Dressing West Coast Hip When You’re 40 or 50

Showing her legs off in a skirt she can totally pull off

Showing her legs off in a skirt she can totally pull off

With the new release of Red Riding Hood coming out today I thought I would feature Director Catherine Hardwicke (age 55).

Catherine Hardwicke

Catherine Hardwicke in skirt with a low cut yellow top

She is a great example of someone who is dressing in an updated, yet age appropriate way as she navigates the Hollywood scene.

Catherine shows her hip edge through her:

  • choice of clothing with edgy details
  • use of  dramatic high contrast color combos such as white and black, and yellow and black
  • Updated Ray Ban sunglasses
  • & her cool accents like cage shoes and azure blue clutch.

Catherine stays age appropriate by knowing that sexy is not about letting it all hang out after 40; it is about being selective and showing off your “good bits” one at a time.

Catherine Hardwicke

Catherine Hardwicke

For example, the short black skirt above,  shows off her great legs and looks youthful, but if she if wore it this skirt with a LOW cut yellow top, this would have been too much!

She also keeps things playful. Take a look at what could be a serious black and white suit. She had added a dash of  Calfornia fun!

Bravo Catherine!









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  1. China girl says:

    Agree with Janice the nude sandal is flattering although it does seem slightly out of sync with the rest of her outfit. As a rule unless you’re tall with long legs, cage sandals are a truly unflattering fashion that rarely works on anyone and I’ve never seen them worn that well by anyone over 50 – with the notable exception of Corine Roitfeld – but these look good. Love her cute low-heeled boots too!

  2. Janice Glazier says:

    I loved her nude shoe. A colored shoe, in my opinion would have made her legs look shorter. The nude color actually extends the long line of her leg. Very nice.

  3. I’m desperately wanting tips on dressing hip but not looking ridiculous. I’m a blogger and an artisan. I would love more help getting the hip over 50 look. I just ordered your book, but I think I need more education about how to choose classic, tasteful, yet hip clothes. HELP ME Please!!!

    • Hi Shelly, I’m so glad you reached out to me. I’m working on setting up some support groups soon. I have a new e-book on how to incorporate more color into your wardrobe with lots of pictures and suggestions that you will love. Check out the ebook tab on this site to see it.

  4. Yes I like her long hair too & her attitude.

  5. She looks very trendy & has great legs. The skirt’s not too short, she can get away with it. I like the shoes & full marks for not being too matchy matchy.

    • HI Lucy,
      Great to hear you voice again! I also like her long hair. Igoogled her and you should see how she used to wear it…shorter and looks like would use hot rollers. Now she has it long and straight and it looks perfect with her clean, simple hip style.

  6. The black and white outfit really nailed it– edgy yet perfectly age appropriate. And she wore her grey hair like a flattering accessory. So that’s how it’s done.

  7. Great article! I see she’s working an above the knee skirt. I have to get over my mental block on that one. For some reason I tend to shy away from above the knee styles, preferring that at the knee hemline instead.

    • Hi Sondra,
      I should have mentioned that point about her over the knee skirt. Wow with those legs she can pull it off for sure…but sadly many of us are seeing our knees starting to sag. We all have to have a reality check when it come to how hight to wear our skirts. If you have great legs and knees…I hope you will start showing them off!

  8. She lost me at the shoes – everything else seemed okay but something about the shoes screams “trying too hard” to me. Maybe it’s a personal taste preference but these look sooooo trendy in a bad way to me – esp. with the skirt. And they just don’t seem to “go” with the outfit. I think a multi-color shoe maybe with a slight hint of that fab cobalt blue might have been better.

    • Hi Kelly,
      Yes, the shoes almost seems a bit too casual for that outfit, but like that she still tried wearing this trendy nude shoe instead of the obvious “safe” black pump. We sort of like them and think she is pulling them off, but agree that they might not work on just anyone. A colored shoe would have been nice choice too.