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    FASHION’S PRIME TIME… Does today’s "grown-up" style put ten years on you?

    Does today’s "grown-up" style put ten years on you?

    In a time of anti-aging this and skincare that, it’s kinda kooky to think that fashion has become the anecdote to Dorian Gray, but this ladylike trend is just fashion’s way to evolve into a more conservative, refined state of tailoring.

    Yes, the tie-front blouse has returned with a vengeance. Well-cut, polished ensembles-now that’s a word that’s skipped our lips for quite a while-with blouson blouses, batwing sleeves, big houndstooth checks, high ascot necks, gold chain purses, pearls, and "done" hair are baaaaaack!

    Before you have a go at this staid drag, heed just one disclaimer: Though shall not wear the full ladylike look unless thou is tender enough to NOT remember when a payphone call cost a mere dime. Realize that the same outfit that looks powerful, pulled together, and fresh on someone under 25 makes a woman more mature look like a frump. And, at this fashion moment, a nineteen year old thinks it’s cool to look frumpy. But, a modern woman of 38 surely does not yearn to appear like a matronly 52…ouch!

    Then there’s that 50ish friend of mine– Missy Afaidtotakerisks. Missy is just sooo enthralled with looking like a dame-again. She couldn’t wait to break out her family jewels, yank out her gold chain haute designer handbag from the eighties, dust off her array of silk House of Acquired Bourgeois scarves, and refurbish her classic ribbon-bow "walking" shoes all to coordinate with her matchy-matchy cardigan jacket skirt suits. This, plus her high-priced streaks, purposely coiffed hair (she carries a portable curling iron), Botox injections, and skin peeling only add up to making her look just like the stuffy matron she fears to become. Word to her: Lighten up, big time!

    That does not mean you have to entirely eschew ladylike luxe. Toy with edginess, strut your sassiness, and loosen up the look to KO the dowager potential. Paradoxically, a trend has come where extensively adding youthful details doesn’t make you look like an old bat trying to recapture her youth, but as a woman clever enough to keep the right amount of trends sprinkled into her mix to make the look of the moment work for her.

    If you go for a complete "grown-up" outfit, keep your hair funky, shaggy, approachable… maybe add a blast of a washout color streak. Save the set-to-go salon waves to ladylike up dress-down jeans. Same goes for makeup– the more perfect you are pulled-together, the less precise your face should be applied. Simplify makeup to one shot of glam for drama, rather than a heavier, more powdered makeupy application.

    Avoid looking like a Central Casting call for the Queen Mum by wearing some of the look. Do wear a tie front blouse, but wear it open, less formal. Wear the suit with drop dead shoes and a slim fitting t-shirt. Pile on jewelry and scarves with something clean and modern and a bit more downtown. Pair the blouson top with leather pants and sexy sandals rather than a suit. Don’t go too hog wild in the other extreme either, it’s not the "lady and the tramp," just the lady.