I spotted a gorgeous leopard print flowing chiffon knee-length dress with kickass gold stud detailing attached to a halter neckline. It was FABULOUS! As I took it off the rack and placed it against my body in front of the mirror, the shop assistant frowned, ” It’s too sexy. Not for you. You are not sexy. You are more fashionable than sexy.”

Well, she might as well have punched me in my ovaries. As one eye was darting for the exit, I felt the hand that was holding the dress quiver and my cheeks turn a hue of scarlet.

In my mind, being sexy was all about your quick wit, your conversation, your confidence. Obviously to the outside world I looked like a frumpy mum, who would clearly look like a horny cougar had I ever dared to wear this dress. Embarrassed, I bolted out of the shop, stopped for a freshly squeezed celery juice and caught a taxi straight to the gym.

To help me with this fashion-backward moment, I consulted my style-guru and friend, Melissa Lewis from Style Confidante, when I got home.

Here are her top five tips for carrying off “Stylish” in your 40s:

1. Determine the best style for you – understand your changing body shape not SIZE and know what cuts, fabrics and prints work, and what doesn’t anymore!
2. Take care with Necklines, especially if you are bigger in the bust area. Avoid drawing attention to your décolletage by softening a round neck or a v neck top or dress with a gorgeous silk scarf to lift the eye level and add a “pop” of colour and personality.
3. Consider the length of skirts and dresses. We like to use one of the oldest tricks in the book. If you stand upright with your arms handing down at your sides, the hem of your skirt should extend past your fingers. For a safe chic skirt or dress, always choose a knee length pencil cut.
4. Know your signature colour. Our individual features, skin and hair tone determine what colours best suit us. Some can complement and enhance our facial features, whilst others can make us look worn tired, and older!
And finally….
5. Pay attention to small detail – take pride in your personal grooming i.e hair, nails, make up, eyebows, chins (yes ladies it can happen earlier than you realise). Basically ensure your look is complete.

Thanks Melissa!!! If you would like more details or arrange to speak with one of Style Confidante’s accredited stylists, contact the team via their website or call 0405 440 366.