Fashion Forward – Find Your Style

One thing about being 40 is that you get to do be the person you wanted to be when you were 20 but didn’t feel comfortable being. This story from a 40-year old woman who shifted from dressing a part to being true to herself. Her message to 20-year olds: “Even with something as superficial as fashion, don’t be afraid to trust your instincts”.

“Just lately I’ve been dressing like a kid. I wore this concert t-shirt to Pilates today and I’m not even a Bon Jovi fan but I love these clothes. I love the hooded sweatshirts. I bought a pair of jeans shorts. They were $200 jeans shorts and wore them with thigh high boots, sweater tights and a sweater. I thought I looked great! I can wear this. There’s some model in Elle magazine wearing this and I made it my own. A friend of mine said “What the h*** are you wearing? Did you get those at Forever 21? You can’t wear that out.” But I said, “forget that, I’m wearing this. I own this.” I’m so not going to let my age define what I wear because it’s not really me if I wear something conservative. Granted, they are Ann Demeulemeester black leather boots but they are still black leather combat boots. And I want them!”

In the earlier years I might have dressed this way because I wanted to look cool to other people and now I’m doing it because I want to do it. Now it’s part of who I am. It’s me. I miss it. I like it. It’s a good way to say I’m still this person.

So I’d say trust your instincts even with things that are superficial like clothing. I feel like Laura Croft, Tomb Raider today. I feel strong. I want to kick some ass. I feel like I want to dress like that today. What do I have that makes me look like that? And if I’m out with my girlfriends and they’re say, “You look dorky in that.” I’m say, ‘So what? I feel great.’  I think I didn’t trust my instincts enough in my twenties. Not many people did…but what’s the worst that can happen? You’re friends might think it’s funny. Who cares?”  – 40-something, Los Angeles

By your 40s, especially if you take care of yourself, you know what makes you feel good. You’re not dressing to look a part that you’re not, you’re dressing how you feel and you own it. I’m not saying that everyone should go out and dress like Laura Croft Tomb Raider. Find you’re thing. What’s good is that you can try on different roles in your 20s. What’s even better is that one day it’s not a role …its you.

And it’s a powerful feeling. Point is, don’t be afraid of a future of frumpy fashion. The 40s are fun. And number two. Get inspiration from the fashion world and friends, explore what feels right on you and develop your own style. Own it and be it.

Refinery29 recently did a piece on cool 40 year old women that live this philosophy. Here’s a few highlights of what they said …or read the whole article at

Brooke Williams, Artist

“Hopefully by the time you are 40, you know what you are all about and can dress in a manner that is true to yourself. The only mistake you can make is to try and be something that you’re not. Unless it’s Halloween.”

Yvette Quiazon, Global Ethnographer, founder whY-Q Inc., a global insights, marketing and brand consultancy.

“I never let go of anything I loved since I was a 17-year-old teenager, like fashion magazines, staying up all night, laughing, martinis, traveling, running, and learning. I have completely rejected the idea that I need to ever give up my youthful mindset. I think at any age you need to work with what you have. I also think you can work on what you have. This means staying healthy and taking good care of yourself inside and out. I have seen plenty of 20-year-old women looking atrocious in a mini-skirt and plenty of 60-year-old women looking chic and fabulous in a mini-skirt. There somehow seems to be age dressing rules, but instead I think there should be three body-dressing rules for women of all ages. Rule one: Use a good mirror. Rule two: Have common sense. Rule three: If you don’t feel good in it, you won’t look good.”

Magda Berliner, fashion designer

“Some rules apply to body type for sure. (I’ll never stop wearing shorts! Though I’d probably wear them with tights as I age and my legs don’t cut the mustard! I’m inspired ??by women who carry themselves with confidence and good posture; regardless of their age. I think I’m a bit of an example that you can exercise self-expression, have fun, and still look appropriate.”

Christene Barberich, Editor-in-Chief of

“When I was 19 in college, I felt like a 40-year-old woman was in there messing with my shopping and dressing radar. I know there are a lot of other women out there who can relate to this, but I somehow feel like I grew into myself…this time in my life is really, really special. It’s a lot more interesting than my 20s ever were.” ??It’s definitely all about knowing who you are on the inside and dressing to complement that. You have to wear what you feel amazing in, whether that’s a pair of jeans or a crazy Lanvin gown. That’s what radiates real beauty…embracing what you love about yourself and what you love wearing.”

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