Sunday, 11 August 2013

A Woman's Prerogative?

Last year I declared that "cute" wasn't a good look for the over 60s and maybe it was time for me to grow up. This is the original post: is cute a good look for over 60s?. However I'm a woman, and we women are allowed to change our minds, aren't we? Over the last 12 months I have been looking at Dressing Your Truth (DYT) and, according to their guidelines, I am a type one. Guess what? Type ones are described as bright, animated and cute!

So was I right in saying that cute wasn't a good look for over 60s? I think it's probably a matter of how much cuteness we over 60s should allow ourselves. I had already thrown out some t-shirts with really cute pictures on them, and clothes that had far too many frills, which I think was the right decision. There is a thin line between cute and juvenile, especially for the more mature woman!

Pre DYT outfit
I had discarded black and brightly coloured tops as well, which I think was also a wise decision. These colours wore me rather than the other way round and black in particular is too harsh for most women of a certain age. If you look at the photo above I look a bit washed out, even though I was wearing make-up, whereas I think I look far better in the following photos where I am wearing brighter colours.

 

Many of my trousers and skirts stayed, however they are mainly neutral colours such as the navy, stone and brown trousers in the photos above. In these photos I am wearing DYT colours - the three tops are all purchases from the DYT type one store - but that is only part of the story. What I like about type one colours is that they are tints, i.e. pure colours with white in them, which are flattering against more mature skins. All of these tops are very light to wear, which is a feature that has always influenced me when choosing new clothes. In the three outfits I am wearing light, colourful accessories, which is very much a type one trait too.

With DYT, unlike some seasonal colour analysis systems, clothes don't have to exactly match your colour card, so long as they are in harmony with it and "pop".  If I go shopping without my colour card, but I am wearing a top or scarf that I know is the right colour, all I need to do is check whether my new purchase goes with what I'm wearing.

The shapes for type one are circles, stars and hearts, so design lines should reflect this e.g. rounded jacket bottoms, round or v-necklines. Pushed up sleeves and skirt lines that flare are also good looks for us.

Chunky textures are out - clothes should feel crisp and have a light weave. Light to medium weight fabrics are the best choice, with fabrics that look crisp and feel light and fresh on the body. The best patterns are animated with small and/or medium shapes and light, upward movement in the designs. A lot of these features work well for me as a petite size.

I've said it before - but it's worth repeating - that too many of these colour and style systems are overly prescriptive and you do have to use your own intuition and a bit of common sense. When I've looked on-line at the DYT store, there have been many items there that didn't appeal (either the colour wasn't one of my best colours or the style was a bit too fussy for me) but equally there have been many items that I have loved.

One type one tip that I have deliberately avoided though is wearing a flower in my hair. The look of horror on my daughter's face when I suggested that I might try one for the recent family wedding was enough to reassure me that this idea was best forgotten! I wore the flower on the lapel of my jacket instead, so everyone was happy.





12 comments:

  1. I find your list interesting. To my mind, a star and a circle are opposites, so that if your shape should be circles, then stars are sharp, jagged, hard edged. So they don't go together, at least to me.

    I find tinted colors--adding white--is too bright for me now in my 50s. Wore something like that today and said, hmm, time for this to go.

    In your photos where you are wearing the bright colors, my eye is drawn to the colors. Not sure if it would be that way for anyone wearing those colors, though.

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  2. I agree that shapes and circles worn together would jar, however I think the idea is to wear one or the other. I like round necklines (circles) but I also go for v-necklines too (stars) and think that I suit both styles.

    Interesting what you mention about the colours, as I've had several compliments when wearing those tops. Next time I must check on exactly what people say! In reality those tops aren't quite so bright, so maybe it's the flash on my camera?!

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  3. Good point about listening. I love those colors. I used to wear some of them but am learning how jarring they are on me. But I still love them--so bright and sunny. I know what you're saying about stars and circles not being used together but...if one suits you, the other, theoretically (and according to not only Imogen but Kibbe and others) the other would not. My shape/color/etc are soft circles, and my personality is stars. But dressing with sharp edges, as I have done all my life, makes me look very severe and masculine. Dressing to fit my physical traits really makes me look approachable, even though my personality is still direct. Maybe blunt nowadays more than sharp. I could have used some softening over my career!

    As for the cute question. To me, cute carries a connotation of adorable but not something you take seriously. At our age (and really, anyone over the age of 16), should we think of ourselves as "cute" and if so, how do we reconcile that with "a force to be reckoned with," "competent," etc.

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  4. DYT is not about dressing to your personality, it's about dressing to your energy and movement no matter your age. I am 33 and I love the cute look! It fits my energy and the creator of DYT points out that if you are dressing to your energy you will be taken more seriously than if you weren't dressing to your energy and trying to look like "a force to be reckoned with" or "competent". When I wear more type 4 clothing (normally viewed as professional and more "competent") I look like I'm trying too hard. I look fat and older. I've found with DYT that I can still wear the type 1 colors and look professional. There is an entire video about how to dress professionally without looking too "little girl". That being said, I still do cute pictures on my t-shirts. And, yes, at 33 I will still do pigtail braids when my hair is long enough. On me, it works! On a type 4 it would look silly.

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  5. DYT is not about dressing to your personality, it's about dressing to your energy and movement no matter your age. I am 33 and I love the cute look! It fits my energy and the creator of DYT points out that if you are dressing to your energy you will be taken more seriously than if you weren't dressing to your energy and trying to look like "a force to be reckoned with" or "competent". When I wear more type 4 clothing (normally viewed as professional and more "competent") I look like I'm trying too hard. I look fat and older. I've found with DYT that I can still wear the type 1 colors and look professional. There is an entire video about how to dress professionally without looking too "little girl". That being said, I still do cute pictures on my t-shirts. And, yes, at 33 I will still do pigtail braids when my hair is long enough. On me, it works! On a type 4 it would look silly.

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    1. Jessi, at your age I definitely think you should look cute and not worry about it! I am almost twice your age, so I need to think a bit more carefully about what I wear. For people who don't know about DYT: type ones are bright and animated (so cute isn't the only description!); type twos are subtle and soft; type threes are rich and dynamic; type fours are bold and striking.

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  6. Hi Sue, the turquoise looks really nice on you, very flattering and much nicer than the darker photo above. And, I have to say I'm with your daughter on the flower thing.

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    1. Hi Jacqui Turquoise is one of my favourite colours, plus it is a flattering colour for many people and especially for over 60s! The flower thing was said slightly tongue in cheek, however most hats don't suit me so - if I had been younger - I might have worn it in my hair instead of my lapel!

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  7. Sue, you really do look fabulous in those colors! I believe that style is more a function of personality and energy than age, anyway.

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    1. Merci, une femme! Age is only a number and, as you say, it's better to dress to suit your personality and energy, no matter how old you are.

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  8. Instead of cute, what about gamine for a term? Cute has so many connotations of someone else taking away our accomplishments and reducing us to a caricature. Cute is diminutive (a cute little old lady/man or kid). Cute=boyish for a younger man. Do we call him cute at age 50?

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    1. Robin, I like the idea of gamine! It makes me think of Audrey Hepburn (one of my style icons) or perhaps Michelle Williams and Emma Watson.

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