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PHOTO BY: Taylor Hill/Getty Images
Since we are not Halle Berry, wearing low cleavage and a micro minidress at 51 is definitely on the don't-try-this-at-home (or anywhere) list. But aside from this outfit, grownup women like us can wear almost anything at any age — with a little common sense and know-how. Here are my top 10 tips for making fashion and beauty riskless. If you think you can't wear …
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PHOTO BY: John Lamparski/Getty Images
...a crayon box of colors
Sure, black makes us feel fiercely fashionable and safely stylish, which is why we always wear it. But now it's time to get out of your comfort zone. There's a reason Queen Elizabeth, 50-plus celebs, TV talk show hosts and fashion icons wear clear, energizing, solid colors like red, orange, yellow, pink and bright blue. Not only do they make an immediate "wow" statement, but they also add an undeniable glow to mature complexions, have a mood-boosting effect and never look out of date. Take a cue from Hoda Kotb.
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PHOTO BY: Ryan Emberley/Getty Images
... two totally different colors together
Colorful separates that mate, not match, can work even off the runway. The secret is selecting two hues in the same category — warm colors like orange and pink or cool ones like blue and violet. Take, for example, Helen Mirren's orange top and vibrant pink skirt. Or, you can go the more low-key tonal color route with an aqua blazer, sky-blue top and print scarf that combines light and bright blues.
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PHOTO BY: Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images
... eye-catching necklines
We all have great shoulders and collarbones, regardless of size or shape. Show them off (instead of cleavage) in a cold-shoulder, one-shoulder or asymmetrical neckline. Take a look at Christie Brinkley's black cold-shoulder top that offers a glimpse of skin but looks sophisticated. And then stop worrying about your arms.
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PHOTO BY: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images
... pantsuits again
I know — been there, done that. But these are not dress-for-success stuffy and stiff anymore. The new pantsuits are trim and curve conscious, with stretch-enhanced, tailored, feel-food fabrics; natural shoulders; and subtle sculpting at the waist. Try white or a color like Susan Sarandon's bright blue, and wear the pants long with wedges or ankle-cropped with flats and sneakers for a contemporary look. Break up the pieces, too — wear the jacket with jeans or leggings, and the pants with a relaxed tee or denim shirt.
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PHOTO BY: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images
... leopard prints
If you buy one print thing, make it this animal print — now a classic and considered "neutral." Yes, designers are gaga over florals and dots, but do yourself a favor and wear leopard. If you really want to be daring, pair leopard with another print — like Thandie Newton. My tip: If you're not a celeb or true fashionista, simply add a leopard shoe, bag or bootie to anything.
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PHOTO BY: Dan MacMedan/Getty Images
... more (what have you got to lose?)
Have some fun and don't pay attention to rules or what you'd normally wear. We all have closets full of stuff that never gets worn because we can't decide what goes with what or if it's overkill. Salma Hayek's sparkly tiered and bejeweled pink gown at Oscars 2018 was a departure from her usual look ... but why not? Never say never. Add a sparkly tee to that leopard skirt, and throw on every necklace you own and stack your bangles wrist to elbow!
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PHOTO BY: Greg Doherty/Getty Images
... a jumpsuit
Just get over the whole restroom undressing worry and go with an easy pull-down stretch jersey or a front zipper. Jumpsuits simplify getting dressed to a ridiculous degree, and a one-piece can be casual or dressy depending on style and fabric — as Kathie Lee Gifford proves.
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PHOTO BY: Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images
... a belt
Sometimes the thing we avoid is the thing we need most. Yes, girlfriends, I'm talking about belts — those things you've been avoiding since hip-hugger low-slung jeans and thongs left your life. Defining your waist is the best body-friendly move to make, so don't avoid it. Shirt dresses are trendy now, and the soft self-tie is a good way to ease into belting. Diane Keaton makes wide belts a signature accessory, but skinny ones work just as well to shape up long loose tops and dresses.
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PHOTO BY: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
... a message t-shirt or sweater
Wear it like you mean it ... and only if. Let's say for a cause you believe in, like Julianne Moore's "New York" tee; or a strong opinion, like Grace Coddington, Ellen DeGeneres and Alyssa Milano in “We Are All Dreamers” T-shirts; or Connie Britton in a “Poverty is sexist” Lingua Franca sweater at the Golden Globes.
And hey! There's an expiration date for yogurt and eggs – not for us.
For more beauty and style tips for women age 50-plus, 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.
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