I’m Older, Saggier, Gone Gray – Now What?
You wanted a prettier picture, didn’t you? But prettier pictures aren’t true reflections of reality, and we are just going to feel, and look, more frumpy until we take that reality and turn it to our advantage.
OK, that sounds pretty dismal, doesn’t it? The reality is that though aging isn’t what it used to be, it still presents challenges. (Let’s be honest here).
If you are like me, and find that aging is sometimes much more awkward than graceful, but you are ready to tune things up and refurbish your chassis a bit…. this is the toolkit for you.
While some of the most helpful tools and tips for anti-aging are included here, reader tips are quite welcome (actually if you could see me I am begging with pleading eyes). Please share any tips that you have found to help the rest of us maintain health, preserve beauty, reconstitute our dreams, or whatever is in YOUR toolkit…
I am no longer young and slim, so what do I wear now?
It doesn’t matter if the only part of that statement is that you are no longer young. No, I take that back… you are actually a step ahead if you had to deal with a curvier, heavier body to clothe, because you know that there are clothes that make you look better and feel more comfortable and those that are a crime to wear. You know the clothes I’m talking about, the ones they sell to us, every season, which some of us ( not naming names) buy …every season… because we haven’t learned our lesson yet.
But like some other parts of the toolkit, this one has a few universals, too. Like posture. Good posture gets rid of lots of rolls that you thought you had, but were just re-situated flesh. More flesh just makes that more obvious. Besides, you feel better and your frame operates better when you have good posture.
Good posture is one of those things that depends on the strength of your muscles, especially your abdominal muscles. Yes, those. Whoa, Nelly, why are we talking about good posture when this was supposed to be about the fun stuff, like buying clothes? Well, hold your horses, there, friend… you have heard of a clothes horse, haven’t you? ( yes, I’m having too much fun with this).
A woman who has good posture has an air of confidence, and her clothes just look better on her. As older women we need that. Put that in your toolbox.
Changes in Clothes
I had to change the types of clothes I buy. I now appreciate stretchy waists ( I know: the abdominal exercises, etc… but I am not totally there yet). Looser flowy ( but not too flowy) tops are my friends. Tight Tshirts and low waisted jeans are my enemies until I lose alot of weight, which is not happening soon, but hopefully at some point. That admitted, my body has rearranged and I am not sure what exercise and weight loss is able to do about that.
Better to have shirts and jackets that skim the waist, don’t tuck things in or cinch them if your waist and surrounding areas are a little bulgy.
Clothing tool #1: refuse to wear something too tight
As always, I LOVE white cotton, buttoned shirts. LOVE them. They are my best friends.
Clothing tool #2: wear good shoes that are comfortable for you
Clothing tool #3: get a good quality, well cut coat.
Another tool in my personal toolkit is to take my tasteful, honest daughter shopping with me. I made my better choices on a coat and purse that way. My look tends to stay in a rut, otherwise.
Clothing tool #4: find brand names that work for your body.-buy those brands.
Don’t buy your ‘age’, buy your ‘style’.
I almost wish girdles were back in style, though. Never mind, pretend I didn’t say that.
Even if you color your hair, but especially if you have gone gray, your skin fades, and that needs an adjustment in the hues you buy for your wardrobe.
I’ll tell you a personal story. I colored my hair for a number of years, I chose a warm brown with caramel highlights mostly ( the stylist did the work, but I chose the general color I wanted). Warm colors and I went with an Autumn wardrobe palette, even though I’m one of those hard to pin point seasonal colors (“Winter? Autumn. Autumn? Winter… um I don’t’ know ..OK Autumn“) Anyways, once my hair turned steely gray with a winter white shock of it near my face, the oranges and mustards didn’t look so good on me anymore. Corals were a bit iffy, too. Yellows were downright bad. So I had to rearrange the color scheme of my wardrobe.
Unfamiliar with the “color seasons” wardrobe concept? Read about it here.
The one color I know I look good in is Charcoal. Still in the learning curve.
Clothing That Fits
Your middle is thicker, you may have changed dress sizes, and your bra may not fit right. Adjust your self image with your reality. That doesn’t mean old fashioned style! Keep open minded about incorporating new style into your look. Quality construction and fabric count. Smooth, well fitting clothes shaves off the years.
Get a Good Looking Jacket
Mac and Jac Is One Designer with Class
Find a Brand that Fits YOU!
Certain brands are kinder to the mature figure
Look for stretch fabrics, good cut, forgiving waistlines, tummy minimizing panels.
Gloria Vanderbilt pants and jeans always fit me well. I now stay with brands that cater to women who have my shape- older women, that is. A slimming pair of pants are ones that fit well, and are comfortable at the same time. This is one of those brands that fit.
Have a Favorite Handbag?
Does Its Style Flatter You? – Carry it fashionably
A bulky, out of date handbag can date you. Take cues from fashion and the younger generation on this accessory.
My daughter-in-law picked out my all time favorite handbag as a gift for me. It holds everything, but has a very slim outline and not too heavy. When I go on vacation I like something bigger to carry more with me. For most occasions, too big a bag weighs me down with everything I am tempted to carry around in it, so a smaller bag with lots of organized pocket space helps save my energy.
Look in a mirror when choosing a handbag to see the overall silhouette. Better quality materials, as in clothing, makes accessories to contribute to an overall svelte or youthful look.
Tools For Health
Keep Active, Eat Right, Use Effective Products
Jamie Lee Curtis is a good role model
Jamie Lee Curtis,Good Looks At Any Age
I think Jamie Curtis is absolutely gorgeous. She has a look that is healthy, natural, and which any woman might want to emulate. Jamie Lee Curtis and I share something in common: we have some Hungarian ancestry. With her athletic, yet feminine style, she has a youthful look to emulate
Advice and confessions
First a confession. I stopped coloring my hair and went naturally gray a few years ago, and I am radically happy about it. That doesn’t mean I am going to evangelize the rest of the women in the world to do the same. I am going to celebrate my choice. That said, the tools we are going to use for maintaining our beautiful (think positively, now) mane of hair are applicable across the spectrum of no color, highlighted, full-on colored treatments. In fact, most of the tools are things we should do no matter what our age.
Cross-Generational and Cross-Color Tools:
- Good nutrition
- Regular exercise
- Keeping the scalp clean
- Gentle Handling
- Right Products for the (our) Hair
Actually what you will notice is that many of our tools are going to be multitasking to improve our skin, our energy levels, and our moods. That is because the foundation that ought to have been drummed into us when we were younger was that the the basis for beauty is good health. In fact, good health is the basis for a lot of the better things in life.
So we might as well make up our minds right now that we are going to learn how to use these tools properly and work with them every day. It is our job. Our job is to learn how to live our lives to their fullest. Sure, aging and all sorts of things get in the way, that is the backbeat of life, but our job is to maintain ourselves to the utmost of our ability. Why? Do I need a reason why? Of course I do, because like most everyone else I tend to forget: I cannot trade myself in or get replacement parts when somethings starts giving out.
We need to take care of ourselves and keep ourselves as healthy as possible.
That ought to be listed in the tools: a right attitude towards ourselves and our health.
Once Your Hair Is Healthy
Once your heir is healthy, keep it shined with a serum. Use a straightening iron to keep it smooth and bring out even more shine.
Similar to losing color from lips, our eyebrows sometimes thin and need some accenting. I use eyebrow powder and like it much better than pencils. When I was young I had quite think dark brows, so this is another side effect of the growing older.
- Make time to exercise
- Use weights for weight bearing exercise
- Get motivated
Improve Your Brain
Feel Younger, Keep Sharp
More than Skin Deep!
Not just what goes on cosmetically, when we utilize the tools of nutrition plus other activities to keep the brain healthy we are preserving our health, beauty, and life.
I was introduced to Dr. Amen through PBS and what he has to say makes great sense. A better brain and keeping your weight down? I’m sold on that.
Improve your nutrition
There are sooo many supplements and companies that produce them that it might make your head spin. Generally I like to stay within certain brand names that I trust, but if you look at features such as “standardized” ingredients, you are likely to find good quality products.
I’ve used “New Chapter” for years, ever since my health-conscious daughter recommended them.
Although there are quite a few special formulations, I like to use a multi-vitamin as a basic start for good nutrition.
I know there are lots of arguments (still!) about whether we should use vitamin pills, but I think that with modern farming methods that often strip away nutrients it is important to take supplements.
I notice a difference in my health between times I am diligent in taking my vitamins and when I get lax.
Healthy Skin For Naturally Aging Better
A Good Skin Cream – For night repair
Don’t forget to get a good night’s sleep, as well. “Beauty sleep” is more than a blithe cliche. Try out RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream, 1 Ounce. I use it.
Anti-Aging Beauty Advice
Keep these tips in your toolkit of daily habits:
*You use sunscreen, don’t you? AND get plenty of time outdoors to get the vitamin D from the sun? It sounds contradictory, but you need to protect your skin from sun damage, getting sunburned, but good health requires some outdoor time, since the skin makes important vitamin D.
A Good Skin Care Regimen
I love Shiseido! I’ve tried many brands, but this has to be my all time favorite for great products with fantastic results.
Take Care of Your Aging Hair
Gray hair can stay- looking healthy
One of the most helpful tips I learned about my hair which seemed to be thinning out was to keep the scalp clean. I thought too many shampoos would make my hair too dry, but actually it is important for the health of the hair follicles to keep the scalp clean. Check out the Silver Fox gray hair lens for great hair products.
- Pure Light Pravana Shampoo Brings Out Silver Lights,…
One of the best tips for silver locks is to use a gentle shampoo that cancels the yellow and keeps the beauty of your gray hair. This is one of the best for you to try.
- The Silver Fox, Stunning Gray Hair Styles
So many women fight the appearance of gray hair? I say why not embrace this stunning look and make the most of it!
Got Gray Hair? – Leave a note about your favorite aging gracefully tip