I grew up in the shadow (within a few miles, that is) of the famous costume/fashion designer Edith Head. I only wish I could have worked under her, if only for free during the summer months. I did have a chance once, and visited her studio. I remember her being interviewed on TV and how direct and funny she was.
My daughter is looking for wedding dress ideas. She led me to a dress online, and I did research only to discover it was an Edith Head creation. So I was sucked into the vortex of the internet, after re-discovering Edith Head all over again and still revere her! If you have a few minutes, go to YouTube, just put in her name and you will have a wonderful “fashion history” time!
Edith had wonderful advice about fashion, and since I am now over 35 (interesting she selected the magic age of 35 for learning to grow old gracefully) I want to share a few of her rules for dressing to appear younger!
How to succeed in looking younger
Good health and a happy spirit are the greatest contributors to appearing youthful. But so too is dressing adroitly.
Maturity is a time for simplification rather than flamboyance. Ruffles, sequins, bold prints, too-high heels, plunging décolletages, tight trousers and bikinis should be banished by those of us who have reached what I prefer to call the ‘interesting age’.
A far handier tool, once you’ve turned 35, is a truthful appraisal of your assets and liabilities. Here is a wonderful take on Edith, in a stage presentation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljNqgxHjvn0&feature=related where she illustrates how to objectively do your own appraisal.
Let’s start at the top
- If you sometimes think that your neck is getting shorter with the years, the chances are it’s because your chin is getting bigger. This is a signal to keep away from turtlenecks, which have a tendency to make you look as though you have no neck at all. V-necks, soft cowls and stand-away collars make necks look longer, chins smaller and frame the face without focusing attention on the neck. Matinée-length necklaces and pendants, for the same reason, are far better than base-of-the-neck jewelry.
- Moving down to your bust-line: as the years roll on, this may lack the firmness of yesterday, but with today’s ingenious shape-maker bras, there’s no reason to have anyone realize it.
- No matter how many years a woman drops from her age verbally, her elbows and upper arms can give her away visually. If, like many women past 35 (and most past 40), you are armed with sagging muscles or have elbows with ‘elephant’ skin, cover them. A tulle stole will do as much for your arms as a soft-focus camera does for some movie stars’ faces.
- Few women who had 25-inch waistlines in girlhood still boast the same measurements in their later years. Good foundation garments can help smooth out bulges, and the big “don’ts” are obvious: don’t wear wide belts, tied sashes or blouses that terminate at the waist.
- Skirts with hemline interest – pleats, ruffles or flounces – should be worn only by those with pretty legs; and even the most beautiful legs – Marlene Dietrich’s, for instance – look better when the kneecap is covered.
- Many women have foot troubles as they grow older, so take a good look at your feet to determine whether they add or subtract from your age image. If they are in the minus column, for Hermès’ sake don’t wear open-strapped sandals. Similarly, a footsore middle-aged female tottering around on high spike heels is a sad sight, and the way her feet feel invariably shows up in the sad-sack expression on her face. Far better to opt for smart, fashionable pumps, which are ageless.
- Colour plays a very important part in painting a younger picture of you. Soft-focus shades are kindest to mature complexions. Vivid oranges, electric blues and sharp greens are trying for all but the young.
- Warm beiges with a pink rather than yellow base are flattering to most skins.
- Neglect will not ravage a teenager’s beauty, but a ‘who cares’ attitude to fingernails, toenails and depilatories in middle age is dangerous.
- A shorter haircut gives an uplifting effect to the face. Soft wisps of a fringe will conceal some forehead creases. Deftly applied make-up and enough sleep can do wonders for little telltale lines.
- If your liabilities seem overwhelming, remember this: in all my dressing the world’s most glamorous women, I have yet to meet one who is physically flawless. Most beauties that you think are perfect have defects, but they have learnt how to accentuate the positive and camouflage the negative.
- You can’t change the size of your feet, the shape of your legs, the colour of your eyes or the texture of your hair.
But with a successful wardrobe, you can change the way you look as easily as an actress does each time she plays a new role.
- But remember, too, that wearing the wrong clothes will give your age away faster than your best girlfriend.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-1159633/Edith-Head-Lessons-old-school-glamour.html#ixzz1LPgcJEg0