Dressing Sexy For Your Age

If you've still got it, flaunt it, albeit tastefully. See what we suggest for age-appropriate looks.

By Marcia Jedd

layful, sexy, successful. Your wardrobe says a lot about who you are. These visual cues project an image which is instantly communicated to others. In fact, more than one-half of the first impressions we give others are considered to be visual. Clothing and physical appearance plays a starring role in these first impressions.

If you are actively dating or simply want to rev up your sense of sex appeal, careful attention to what
If you favor short, cropped hair, try dangly earrings.
you wear can tip the scales in your favor. Consider these tips for dressing smart and sexy:

Attention, ladies.
If you are over 40, remember, “less is more.” A little bit goes a long way. Dress to complement your body shape, not work against it. By all means, if you have great legs, show them off. If you don’t have great legs, remember that legs look longer and slimmer if you closely match shoes, skirts and pantyhose.

If you do fit in a junior-size mini skirt, congratulations. But jettison the teen and young adult fashions, including too much high-sheen lip gloss. Instead, show the world the sleek, graceful woman that you are. If you sport a long skirt, it’s okay if the skirt hugs your hips. Or, you might prefer instead to don a cleavage-revealing blouse. Just don’t pair the deep-neckline blouse with a short skirt or too-tight clothes. In other words, too much over-the-top sexy items work against you. Likewise, avoid anything that screams vamp, such as fire-engine-red lips and nails.

Pull in contrasts to delight and allure. If you are wearing a leather skirt, select a romantic top, not an all-business blouse. If you favor short, cropped hair, try dangly earrings. Think sensual fabrics, such as cashmere, silk or a ultrasuede.
Men, if you favor a beard or mustache, keep it maintained.
Light and bright colors say you are approachable and friendly. On the other hand, dark colors lend an air of charisma and authority.

Men’s section.
For a mature man, dressing sexy equates to dressing well. Women like to see a man who dresses sharp and looks luxurious. Wearing textured clothing with interesting combinations imparts an upscale tone. If your job and place in life warrants it, splurge on a fine European suit and beautiful leather shoes or other upscale clothing. But if you are a quiet engineer who is only comfortable dressing casually, consider beefing up your appearance with a distinctive leather coat and nice jeans. And guys, pay attention to your shoes. Ditch the beat loafers or other well-worn numbers that should have been retired months ago. Lightly worn, finely-made shoes tell a woman you are successful and care about your appearance.

Men, if you favor a beard or mustache, keep it maintained. Necessary accessories such as your glasses speak to function, but also to style. Eyewear studios and retail outlets can help you select an updated look. And what says sexy louder than a high-quality watch (even faux designer) or a monogrammed money clip? If you feel out of place in department stores or don’t have an innate sense of style, recruit a trusted, stylish lady friend to help or consider using the personal shopper offered by many department stores today. With the popularity of reality TV shows like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, image consultants are popping up in many cities today.

Bottom Line: Clothes can and do make the difference in projecting a favorable image. Make yours sexy and smart but age appropriate.

Marcia Jedd is a Minneapolis-based writer.
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