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Who over age 50
hasbought, tried on or at least thought about a “cold shoulder” or off-shoulder dress this year? Most of us did ... and why not? It is a big 2017 trend that continues to linger. We love dresses because they speed up and simplify the whole process of getting dressed, but it's getting harder to curb our enthusiasm with so many choices. The challenge is choosing the right dress — one that won't sit on the hanger next year. Want to know 10 that will never go out of style? Even celebs dress for success.
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Jersey Wrap Dress
Launched by designer Diane Von Furstenberg in the '70s, this iconic style is now everywhere. Five reasons to get one (or more) ASAP: The adjustable wrap defines your waist (or re-creates one!), the V-neckline elongates your neck and torso, the crossover wrap separates and lifts your breasts, the fluid fabric works year-round from day to night (and stays crease free) and the three-quarter-length sleeves add confident coverage.
PHOTO BY: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock
Multitasking Little Black Dress
The little black dress is the VIP of your closet, so be picky because it needs to pivot from work to cocktails, casual to formal, sexy to conservative, with a change of shoes,
bagand jewelry. On the other hand, keep it contemporary but true to your lifestyle and personal style — whether urban or relaxed, classic or more fashion-y. Your LBD might be a tailored fit-and-flare style, a sleeveless shift with faux leather inserts or a flow-ybohemian dress with full sleeves. There's no one-for-all answer.
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Standout-in-the-Crowd Red Dress
Women in red dresses do come off as fiery and passionate — or at least friendly and outgoing — which is why you need one. A red eye-catcher gets attention in a sea of neutral colors and on social media. Depend on that scarlet, tomato or ruby glow to energize you the way high heels (or red lipstick) used to. Wear it to blaze the way at important interviews, meetings, cocktail parties, get-togethers with new friends or neighbors. And, of course, if you're dating again, this will be in heavy rotation.
PHOTO BY: Charles Sykes/AP
Not just for weddings anymore, lace has gotten edgy and cool. When you want to look sophisticated and feminine, all you need is a tailored stretch-lace sheath or any dress with lace overlays, panels or inserts. In fact, black or wine-colored lace has a dark fashion vibe that's way more Goth than Granny. Just skip the pearls.
PHOTO BY: Terence Patrick/Courtesy of CBS
This fast-fix dress strategically uses dark and bright or light colors to attract and distract. It's amazingly empowering since the precise placement of color creates an illusion of body shape. The emphasis goes straight to bright or light areas, and dark areas get ignored — which is great when you want to whittle away a few pounds or bulges without Spanx.
PHOTO BY: Matt Sayles/AP
Shimmery, Sparkly, Drop-Dead Party Dress
Sequins, beads, metallic accents! A short dress with long sleeves that reflects light is an emergency kit for
anyevening party, event, gala or black tie affair,when the question is: What do I wear? All you need is one.
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Every woman needs a dress that guarantees compliments, makes her smile or shows her creativity, sense of humor or global shopping style — be it multicolor squiggles, a splashy floral print or a pastel color with an interesting neckline. And, of course, there's the assurance that no one else will be wearing the same dress. Maybe you picked it up in your travels or at a flea market, flash sale or consignment shop — but you won't see yourself coming and going. It’ll keep the "You look great!" comments coming.
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A dress with
fittedtop, defined waist and A-line below is a favorite style of Michelle Obama that combines fashion and ease. It lets you cross your legs easily, stride down a street and hide a bloated tummy or the five extra pounds that you gained on vacation.
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Not for cougars only — we're crazy about animal prints (they're our "plaid"), and they're a fashion-staple keeper now. The only rules: Stick to natural tones, and if you wear the dress, keep the shoes/bag/coat/cardigan solid.
PHOTO BY: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images
When it's steamy and hot, and all you want to do is catch a breeze. Or when you're on vacation, poolside or at a destination wedding, and flip-flops, sandals or slides are about as dressy as you can get — go with the flow. An airy lightweight A-line or maxi dress is one we all need and never buy. Do it!
Also of Interest
- 10 classic hairstyles for women that never go out of style
- The best shoes and hemlines for your legs
- This season's best fashion and beauty finds
For more beauty and style tips for women 50+ check out The Woman's Wakeup: How to Shake Up Your Looks, Life and Love After 50 by Lois Joy Johnson and AARP's Beauty & Style issue.