Saturday, March 27, 2010

30 Days to 10 years younger--10 minute tips. Tip 23: Send in the clones

Every time I try to rejuvenate my look, I run into a problem that can end up paralyzing me. And paralysis = not making changes = right back where I started.

The problem is fear of dressing too young. And it manifests itself not by the time-honored query "does this dress make me look fat?" but "is this too young for me?"

If this has never crossed your mind, you're dressing too conservatively. If you want to look and feel young, you're going to have to take some risks. Sure you can stay safe and secure in your cashmere twin sets and gray flannel trousers. You won't offend anyone. But you'll be dressing like an old lady. I say put down the Talbots catalog and live a little.

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The question is how young can you go? I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that you can easily dress 10 to 15 years younger than your chronological age. Not only will nobody be offended, they'll think you're stylish as hell.

Now, the question is, what's the easiest way of dressing 10 to 15 years younger? Easy. Find a celebrity whose style you admire and copy her.

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I'd love to pretend to be a style guru like many of the bloggers I read, but I'm really more of a makeup and skin care person. When it comes to clothes, I've been examining, dissecting, and stealing the brainy style ideas of other, better-dressed women since I was a sophomore in high school.

So pick a celebrity who's the right age--10 to 15 years younger--and use her as your style guru. I don't mean run out and buy what she buys; nobody can afford that except another celebrity. But examine her outfits and incorporate aspects of her style into your own.

Say hello to Jennifer, my celebrity style crush. Now, I don't look like her at all. I lack her golden tan, blonde hair, banging bod and hunky ex-husband. But her simple, pared down style really appeals to me. I admire and respect celebrities like Chloe Sevigny and Bjork, but they're too extreme for me. Jennifer Aniston is perfect. She goes bare and glamorous at night, and always looks wonderful on the red carpet. But it's her day time outfits I like best.

So that's my advice. Find a celebrity who's a good 10 years younger, and steal as many style pointers as you can from her. I'm generous, so I'll even let you use Jennifer.

After all, I'm probably not the only woman who spots something cute in a store and wonders WWJD?


  1. One caveat I must add: beware the miniskirt. They're not for 45-year-old women. Love what Jenn's wearing in that first photo!

  2. I'm with Kalisa on the mini-skirt, but I am okay with one that's just above the knee. I am hard-pressed to find pix online of any celebs that dress better than Jennifer A.

  3. Say what you will about Jennifer Aniston's acting resume, the woman has style. And, she is always impeccably groomed, which I admire.

  4. Excellent advice! I definitely like to dress youthful, but I steer away from looking like I'm trying to dress like my kids. My miniskirt days are gooooone.

  5. imho miniskirts - not ultra-mini but visible mini are ok at 45, when your legs are in a perfect shape, why not? especially mini-dresses or large tees combined leggings can look hot and still have class and style.

    any suggestions for a 22 year old style clone? minus 15 was the formular, right?

  6. Great advice. Jen always looks good for ANY age. I do wear a black or grey plaid mini from time to time but always with opaque black tights and a longer, open black jacket over it, with a contrasting long scarf. Being mutton dressed as lamb is my greatest fear. I've seen way too many women dressed either this way, or as frumps. Few people capture the happy medium.

    I've blogged about ageless dressing a few times as a lot of women ask me how to look younger in other ways than with skincare and makeup. (Rule #1, don't wear all-over animal prints...) I have another post coming up soon so I will make sure I link to this one :)

  7. Kalisa: The thing about minis is when skirts are either 1) ankle-grazing maxis or 2) super-short is-that-a-tunic-or-a-dress minis, your best length is going to be a bit higher than knee-length. Anything much longer is going to look dowdy. Remember, the legs are the last thing to go!

    MAW: Agreed on the skirt length and on Jennifer. The fashion press reveres more extreme celebs like the Olson twins, but I personally have no desire to look like an anorexic lemur.

    jenontheedge: I agree. I can only aspire to that hair.

    jenn: What do you mean, your miniskirt days are over. You have the right name, which is half the battle.

    Paula: I'm glad to see you agree about the miniskirts. Now about your style clone ... I'm afraid you're going to have to copy the Olsen twins.

    Rosina: You put it in a nutshell. The idea is ageless dressing. And it is a delicate balance to attain, which explains why I feel validated when my daughter borrows something of mine, and nervous when I borrow something of hers. ;-)

  8. I'm 37. Can I wear clothes for 22-27 year olds? If I hear a "yes" from you, I'll have to then find a celebrity to copy... where would I look?

    clueless Barbra

  9. The only thing about dressing like a celeb, even a fashionable one, is that what may look incredibly alluring on an incredibly beautiful woman, can often look just plain old dowdy on a ....regular gal like me. So I always think I need to fuss it up a bit - pattern, scarf, etc. Probably my biggest problem.

  10. Poppy, you make me wind on my sofa. please not the Olsen twins.

    Barbara, I am 37, too. following Poppy's advice it's the Olsen twins! :-o
    since we are 2 ... well, fate?

    just recently I found out a cool acress was just 22, damn, I should have wrote it down. I forgot who it was.

  11. Barbra: I think you can afford to stay at the 27-30 year old end of the pool. Or even older. Frankly, all you have to do is avoid dressing like Taylor Swift and you've got it made. How about Gwyneth Paltrow, Kirsten Dunst, or Penelope Cruz? Or Drew Barrymore, but only if she promises to wear a bra?

    Loretta: You've got a point--these women realize that they're dressing for the camera, so they tend to keep the pattern and accessories to a minimum. Still, too little is better than too much.

  12. Okay, Poppy. You've made perfect sense with the choice of Jennifer. My problem has always been the choice of shoes. I love shoes, but my feet are cranky. I hate going barefoot in shoes and I teach, so I'm on my feet a lot. I hate (HATE) flipflops because of that thingy in the middle. So, some exposition on shoes, please. I know Oprah did a show on the six pairs of shoes you couldn't do without. What about Poppy?

  13. I like your choice--she looks clean and fresh and stylish and simple. This is good I need to start scouring People Mag and find me a style heroine (as opposed to heroin which would probably be just as expensive).

  14. My problem isn't dressing too old, it's just getting out of the mom look. And finding something that's stylish and looks good on a bigger person. I'm tall, I'm busty and I'm not even close to being svelte. Lane Bryant seems to think that everything needs to be embellished to a fare-thee-well and stores like Macy's seem to think that if you're not a size 2, you want to look like the mother of the bride.


Gentle Readers:

For the time being, I've turned off comment moderation. Please don't spam; it's not nice.

xxx, Poppy.