Forty Is The New Forty: The Spashionista Speaks

Today, it is my great privilege to have Alicia from Spashionista Report as my guest blogger kicking off the dialogue about style beyond forty.  If you haven't yet found her lovely blog out there in the blogosphere, just did.

Style After 40 50

I know that there are tons of "rules" out there designed to ensure those of us that have reached middle age look our best. The problem with most of those rules is they don't treat us as unique individuals with circumstances and personalities that rarely fit into the boxes they keep wanting to shove us in.
Take me, for instance. I have a mild but very visible form of Cerebral Palsy. I'm also very short and voluptuous. There is no "box" for me - no set of rules that will magically work for me. I can't "hide" in all black clothing or sweats because I'm usually in a wheelchair. I don't have the luxury of sneaking around under the fashion radar. Through lots of trial and error and observing all the other women around me I've figured out a few things that work for me. Maybe some of them will work for you, too.

Your clothes should reflect your personality. Whether you're conservative, quirky, shy, or outgoing your clothes should say so. It is possible to express who you are without striving for invisibility or looking like you've joined Cirque du Soleil. If you're only comfortable in neutrals make sure they're clean and crisp, otherwise you look frumpy. If you love animal print or bright color like I do be careful you don't gild the lily because you run the risk of looking like you're wearing a costume.

Your clothes should be comfortable and functional. Comfortable doesn't mean pajamas and functional doesn't mean schlumpy. If you're comfortable wearing Spanx to hide your "issues" and you find walking in 5" heels effortless then by all means do so. If, like me, you find putting shapewear on to be an aerobic activity and wearing high heels to be a death-defying maneuver then adjust accordingly. If you can't function in your clothes you spend every spare second adjusting, fussing, shifting, balancing - and it shows.

Overdress just a little. "Just a little" is the key phrase. I don't mean you should pile on the swag. I mean no matter where you go or what you do take enough pride in your appearance to dress well. If you think I'm overstating the obvious take a good look around you next time you're in a store or at a restaurant. Dress better than the people around you; raise the bar.

Beauty starts from the inside out. The most important thing you'll ever wear is self-esteem and confidence. If you don't love and accept yourself you can feel ugly in a couture gown or a pair of sweatpants. If you hate your life change it but love yourself while you're making the journey.

Remember, you'll never get back the time you wasted feeling ugly or inferior. Believe me when I tell you I know that firsthand. Shine on, today and always - preferably where I can see and appreciate you!

Thanks to Kristin for letting me play in her sandbox while she's away. Stop in and visit me at my blog, Spashionista Report.

Spashionista (Alicia)


  1. Thank you for this great post!
    It really shows if you can not function in your clothes!
    My worst topic is shoes. I love shoes but I have bunions. And sometimes I still buy shoes (especially in online outletshops) that hurt. It is a lost day everytime I wear them.
    Mari from Germany

    1. I'm so happy you liked it, Mari!
      I, too, am obsessed with shoes. I'm collecting quite a few oxford style shoes and I wonder if those would be a good choice for you? I have learned not to buy shoes I can't wear, no matter how beautiful they are.

  2. Well written Alicia! :) and Kristin, have a blast in Thailand and see you soon!


    1. Thanks Mrs C! I'm honored that Kristen asked me to contribute while she's away.

  3. Well said, Alicia. You've given me food for thought, too. I get lazy about wearing jewelry, or going the extra mile. Yet I appreciate that so much in others.

    Nothing but comfort in my closet, in my favorite colors with the best fit possible. Great post. Sharing...

  4. I found your blog interesting, but you seem to leave out those of us who find not "dressing up" even a little bit the most comfortable. I don't like to wear make-up or jewelry and don't find it necessary to do so to please others. In the summer my total wardrobe consists of shorts and different colored t-shirts. I wear Birkenstocks all year long, including in the winter with my jeans and, once again, t-shirts. I don't consider my dressing habits lazy or sloppy; my clothes are comfortable and reflect the fact that I'm not giving lip-service to the phrase "I don't care what other people think"... I really don't care and dress solely to please myself.

    1. I believe you have found a place of fashion Zen that most of us will never know...when you found what worked for you, you went with it. That's the beauty of dressing...there is no right or wrong answer.

  5. Great post, Alicia! This is a great picture of you!

  6. I love Alicia's blog and her attitude. I agree with the tips she mentioned, especially the slightly overdressing bit. I feel confident when I know I look smart, stylish and well presented. If there's something bugging me about my outfit it throws me off a bit.


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