What does dressing attractively have to do with style and a changing body when you’ve hit 55+?

As we continue our series on the 4 A’s of Dress, the third A is Attractive. What does it mean to dress attractively? Simply it means: Looking at you is a pleasant experience, nothing about your appearance is disturbing.* As we age, we may not be able to control what the aging process does to our bodies, but we can learn how to dress attractively. How do you do that? By following the definition as outlined below of what it means to dress attractively.

One of my 5 tips to Look and Feel Great is to audition your clothes. While using the criteria below, stand in front of a mirror while you evaluate your appearance. Did you find your mirror reflection to be a pleasant experience? If you find there is something about your appearance that is not pleasant, you have a chance to change it before others see you. When you are in the privacy of your own space, you still have time to fix your outfit. On several occasions, I haven’t followed my advice. There was a time in an exercise class when I learned that it wasn’t a good time to discover that your clothes are on backward or are inside out. Yes, I had a wardrobe malfunction! I had my yoga pants on backward. After some quick thinking, I decided that there wasn’t much I could do about the situation except to follow my advice in the future. So, I acted like they were on the right way and hoped that no one noticed.  Luckily, they didn’t or if they did, they didn’t say anything.

Dressing attractively depends on your clothes:

  • being clean and unrumpled
  • are in quality condition, they don’t need repair
  • fit your body
  • are in proportion to your body
  • are in balance with one another
  • bringing attention to the face
  • are in harmony with one another (all elements of your clothing appear to belong together)

When your clothes are not taken care of and you still wear them, that sends a message to others. Those messages may not be ones you wish to send. One possible message is you are not approachable.  Who wants to look at someone with clothes that are dirty or have stains and rips?

It is always a good idea to look at your clothes after you have worn them. Evaluate how the clothes fit you and if any repairs or alterations are needed. If you sew, you can fix the clothes or you have time to send them to be repaired or altered before you wear them again.  When you want to wear them, your clothes will be ready for you. Your clothes should serve you well. After all, they are a resource, you’ve invested in.  

An example of clothes that don’t fit, are out of proportion and balance.

The rest of the items on our definition checklist can be accomplished by looking in a mirror. Although a considerable amount of our clothing may have spandex or elastic, just because it stretches to go around your body doesn’t mean that it fits. Read about the ease amounts that are required in clothing. Since we come in different shapes and sizes, there is only a very slight chance what fits another person will fit you. Ready to wear really means ready to be altered.

Your reflection will tell you whether your clothes are in proportion, in balance, whether your outfit brings attention to your face, and if all elements of your clothing are in harmony. Don’t forget your mask!  Does it coordinate with what you are wearing? If you are unsure about your appearance, you can ask a trusted friend or an image consultant such as myself for feedback.

Here’s to creating an attractive appearance,


*Judith Rasband, Conselle Institute