2009 August 10

overfiftyOne of the commonest and saddest sights of summer is the older person, male or female, who seems to have lost the plot, clothing-wise. They come in two main forms:

The giver-up – this is a person who’s lost track of clothing nuances and just gone for comfort. From the sandals (worn with thick white socks) through to the jogging pants and the saggy, baggy cotton top, they look as if they dressed in the dark, from a charity shop reject bag.

The trendy is the opposite – they’ve bought the most fashionable clothes they can find, suitable or not, and they appear in back to front baseball caps, brand trainers, low-slung jeans and a high-end label T-shirt, often bearing a message they don’t understand and wouldn’t appreciate if they did!

So how can an older person dress both comfortably and attractively in summer casual clothing?

First – pick a style. If you’re going for casual, make sure that everything you’re wearing is clean and neat and roughly colour co-ordinating: that means you don’t wear blue, purple, pink and green with a red baseball cap because it all ‘looks cheerful’ – take a hint from fashion magazines and TV adverts: there are colours that are in and those that are out, try to stick to the ones that are in.

Second – make sure your clothing fits. Our shape changes as we age and men with belts around their chests and women with boobs that hang to their waists just look awful. Good undergarments help keep everything in place, but double-check, before you leave home, that your waistline is roughly round your waist – low-slung trousers and midriff exposing tops are definitely best left to the teens and twenties.

Third – keep it simple. T-shirts and polo-shirts are classic in style and shape and never look either horribly old-fashioned or ridiculously up to date.

Stick to these simple rules and you’ll always look smart, attractive and intelligently dressed, even if you’re wearing casual clothing.

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