If Marilyn Roberts were to approach one of those guess-your-age booths at the State Fair, she’d walk away with the prize. Go ahead, try it yourself: 50? 55? 60? Nope. Marilyn turned 66 in February, and is in better shape than people half her age.
Since retiring in 2003, the former 3M employee now spends her time volunteering at church, knitting, playing piano, working out, and training her two-year-old dog, Gracie.
When her husband passed away two years ago, Marilyn was faced with a huge life change. “I miss him terribly,” she says. “But I have come to realize that life has devastating setbacks and joys. I am looking for more joy these days.”
One approach to embracing this new attitude: shaking up her wardrobe. Marilyn describes her style as “casual but neat,” and tends to gravitate toward the basics: dark pants, simple tops. But stylist Faith Brue had bigger—and brighter—plans for her. Faith chose colors that highlighted Marilyn’s hair color and skin tone, and fits that accentuated her toned body, channeling Marilyn’s inner beauty and bringing it out for all to see.
FROM THE EXPERTS
The Challenge: To find Marilyn a wardrobe that reflected this new chapter in life, with brighter colors, patterns, and jewelry to make her feel gorgeous.
Faith’s Take: “Marilyn likes to dress simply and understated, which is completely appropriate for someone her age. But she seems to play it overly safe with muted colors and shapeless pieces. I wanted her to feel comfortable and beautiful in everything I chose, but also push the envelope a bit.”
The Plan: Faith’s advice for women over 60: find silhouettes that work for your body type, don’t feel pressured to embrace passing trends, and think outside the box of how you think you “should” be dressing. “I knew bright colors might be a stretch for Marilyn,” Faith says, “but they made her eyes pop and her smile from ear to ear. She has such a bright light, and I wanted to make sure that showed in her attire.”
Marilyn’s Take: “The outfits were so comfortable! I loved the design and colors, and learned that layering is key, even in spring and summer. I’m going to experiment more with accessories and color to recapture the feeling I got when wearing these outfits—that spring had sprung, so to speak.”
A SPLASH OF SPRING
1. Find hues that accent your hair and eye color. Marilyn’s match: purple.
2. Layer blouses and light-weight cardigans to create looks that have dimension and interest.
3. Bold-colored pants are still hot and are the fastest way to pump up an outfit’s energy.
4. Don’t shy away from mixing and matching from the color wheel.
Try pieces on before dismissing them as possible combinations.
WHERE TO GET IT
Outfit, main image: Blouse, $72 @ Parc Boutique, 320 Hennepin Ave. E., parcboutique.com. Pants, $168 @ Eileen Fisher, eileenfisher.com. Dolce Vita shoes, $79 @ Herberger’s, herbergers.com. Via Patina earrings, $59; bracelets, $49 each; all @ Roe Wolfe, 750 Main St., Mendota Heights, roewolfe.com Outfit, above right: Jack Blouse, $65; Dex Sheer Cardigan, $48; Arc & Co. Pants, $56; all @ Parc Boutique. Nine West Shoes, $69 @ Herberger’s. Earrings, $98; Bracelets, $148 each; all @ Realia by Jen, realiabyjen.com. Items, right: Carriere Freres Candle, $49; Via Patina Necklace, $229; both @ Roe Wolfe. Scarf, $158 @ Eileen Fisher. Outfit, below: Pants, $178; Shirt, $198; Scarf, $158; all @ Eileen Fisher. Nine West Flats, $79 @ Herberger’s. Crystal Necklace, $264; Vintage Chain Necklace, $168; both @ realiabyjen.com
Channel spring with prints and little pops of color
1. Comfortable, fashion-forward flats brighten up any outfit.
2. Trade out dark gray or black pants for lighter neutral
3. Scarves are an easy way to start adding color to your
4. Layer necklaces to give old pieces new life.