The teens in my costume co-op program always said don’t let age get in the way of your imagination. These students goaded me into the most fun and outrageous costume plays. I am grateful for them, the creativity they inspire, and want to share my best costume advice for women over 40.
1. Costume Advice for Women over 40 Begins with Your DNA
Forty was awesome and fifty was amazing. Almost sixty is still yet to be explored. To be honest, my DNA let’s me get away with wearing teenage sized clothes and costumes, but I don’t always. Sometimes wearing youth oriented clothing is just wrong. Except if you are Helen Mirren, who is now 71 and is my role model.
DNA, however, also gave me pale, thin skin and freckles and, thus, my face has fallen in a big way. No matter how I try and spin it, lines of laughter, sorrow or wisdom, those lines continue to deepen. Now I have to avoid using glitter in make-up because it accentuates all my winkles.
Focus on how you want to feel. Like closing your eyes and dancing by yourself. It’s then that I feel like my 17 year old self.
You can’t avoid your age, DNA or lifestyle.
Start with your best assets whether it’s your hair, boobs, legs or sense of humour.
Next, be true to yourself. No use putting on a tight corset if you know it will make you throw up.
The point of wearing a disguise is to push your envelope just a little. If you want to feel sexy, there are ways to do with without having your mid rift showing. For example, I have a really cool black organza bustle which when worn over black tights and great boots is really hot.
Society’s Preoccupation with Youth
my designs by dear @lillianliuphotography ❤ for @elegantmagazine muse Presley 🌷 mua @cinwu🌷 & @daisycode_ca🌷 #agnieszkaosipa #lillianliuphotography #elegant #magazine #corset #armor #silver #doll #jewellery #ornaments #embroidery #flowers #pearls #sadness #portrait #woman #pale #eyes #warrior #beauty #porcelain #makeup #shiny #art #photography #costume
I think society’s preoccupation with youth is perfectly reasonable. Don’t we all oooo and ahhh when seeing a spring flower or faun standing with it’s mother. Don’t we spend hours staring at our kids? Doesn’t seeing our daughters, and sons, leave for prom take our breath. Isn’t the sunrise, when we get up for it, always more satisfying than a sunset?
It would be very easy to lapse into a heated discussion about societies sexualization of girls, or the converse ~ how ambivalent and overprotecting parents exacerbate problems. Think “Millennials” only worse.
My point is, however, that in disguise we are safe to explore, talk, think and act out the conflicts we find about youth, beauty and aging. Like any stylist with clients I explore the event and their best assets. Playing up their best and most comfortable assets and downplaying the rest.
2. Best Costume Advice for Women Over 40 ~ Focus on Assets
One client had many assets, but felt her middle was getting in the way of the fun, sexy gal she is. Going to a superhero event, everybody ends up being Supergirl. However, after a short discussion, I talked her into being a villain, Poison Ivy.
I used a bustier and tutu to focus on her great bust and legs. I added an amazing long red cosplay which she styled herself, adding her own make-up and dollar store ivy embellishments.
Poison Ivy and her costume looks hot, but moreover, she took a chance on herself bringing inside out through disguise. At the Club, she was a breath of fresh air to all the other costumes and felt fabulous.
3. Best Costume Advice for women over 40 ~ find Inspiration
While Poison Ivy is waaaaay younger than Helen and I, it’s refreshing to see a problem and solution come together. Where do I get my ideas? Instagram, Tumblr and Deviant Art.
Social Media as Costume Art Gallery
Instagram has become my personal art gallery and using the hastag #costume I find ideas. A common misconception is that you have to replicate the exact look. However, the image only creates the feeling of character you are trying to evoke.
Take this model, the mother of the photographer Marcin Nagraba. The costume was done by the mysterious and brilliant designer Agnieszka Osipa. It’s beautifully ornate, heavy and costs thousands of dollars.
' SYGRYDA' my designs by @marcin_nagraba👑 and his mum as a model 🌷 #agnieszkaosipa #marcinnagraba #costume #warrior #queen #nordic #polish #corset #armor #helmet #headpiece #headgear #horns #silver #jewellery #ornaments #embroidery #pearls #spikes #portrait #woman #red #flowers #darkness #dark #art #photography
Find the elements of how a costume speaks to you. Is it the nature theme, the colours, the materials, strength, or mysticism of it? I was inspired by one of Osipa’s costumes and made this simple outfit from horns, a thrifted dress and a forest stick.
3. Best Costume Advice for Women Over 40 ~ Get Help
We are entering the dreaded season of summer theme parties culminating with Halloween. The best costume advice for women 40 plus is that should you find yourself needing a disguise, take advantage of the many independent costumiers and make-up artists that can teach you or provide products for you.
I am an independent costume stylist. I sell costumes, wigs and other accessories and provide free DIY advice. Let me help you reconnect with your fabulous self, wrinkles, rolls and all.
Text or call Alison, FeeFiFoFun Costume Concierge, at 416-705-9132.