Wish you could knock a few years off your appearance but sick of the same old style advice? Wondering whether you should cover up or show off your best assets? Test out new trends or stick to the classics? Well, we’re here to help, with 10 tried-and-tested tips that science says could have you looking 10 – or even 15 – years younger in a jiffy: no nasty needles or fancy facials required. We’ll help you get the basics sussed, then figure out how to push the envelope without looking like a fashion victim. So sit back and listen up, because this might just surprise you…
1. Wear the right bra
First things first: get the foundations right. You may know all about Spanx, but could you be neglecting two of your most important allies in the fight against ageing? Wearing the wrong bra can make you look heavier, shorter and older. Most women wear theirs too loose in the back and too tight in the cup. Get fitted once a year and treat yourself to a new bra every 6-8 months. A sleek nude-hued T-shirt bra with gentle push-up effect will take years off. When you first buy a new bra, you should be wearing it on the loosest hook. Once it’s on the tightest hook, you need a new one. Make sure you adjust the shoulder straps to counteract any tell-tale signs of drooping, too.
Seductive Comfort Customised Lift Bra, £35, Calvin Klein
2. Find your perfect jeans
Denim should make you look (and feel) young and fresh, not like you’ve raided your daughter’s wardrobe. Opt for a mid-rise jean in a dark blue wash with slimming tummy panels and a ‘push-up’ rear and you won’t go wrong. The NYDJ (Not Your Daughter’s Jeans) range promises to make you look a dress size smaller (in fact, you’re encouraged to order one size down from your regular size) thanks to its patented lift tuck technology. A slim-fitting jean with a bit of stretch is your best bet. Opt for a slight flare if you’re pear-shaped. Athletic and apple shapes can get away with slim or skinny fits. Boyfriend jeans may be ‘in’, but beware: baggy jeans tend to make you look older. However, NYDJ’s boyfriend style has a sleeker, more figure flattering fit.
Slim Jean in Dark Blue Denim, £119.95, NYDJ
3. Get your heel height right
Low Block Heel Court Shoes with Insolia, £19.50, Marks & Spencer
Heels: they make you feel confident, commanding and… uncomfortable. Not if you get the heel right, they don’t. Get all of the benefits with none of the compromises by opting for a mid-height heel. Try a statement kitten heel a la Theresa May, or opt for an on-trend block heel. A metallic court shoe or colour-block mule will take you from day to night.
Block Heel Mule Shoes with Insolia, £19.50, Marks & Spencer
4. Plump for ponte
Stretch jersey might be comfy, but it can also highlight lumps, bumps and saggy bits. But covering up in baggy clothes makes you look older. Don’t despair! Ponte, a thicker, more grown-up variety of stretch jersey which holds its shape whilst elegantly camouflaging lumps and bumps, is the answer. Opt for slim-fitting (but not skin-tight) dresses and trousers in the magic fabric.
Ponte Skinny Leg Trousers in Midnight Blue, £99, Jaeger
5. Make the right statement
Statement jewellery needn’t make you look like your granny – or your granddaughter. Steer clear of heirloom-style costume jewellery and oversized pearls and opt for sleek, modern styles in interesting shapes, instead. Wear a single statement necklace over a little black dress, plain T-shirt or Breton-striped top for an effortlessly chic vibe. “The trick to looking younger is adding one fashionable piece to a classic outfit,” says celebrity stylist Cher Coulter, whose clients include Sienna Miller and Kate Bosworth.
Labradorite Offset Rectangle Necklace, £38, Ottoman Hands
6. Let your earrings do the talking
The right pair of light-reflecting earrings will endow you with a youthful glow whilst drawing the eye away from any problem areas. Opt for slick, unfussy styles – you’ll look modern, but not try-hard.
Prism Pendant Earrings, £19, & Other Stories
7. Show off your assets
Covering up in baggy clothes can pile on up to 15 years, according to research. Participants thought that the same women appeared more than a decade younger when dressed in form-fitting clothing, even when they were asked to focus solely on their faces. Skirt and dress hemlines should hit the slimmest part of the area around your knee, whether that’s on the knee, just above or just below. And remember, a form-fitting pencil skirt may be more flattering than an A-line, pleated style, which might be trendy, but could make you look frumpy – leave ‘granny chic’ to the youngsters. Trouser hems should hit the ankle, or, if you prefer a wide-leg fit, skim the bottoms of your shoes. Balance is key: if you prefer to cover your legs, show off your shoulders or cinch in your waist, instead.
Wild Floral Pencil Skirt, £45, Oasis
8. Add an ankle boot
“Without fail, they make any outfit look younger,” insists Coulter. Opt for a classic style with a statement-making twist like an interesting heel shape or standout detail.
Statement Heel Ankle Boots, £265, Russell & Bromley
9. Take your scarf off
Wear a bold scarf around your neck and you’re more likely to be mistaken for a flight attendant than a hip young 30-something, according to fashion insiders. So what should you do with it? Tie it around your bag handle, of course! Feeling lazy? Buy one they prepared earlier…
City Bag with Scarf, £29.99, Zara
10. Go bold and beautiful
Always wear black? Your complexion could be paying the price. Black not only washes us out, but emphasises wrinkles and dark shadows. Inject a little colour and print into your wardrobe for an instant youth boost. Ease yourself in with greys, taupes and chocolate browns if you’re colour-shy. Find out what colours suit you.
Orange Colour Block Top, £33, Wallis