work most of your life, think about whether you’d like to lighten and brighten up. Clothing that sparkles and shines is very much in style.

Step One: Strategize — Understand your image.

Visit your closet and figure out what styles you love. What looks good on you? What items earn compliments? What do you wear often? This is the start of creating a coherent image. A fashionable woman uses clothing lines, such as seams, stripes, belts, and the cut of a garment, to create visual illusions.

Figure out what colors look best on you. Pare down the list to a few. This makes it easier to mix-and-match wardrobe pieces. It also makes shopping a breeze when you can eliminate half or more of all the garments on the rack by color, without looking at price or size. After working with a friend studying wardrobe colors, almost all my jewel-tone purple, turquoise, blue, and fuchsia garments can be mixed-and-matched to create an every-changing array of outfits.

Decide what types of women’s clothes you need and how many hours a day or week you spend in them. Some of us wind up with too many comfortable weekend togs and not enough for work, clubs, or church. Spend more money on the things you wear most often and do not already own. Basic wardrobe planning brings balance into our closets and fashion budgets.

Now it’s time for Step Two: Organize. Declutter your closet. You know the drill – one pile for keepers and another for those that go. The third pile is for items worth saving but need tailoring or cleaning.

Identify basic outfits for your lifestyle from among the items you keep. You may find that you will have several fashionable outfits except for a foundation piece that is missing – a black skirt, navy blue shoes, or white blouse. Tuck this list into your purse, so you will be ever ready to scoop them up at a sale or consignment shop.

Step Three: Shop. Make the best use of your women’s clothing budget by buying pivotal pieces of good quality that offer lots of wear. Never buy anything unless it’s figure flattering, and you can wear it with at least two or three other items you already own.

Look for illustrations of how to use fashion lines to draw the eyes toward your figure assets. Library books may help you. It does not matter if the book is a little out of date. The basic principles can be applied to clothing you own or want to buy right now.

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