Aging Gracefully

November 2, 2014 Updated: November 2, 2014

A younger friend of mine recently paid me the loveliest compliment: She told me I should write a column on aging gracefully since I was the perfect example.

I am among the first wave of baby boomers so you can do the math. As my readers know, I love fashion and style. My taste in clothes hasn’t changed very much through the years. I still have clothes in my closets from 30 years ago, and I still wear them. I take good care of them, my shape is the same as it was 30 years ago, so why not? Incidentally, this includes shorts.

I still wear mini skirts since I have excellent legs and being short, I think short skirts look better on me. In my opinion, how you dress as you get older is more a product of your shape than age. There are many women of 60 or 70 who look more stylish than 20-year-old girls because the older women have taken care of themselves and kept their figures.

Some women who are already dowdy at 25, dress like old ladies when they reach 40 or so. You’re not dead at 50 so why dress as though you are?

I still buy clothes in the children’s department because they fit me better. Of course, I make sure nothing I wear is too infantile. But you’d be surprised how stylish the clothes are.

If you’ve kept your figure, why not wear bright colors? One of the great things about getting older is that women develop more confidence and aren’t afraid of wearing something they wouldn’t have had the nerve to wear when they were much younger. Don’t dress to blend in with the woodwork. Why shouldn’t people look at you admiringly?

An older woman cannot let herself go. She always has to be “on.” By that I mean she always has to look her best. Her hair must be perfectly done. At this point she should have found a truly flattering hair style and kept it. A truly stylish woman doesn’t keep changing hairstyles, especially when she’s older. And you can’t afford to go without makeup. As we age, makeup is essential.

I feel undressed without full eye makeup and I love bright red lipstick.

Of course, how you wear makeup and what you wear depends a good deal on your face and complexion. If you are very wrinkled, you can’t wear the same cosmetics as someone who has less wrinkles. We’re never too old to go to a makeup counter and ask the advice of a good makeup artist.

Just because we’re older doesn’t mean we should lose our interest in fashion and stop dressing up.

Miriam Silverberg is a freelance journalist and owner of Miriam Silverberg Associates, a boutique publicity firm in Manhattan. She may be reached at silverbergm@mindspring.com

(*Photo of fashionable woman via Shutterstock)