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Even though dress codes aren’t what they used to be (what we choose to wear is more about personal style than fashion), there are still times when we need to dress up a bit. For these occasions, a cocktail dress never goes out of style and is a great excuse to have fun with our outfits. If you’re over 60, you’ll want to prioritize comfort—both the comfort of the dress and the confidence you feel wearing it. Read on to ensure the success of your dress with advice from style experts.
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“You want the dress to complement you; it should never be an accessory to your dress,” she says. liana chaouli, a Los Angeles-based image therapist. “Cocktail dresses should be the frame and the woman should be the work of art.”
Therefore, pay special attention to the silhouette of your clothes. A great cocktail dress should flatter your body: fitted and flared for hourglass figures, A-line for pear and apple shapes, ruching and other details that create volume for straight bodies. If you’re looking for more coverage, consider one of these styles that also has a cape, cloak, or shawl.
And remember that the silhouette does not end with the dress. “Wear underwear that lifts and smoothes as appropriate,” she advises. kara batey, personal stylist and founder of Closet by Kara Batey. “Don’t forget to do a 360-degree check to see if there are any visible lines or strips on the panties!”
Instead of hiding your least favorite attributes, take the opportunity to show off your best features in a stunning display.
Elizabeth Kosich, Elizabeth Kosich Styling’s personal stylist, tells Best Life: “We all know what we like about our bodies and what we don’t. Look for design details that accentuate accordingly, like curve-hugging ruffles… Consider showing off your shoulders with an off-the-shoulder design (one or both shoulders) or an off-the-shoulder style neckline Women over 60 never complain about their shoulders!
According to Brooke Sheldonwedding planner and owner of Lilybrooke Events, older women also tend to feel confident with their forearms and wrists, so a three-quarter sleeve “allows skin to show and leaves room for pretty bangles.”
Batey also recommends thinking about more than just body parts. “Love your beautiful green eyes but don’t feel confident in your hips? Wear a simple black or navy dress with jewelry to bring out the color of your eyes,” she says.
Similarly, “if you can’t wear heels, but you don’t love the ballerina style of your dresses, go for a maxi dress so your shoes are hidden,” she suggests. jodie phylogomofounder of Jodie’s Touch of Style.
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We all know the basics of cocktail attire: black slims, beware of hems that are too high and necklines that are too low, and know what you prefer to cover up. But fitting and stunning are two different things, and the difference is in the small, nuanced design details.
“Cocktail dresses are meant to be fun and flashy. Enjoy finding ones with sparkle and all kinds of extras,” says Filogomo. “Just because we’re older doesn’t mean we have to be invisible. Don’t automatically assume the dress must be black!”
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Not everyone likes to hoard jewelry, and understated is always in style. “Personally, I’m a fan of monochromatic clothing, which allows you to play with different fabrics, fun shoes, and big accessories,” says Sheldon. “Something classic and timeless, simple contours, not too many competing patterns or colors, unless it’s a style you usually wear and it’s your signature thing.” And he remembers, this is a great way to get away from black while maintaining a polished look.
While a jacket is always an appropriate addition to a cocktail dress, don’t feel like you have to hide behind one. Filogomo suggests layering a lace blouse or top, or a pretty scarf, under a sleeveless dress.
Dresses are not for everyone either. Kosich recommends giving the tuxedo a twist at a cocktail attire event. “Try on a Yves Saint Laurent-style le tuxedo suit and be the most stylish person in the room. The classic menswear-inspired look can be found in so many fun fabrics these days: velvet, crinkle velvet, silk, so no need to play it safe with the predictable wool blend. If that seems too daring, try a tuxedo dress as a first step, if not too short.”