How to wear trends without looking like a teen

Author: Canadian Living


How to wear trends without looking like a teen

It's ironic: teenage girls often follow fashion trends because they want to look mature, cute or sexy, but women in their 30s, 40s and 50s can't always pull off the same styles without looking too young. Nobody says you have to ditch fashionable clothes at a particular age, but sometimes teens can go all out for fashion while anyone beyond high school should be a little more restrained. Karen Kwinter, Canadian Living's Style Editor-at-Large, has a few basic rules for keeping your wardrobe age-appropriate, and how to wear trends without looking like your teenage daughter.

Less is more when it comes to getting trendy.
"Always use a 'less is more' attitude when incorporating a new trend into your fashion repertoire," says Kwinter. While young girls without any hips can pull off skinny jeans, their mothers should opt for slim-cut pants instead. You can also apply this to accessories like bracelets, for example. Your daughter might decorate her whole arm with bangles but one statement cuff is perfect on you.

The same goes for some of the hot colours young women are wearing. Kwinter advises not to dress in orange, yellow or fuchsia head-to-toe, but to focus on one bright piece paired with a strong dose of neutrals. An orange sweater with a grey pant and jacket look fabulous together!

Look for
classic, timeless styles. Buy clothes that can take you from season to season rather than pieces that will go out of fashion quickly and you'll leave sitting in your closet after a few months – remember leg warmers and acid wash jeans?

Kwinter says following this rule of thumb "generally means that you should never bare too much skin." Lingerie-style clothes are sexy, but don't go overboard. Try pairing a higher-cut camisole under a professional jacket or cardigan instead of wearing the ultrasexy bare dress. Short skirts are popular too, but keep it tasteful and buy one that hits you just above the knee – "leave the miniskirt to your daughter," says Kwinter.

On the other hand, safari style is hot and more appropriate for the working woman than the flirty teen. Young girls might achieve this look with leopard prints, but ladies look stunning in neutral safari suits paired with a good quality white shirt.

Invest in purses and shoes. It's easier to change accessories than your entire wardrobe to keep up with shifting styles. "Good shoes and purses are your best friends," says Kwinter.

Every woman should have a couple great clutches in her collection. Kwinter calls them "a great grown-up trend that will be hard for your daughter to carry off, but perfect for a real lady like you!" If you can't fit all your goodies in a clutch, get the same effect with a hat. Just like in the '50s, hats give a lady an air of sophistication. This is one trend you can call your own, too – Kwinter says hats often look costumey on younger girls.

Finally, add flair or shine to one of your neutral, versatile outfits with colourful or metallic shoes. "Spend a little more here as the splurge will pay off with sophistication in spades," says Kwinter.

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How to wear trends without looking like a teen