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Dress your age not your shoe size: 30's to 40's

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This should be a fun and sophisticated time of your life. Do not mourn the loss of your 20’s – be thankful those ironic and confusing days are over. Now it’s time to hone your professionalism by embracing a confident, ardent style with a more urbane touch.

For women and men:

First things first ladies -make sure you shop by fit, not size! Too many women in their 30’s and 40’s do not want to let go of their size 4 pants from their 20’s.

Kate S., 34, West Hartford, CT, states, “I finally retired my college jeans, went two sizes up and have never felt sexier. I am too mature to let corporate chosen retail sizes to dictate how I should feel about my body”.

Always consider your lifestyle along with your body type. This is an important factor when deciding what trends will best work with you. Remember, you are not on campus anymore – wearing sweats all of the time gives off a poor statement of who you are and what your life goals are. Unless it’s your day off, always dress well. Make people notice. You never know who’ll be around then next corner – boss? The Ex? Future client?

Jared K., 42, Hartford, CT, states, “I have been wearing a sweat suit fairly regularly and then I woke up and had an epiphany. I realized I was still single and hadn’t had a raise for eight years because of the way I was presenting myself – at my age! I burned the sweat suits and bought several business suits and casual attire mostly from J-Crew. I have a date for next Saturday. Lets hope my raise is next Monday.”

Women: 30’s: You can still get away with short skirts (skip the mini’s) just make sure to dress it down with a pair of flats, or heels no higher than two inches.

A pair of great fitting jeans (skip the skinny jeans- it will shame your age), in classic shades is a necessity. Look for jeans that fit high in the back but dip lower in the front. This cut will help keep those love handles at bay while showing off the flattest part of your stomach. Match those jeans with a simple white or black shirt with a fitted jacket to match.

Classic and simple jewelry or an ornate scarf is a good pick to spice your look up. If you want an image that deems business while still looking fiercely feminine try a wrap around dress with spiked or wedged heels. Another good choice is a pencil skirt (try tan) that sits an inch above the knees paired with a long sleeve black v-neck and wedge boots (black is best). For dressier occasions, a fitted feminine pant suite always looks stunning. It’s too easy for dresses to look frumpy unless they are tailored. If you still yearn for your youthful style you can still get away with a larger, Statement Bag.

40’s: When you reach your 40’s it’s time to work on a more streamlined and polished look. Embrace tweeds, cottons and cashmere in subtle, vintage hues. The pencil skirt you wore in your 30’s (the one that stops above your knees) and has an element of stretch still works out.

When you’ve reached your 40’s you are allowed to flaunt your status with statement pieces such as bold jewelry, or an embellished coatdress, which you can easily find at Zara stores nation wide.

For shoes, the patent pump will be a hit this fall. Alexander Wang and Christian Louboutin offer their usual luxurious and versatile selection that can be worn as business conservative, with jeans or evening wear. http://www.neimanmarcus.com/index.jhtml If you are strapped for cash Target also offers similar patent pumps for $29.

Forget the oversized statement bag. Instead go for the fall fashion craze of clutches. It’s important to find a clutch that adds enough zip and style to your outfit. Just make sure either your outfit or your clutch compliment each other. Top clutch favorites are Devi-Kroell’s faux-snakeskin clutch (Target), and Michael Kors’ classic collection of leather clutches with intricate and bold hardware.

Top Left - Jennifer Aniston, 40 - style icon for both age groups.

Read more about what's in style at:

Hartford Style and Fashion Examiner

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