Style icons Keaton, Mirren provide fashion inspiration

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AP File Photo

Actress Helen Mirren, 66, often wears neutrals like this champagne-colored dress.

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AP File Photo

Some staples of actress Diane Keaton's wardrobe include funky glasses and a white button-down shirt. She is 66.

It’s almost cliché at this point to talk about how difficult it is for a mature woman to find fashionable clothing.

When my mother, who’s in her late 50s, and I go shopping, she looks for blouses and nearly always walks out of the store empty-handed. For women in their 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond, shopping trips can become dreaded endeavors and instead, these seasoned women hunt through their closets and end up grabbing the same sweater they wore to their daughter’s junior high bake sale.

Part of the problem in mature women’s fashion is to blame on the stores that carry ill-fitting, age-inappropriate clothing. But on the consumer’s end, be sure not to fall into the trap of trying to look like a younger version of yourself.

The most elegant and young-looking woman in Hollywood isn’t Joan Rivers, who is, at this point, more plastic than flesh. No, it’s the woman who has embraced her age and ushered it in with grace. It’s women like Diane Keaton or Helen Mirren, both 66. These ladies showcase that it’s not about looking young; it’s about looking good. For this special edition of Go!, we’ll look at Keaton and Mirren’s styles to determine how to dress as a senior woman.

Neutrals

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Diane Keaton in an actual color. She’s always looking absolutely amazing in either in a stunning black dress or a white button up shirt. Mirren, too, is often found in champagnes and muted silvers. Neutral colors are perfect for mature women, because they proclaim a certain understated confidence, a undeniable elegance that younger women just can’t pull off. The best thing a woman can wear is a crisp, white button-up shirt.

Funky glasses

Eclectic eyeglasses juxtaposed against an elegant ensemble make for a sophisticated yet youthful look. Keaton switches between round, silver wire-framed glasses and thick, square plastic-framed glasses. This simple change in accessories can make a big impact in your appearance.

If you don’t know already, Wink, 806 Mass., is Lawrence’s funky eyeglass haven.

Tailoring/fit

I’ve stressed this point in almost every column I’ve written about women who are older than 20. For mature women, fit is the most important aspect to consider when purchasing clothes. You’ll save money and stretch your wardrobe by investing in a tailor to fix clothes that don’t quite fit.

Sensible haircut

Gone are the days of throwing your mane back in a messy bun or letting it fall down over your shoulders. However, it’s still possible to have a fun and beautiful haircut.

Hairstyles for women over 60 should follow these three simple rules:

  • If your hair is thin, cut it to your shoulders or above.
  • Brighten it to a color lighter than it was in your 20s and 30s.
  • Don’t load it down with hairspray. The less stiff, the better.

— Ali Edwards can be reached at go@ljworld.com.

Comments

verity 9 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for this---it's good advice.

Now can you tell us where we can buy age appropriate clothes? Seems like most stores either carry clothes for the below thirty set or things that are really frumpy and I wouldn't even wear when no one will see me.

Ali Edwards 9 years, 11 months ago

Off the top of my head, I would suggest these stores for mature women's fashion:

Nomads (725 Massachusetts): While a young woman owns the shop and it boasts the idea of youthful "travel wear," I think one could find some really comfortable and stylish gems in here.

Saffee's (911 Massachusetts): While Saffee's touts itself as a store for middle-aged women, I think an older woman could find some really great items in here! It's all about mixing and matching to find outfits that work for you specifically. If you like the outfit, it fits, it doesn't show cleavage or too much leg, and it's not neon in color, then it's age appropriate.

Spectator's (710 Massachusetts): I once stumbled into Spectator's one Saturday morning only to find a group of mature women standing around drinking mimosas! Even if Spectator's doesn't have age-appropriate clothing, I'd show up just for the drinks. (but I promise they have some great items!)

Weaver's (901 Massachusetts): And, of course, Weaver's, which has been in Lawrence since 1857. There's always great clothing options for older women in this store.

Hope this helps!

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