Last week I received an email from a young college student very frustrated with the fashion industry. She took her grandmother clothes shopping only to return mad and confused. She believes the fashion industry designs for the young, trendy woman, and no one else. Now, this precious granddaughter has started a crusade to open the eyes of the fashion world to the over 50 woman and she is seeking support. However, she believes the problem is with the designs and the clothing.
I certainly applaud her for taking action and caring, but think there is a different way to go about this. Of course, the majority of those in fashion cater to the young, thin woman. But, I think the clothes for the age 50 and beyond woman exist. The clothes are there, the problem is that many women cannot envision how they want to look later in life. They go shopping without a plan which often results in dissatisfaction.
Now, many of the top companies in fashion and beauty have begun to see they need to include the Baby Boomers in their advertising. We currently find all types of companies adding women such as Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Joni Mitchell, Helen Mirren, and older models to their marketing plans. The companies that realize where the discretionary income primarily lies will profit from it. But what women really need is guidance…not more clothes on the racks designated for a particular age group.
Here are a few tips I recommend before shopping when you are in your 50s on up to 100s. Spend time on these areas for guidance before you leave the house:
1. What part of your lifestyle has sent you to the mall? Are you shopping for work, retirement, vacation, work at home, volunteer work, lunches, dates, etc.?
2. What messages do you want to send with your clothing? Do you want to be creative, sexy, classic, strong, comfortable, confident, joyful, and healthy? Write down at least five adjectives you want to portray with your clothing selections.
3. Know your body type:
Diamond Shape: Your shoulders and/or bust are larger than your hips
Hourglass Shape: Your shoulders and hips are about the same size and you have a very defined waist
Pear Shape: Your hips are wider than your shoulders
Rectangle Shape: Your shoulders, bust, and hips are similar in size and your waistline is undefined. A variation of this shape is the OVAL, where the waist is slightly larger than the other measurements.*
With just a little research, you can find ways to accent your positives and dress to look amazing no matter your size. There are excellent offerings in all sizes now available.
4. Inventory what is currently in your closet and think of ways to build on that wardrobe. No matter your budget, you can find clothing which fits your needs…and your body…it just takes pre-planning.
5. Find pictures on Pinterest or in magazines which represent the style you would like to own. Take those with you for shopping inspiration. Also, know the retailers which carry the styles you are looking for and in the budget range needed.
6. I say this often…TRY EVERYTHING ON! Take time to spend time in the dressing rooms.
I really do think with proper planning, open minds, and research, anyone can find clothing to fit where they are in life right now…no matter the size, age, or budget. The clothes are there. Perhaps a day of shopping should begin with breakfast to discuss exactly what the shopper is looking for and a plan including the above suggestions. Without that discussion, disappointment is inevitable.
Any thoughts? When shopping fails…is it the clothes offered or the mindset of the shopper?
Please join in today’s conversation in The Joy Boutique! I cannot wait to see those of you attending BAM this weekend in Nashville…looks like it will still be cold, ladies. Plan accordingly! And make sure you introduce yourself …I want to give everyone a hug!
Have a warm, wonderful week!
- Body Shape information was gathered from Your Personal Proportionality by Teresa McCarthy, AICI FLC in Inspired Design.