How to Be A Lady of Style

Every so often I like to profile a 40+ blogger friend whose personal style is distinct and inspiring. So this week meet Annette Hoeldrich.

red leopard dress annette lady of style Annette is the creative force behind Lady of Style, a fashion and style blog for mature women. Each week she showcases her outfits in a series of photos taken in her hometown of Bavaria, Southern Germany.

In a world where many women are trying to cling to their youth by dressing ultra casual and even very racy,  Annette is a breath of fresh air. She always looks polished, modern and  lady-like. Annette has fabulous style and the confidence and class to carry it off. I chatted with her recently about her lovely way of dressing that makes her a Fabulous After 40 Styleblazer.   

Deborah BolandDeb: Annette, How would you describe your style?

I love and feel most confident in classy, feminine. elegant attire worn with chic and trendy accessories. Dresses are my favorite garments, especially figure flattering wrap dresses. When I incorporate trendy pieces in my outfits I always make sure to give them my signature. I am not a fan of too casual looks and when I wear jeans, I prefer dark blue ones. I like to style jeans with a classic blazer and heels.

Annette lady of style Deb: If you could go back in time to experience the fashion of a particular era, which era would it be? 

Annette: Probably the glamorous era of the late 40’s and 50’s. Think of Chanel, Dior, evening robes or style icon Grace Kelly. They’re my style. Current designers and celebrities whose style I admire include Victoria Beckham and actress, Olivia Palermo.what to wear to the officeDeb: Do you think women our age have more freedom than ever when it comes to dressing or do you think there are age appropriate limits?

 

Annette: This is quite a controversal topic and even my blogger friends have different thoughts about it.While I always have been quite strict and maybe sometimes even restricted myself a bit, I am a lot more open and flexible now, I’d even say I am more adventurous now. There are limits but most of them are more depending on your body shape rather than your age. A mini skirt might not be suitable for some 25 year old women.

 

Personally, I wouldn’t wear a skirt which ends above my knee, I just don’t feel comfortable any longer and find a length around or just above my knees more flattering. I think a leather pencil skirt even looks more sexy at that length anyway!I have always loved a feminine style and over the years I mainly wore sophisticated, elegant looks.

I love dresses and have usually styled them with classy pieces like a blazer and heels which is a very safe option. I still wear this look to the office or more formal social events where this is the appropriate dress code. However, I now might pair a dress with a black leather jacket or wear it with booties instead of heels or classic knee-high boots.I especially love a style mix of classy and current, trendy pieces.

Black-Leather-Plaid-Scarf-14Deb: How often do you shop, where, and what are you favorite things to buy?

Annette: Since I live in the countryside with not much choice of local shops, I shop 90% online. When I am travelling, I love to do extensive shopping trips to my favorite stores. My daughter is studying in London and when I am visiting her, I take the opportunity to have a look around, often together with her. As she is studying Fashion Communication and Promotion, I love her insight and style advice. She is always encouraging me to wear new and trendy pieces and introduces me to new brands.

Favourite things: Dresses, tops, blouses, accessories, handbags, shoes.

Least favourite: Swimwear!! Haha…for obvious reasons ;-) Buying a bikini or bathing suit when you are not yet in bikini-shape plus very pale and then a neon lit changing room is probably every woman’s shopping disaster!!

But I also don’t like buying jeans. I don’t have many and rely on NYDJ as I know they will fit my body.

I shop at Mango and Zara, I like Massimo Dutti and when I am in London, I visit Banana Republic, Jigsaw or J. Crew. Unfortunately Ann Taylor is not available here in Europe and shipping costs and taxes from the States are quite expensive. Otherwise I think I’d be a regular customer!

Silver-Coat-wth leggings

Deb: We all have style challenges. What are yours?

Annette: The weather! Here in the Bavarian Alps in Southern Germany, we tend to have a long period of cold weather with snow. I cannot always dress the way I would like to but often need to wear warm clothes. Now in winter, that means snow boots, a coat, gloves… Often I take a pair of extra shoes to the office and change there.

I am a 100% summer person and I am struggling with winter!

I am an hourglass shape and most trousers either fit around my hips or my waist. As I mainly shop online, I have tend to order one size up when I am in doubt. Luckily I have a very skilled seamstress who will alter everything for me.

Hemlines – why are so many dresses and skirts so short?

Green Dress

Deb: What type of accessories do you prefer and do you have any special ways you like to wear them?

Annette: Jewelry is a must! Until recently I wore a lot of statement necklaces but currently I am especially fond of more delicate or refined pieces. I feel naked without a necklace! Only when I am wearing bigger earrings like chandeliers I don’t want to overload my look and will refrain from a necklace. Shorter necklaces and statement pieces I will always wear under my blouse or top although it is popular to wear them on top.

I do wear scarves but they are not my no.1 accessory unless it is for keeping me warm! Handbags, for sure! Unless I am using a classic, basic bag in a neutral color, I will always change and match them with my daily outfit!

lady of styleDeb: What’s the best style tip you have ever received?

 

Annette: Trends are not for all people and trends go out of style. Personal style never does. But if you do love a trend, learn how to incorporate it into your own style. And I love Coco Chanel’s quote “I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little – if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.”

 

annette-lady-of-style
Deborah BolandDeb:  Do you have any words of wisdom you want to pass on to Fabulous After 40 readers?

 

Annette: Find the right balance for YOU and don’t try too hard to look younger – you don’t want to compete with your daughter and her friends! Stay open to trends but always make your outfit your own. 1. Wear what flatters you  2. Wear what you feel good and confident in  3. Wear what’s appropriate for the occasion

Thanks Annette, Keep on bringing us those great outfits! Ladies, be sure to check out Annette’s wonderful blog, Lady of Style. You’re sure to pick up a few great ideas!

Style Bloggers Bloom in Spring Florals

There’s nothing more spring-like than a pretty floral dress and this year there’s a garden of choices. Take a look at how these three 40+ style bloggers in bloom in botanicals!

how-to-wear-dark-florals

Floral Fantasy

Florals pop up every spring but this season ushered in a more moody floral: the dark floral.

Glenda loves the visual arts and was drawn to this fabric blocked peplum top from Zara because it looks like a painting you’d see in a museum. She’s paired it with one of the new tea length skirts for a look that’s lady-like but on the creative side too.

Love the sandals and the clutch. They really polish off the look. Gorgeous Glenda! You can see more of Glenda’s daily dose of fashion at her blog So What To Twenty!

floral-dresses-for-women-over-40

Red Hot Florals

Style blogger Kristin had always thought of florals as fussy and better suited to her aunts and grandmothers. Then she discovered this dress hiding in her closet and decided to style it in a fresh, new way.

Look how adding a pair of  edgy Vince Camuto booties and a denim moto jacket adds a whole new vibe to this Asian-inspired, retro-style print dress. Very cool!

To see more of  Kristin’s unique style, check out her blog, Highland Fashionista, where she encourages readers to step out of their comfort zone and get creative with fashion.

how-to-accessorize-with-floral-prints

Subtle Florals

If you’re not keen on wearing head-to-toe floral, then try this look from style blogger Janise.

Janise loves white dresses, even though a lot of women would consider white high maintenance. She feels white is definitely worth it for two reasons: it makes her  skin glow and it’s the perfect backdrop to create both casual and dressy looks.

For example, a white dress look fabulous when worn with a big colorful statement necklace or with a beautiful scarf like this one above. The punch of color and pattern against the white takes her look from ordinary to extraordinary!

Janise says her style is based largely on her moods and she doesn’t like to place limits when it comes to fashion. Judging by this outfit, she was in a very lady-like mood the day she wore this. She looks so pretty and feminine! You can visit Janise at  Mama in Heels.

Thanks Ladies!

Darling in Dresses – 40+ Bloggers

You can tell it’s spring because of all the street chic photos of women in pretty dresses that have started to pop up. This week I’m sharing pictures from three 40+ bloggers who look modern and ladylike in their feminine frocks.

how-to-wear-a-knit-dressSpot On

The Black and White Trend in dresses that started last summer continues this spring, and one of the ways to get the look is with polka dots.

Ann was drawn to this easygoing knit dress because of the 3/4 length sleeves, and being able to style the dress in so many ways.

It originally came with a thin black belt, but since Ann wanted the outfit to pop, she replaced the black belt with a red belt and added red shoes and a purse. (Replacing a self belt is a great trick to jazz up an outfit – see what I mean)

Ann is an artist by trade and blogs as a hobby. Be sure to visit her at Blue Hue Wonderland to see her personal twist on the latest styles. [Read more…]

Dresses That Make You Feel Feminine

What better way to flaunt your femininity than in a pretty dress?  Take a look at these lovely readers who sent in their photos this week.

blue-and-gold

Royal in Blue

Looks like my recent feature on maxi skirts may have inspired Sara, a fashion blogger at lifestyle over 40, because here she is in a striking cobalt blue maxi that she wore on her birthday.

Doesn’t this color look stunning with her gorgeous winter coloring?

Sara’s sheer skirt combined with this pretty lace wrap top would make anybody feel like a Queen. I love her choice of jewelry which really finishes off the outfit. You look regal, Sara!

[Read more…]

Asian Allure – Fall’s New Trend and How to Wear it Over 40

Designers have drawn inspiration from the far east this fall with a collection of Asian inspired styles that sizzle. Are you fan?

If you like the look and feel this new trend but are nervous to try it for fear you will look like you are wearing a costume, here are a few  tips on how to wear the trend over 40:

 

Asian inspired fashion for women over 40
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Fabulous After 40 Summer Fashion and Beauty Tips

Summer Beauty Tips

What’s a Fashion Flash?  It’s a collection of wonderful tips on beauty, health and fashion from our panel of top over 40 bloggers! This week’s Fashion Flash, hosted by Kari from Fab Over Forty, give you an update on beauty products for over 40 skin.
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The Sweater Dress – Great to Run Around In

red ruffle sweater dress

Great way to add color to your day.

When running around town, I want to make sure that I’m super comfortable, but chic too. So what do I wear?

The answer is simple.

I wear a  sweater dress, leggings and a pair of boots!

Here is my recipe for how to pull this look together.

  • Find a simple straight sweater dress.
  • Add a nice wide hip belt
  • Layer it with a scarf or loose, long sweater
  • Make sure to wear dark opaque tights or leggings
  • Find some nice fitting boots that are either flat or have a short heel.

[Read more…]

What to Wear in Europe

There’s still a few weeks left of summer, so if you are traveling to Europe and wondering what to wear I have a suggestion for you.

Deb At The Louvre

Make your life easy and just pack dresses!

When I was in France this summer with my husband and three children traveling around Provence, and then up to Paris for a few days, I found dresses were the perfect travel wear.

It was far too hot to wear pants, and shorts would have felt wrong, so I opted for dresses. They hardly any space in my suitcase, made me feel feminine and were cool and comfy.

At Versailles
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Chafing Stopping You From Wearing Dresses? Here’s Help

Dear Deborah,

I’d like to wear a sundress this summer, but I find I get so sweaty that my legs rub together and it is very uncomfortable. Is there any way to fix this problem? Thanks, Jean

Hi Jean,

Dresses are a great summer option if you don’t want to wear shorts or Capris, but with the warm weather many gals suffer from chaffing. There are a couple of things you can do about this.

bike shortsSHAPEWEAR

I highly recommend that you try some shapewear under your dress. The little “bike short” style is perfect to go under any sundress and will totally eliminate the chafing problem.

Be sure to buy the thigh slimmers that have a flat band around the leg so they don’t roll up, and that are long enough for comfort (probably right above the knee).  Not only will they stop your thighs from rubbing together, they will smooth out your legs and midsection too!
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