Every decade comes with its own set of style challenges. Whether it’s transitioning your look from university to the professional world or figuring out how to dress your changing figure, most women struggle to get the style rules straight. Well, the good news is there are no more rules. “Age is just a number,” stresses Julia Seidl, a Toronto-based stylist. “It’s important to learn your body and discover what looks good on you early on.” Here Seidl shares some invaluable tips on how to look and feel confident in your clothes at any age.
Celebrity inspiration: Rihanna
Style mantra: Be experimental
According to Seidl, a woman in her ‘20s has the freedom to try anything and wear it anywhere. “Experimenting with different trends at this stage is fun and totally acceptable,” she says. “Even though a look may not work, it’s fine because there’s no judgment at this age.” But, she warns, save the over-the-top experimenting for the weekend. Ripped jeans and off-the-shoulder tops are not appropriate office wear; but skinny black pants with a billowy blouse and a pair of flats work just fine. It’s important to find that balance.
Celebrity inspiration: Reese Witherspoon
Style mantra: Be versatile
When a woman reaches her ‘30s, she’s looking to fill more needs with her wardrobe. This is the decade of juggling. “Quality definitely wins over quantity,” Seidl says. If a desire to try out lots of different trends had a woman buying five bags in her ‘20s, Seidl says to choose one great quality bag that will fulfill more needs in your ‘30s. Try a great messenger bag or a beautiful leather tote. By this point, a woman has learned how to dress for her shape, rather than her age. “Don’t be afraid to wear skinny jeans if they still look good on you,” Seidl says.
Style mantra: Be selective
If you want to be trendy in your ‘40s, do it with your accessories and not your clothes,” Seidl suggests. Try a bold necklace or a great pair of heels, and look at the bigger picture, she says. Volume has been an ongoing trend for the past few seasons, but a bold-shouldered jacket doesn’t look good on everyone. Think about incorporating volume into your wardrobe with more wearable pieces like a high-waisted tulip skirt or wide-leg pants. This decade is about starting to cement your signature style with investment pieces that look great on your figure.
Celebrity inspiration: Michelle Pfeiffer
Style mantra: Be tailor made
At this point a woman has already deduced what works on her body type and what makes her feel comfortable and confident. Use this decade to highlight your assets while camouflaging problem areas. “You don’t want to wear anything too clingy or show too much cleavage,” Seidl says. “You can afford the finer things in life, so invest wisely.” The one thing a woman in her ‘50s can’t live without? A great tailor. With a few minor adjustments, your favourite classics will fit just like the day you bought them.
Celebrity inspiration: Catherine Deneuve
Style mantra: Be classic
“A woman in her ‘60s is never overdressed,” Seidl says. This is the decade when a woman has earned the right to always wear beautiful statement jewellery; her overall look is regal and elegant. Seidl’s staples for the ‘60-something lady include a great pair of tailored wool trousers, a classic white button-down blouse and a beautiful statement necklace. She also says that a woman in her ‘60s shouldn’t shy away from jeans: “Just keep them classic in a dark wash and opt for a straight, boot-cut or trouser style with a higher waist.”
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.