Coco Chanel said, “You can be gorgeous at 30, charming at 40 and irresistible for the rest of your life.” As a generation of age-disrupting, rule-breaking moms, irresistible sounds great! We've deleted stereotypes of how women 50-plus look, dress, think and behave, so why get or give the same old Mother's Day gifts? I think we have enough candles, mugs and dark chocolate for now, and no, we don't need a fidget spinner, selfie stick or charcoal toothpaste. Let's give things an unexpected, but sensible twist. Here are tips for different types of moms.
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PHOTO BY: Getty Images; FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images
1. Bohemian mom She loves rock festivals, indie movies and tiny tattoos, and counts on daily meditation with crystals and a few matcha lattes to keep stress levels down and her attitude up. A trip to Marrakesh is on her bucket list, but so is trying CBD oil, making cauliflower pizza and learning to crochet.
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PHOTO BY: H&M; Target; Urban Outfitters; Gap
For now, her hippie-at-heart self craves a layered-look necklace of chains, pendants and charms like the H&M Multi-strand Necklace ($15, hm.com); a flowing floral dress like the Gap Print Split-Neck Tiered Maxi Dress ($80, gap.com) — and yes, it comes in sizes XS to XXL; a slouchy woven hobo like the UO Soft Straw Tote Bag ($34, urbanoutfitters.com); and an earthy scent with hints of black currant, peony, amber like Queen Bee body mist ($8.49, target.com) to just smell delish. Who couldn't use that?
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PHOTO BY: Getty Images
2. The traditional mom She knows dresses are a woman's BFF for fast, flattering style 365 days a year. That's why her closet is crammed with sheaths, shifts, jersey wraps and fit-and-flares along with their sidekicks — kitten-heel pumps, wedges, ballet flats, soft suede boots and booties. Acknowledge her addiction to Earl Grey tea (loose, not bags), Siriusly Sinatra XM on the radio and any PBS historical dramas, but never underestimate her. She has the steely backbone of Game of Thrones’ Cersei Lannister, the quirky brain of Liz Lemon and the zany humor of Selina Meyer beneath it all.
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PHOTO BY: loft; amazon; baublebar; old navy
Delight her with a feminine, flirty dress that comes in sizes XS to XL and 16-26 like Loft Plus Floral Wrap Dress in Red ($90, loft.com) and Loft Floral Wrap Dress in Red ($90, loft.com); a light white flowers scent like Yardley of London Lily of the Valley Eau de Toilette Spray ($18, amazon.com); chic wedge espadrilles like Old Navy Faux Suede Espadrille Wedges in Black ($40, oldnavy.com) to give her dresses a French flair; and an elegant pavé initial pendant necklace like BaubleBar Pavé Initial Necklace ($36, baublebar.com) to wear with her pearls.
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PHOTO BY: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images; Getty Images
3. The glam mom She's always social media ready, thanks to a daily routine of makeup, groomed hair and a pulled-together look. Whether walking the dog or meeting friends for lunch, her smile is lipstick perfect, her pants fit like couture (even when they're Chico's or Target), and her scent is the head-turning “you smell fabulous” kind. She shops online at night when insomnia hits and that weighted blanket isn't working.
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PHOTO BY: Chicos; Target; BaubleBar; Chicos
Encourage her trendy sense of style with tassel fringe earrings like Sugarfix by BaubleBar Tassel Fringe Hoop Earrings ($13, target.com); a pair of floral print ankle pants like Chico's So Slimming Brigitte Floral Cropped Pants ($80, chicos.com); a trio of Maybelline Sensations Made For All Lipstick in Red for Me, Fuchsia for Me and Plum for Me ($6 each, target.com); and a leopard cell crossbody bag like Chico's Animal Print Crossbody Cell Phone Case ($50, chicos.com) to keep her phone, ID, credit card and lipstick fiercely safe and secure.
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PHOTO BY: Desiree Navarro/WireImage, Getty Images
4. The cool mom She's almost always in a biker jacket or something leather or leopard, though a black draped tunic and leggings are staples, too. At 50-plus she looks better than ever, thanks to a disciplined regimen of fitness, healthy eating, and good skin and hair care. She shops and shares clothes with her millennial and Generation Z daughters; wears cordless, wireless earbuds and a smartwatch; and drives a hybrid — but her happy place is on a beach, traveling or doing hot yoga. And she's a stickler for neutral makeup and emphasized eyes — an edgy effect that never gets old.
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PHOTO BY: H&M, Zappos, Ulta, H&M
Treat her to a faux suede biker like the H&M brown faux suede biker jacket ($50, hm.com), size 0 to 16 (and it also comes in red); a fresh 16-shade neutral eye palette like NYX Professional Makeup Warm Neutrals Ultimate Eye Palette ($18, ulta.com); chunky-heel platform clog sandals like the MIA Sofia Clog Sandals ($89, zappos.com); and new cropped jeans like the H&M Culotte Cropped Jeans in white, blue or black ($30, hm.com).
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PHOTO BY: VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images; Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic
5. The working mom She looks sparkling fresh and confident despite high-anxiety days, thanks to a multitasking “uniform” that solves problems. Whether her days are 9 to 5 or part time ... staying contemporary but businesslike is essential. Her strategy? Aside from groomed nails and whitened teeth, it's all down to wearing attention-getting colors and prints, blazers and bold glasses.
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PHOTO BY: River Island; Target; Kohl; Target
Give her secrets to success a boost with an energizing fragrance mist like Nature's Truth Peppermint Mist Aromatherapy Natural Oil ($7, target.com); a trendy white blazer like the Who What Wear Women's Plus-Size Double Breasted Belted Blazer in White ($50, target.com) in size X to 4X, or the Who What Wear Women's Double Breasted Belted Blazer in White in size S, M, L ($45, target.com); a structured white summer work bag like the Simply Vera Vera Wang Bedford Triple Entry Satchel in White Perf ($69, kohls.com); and a print wrap top like River Island Spot Wrap Blouse ($70, riverisland.com), size 2 to 14, and plus size 14 to 24.
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PHOTO BY: Getty Images
6. The sexy, single mom She's single but no “cougar” and would love to be on AARP's “Date My Grandma” series. Her clothes always have one provocative touch: Maybe it's a tailored jacket that hints of cleavage (she skipped the tank), wrap tops that display her waist or pencil skirts that show off her curves and still fabulous legs. She likes the peek-a-boo gaze of a side part and bangs, and wears big dark sunglasses and spicy perfume to her advantage.
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PHOTO BY: Loft; Target; Victoria's Secret; H&M
Keep a good thing going by giving her a shapely V-neck blouse like the Loft Plus Flutter Chambray Wrap Top ($55 loft.com) in size 16 to 26, or the Loft Regular Flutter Chambray Wrap Top ($55, loft.com) in size XXS to XXL; oversize sunnies — with UV protection, of course — like A New Day Cateye Sunglasses in Black ($15, target.com); a wild floral mix or roses and violets with a dash of leather like Victoria's Secret Tease Rebel Fragrance Mist ($25, victoriassecret.com); and a sensual draped pencil skirt like the H&M Draped Wrap-front Skirt ($35, hm.com).
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PHOTO BY: Getty Images (2)
7. The creative, caring mom She's loaded with personal style but isn't afraid to roll up her sleeves and get her manicure dirty playing with pets at an animal shelter, or volunteering at a local food pantry or soup kitchen. For all-around inspiration and energy, she takes dance and Zumba classes and is always learning something new — from a foreign language to growing her own veggies or supporting nonprofits that help others and encourage women around the world.
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PHOTO BY: Uncommon Goods; Toms; Everlane; Mac Cosmetics
Get into her world with a gift like MAC Viva Glam V Lipstick, a muted neutral pinky tan that suits everyone ($18.50, maccosmetics.com) — for each one purchased every cent is donated to the MAC Viva Glam Fund to support men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS; Tom's Black Nova Slip-On Espadrilles ($65, toms.com) — for every pair purchased a pair of shoes is donated to a child in need; a unique Upcycled Cotton Sari Robe ($50, uncommongoods.com) — handmade reclaimed saris by a co-op of women outside Rajasthan, India, provides an opportunity for a better standard of living; and an Everlane 100 percent Human Box-Cut Tee ($22, everlane.com) — for each tee Everlane donates $5 toward the American Civil Liberties Union.
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
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