Seventy-five million baby boomers spend $100 billion on clothes every year, according to Mathieson, and she thinks it's high time they quit buying bad clothes and change their fashion image.
"I see people who don't take the time to observe others or to take a long, hard look at themselves," she says. "Boomers are competing with their own Gen X kids and Gen Y grandkids for jobs, dates and center stage," she says, "yet are often ignored in our society, with its focus on a strong youth culture."
Mathieson proves you can reinvent your fashion life after 50. She doesn't just tell you what to do in "Forever Cool," she shows you how to improve your fashion outlook on life. Her book is loaded with 225 colorful before-and-after photos of mature "real" men and women with all kinds of body types, dressed in all kinds of styles from sporty to casual to professional to black-tie. And there are tons of how-tos and not-tos on every page.
Here are some of the style expert's best tips on what's "Forever Cool" and "Never Cool":
- Ethnic clothing can help keep things fun and interesting.
- Express your creativity through imaginative color combinations. Use bold color.
- Add individuality with great accessories.
- Shoes must match the personality of the outfit (e.g., espadrilles, strappy sandals, thongs).
- By starting with neutral basics, you create the opportunity for endless combinations. Even bright colors can be combined for a sophisticated monotonal effect. Accessories or more colorful pieces can easily be added.
- An all-black outfit is always hip.
- Choose jeans in slimming dark denim with a slight stretch for a better fit.
- A tunic top and easy pant combo is a classic look for summertime.
- Green is extremely versatile. It works well with both warm and cool skin tones.
- The best skirt length hits you at the knee or a bit below.
- Opt for glasses in an up-to-date style.
- Choose quality fabrics over cheap synthetics.
- Underage looks. Too sexy, glitzy or cute is inappropriate for Mom.
- Too much of a good thing will look like a costume.
- Never pair tailored accessories with ethnic clothing.
- Avoid tops that are too revealing or tight - no bare bellies after 40!
- No skintight jeans. This goes for men, too.
- No heavy makeup or stiff hairdos.
- Don't wear it oversized if the current trend is fitted.
- Avoid orthopedic-looking shoes. White or cream shoes will age you - try black, brown or tan, even in summer.
- Stay away from anything fussy or childish. Light pink and violet are favorites of little girls, hippies and psychics.
- An oversized T-shirt might seem like a good option for the self-conscious, but it will only make you look oversized.
- Please don't buy pastels (except for preppy style) in anything larger than a 2-Toddler.
- Stay away from clothing with glitter, sparkles, sequins or cutesy sayings.
- - -
Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.
Â© Copley News Service