HOUSTON – When you're 20, you can wear just about anything. But as women mature, finding the right style can be tricky. You're too old to dress like your teenage daughter, but you don't want to sport the same styles as your mom, either.
The good news: There is an in-between appropriate for you.
Fashion stylist Ruth Chow-Kneese says the trends and styles in magazines are intended for 20-somethings.
"When you're 40, you look ridiculous when you wear things like that," Chow-Kneese told consumer expert Amy Davis bluntly. "You look like you're trying too hard."
She says ripped jeans for 40-somethings are a fashion fail, as are leggings and yoga pants.
"You look like you're wearing your pantyhose without feet, which basically you are," Chow-Kneese said.
"What's the biggest mistake you think a lot of people are making?" Davis asked.
"When women are copying their daughters, they're wearing things too tight," she explained. "And when they're copying their mothers, they're wearing things too loose."
Chow-Kneese said you can get the look you want with a few tweaks.
She showed us styles with younger models but then created an outfit with the same look, but more appropriate for mature women.
Instead of light or white jeans, she says darker denim jeans are a much cleaner, classic look. Chow-Kneese says Target has good jeans if you buy the right size for your body. MadeWell also makes great jeans for women 40 and over.
Off-the-shoulder blouses are OK for women of any age.
"All women's shoulders look good. This doesn't age," she said.
She said women who dress like their mothers are often layering or wearing blouses and pants that are far too loose.
"They want to hide their middle. They think they have a stomach, so they want to hide it," Chow-Kneese explained. "You're not hiding it. All you're doing is adding 20 pounds to your look."
Instead, she says you should wear a printed blouse and an interesting necklace to draw the eye up and always tuck your blouse or tee in to create a waistline. Even pushing up your sleeves helps.
"Your wrists are the thinnest part of your body," Chow-Kneese said. "It will automatically make you look thinner."
And you can do athleisure without the leggings.
"These have as much stretch as leggings, but they don't look like leggings," Chow-Kneese said, about a pair of pants from Athleta. "They look like pants."
You can pair the pants with a sweater duster to dress it up.
Invest in patterned knit T-shirts. They go with anything. You can layer them to dress them up or down.
You will be stylish if you find clothes that are classic. When someone sees a picture of you in 10 or 20 years, you don't want them to be able to guess the year based on your trendy clothes.