Dress to Impress: Professional Wear for Women of a ‘Certain Age’
by ATFDC Contributor Emily Cirillo
I wrote a piece earlier about how to dress for an interview. As a follow up, and thanks to a good suggestion, I’ve decided to write a Dos and Don’ts list of how to dress professionally for women of a ‘certain age’. It’s pretty well known that what someone wears in their twenties won’t look quite as appropriate if they wore them in their forties or fifties. But where should women draw the line? Here’s a quick list of Dos and Don’ts for dressing to impress for older women.
• Invest in a good-fitting business suit: A business suit means you mean business. A business suit looks better on older women because they are more comfortable with their professional life and it doesn’t look like they are trying too hard. A business suit shows maturity, something that younger people seeking jobs may not have.
• Wear Richer Colors: Darker colors looks great on mature women. They project professionalism, seriousness and commitment. Also richer colors just look better on older women. It’s a win-win. A suggested color: red. Red is a power color. A rich shade of red is stylish and professional at the same time.
• Wear Neutral tones: Neutral tones never really go out of style. There will always be the little black dress, the nude flats, etc. Lighter colors look better in warmer climates (and we all know how hot it can get down in the district). For hotter days, when the younger professionals are wearing their pastels, wear a solid neutral tone. It looks professional and fits your age.
• Wear brights or pastels: Neither brights nor pastels project a professional image, especially for older women. Wearing clothes too bright might come off as trying too hard to look younger. Revel in your maturity. The more mature you come off to an employer, the more impressed they will be.
• Wear designer when department can do: This can really go in the Dos section too, but don’t buy designer brands when you can buy from your local mall. The big three stores to go to for good professional clothes (that won’t cost you a fortune) are J. Crew, Banana Republic and The Limited. All three stores have good quality clothes that look designer but cost less.
$600 - boutique1.com
$1,495 - net-a-porter.com
$280 - neimanmarcus.com
$90 - stevemadden.com
$25 - lancome-usa.com
$90 - oasis-stores.com
£23 - mango.com
£7.99 - hm.com
$130 - topshop.com
£35 - uniqlo.com
$595 - rupertsanderson.com
$795 - net-a-porter.com
€1.650 - colette.fr
$195 - matthewwilliamson.com