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“Dressing after 40” edition.

I have one friend in my BFF Circle with whom I can talk about all things aging. I won’t out her here. But I couldn’t live without her. Her latest gift? Forwarding this story by Cheryl Wischhover for Racked. Cheryl (may I call you Cheryl?) writes about the fashion chasm on the show Younger, where a 40-something disguises herself as a 20-something to get a cool publishing house job, and relates it to her own fashion struggle having switched careers from RN to internet makeup writing. I love you, Cheryl Wischhover. As a 46 y/o brander and writer whose work is largely online and whose CEO clients are sometimes in their 20s + 30s, I feel your pain. And I have a few answers. (Ish.) Or at least I can commiserate.

  1. Ripped jeans. Cheryl says she used to wear ripped jeans but now chides herself that “no one needs to see your knees.” Ok, I like ripped jeans. They make everything you pair them with less matronly. (And with jeans, you never deal with skirt lengths.) But no tight, ripped, Khloe Kardashian style, thigh-sausage making ripped jeans. Just a ripped boyfriend, which looks less try-hard (these are the ones I wear constantly). I also have a few jeans that I think are flattering but too exposed. So I had the rips sewn up. This leaves them looking interesting and distressed without any actual holes.
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2. Kitten heels. Kitten heels are everything. The uniform of my 30s was DVF dresses and high heels. Today it’s denim and kitten heels. (Thanks for the inspo, Emmanuelle Alt.) Any time a pump looks good, a kitten looks just as good and doesn’t hurt. Teetering is not sexy. There are 2 brands that make a good kitten today: M.Gemi and Saint Laurent.

3. Long blazers. Why does a long blazer suddenly make everything right? I don’t know, but it does. This is the right length. If you have something kind of revealing (read: a little slutty) on top, this makes it less try-hard. If you want denim to look grown up, or work-appropriate, this does it.

4. Long sleeveless blazers. The only problem with blazers is sometimes it’s hot. Damn it. That’s why I have this and other iterations on the theme. Also great with a striped T underneath.

5. Good T-shirts. You need something under the blazer. Something you don’t have to dry clean. (Denim, kitten heel, long blazer + T shirt = new uniform!)

6. Vaguely see-through T-shirts. The ones I loved were Madewell, and they are no more. So I’m on the lookout. But you need these for date night. No cleave, no leg. But a vaguely transparent T with a plain black bra is good for date night. I won’t expand on this. No one wants that.

7. Less makeup. As you get older, less makeup looks better. Powdery anything is aging. Creamy, creamy, creamy! And shimmer! And go, just leave the house! See, Emmanuelle Alt, above, and French women everywhere. Eyeliner is good on date night.

8. More sunglasses. Sunglasses just make you feel glamorous. And they help keep your eyes from wrinkling (more). I rotate through different pairs for different moods. But I do keep coming back to theseand these.

9. No hairdos. Ok, people, Miriam Shor, who plays the matronly looking boss on Younger, is so hot IRL. Look. The helmet hair on the show is seriously aging. Honestly, I barely comb my hair. Less is more. Just run out the door.

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10. Statement jewelry. It’s another way they age Miriam on the show. But I do love statement jewelry! What I think makes it aging is when you do it with tailored clothes, like 3+ inch pumps and pencil skirts. With denim, I think it says — I know who I am. (And at this point, the fun part is, we do.)

Just DON’T get me started on shorts. Just don’t.

Rachel Solomon