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When you're stuck in a fashion rut, there's only one way (short of giving yourself a head to toe makeover) to reset - go back to basics. Here's how to build the perfect capsule wardrobe for any woman in her 60s, including the essential pieces we should all have tucked away somewhere.
Cut and material is everything when it comes to smart-looking clothes, so choosing classic tailoring in quality materials will give you instant, but lasting, style. When it comes to clothing, always opt to spend a little more and buy a little less. Steer clear of cheap, throwaway clothes, because that's exactly what you'll end up doing. Primark and the like may be easy on the wallet, but you'll pay for it in the long run.
"I buy the majority of my clothes from charity shops. That way I can have labels and better quality clothes than I could afford new."
How long has it been since you gave your undies an overhaul? Got measured for a bra? It may just be time to start again, getting back to basics and making sure you have black, white and flesh-coloured options.
"Look at your underwear, get measured for a bra, wear one that holds you properly, buy new pretty knickers and foundation undergarments if you stick out in places you do not want to."
There's a reason Diane Von Furstenberg's iconic style is still going strong today. The wrap dress has really stood the test of time - and for good reason. It's an almost universally flattering shape that can be dressed up or down with complete ease.
"A wrap or shift dress always looks good."
Some styles just never go out of fashion, and a good pair of tailored trousers is one of them. Cigarette pants or slim leg, whichever you go for, make sure they're good quality and a neautral colour that goes with whatever you feel like that day, be it a splash of colour or a comfy sweater. Top it all off with a pair of flats or sandals.
"Smartish, straight or slim leg trousers in black or dark grey."
The concept of getting your 'colours done' has been around for a while, and it's a tried and tested way of making sure you stick to shades that complement your colouring. Visit Colour Me Beautiful to find a consultant who will assess exactly which colours you should be scanning the shopping rails for.
"I had mine sorted in the 80s and I've never looked back. It means that everything in your wardrobe goes with everything else."
...or skirt. Or- well, you get the idea. Choosing one really well-fitting black dress or skirt means you can add differing accessories to change it up for a multitude of occasions. Et voilà - your 'going out' wardrobe expands dramatically.
"For evenings I have a couple of black shift dresses and a beaded black taffeta knee length skirt. Add the jackets, bags, earrings etc and it's amazing how many events are catered for. Keep it simple is my advice."
While it's good to keep a base of versatile, neutral colours in your wardrobe, brightly-coloured clothes are one of life's great pleasures. Focus on one splash of colour per outfit, keeping the rest of it fairly neutral.
It helps if they're stylish as well, but at the very least, someone who will tell you if one of your intended wardrobe staples simply doesn't suit you.
"My most successful purchases have been when I was with my daughter who is brutally honest."
Joules do a lovely range of casual, but stylish, shirts in soft cottons and pretty prints. If you're looking for a more tailored piece to dress up your straight leg trousers, Great Plains can almost always offer drapey longline tops that are universally flattering.
Of course, Marks & Spencer can always be relied upon for good underwear, especially from the Autograph by Rosie range, but it's also worth considering TK Maxx for some real bargains on high end undies.
Hush is the perfect place to shop for knitwear that will keep you warm and cosy, but won't leave you looking like you're hibernating.
Are you feeling fancy or frugal? The ultimate wrap dress is, as mentioned above, Diane von Furstenberg's classic, but we also love Fifty Plus for a wide range of wrap dresses that come in longer lengths.
The finishing touch in your capsule wardrobe, and Just Last Season have a stunning array of choices, from the straight-forward, simply cut to sparkly, velvet, floor length - the list goes on.
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