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Make 2017 Your Best-Looking Year Ever

Big Earrings On Trend 2017

Estrop/Getty Images

Let earrings help make your bold fashion statement in 2017.

En español | Every new year we promise ourselves to walk more, learn yoga, eat a healthier diet, update our beauty routine, wear sunscreen every day, clean out our closets and be our best selves ever.

Well, here's the thing: Looking great at 50, 60, 70 and beyond is a choice — by which I mean we must choose to mount that stupid treadmill while watching Netflix rather than lying on the couch.

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So now is no time to stop exfoliating, moisturizing, exercising or eating your veggies. But 2017 needn't be filled with unremitting work, commitment and self-denial. To keep things lively, treat yourself to these five fashion and beauty moves that are likely to be trending all year long.

1. Light up your face with colorful drop earrings. Decorative drops, dangles, shoulder dusters and megadiscs were all over spring runways, from Saint Laurent to Missoni and Tory Burch. They're a fresh alternative to statement necklaces, but first consider this: Your piercings and lobes may have stretched from years of wearing heavy earrings — or simply from the passage of those years. If that's the case, opt for lightweight dangles such as J. Crew's leather-backed sequin petal earrings or clip-ons such as tassel earrings from Etsy's MyCrystalMarket vendor. Neither model will drag or pull.

You can also convert old chandelier earrings and drops to clip-ons, making these dazzlers wearable once more (and disguising elongated lobes in the bargain). A do-it-yourself kit from the likes of Rockin Beads or Clip-Ease makes it simple — and fun.

2. Buy a smarter bra. Did you know that weight changes, workouts and good old-fashioned gravity can alter your band or cup size in the course of a single year? You'll find three big changes on bra racks now:

  • The desexualizing of the breast has meant a move away from push-up bras to unlined and wire-free versions that provide cover, control, support and comfort.
  • The bralette is a hybrid bra and crop top with a wide underband. It reduces irritation, spillage and bulges.
  • Some high-tech online brands now offer a wear-and-return policy. ThirdLove, for example, lets you order its model called 24/7, remove the tags, wear it for up to 30 days and then return it for free if you decide not to keep it. (You can even wash it during this trial period.) And True & Co. finds your perfect match via an online quiz, gives problem-solving tips and simplifies returns.

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3. This tee was made for talkin'. We all probably have piles of plain white or black T-shirts, so how about rocking a message tee — one whose slogan proclaims your political, environmental or personal ideals? We're an opinionated bunch, so I find this an elegant way to promote awareness without saying a word.

Plus the custom has a noble, or at least notable, precedent: Dior sent a tee down the runway that read "We should all be feminists," while Colombian fashion designer Haider Ackermann's T-shirt urged viewers to "Be Your Own Hero."

Make your own custom long-sleeve tee at CustomInk.com, and you'll be able to wear your head on your chest! Or, if you prefer to soft-pedal your message, camouflage it discreetly under a tailored blazer.

4. Stripe on! We still adore our classic three-quarter-sleeve Breton sailor-stripe tops. But knit dresses have recently caught that nautical wave, too. Look for black or navy stripes in form-fitting, A-line and shift styles from outlets such as H&M, L.L. Bean, Dress Barn, Banana Republic, White House Black Market or Old Navy. Pricey designers such as Proenza Schouler, Max Mara, Ralph Lauren and Opening Ceremony led the way on this trend, but these bargain versions are just as chic.

5. Beef up your brows. Full eyebrows frame the eyes, add structure to the face and can make us look more youthful — so what are you waiting for? Aim for a natural look, not the "caterpillar brows" or stenciled shapes you see on models, celebs and YouTube.

This is eminently doable. Just fill gaps and extend your brows out as straight as possible. And rather than struggling with powders, try using a waterproof gel, pomade or cream in a chunky pencil (or a pot with a stiff, angled brush); these won't budge, smear or disappear. Possibilities include: e.l.f. Lock On Liner and Brow Enhancer Cream, Maybelline Eye Studio Brow Drama Pomade Crayon or NYX Eyebrow Gel. (A separate column on this to follow. I promise!)

For more beauty and style tips for women age 50+, check out The Woman's Wakeup: How to Shake Up Your Looks, Life, and Love after 50 and AARP's new Beauty & Style special edition for tablets.

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