Fashion for Women Over 70 – 8 Tips from a Beverly Hills Clothing Expert
by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire) and daughter,
I recently had a 73-year-old woman ask me a fashion question and I had to turn to my fashionista daughter for advice. My daughter used to work for a tony shop on Rodeo Drive and she dressed women who could afford to wear whatever they wanted. So, if you’re over 70, 80, 90, or older, here are 8 tips from my very own style expert.
First of all, I want you to know that we are talking about women who live in Beverly Hills. They are skinny. They have good cheekbones and great hair. They look perfect at all times. And, they think it’s cold when the thermometer dips to a chilly 65 degrees. So, you don’t have to follow these chic tips if they don’t fit your lifestyle. On the other hand, it’s fun to know about the flattering, classic looks that the rich and famous like to wear.
If you’re still in your 60’s or 70’s you may not have a problem with your sagging neck or your jiggling upper arms, but these things depend on genetics and other factors. However, as you get older, you may want to use some of the tricks mentioned by my daughter in the following telephone “interview” I had with my daughter.
(Note: My questions are in italics. My daughter's answers follow. I wanted to use her exact quotes, and because of that, her tips come across as very casual and conversational... and real.)
1. Wrinkled Necks:
What’s your best fashion tip for older women?
"Most women have not been putting sunscreen on their necks, so that is where their age starts to show. One of the best solutions is a thin cotton turtleneck, usually white or another light color. If you look on TV (especially on news programs), all the really older women have a thin turtleneck under whatever they’re wearing. The turtleneck should not be tight. I like the light cotton turtleneck from Theory."
2. Good Silk Scarves:
What about covering a crepEy neck with a scarf?
"Yes, women can wear a scarf around the neck to distract from other areas and to hide neck problems. The scarf should be silk if possible, but the most important thing is that their best color is near their face... but, not a solid scarf. Something in a very chic print." (I believe my daughter is referring to Hermes, but she did not specify.)
3. Tips for Wrinkled Knees, Saggy Arms & Problem Areas:
A lot of women complain about not finding clothes that cover various problem areas. Any Tips?
"As with all ages, especially in the older realm, less is more… leave it up to the imagination. Most of the time, you want to cover your knees. Older women shouldn’t wear minis unless they have the legs for it. A long maxi or midi skirt with a slit is better. And, for hot summer days, capris and Bermuda shorts are good, but make sure to cover the knees."
- Legs: "There’s a great Pilates DVD by Denise Austin called "Hit the Spot". It’s 7 or 8 minutes per segment. Start with the legs. You can tell when women have a dancing background by looking at their legs. This workout video only takes a couple of weeks to make your legs look longer and leaner."
- Arms: "As for covering your upper arms, your best investments are great cotton and wool shrugs. Also, get a Shake Weight (exercise gadget) with a DVD. It will change your triceps in 2 weeks. If you have an event, do the Shake Weight several nights beforehand."
- Cleavage: "No low-cut dresses, unless the woman has a good cleavage. Older women are better off leaving more to the imagination and making up for it with rhinestones."
4. Best Jewelry for Women Over 70:
What kind of jewelry is worn by wealthy older women?
"You can use jewelry to divert people’s attention. A good watch. Things like that. Wear something eye catching and sparkly on your breastplate or above your breasts… usually a thin chain with a large diamond or something with sparkle. Not a bib or collar. No chokers."
- Sparkle: "Older women have to wear jewelry to take attention away from their wrinkles. The more sparkle the better. Guys see the sparkle in the jewelry and they see the sparkle in the eye and they forget the wrinkles."
- Liz: "You don’t have to take my word for it. Look at Liz Taylor or a young Marilyn Monroe to know the look you want… shiny, sparkly but subtle… like a chain with a CZ on it. If you want a truly classic, elegant look, it can’t be too big."
- Length: 'The necklace should be longer… above the chest because the boobs are getting saggy, but below the face as far as you can go. You can do longer things, too."
5. Sexy Earrings for Older Women:
You know I love jewelry. What types of earrings do beautiful, wealthy women wear?
"Earrings are sexy, but no hoops. Hoops are trashy, unless you’re doing sporty… or unless you’re with Jenny from the Block. But, never to be underestimated is a pair of sparkly, light catching, dangly earrings… not too long… about 2 inches. Those are good for going out to dinner or for an intimate conversation with a date… anything in the evening."
"It’s probably not as good to wear a long earring in the daytime. It’s better to wear an earring about an inch long or less, but with movement. Because the movement catches the eye… it’s baiting a fish. Shiny bait for the right fish. The sparkle instantly draws anyone’s eye to the sparkle and then it draws them back up to the sparkle in your eye. This cannot be accomplished as well with a long dangly earring. This will hypnotize."
6. Best Outfits for Women in Their 70s:
Should older women wear suits or dresses? What do the chic women of Beverly Hills like to wear?
"First of all, the women I’ve worked with are skinny. They are gorgeous. But, wrap dresses, like Diane Von Furstenberg are always good. You don’t have to buy DVF. Try Banana Republic, Bloomingdale's or something like that if buying online."
- Real Wrap Dress: "Make sure you’re buying a real wrap dress that opens up all the way. A faux wrap dress that is sewn shut is not as good."
- Shoes: "A wrap dress should be worn with pumps not boots or ballet flats. You can do this dress with tights when it gets down into the 60’s, but you cannot wear a wrap with boots unless you want to look like a hooker. So, unfortunately, wrap dresses are reserved for summer."
"Tell your readers to wear a cami (one with a straight neckline) underneath a wrap dress. Depending on the size, camis can be bought cheaply. Sometimes it is fun to do a hot pink cami under a navy wrap with nude shoes. I can't talk about suits because it depends on body types."
7. Flattering Boots for Over 70:
Back to Boots. Should older women wear boots?
"The secret to wearing boots when you’re over 70 is to go with suede rather than leather because leather is too sexy. If you happen to have a short bob, you can wear a heel up to 2 to 3 ½ inches. It’s best to wear a straight skirt just past your knee, but if you want to go a little above your knee, you can wear dark tights to cover your knees. An oversized A-line coat never hurts."
"Another fun fall look is to do the equestrian style. Wear tan boots (with a low or flat heel) and jeans that tuck into your boots. Wear a tailored coat or a black, high-neck sweater with a blue scarf knotted around the neck."
Any last minute thoughts you want to add?
"Bags should never be crossbody, like the ones you wear when traveling... sorry Mom... if you want to look smaller. Crossbodies add bulk around the waist. Older women should do a carry bag. And handbags should be large because those make women look smaller… like the Olsen twins used to do to look anorexic."
- "Don’t do Peter Pan collars."
- "Don’t wear polka dots that are the wrong size. If dots don’t look right, go smaller or bigger."
End of Interview
(This is Tina again.) Unfortunately, although I love both of my elegant, stylish daughters dearly, I’m probably not going to follow all of these fashion rules when I’m older. A. I don’t live in Beverly Hills. B. I don’t have a Beverly Hills budget. C. I’m not a classic Beverly Hills beauty. And, much to my daughter’s horror, I’ll probably wear something more like the outfit with the big flower (to distract from my wrinkled neck and my sagging knees) when I’m over 70... or maybe I'll be wearing some hoop earrings along with a gypsy skirt. Fortunately, my daughters are very loving and understanding when it comes to their artsy mother.
(Note: After reading this article, my daughter said that I made her ideas sound too much like strict rules... and that's just not true. We all have different bodies and different styles. However, I was trying to fit a lot of information into this short article. So, read my comment at the bottom of the page to understand more.)
p.s. I know these models are not 70, but it's impossible to find photos of 70-year-old women wearing the right fashions.
More Articles for Women Over 40, 50, 60, 70, etc.:
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