Pursuant to my previous, self-absorbed post on my youthful demeanor (Or dementor, depending on the day), I continued to ponder the subject. Actually, my peeps do ask me quite often about this or that--where I shop, or get my hair cut, etc. (you know, girl stuff). And I realized I do have a bit of advice to share with anyone interested in updating their look.
So, all you in Generation Jones, if you're feeling a little dated, but don't want to look like you're trying too hard to be hip, come along with me.
My first advice, and the hardest: Lose your stomach.
After having been a thinner person for most of my life, then becoming a not-so-thin person, I used to make the joke that "of everything I've lost, I miss my waist the most." I didn't how true that was until I lost 50 pounds, and rediscovered my waist, and the wonders that having a waist does for you. I'm convinced that tummy fat--in a man or woman--contributes to somebody looking older than they should more than anything else.
And I don't mean you need to be a flat-ab-ed, rib-cage-showing fit freak, either. Because you don't. You just need to lose enough of your stomach so you don't have a fold down there, and you know where I mean. It might mean 10 pounds or it might mean 50, but believe me, you will not believe the comments you get when you get rid of your tummy.
Cut the calories, cut the fat, cut the beer, walk, and if you can manage a sit-up or two, the compliments you get will be all the motivation you need.
(And as a follow-up to this, if you lose your stomach, you will probably need some new clothes: make sure they fit and show that waist off, and for goodness' sake, don't buy them in either the teen OR the senior citizen department. Classic jeans, fitted t's, beautiful white blouses, well-fitting work pants or skirts--check out More magazine for some good advice.)
Second: Get a good haircut.
If losing your stomach is not only visually pleasing but probably also good for your cholesterol levels, getting a good haircut is going to top it off like frosting on a cake. And if you think getting a trim on that leftover '80s big-bangs thing is a "good haircut," think again.
You don't want it flat, you don't want it puffed, you just want a style that's easy to take care of, feels good on your head, and looks like you live in this century. Which is the 21st, BTW.
Ladies, if your hair if still past your shoulders (and oh please God, not flat, parted in the middle, with or without bangs), GET YOUR BUTT TO A HAIR STYLIST IMMEDIATELY. (With rare exceptions, and you will know who you are. Hopefully.) Check out all your friends, check out people at the mall, buy a couple hair-style magazines at the bookstore, or just opt for a classic, elegant pageboy, but don't be afraid to update. Also, don't be afraid to try something new: Not purple streaks, but maybe a boy cut? Eschew the obviously trendy (who really wants to try to contort with the hair dryer to flip up your back hair, as was the style a couple of years ago?) or the achingly youthful.
As far as color: up to you. There's a real movement to going naturally gray, but if that means your hair is somewhere between dishwater and dirt, you might consider some enhancement until you go over the edge to light gray or white. Or, it's a great time to try highlights or lowlights. I just don't recommend primary colors.
(Also, might be the time to update those glasses--the big-eyed look is so 1990.)
Third, and this one is for guys: Lose the facial hair. I mean it. The little modern version of the goatee looks good on 20- and 30-somethings, and the soul patch on, well, not many, but really--mustaches are so out I'm freezing just typing the words. And full beards--eeuuww. For one, if you're going gray, your beard goes first. Why advertise it? Nothing ages a guy like salt-n-pepper facial hair. I'm not sure what you're hiding under that beard, but it's time to uncover it, 'cause you're not hiding your age (not that you want to). And while we're at it: no comb-overs, no Brillcream, no sideburns. No toupees.
Well, how about you? What's your best advice?