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.”


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!


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!


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.


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.


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!

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40 + Street Style – A Summer of Dresses

Nothing like an easy, breezy dress to light up a summer day. Here’s a look at some fabulous frocks my readers have been wearing lately.

colorful-party-dressSummer Brights

Don’t you love a vibrant, happy print?

A regular contributor to our What I Wore series, Carina look like she’s ready for a beach party this cute wide brim hat and over-sized sunglasses paired with this fun sundress.

Flip flops keep it casual and work well with the short length which Carina manages to pulls off! This dress could also double as a top that you could wear with white capris leggings underneath. You look picture perfect, Carina!


Pretty Peacock Print

You might be brave and confident enough to wear a figure forming, just-above-the-knee-length dress, but choosing the right shoe to go with it can be a struggle.  A flat shoe could end up looking too boring and a high shoe may be too provocative.

My loyal reader Donna put a lot of thought into picking the perfect shoe to wear with her slinky peacock print tank dress.  In the end she chose a pair of flat, metallic silver thong sandals for an outdoor dinner date with her husband in her home state of New Jersey. Donna, you look as pretty as a peacock.


Snakeskin Isn’t Just for Bags and Belts

A slick print like this looks just as good on dresses too!

Pamela looks exotic in this teal snakeskin print dress from I.N.C. The rich colors in the dress and cool metallic wedges suit her strong coloring.

A chic and contemporary look Pamela!


It’s a Wrap!

Wrap dresses are a popular choice for dresses for women over 40. They are incredibly flattering and versatile and can be worn for just about any occasion.

Birthday girl Wendy celebrated her 45th birthday in this pretty printed purple and green wrap dress.

Wendy’s high ponytail accentuates the deep neckline of the dress and shows off her slender upper body.

A festive choice for a birthday celebration Wendy!

Will you be attending a birthday party, graduation celebration, or a backyard bar-b-que? Check out these sizzling summer party dresses that are perfect for the occasion.

cut-out-dresses-over-40 plus

Pretty in a Pink Cut-out Dress

There were some pretty wild cut-out style dresses on the runway this spring, but since this trend hit the stores there have been plenty or more wearable versions of this style to choose from.  Here’s one of them that’s perfect for a mature woman.

A Chesapeake, Virginia marina is the perfect backdrop for Jeanie in this sexy pink cut-out dress. It’s one of Jeanie’s favorites, and no wonder. The style is gorgeous on her and the color is stunning.  Jeanie finishes off the look with a matching bracelet and cream-colored wedge shoes. You really rock this, Jeanie!

summer-dresses-for-women-over-40Colorful in Curaçao

On a recent trip to Curaçao, beautiful Svetlana, with sun-kissed skin posed for a few pictures in this vibrant coral dress. The 42-year-old is the picture of summer with her tanned skin and long blonde locks.

You are a ray of sunshine, Svetlana.

I love seeing your style and cheering you on, Glam Gals!


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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Maxi Dresses- Appropriate For An Afternoon Wedding?

Dear Deborah,

I have an afternoon wedding on the 25th of this month, and love the look of the Maxi dress, but have no idea what kind to choose. Also, I’m 5’3 and wonder if this style would even work for me? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Melissa

Hi Melissa,

Yes, A maxi dress is a wonderful choice for an afternoon wedding, but here’s the catch. You have to be careful you don’t pick a maxi that is too casual for the affair.  Some of the maxis out there look like they belong lounging by the pool. You are best to choose a maxi in soft fabrics like silk, jersey or chiffon, rather than cotton or linen. Also solid colors are more formal than prints- not to say you can’t wear prints, but be mindful the pattern is not too funky or beachy.

Also, since you are only 5’3″  avoid maxis with little or no shape because they will drown you. Petite women need to choose maxis that sit closer to the body  and have a defined waist. The defined waist can even be a higher one – i.e. empire waist.

Here’s a few maxis I found that illustrate these points and reveal some other Do’s and Dont’s … [Read more…]