Should You Change Your Style in Your Forties?


I turned 40 the other day. Those trying to make me feel better about rolling into another decade pointed out that “40 is the new 30″ and shared a litany of fabulous, famous 40 year olds. This is a lot of pressure. I was hoping when I hit 40, I would have an excuse to yank up my Mommy Jeans to navel level and throw on a snowflake sweater. At what point can we just let it all go like my Irish grandmother who puttered around her apartment in housedresses (yes, that’s a real thing) and hand-knit shawls? From the looks of things … never! We are a society obsessed with appearance and to be honest, I’m not ready to throw in the sexy-towel just yet (no, a sexy-towel isn’t a real thing). Just because we care about how we look, doesn’t mean we can’t adapt our style a little to suit our age. As much as I would love to rock a leather mini skirt and a backless tank, that wouldn’t be good for anyone.

I gathered some tips from some of the beautiful people, for looking good and looking your age, in your 40s.

Avoid focusing on trends. Just because it looks good on Scarlett Johansson, does not mean it will look good on you — she gets paid to look like that. Focus on what has always worked for you — you’ve had about 24 years to get used to your fully grown bod. You know what looks good and what doesn’t. Don’t let celebs cloud your judgement.

- Do not shop in the junior section. I make this mistake all the time. I assume you can only find fun clothing next to the slurpies and then, because I hate the changing room, end up with cute clothes that look ridiculous on me. Don’t try to look young. Just try to look good.

– Just like some women are tempted to try too hard, some don’t try hard enough. You may have gotten away with the casual, thrown together look in your early 30s, but that’s when your skin still looked neat and pulled together. As you get older, you need to pay a little more attention to the detail. A good cut, a great bangle or a fabulous pair of shoes can make all the difference.

- Invest in a couple of classic pieces — a jacket, a sweater or a bag. Don’t spend more on your kids’ clothes than you do on your own.

– If you don’t work outside the home, get out of your workout clothes at least every other day. Unless you are a PE teacher or a gangster, there is no excuse for 24/7 track suits — sorry, I know that one hurts.

– Finally, smile and stand up straight! These are the easiest ways to look and feel younger. I am managing my expectations. Since my birthday, I have stopped hoping for “You look good.” and have started shooting for, “You look good for 40.” I guess some of the pressure is off.

IMPORTANT FOOTNOTE: All of these women are beautiful (Diane Lane (45), Halle Berry (44), Julianne More (49) AND all of these pictures are photoshopped.

Post publication correction: Julianne Moore is now 52 … whoa! 50 is looking better! (Pic is from 3 years ago.)


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About Karen Latimer

Karen is a family physician, founder of Tips From Town and thinks moderation and balance in all things is the key to a healthy, happy life.
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