You thought it would never come. Or at least take a lot longer to get here. But it did come. And for some, fifty came and went. Now you might be on to fifty “something” and you’re doing fine, as long as you manage to forget that dreaded number. Surely nothing has changed about you. You still have the same mind, the same style preferences, the same bounce and vigor, so what’s to think about in terms of anything being “not hot for your age?”

Take a Look in Your Closet
In your closet are a mix of occasions, styles and probably even decades. You may still be holding onto those dresses, skirts and jeans that you seamlessly slid into, before babies. And there’s that little black number that you wore the night he proposed–you just know you’ll be able to get that darn zipper up, any day now. So, who cares if by the time you finally manage to get any of these things to fit (or not,) they will be way past their “time?” It will just feel so good to once again be able to know these relics of yesteryear fit, finally.

Remaining Fashionable
Let’s even say that, as fashions tend to do, some of your retro clothing eventually comes back into style. Then, by all means, if it still fits, you will be able to wear it again, right? The answer is a bit complicated, but here it is: “Yes, and No.” The thing is, there’s a really strange thing that happens, typically at some point when you begin receiving regular mail from AARP, although it’s difficult to exactly pinpoint an exact age or date. It’s kind of like, one day you just put something on, and you know it. It is too “young” for you. And the thing is, when women attempt to push this issue by continuing to wear fashions they’ve “outlived,” all they are doing is drawing attention to the fact that they are too old to be wearing whatever it is. We’ve all seen other women dressed this way, and clucking our tongues while somehow imagining that we were superior, we secretly vowed to never make THAT mistake. At least not knowingly.

The Basics
In transitioning to this new form of dress, there is always a period of grief that can be experienced. And especially when there are so many incredibly perfect fashion trends that YOU would have DIED for, when you were in high school and college. You finally witness them available in stores and boutiques everywhere, BUT. They are not for you, anymore. Remember, the reason we are not going to buy that adorable little mini-whatever is because we are not trying to look ancient, OK? Yes, it’s cute, and it will look adorable on someone…just not you. And if you are in doubt about how to determine the “no” factor in appropriate clothing options, just take along a friend when you go shopping. Your friend should be your age or a little older. Have your friend try on any particular item or outfit and check out how she looks while wearing it.

Definites – And Don’t Ask Why
You can still wear short dresses and skirts, but you’ll need some leggings to accompany anything that hits your legs above your knees. And again, those really cute trendy fashions that look great on teens–out. Shorts should cut somewhere around the knee, unless they are for athletic purposes, and then, it’s best to go with the longer, more fitting ones of stretchy fabric. Stay away from plunging necklines and try to avoid showing much (if any) cleavage. In other words, extend the length at the bottom and at the top – nothing too tight or anything that shows the midsection.

You can still act as young as you feel. And you’ll look better while doing it.