North American women aren’t the only ones blogging about style at midlife. In Germany Martina Berg shows off her latest looks at Lady 50Plus.
The 55- year-old Image consultant who hails from Munich has been blogging since 2015. Martina loves to help women, online and off, rediscover themselves and develop fabulous personal style. I recently had the chance to chat with Martina about her approach to dressing and her image work.
Here is my interview with this Fabulous After 40 Styleblazer.
Deb: As an image expert what do you find is the biggest style struggle that women over 40, 50, 60 have, and how do you help them move past that?
Martina: As an image consultant, I give seminars on styling and the famous first impression. Many women do not know how beautiful they are. It is important for me, to show women the way to their own beauty. That doesn’t mean they need a complete makeover – quite the opposite. In my seminars it all comes down to optimizing a woman’s existing beauty, because every woman is beautiful!
Deb: Tell us about your style. How would you describe the way you like to dress?
Martina: I prefer classic, elegant clothes, but sometimes I like sporty looks too. I also love a chic, casual look and enjoy adding a touch of extravagance to my outfit. It really comes down to my mood and the occasion.
Deb: Was there anyone in particular who influenced your style over the years?
Martina: I can’t say there was one in particular. It was my early training as a style expert that helped me recognize what styles were right for me. Perhaps a small style influence was Princess Diana, and of course my mom. She has always dressed like an elegant lady.
Deb: You have a wonderful way of incorporating color into your look. How do you help clients who are stuck in a black rut and are afraid to inject colorful pieces into their wardrobes?
Martina: I like to show every woman how beautiful she can be by wearing her right colors. Step by step we try new outfits and new colors, but always in combination with her current wardrobe. We might start with a shirt, a blouse, a jacket or a cardigan in a print they have never worn. Usually the ladies get lots of compliments on their new colors and I they often say to me, “Why didn’t I try this color earlier?” That sounds great to my ears!
Deb: You recently wore a suede fringe vest on your blog. Do you incorporate a lot of the newest trends into your outfits?
Martina: Oh, that’s so nice that you noticed my fringe jacket. Normally I don’t run after new trends, but I like this on me. This is an example of what I do on my blog. I show ladies 40, 50, 60 plus that they have many opportunities to look modern, and appropriate by wearing new looks.
Deb: I see you wear a lot of jackets, blazers etc. Why?
Martina: You’re right. I love wearing a jacket of some sort with my outfits. I feel comfortable with that look because it supports my classic style. A jacket also make me feel attractive, no matter whether it is denim, leather or a more noble material.
Deb: How do you think attitudes about fashion differ between European women and North American women?
Martina: In my opinion, the North American women are more colorful and more courageous than German women. American woman like to experiment more different style of clothes and outfits. They also like to dress up more for special occasions. Unfortunately German women are doing this less and less these days.
Deb: You often wear heels. Many women over 50 shy away from heels due to comfort and overall lifestyle. For those women who would like to wear heels more frequently, do you have any recommendations for the best type, fit, heel size to wear?
Martina: Since my early youth I have loved heels and wearing heels and they have become a habit. Other times, depending on the occasion and clothes, I’m a fan of ballerina flats. What I cannot get used to are sneakers, even though they are just extremely popular in Germany.
As for what to look for in a heels- only wear good quality heels. For decades I’ve worn a German shoe brand that I still replace the heels on. I like them because I know they fit me, and I can walk all day without any pain.
Deb: There’s a lot of talk about age appropriate dressing these days. How do you feel about it?
Martina: Age appropriate dressing is a very big concept. I think we should dress according to our age. A young lady of 20 years never comes up with the idea to dress like her grandmother. However, from time to time I see mature women wearing skirts that are far too short-– why? Also, clothes need to suit your personality, regardless of your age.
Deb: As a makeup artist, what common mistakes do you see women over 40, 50, 60 and beyond making with their makeup choices?
Martina: As a make up artist I always recommend to my clients not to wear make up styles worn 15 years ago. The make up should never be too dark. However, now and then some red lipstick make a great invitation. Also this is important: We should never give up mascara and rouge.
Deb: Best 2 style tips you can give to mature women trying to reinvent their style?
1) Wear classic styles to be always well dressed.
2) Purchase your outfit in your current clothing size – not smaller and not larger.
Deb: Anything else to add? Thanks!!
Thank you so much Deborah for so many interesting questions!!!
Deb: Thank you, Martina for sharing your wonderful insights with us. Ladies, be sure to visit Martina’s blog, Lady 50 Plus, where she shares more of her styling insights and fashion tips for women over 40, 50, and beyond.