You aren’t consigned to a life of beige beyond a certain age. Here’s a guide to brights done right.
Erika Ludwig & Kelly Gritzmacher (5)
Look, that whole set of rules that belongs to “women of a certain age” is just...silly. Toss it out. Take Mary Carr, 59, for example, who right on this very page is rocking some serious leather pants. Not that it didn’t take a liiiiiitle convincing to make it happen—but once she saw how flattering and fun they were, it was a done deal. And when she asked where she’d wear them? Well, we answered that it could be anywhere, including when she is playing with her grandkids! It’s been said that “youth is wasted on the young,” and it’s mostly true. Except if you are embracing your age (or ignoring it completely, because it’s nothing but a number) and rocking some serious body confidence—then you definitely have the upper hand. Take Mary’s view: the shoot reinforced “wanting to have fun with clothes again,” and helped her “feel comfortable in my own skin.” The tomato-red dress at right? She bought it and wore it to a wedding two weeks later. Now that’s rocking your style.
FROM THE EXPERTS
The Challenge: After two back surgeries and a knee surgery, which necessitated a comfortable, sweatpants-heavy wardrobe for a couple of years, it was time to help revive Mary’s wardrobe to reflect her vibrant and “out of the box” personality. (And we couldn’t help but notice—doesn’t she look like Courteney Cox? Her dark hair and blue-blue eyes are stunning!)
Natalie’s Take: “I know Mary identifies with being a mother and grandmother and can kind of keep herself in that zone. I wanted her to feel like a beautiful and sexy woman with wardrobe choices that reflect all of her roles. Once she got the outfits on and saw how beautiful she looked, I think she felt amazing and was less afraid of fashion.”
Mary’s Takeaway: “It has been fun getting back into style again. I no longer own any sweatpants. I always used to ‘save’
myexpensive jewelry, but now I’m ready to wear
it. I’m really going for it!”
1. The lapis necklace pops against the tomato-red dress: a definite eye-catcher.
2. Ruching is figure-flattering—this particular style is a little avant-garde, too.
3. Snakeskin will always add a polished rock-star vibe to an outfit. It doesn’t have to be paired with black leather, either!
4. Pilgrim-style multi-hued shoes are unexpected with this dress: a sophisticated quirk.
WHERE TO GET IT
Above: Nicole Miller dress, $255 @ Epitome, Galleria, Edina, 952-920-2978. Via Patina Lillian necklace, $145 @ viapatina.com. Le Glitz snakeskin cuff, $58 @ OPM, 3700 Grand Way, St. Louis Park, 952-567-7399, opmboutique.com. Diane B. pumps, $375 @ Pumpz & Co., Galleria, Edina, 952-926-2252, pumpzco.com. Main Image: Joie Varda cardigan, $460 @ Bumbershute, 5014 France Ave., Edina, 952-475-2684, bumbershute.com. Halston Heritage top, $295; Losselliani necklace, $678 both @ OPM. Le Glitz clutch, $45; Le Glitz bangle, $55, all @ Epitome. David Learner leather pant, $135 @ Bumbershute. One Luxor shoe, $275 @ Pumpz & Co. At Right: Le Glitz turquoise necklace, $60 @ Epitome. 49 Square Miles bag, $475 @ Pumpz & Co. Ferragamo low heel, $495 @ Pumpz & Co. Below: Autumn Cashmere sweater, $308 @ Epitome. Jenny Bird Dionysus pendant, $88 @ OPM. Alexander Wang black clutch, $325 @ Pumpz & Co. Piece of Cloth pant, $168 @ Epitome. Superga shoes, $120 @ Pumpz & Co.
Rethink a “pop of color” by adding sparkle.
1. This slouchy sweater gets a little edge from leather trim.
2. If you’re afraid of color, start by wearing it away from your face.
3. Sequins, glitter, metallics, and studs can play well on their own and together with color, too.