105838_69_lalt1Apparently eight in ten women feel they should be dressing down once they pass the age of 50. This seems such a shame because nothing is guaranteed to make you look and feel younger than a new outfit and the prospect of a night out.

Yet many women are so frightened of the ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ look that they deliberately dress in more frumpy clothes than they ever have in order to avoid it. They dress as they feel someone their age should be dressing, often in baggy clothing in dull, drab colours.

Of course, it is more than possible to dress up successfully and will do you no end of good, lifting your spirits and giving you renewed confidence. Psychologically, dressing up once in a while, or better yet, frequently, will boost your mood and increase self-esteem, which will dip if you begin to feel that you past your best.

Ironically, if you feel old and dress accordingly, you will feel and look older than your years. Apply a little make-up and wear something bold and bright and everyone will be kept guessing about your true age.

Older women naturally seem to gravitate towards duller colours yet brighter hues can lift the complexion and actually suit many women much more than black and dark navy. Similarly, many women avoid clothes that show off their figures, thinking that it is not appropriate to look feminine once you hit the big 50. However, at 50, you may well have 40 to 50 years of life ahead of you. Why not put off that dowdy wardrobe for as long as possible? Embrace the inner, voluptuous you!

Fortunately, there are plenty of celebrity role models for older women to follow. Carol Vorderman is 53 now but looks at least 10 years younger. She loves colour and is often photographed wearing a glamorous, body hugging dress or trouser suit. Mary Berry might be 78 but she could teach many women half her age a thing or two about the benefits of wearing beautiful, fresh colours.

Fiona Fullerton looked fabulous on Strictly Come Dancing this year at the age of 57 while Felicity Kendall, at 67, could never be accused of looking dowdy. If you are thinking, “Well, it is alright for them. They have the money to look good,” think again. You can buy beautiful clothes that will complement your age and figure for very reasonable prices. BonmarchĂ©, in particular, has clothes that skim curves, flatter skin tones but do not cost the earth. Remember, don’t dress down, dress up!

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