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Style Advice from Carson Kressley


Photo credit: Rainer Hosch

Carson Kressley is in the confidence business. Carson is the star of How to Look Good Naked, a really fun makeover show. I was given the opportunity to interview him so he could share secrets and tips on how all women can feel confident in their clothes every day.  From undergarments to trendy, seasonal pieces, Carson helps women own their look from head to toe.

He endorses whatever helps you get dressed and feel great about yourself. When I asked for advice for women in midlife, Carson says fifty is the new thirty when it comes to style.

Don’t worry about “dressing for your age.” It’s more important to dress for your personality than for some random calendar fact. Forget about the old rules you were told about style for women in midlife from when your mom was our age, and dress for you. Really have fun with fashion!

It’s always the right time in life to wear some color, show some skin, and embrace fashion. Don’t stress out about what to wear. Shopping and getting dressed should be fun. Own it!

Gain Confidence by Managing Your Perceived Flaws

Fashion is about gaining the confidence to make you feel like you can take over the world. Carson says, “No rules are my rules. Do what feels right and looks right for you.”

When you work at home, dress for yourself, but when you dress more professionally in your home office you feel more confident and can improve your work performance. I told Carson my kids say there are two different Annes. Conference Anne wears a dress, cute shoes and makeup. Home Office Anne wears yoga pants and a Star Wars t-shirt. Carson confided that he was also wearing an R2-D2 shirt right then, but since it was a phone interview, I doubt it. It certainly made me feel better though!

Carson says it’s worth the five minutes it takes to do a quick hair style, put on a little makeup, and wear something a step up from what you slept in. It affects how you feel about yourself, and that affects your work. In general, now is the time to wear quality pieces like a Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress, or any pieces from Ralph Lauren, Tory Burch. Make sure to always choose to be sophisticated. It feels better, and you deserve it.

Fall dressing trends

Start with amazing undergarments. Foundation garments are key to everything else you layer on. Every season update your bras. Get a bra fitting at least once a year. Your sizing can vary, and most women are wearing the wrong size bra anyway.

As a spokesperson for new Silhouette Active Fit briefs from Depend, Carson encourages women to go with anything that makes them feel better and look more confident. 51 million American women live with some bladder leakage. Most likely this means you and a lot of women you know. Thanks to the team at Depend for setting up my opportunity to interview Carson. No compensation was received in exchange for this article.

Carson Kressley’s Style Advice for Women Over 40

Take care of you!

I asked Carson for style advice specifically for women in our demographic. He says self-care is the place to start for style.

Twice a year at the season change for Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter, take care of business. Update your hairstyle, get your teeth cleaned, have a well-woman visit with your doctor, update your look by collecting pictures (I use a private Pinterest board for this), talk to a stylist at a good department store, and update you color cosmetics.

If you are still wearing a foundation color from years ago, or your favorite lip color you stockpiled when it was discontinued, go to the makeup counter of any nice department store, or to Sephora or Ulta, and get a makeover!

What’s Coming for Fall Style 2015

Every season brings new fashion (or worse,–fashion we wore in college) that might not work for midlife women. Luckily, Carson says Fall 2015 fashion trends have a lot to offer us.

This fall is a return to maximalism. Look for jackets below the hip, longer vests and duster-length toppers, longer hemlines on dresses and skirts, fringe skirts, carwash skirts, maxi skirts. 80s return with a lot of color and pattern. 70s colors like burgundy, cobalt blue, mustard yellow will be hot. Think Super foxy, like the sexy mom in the movie The Ice Storm.

Style Advice for Women Over 40 and 50

Carson says own your personal style. Look for pieces of quality that will last, but update those classic pieces with fun, less-expensive accessories each season. You can never go “too young” with fun shoes or costume jewelry that’s on trend.

Have fun with color. Maybe do a more conservative silhouette, but jazz it up with colors you love that are flattering to your hair and skin. Risk that hot fuschia or that gorgeous mustard yellow, if it suits you and makes you happy.

Carson’s final advice is “live in the now!” Do this by embracing the body that you have now. Yes, it’s not the body you had at 21, but you probably know what’s going on by now. Dress for you, and if it makes you happy and confident, wear it!

Anne Parris

Anne Parris is a managing partner Midlife Boulevard. Her personal blog, Not A Supermom, is your typical mommy blog that her kids say used to be funnier. Anne has a business degree and a dusty résumé from a top accounting firm and a Fortune 500 company, which she reminds herself of every time she is washing underpants. She lives with her family in Virginia and blogs mostly to support her coffee habit.