Making New Outfits from Your Same Old Wardrobe

capsule wardrobe

capsule wardrobe

Sometimes all you need to freshen up your wardrobe is a few pieces to mix and match. Have you ever heard of a wardrobe capsule?

That’s a collection of a few garments that can be put together in many ways to create lots of outfits.

Capsules reinvent your wardrobe. They make it easy to dress because:

  • Everything goes with everything, so it takes no time to pull an outfit together
  • They save you money. You don’t buy something once and never wear it again.

You can have several capsules in your wardrobe. For example, one for casual wear, one for work, one for an evening out etc. This one is for work. Take a look at the pieces from L.K. Bennett.
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Is This Dress Too Short? That Grey Area When You Are Over 40!

Pictures don’t lie! It is amazing how many of us imagine ourselves one way and in reality look another! Nothing like a reality check! Take one of my readers Janet O. for example, who thought she might have to give up this dress…

Hello Deborah,

When is short too short?  I have several dresses that hit me above the knees.  I am not a fan of my knees (I call them “thnees” – thighs that merge into my knees with no definition) but these dresses are so comfy I continue to wear them.

What do you think?  Time to hang them up?~Janet O
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Can I Wear This To My Class Renion? (Part 1)

gray dress with black sweater coatHi Deborah 

I would love your opinion for this outfit I have chosen to wear to an informal class reunion at a bar/ restaurant next week. Do bear in mind that it is the middle of winter here. I was wondering if maybe I was a little to chunky to pull it off, what do you think.

Warm Regards,Kathryn

Hi Kathryn,

It is really smart that you ares planning your outfit now and not waiting until the last min!

First of all, I  can see that you have a great sense of style.  Layering and belting+ black hose with boots are very much in style now. However, your outfit is  good example, of what can happen when you put this type of look on a body that is not 6 feet tall and 99 pounds! [Read more…]

How To Update Your Work Wardrobe On A Budget

woman over 40Dear Deborah,

Two years ago I decided to go back to college.  Most of my fellow students were the same age as my youngest child.  I started looking for resources to help me update my look so that I could try to maneuver that area between not too young and not too old.

I have now graduated and am now at my new job in my new career.  I have learned that wardrobes need constant updating and your newsletter gives me ideas on how to do that successfully.

The job market is very competitive and I want to look professional. Can you suggest some stylish, career pieces that are easy on the pocketbook.  Thanks and keep up the great work.
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How To Hide Your Midlife Tummy – Part 5

Avoid Pants or Skirts with Waist Detail

pants over 40

When you look at this pair of pants where does your eye go?





Picture2When you look at this skirt where does your eye go?

The tummy bow on the pants and the belt and pockets on the skirt add bulk and draw the eye to the tummy. Naturally these models don’t have an ounce of fat.

But if you are a real woman over 40 you’re bound to have some midlife bulge at your stomach and the details on these garments are going to draw the eye right to your trouble spot!

flatfront pants over 40So here’s what you do if you have a big tummy and don’t want people to look at it.

Don’t emphasize it with belts,buckles, bows, pleats, pockets etc in that area.

skirt for over 40Intead, wear flat front pants and skirts with wider waistbands to hold the tummy in and  no detail.

Here are two examples, but in truth you probably want to tuck out or wear some good Spanx as these gals have!

tops for over 40tops pver 40If you tuck out wear a long top like this that gently flows over your tummy to cover up your jelly belly.

If you want to have a focal point make it up by your face by wearing a top with a pretty neckline or some jewelry or some embellishment on the top up high.

This way you are playing up where you want them to look ( your face) and downplaying where you don’t want them to look ( your men-o-pot).

Great Trick!

Fabulous After 40 Women on the Street….

Looking good on casual a day of shopping can be a challenge. What can you wear to look up to date, comfortable and yet hip? Layering seems to be the way to go as we transition into Spring.

jeans-cartiganThis gal was shopping with her daughter at BCBG in Philly. Love her colorful orange cashmere sweater with updated dark washed jeans.

Even her accessories (clear Lucite  bracelet and cool watch) were fun!

clear lucite bracelette

clear lucite bracelet

This other gal was from Sweden. Check out her fab boots!
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Is This Casual Style Age Appropriate?

Nicole wrote us recently with this style question about this outfit she found at Saks:

photo: Saks

photo: Saks

She had a few questions:

  • Q- Do you think this is age-appropriate for women over 40? –We think that the overall idea is very chic. The top is perfectly acceptable, however the leather skirt is too short for  women over 40.
  • Q – I like the colors, but do you think they are too blah? — The green leather skirt does give the outfit its “pop” of color. So no, we do not think it is too blah.

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Maxi Dresses – How To Wear Them When You Are Over 40!

Time flies when you’re having fun! After a while, fashion hits a wall and has to start recycling itself …so here we go again with the maxi dress!

The big question is, when would you wear one? You really don’t want to take this look too seriously.  Wear one with:

  • a pashmina out to dinner
  • as a bathing suit cover up
  • when hosting a dinner party at home

Don’t try to wear fancy high heels with this look.  These dresses aren’t meant to be dressy.  Just pair one with a pretty low sandal, that may have  rhinestones or not, or with a simple wedge if you still want to get some height.

Here are some  maxi dresses we like and why:

This dress is really flattering and won’t make you look like you are trying to hide something!


Donna -Ricco- maxi

This twist top has nice wide straps to hide your bra. Also, the neckline plunges just enough that it would be perfect for showing off a nice  big, bold signature piece of jewelry!

Matty M Twist top

Matty M Twist top

You can never go wrong with a simple all black dress by Karen Kane, or this wonderful bright  floral version paired with some fun jewelry, or worn by itself.

So, have some fun and think out of the box. A dress like this is a wonderful, updated alternative to a dress or pants.

Tweak Your Chic – Part III

Welcome to part 3 of our Tweak Your Chic series, where we show you how a few small accessory updates can take you from Frumpy to Fabulous, instantaneously.

In part 1, we saw how to jazz up a plain brown shirtdress.

In part 2, we made a conservative black outfit look modern and hip.

Now in part 3, we show you how to Tweak Your Chic using a basic gray outfit. Let’s get to the before and afters.

grey-outfit-beforeThe Look – BEFORE Tweak Your Chic:

This is a great example of how many of us are following fashion “rules” and still look don’t look our best. This gal is dressed basically in a column of color…She’s got a gray sweater, pants and top which is supposed to make you look very slim. Well it works only to a certain point. Her sweater may be gray but it ck old and heavy.

grey-outfit-afterThe Look – AFTER Tweak Your Chic:

The biggest change we made is we ditched her big bulky “momsy” sweater for a more stylish refined one. Now she looks much slimmer and up to date. Moving forward, let’s take a closer look at her accessories.
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