Style at Any Age: A Guest Post from Megan LaRussa

So the other day I was on Twitter and a friend posted that she and several friends had dressed up for a 90’s party. My first thought was, “Oh how fun! I love dressing up in old outfits! I bet they really came up with some outrageous outfits!!” And then I clicked on the pictures. Ahem. Y’al, I about DIED to realize that I OWN and regularly wear outfits just like those!! After I stopped laughing, I immediately contacted Megan LaRussa.

Megan is a Birmingham-based stylist. She works with women all over the south to help them pull together a stye that is contemporary and yet “them”. She writes about her fashion coaching (and gives FABULOUS style tips) on her blog,

I knew Megan could give moms like us some tips on pulling together a look that works for us functionally, but yet gives us some style as well. Many thanks to Megan for sharing with us today!!

By: Megan LaRussa of Southern Femme

As a Style Coach I work with moms of all ages to instill both style and confidence into their everyday life…without spending a ton of time and energy doing so! With each decade, your personal style, body type and budget will all change and develop. This happens to EVERY woman so no need to feel alone or frustrated anymore!

But if you ever feel overwhelmed at times knowing:
*What is ‘age appropriate’
*What clothing looks ‘frumpy and dumpy’ on YOU
*How to handle getting ‘a little lost’ along the way with your personal style, dressing your body, and even where to shop
*How to ‘just say no’ to sharing clothing with your young daughters

Why is staying current and chic important? Why is it even worth your time? Remember your clothes speak for YOU. Make sure they know what to say. Your clothing is a form of social communication, and let’s be honest a ‘good outfit/hair/skin’ day can make life a little more pleasurable ☺

Image courtesy of Vogue

And in the words of famous fashion designer Marc Jacobs…

“All you need is confidence, comfort and the pleasure of dressing.”

I’m going to teach you how to achieve all 3 of these things!

#1: Know Your Body Type:

Your body type will change over the years, and thus so should your wardrobe. If you know your real body type and what styles, colors and shapes look good on your figure then you will always look your best AND can easily look 5-10 lbs slimmer!

Take your measurements to know your accurate body type!

One of the most important tips for women of all body types is to remember dressing is about balance. If you are wearing a voluminous, tunic style top always pair it with a straight leg jean or pant, and vice versa.

Coco Channel said it perfectly, “Fashion is architecture. It is a matter of proportions.”

The ultimate style icon, Coco Chanel

#2: Get Inspired! Learn to Enjoy your Personal Style:

Similar to your body type, your personal style may evolve over time perhaps from funky and trendy in your 20’s, 30’s, & 40’s, to more classic with a trendy edge through your accessories in your 50’s & 60’s. Or maybe you’ve ‘lost’ your style over the years and need a refresher course and some inspiration!

Stylish Femme & Designer, Vera Wang showing off her personal style in her own closet.

The BEST (and most fun/least expensive) way to gain a good feel for your style is reading magazines, blogs, and even creating inspiration boards on Pinterest. Simply, go through magazines and blogs, then pull/pin images that you are attracted to. Everything from colors, total looks, hairstyles, accessories or certain pieces. When you go back through what you’ve marked, you will see a pattern of what you love. And better yet you’ll have a series of style inspiration images for those mornings when you feel like you ‘have nothing to wear’.

#3: Have Quality Basics that are UP-TO-DATE.

When you have well-fitting, quality basics they will allow you to build multi dimensional outfits in your wardrobe. What was fashionable in the 80’s will usually NOT still be stylish today, so ladies say goodbye (and thank you for the good times!) to those items that are just plain dated. But if you invest in quality, timeless pieces they can last you decades!

10 Items to consider:
1. Wrap dress

Select a wrap dress, like a DvF one, with a thicker fabric for a more flattering silhouette.

2. Black pencil skirt (that hits right at the center of your knee cap)

3. Dark wash jeans (2 pairs, one hemmed to flats & 1 hemmed to heels)

4. Ballet flats

50-something French style icon, Ines de la Fressange sporting a basic tee, ballet flats, and dark wash jeans!

5. Basic black & nude pumps (select a pump with a slightly rounded, slightly pointed toe, that is more likely to remain in style than super pointed or square)

6. I tell every single style coaching client that they must have a basic black fitted cardigan in their wardrobe. Invest in a great quality cardigan in a heavier fabric like cashmere for fall and winter, and a lightweight cotton one for spring/summer.

7. Black opaque tights (NO sheer black tights!)

8. Black and/or metallic clutch for evening- never wear your every day purse when going to a nicer dinner or function.

9. Black trousers- pick the shape of the pant based on your body type. So if you are curvier, pick a boot cut trouser. If you are more pencil shaped, you can pick one that is straight legged. AND steer clear of anything that is too low-rise OR high-rise. Anything that has an 80’s waistline or fit needs to go!

10. Basic quality white tee. They are a great basic for your weekend looks. Try it with a pencil skirt+ cardigan + flats, OR with jeans + a cute flat or boot. Wear your blazer from your black suit with your white v-neck tee, jeans and ballet flats for the perfect casual outfit. It’s très Parisian and classic!

Alright ladies, now that you know the top 3 ways to be effortlessly chic, I want you to actually put these tips into action. Just like you would learn to play the piano or learn to speak French by practicing, same goes for learning to be stylish!

And I leave you with one of my favorite quotes…

“I have never known a really chic woman whose appearance was not, in large part, an outward reflection of her inner self”.
—Mainboucher, couturier and former Editor in Chief of French Vogue.

Yours in Style,


Megan LaRussa
Style Director of Southern Femme
Style Coach/Wardrobe Stylist
[email protected]

P.S. Want more style?? I invite you to check out the Style Yourself Chic in 30 Days program!

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  1. Suzanne Moore says

    Love this post, Ashley! We Moms can all use an!! Hope to see you soon and that ya’ll are having a wonderful summer! Much love, Blessings, Suz

    • thehillhangout says

      Thanks, friend! Yes, we can all use a fresh update every now and then. You, however, could be giving out tips! You always look terrific. 🙂

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