Photography by Kirk McGurk
After twenty years working in retail and fashion including and running a personal styling business for seven of those years, I know that personal style continues. It continues after you are done wearing overalls in your 20s. It continues after you are done wearing 4-inch stilettos in your 30s. It continues after you have worn those power pencil skirts to the office in your 40s.
As life moves forward, your priorities shift as do your personal style needs. Your body changes. Your daily life adapts. Your tastes evolve. What worked for you back then is not necessarily what works for you today.
When I asked one of my regular clients, Cindy Fleming, if she would be game to work with me on post that talked about style needs of women in their 60s, she immediately and enthusiastically agreed. Cindy is no stranger to the DC political scene. Her husband, John has represented Louisiana’s 4th Congressional district since 2009. She splits her time between her DC home on Capitol Hill and Louisiana. I work with her on her daily wardrobe and also special black-tie events.
“I want tasteful, classic yet modern, and–let’s not forget–fun clothing that looks appropriate for my age. I’m not trying to look like a 25- or 35-year-old…I’ve already been there. Lived it, loved it. Today, I want to be an attractive 60-something, light-hearted woman who is tastefully dressed. My wonderfully gifted stylist guides, equips, and empowers me to do that!”
When I work with women in their 60s and older, there style needs that I commonly address.
As you age, you lose fat that cushions the balls of your feet. I often look for shoes that have comfort and support when I work with women in their 60s or older.
My favorite brands for comfort and style are available at The Shoe Hive: AGL, Aquatalia, Paul Green and Sofft. The AGL flats that Cindy is wearing are great because they are soft on the bottom, providing comfort. Plus shoes that have elastic, straps, etc. (the AGL flats have elastic around the edges) really hold feet in place. Your feet aren’t working as hard to stay in the shoe if it has straps across the top of the shoe or elastic around the edges.
I have a client who a few weeks ago talked for a solid 15 minutes about dressing her midsection during one of our first consults with her. By the end of our session, we declared (loudly) that we were going to find clothing that “respected the muffin!”
There are a couple of ways I like to style clients who are conscious of their midsection. I choose fabrics that drape instead of hug, and I also layer with pieces that “confuse” the eye drawing attention elsewhere. The two looks I put together for Cindy use both these styling methods. The drape jacket cascades and is shorter than the white tank underneath. This draws the attention up toward her face.
The amazing white tank underneath, available at Kiskadee, is a stiffer cotton fabric that skims the body instead of hugs. For the silk dress/tunic, again I selected a fabric that would skim instead of hug. I paired a long pendant necklace with both looks to elongate Cindy’s neckline and give some shape to the blousy silhouettes.
Many of my clients in this age group do not want to expose their arms. I will often look for flattering jackets, cardigans, etc. to meet this need. And, honestly, it acts as a great third piece to complete anyone’s look! I love the pop of neon in this jacket available at Kiskadee – great piece to transition to Fall as well.
And, finally, I have to give a special thank you to my beautiful, gracious client Cindy for working with us on this shoot. I could not have asked for a better model!