Incorporating hot fashion trends in your golden years doesn't have to mean dying the ends of your hair pink and accompanying your granddaughter to American Apparel. While there are certainly trends that simply don't translate to all age groups, most do. It's just a matter of tweaking them until they make sense for a fashion-forward mature woman.
Celebrities such as Jane Fonda (74), Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour (62) and fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg (65) all illustrate how senior women can keep with fashion trends just as well as the 20-somethings.
Fonda, for instance, stole the spotlight on the red carpet at this year's Cannes International Film Festival. Donning gowns with daring cutouts, black and white geometric designs, and one smothered in sequins, she proved show-stopping style doesn't age-discriminate. Sure, most her dresses had a long sleeve or a nude overlay to cover her arms, but without those features she would've been accused of "trying to look too young."
It's a fine line, but you can balance it with a few easy-to-follow tips.
According to Debbi Miles, marketing director at Saks Fifth Avenue, there are three trends making waves that speak well to senior women. The color white is hot for summer, and a minimalistic interpretation can work well for women older than 60. Bangles are still big, and stacking them up a wrist is a simple way to update a classic ensemble. But, prints are probably the surest way to instantly take your closet into summer 2012.
"Ethnic, paisley and floral prints are very hot right now," Miles says. "Subtle and small abstract prints are very suitable and age-appropriate."
Maxi skirts aren't going anywhere. They have a nice whimsy for summer and work for any age group. Pair one with a fitted blazer for a blend of casual and conservative, a great way to make a young-seeming trend function for older age groups.
Sporty looks have also taken a much more sophisticated tone in recent seasons. These pieces, although understated in nature, can make for comfortable options that are a step above casual.
And, again, a commitment to staying current should by no means have you frequenting stores blasting Katy Perry music. Miles would point you in the direction of brands such as Eileen Fisher, Lafayette, Diane von Furstenberg and St. John, none of which are geared toward teenagers.
She also advises staying away from certain youth-driven trends such as skinny jeans in electric blue, some of the color-blocking looks and neon. But she might find a loophole for neon. "If you must" wear it, she recommends doing so in small doses.
"It should be worn as a pop of color in a scarf, a chunky bangle or any accessory, for that matter," she says. "You could substitute a bright color as an alternate to neon and still be very much in fashion."
Contact Xazmin Garza at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0477. Follow her on Twitter @startswithanx.