You don't have to be Cindy Crawford or Brooke Shields to look smokin' hot after 40. In fact, women with a little gray in their hair often have the ability to out-shine any younger woman with the grace, dignity and wisdom they've gained with age. That said, you do need two things to make this happen:
- A positive attitude regarding your age - if you think your best days are behind you, then that might as well be true
- A willingness to put some effort into your wardrobe - just because you spend half your day running your kids around doesn't mean you can forget about you
If you've got those two things in spades, read on!
1. Forget the Words "Age Appropriate"
Rather than focus on "age appropriateness," think about "body appropriateness." You've probably discovered that your body changes over time. The assets you were eager to show off in your 20s, you may not feel as good about now. Rather than write off certain styles or looks as being "too young," choose clothing that fits and flatters your over-40 body. Heck, if you've got hot legs like Cindy Crawford, show them off. If you've got slammin' shoulders like Michelle Obama, leave them bare. Just remember that the "show a little, not a lot" rule applies to women of all ages. If you're showing off your legs, cover up your arms. A little skin goes a long way.
2. Allow Yourself to Shine
As a general rule, stay away from glitter-festooned tops and sweaters with sequined designs, but don't be afraid to pick up items with a nice shine. Metallic tanks, silk blouses and outerwear with a satin finish all attract attention without overwhelming. Neutrals and nudes are popular right now, so consider purchasing a lightweight nude-colored trench with a metallic finish.
3. Wear Great Jeans
Put on your favorite pair of jeans, walk to the nearest full-length mirror, and check for the following:
- Do your jeans have pleats?
- Are they tapered...and high waisted?
- Do they end at the ankle when they're not necessarily supposed to?
- Is there elastic in the waistband and/or ankle cuffs?
- Do they flatten the butt without lifting it and adding shape?
If any or all of these apply, you may be wearing "mom jeans." No self-respecting woman should wear such unflattering pants. Check out the best jeans for tall women, and pick out a pair that will flatter your shape and emphasize womanly curves.
4. Loosen Up Your Beauty Routine
All women need to take good care of their hair and skin in order to keep looking their best, but many women over 40 start conforming to "age appropriate" norms. If you feel obligated to cut your hair short or start wearing thick matte makeup to cover your wrinkles, think again. Talk to your hair stylist to determine what length your hair should be - there's no time stamp that says women of a certain age should wear their hair short. Similarly, some of the most attractive women over 40 are the ones who keep a natural, fresh face. Wear enough makeup to protect your skin from the sun and to brighten up tired eyes, but otherwise, keep your beauty routine simple.