How Not To Look Old

    Who says fashion is a game for the young? Just because you've hit 50 doesn't mean that you have to trade style for sackcloth. Yes, we know: A few of your best assets have moved a bit south. But with some artful dressing -- and some fab shoes -- you can look as pulled-together as the pretty-young-thing in the cubicle next door. Where to begin? Check out five women in their 50s, 60s and 70s who've offered up themselves (and their figure flaws) for some tweaking.

    Liz Linder

    In her late 60s, Judy recently made the transition from country gal to urbanite. Now, she is trying to create a wardrobe to match -- all the while struggling with the reality of a slightly thicker middle and the demands of twice-a-day dog walks. Her first instinct: Cover up with loose layers and clunky shoes. Our first instinct: No way.

    Liz Linder

    No matter your age, you can create a downtown vibe; it's just a matter of addition and subtraction. First, subtract the ill-fitting pants and vest. Next, add a wider-leg pant (here, jeans by Michael Kors), a t-shirt and a trendy cropped jacket. The result: a slimmer-looking torso and a well-proportioned bottom. To finish off the outfit: chunky beads (for fun) and cool urban sneakers (which will make Judy's dog-walking excursions comfy and chic).

    Liz Linder

    For days when she needs a slightly more polished look, Judy has only to repeat the fashion recipe with different ingredients. Here, she pairs a black bootleg pant with a form-fitting boat-neck top and a citrus green shaped blazer. Her black pumps up the look -- quiet dinner-for-two? Hot art gallery opening? And her medallion necklace underscores how one great piece of jewelry -- real or faux -- can make any outfit a knockout.

    Liz Linder

    For 20-somethings, layered looks can help show off your best assets -- long legs, trim tops. But for older women, layers can become something to hide behind, which is exactly what Allison is trying to do. Though the 50-year-old photographer has a youthful face, she has the age-old tremors about her mid-section and her thighs.

    Liz Linder

    Why would anyone with curves like Allison's want to hide them? The trick is all in proportion. Right in Allison's closet, we found a pair of nifty jeans -- jeans that she actually insisted were too small -- and topped them with a form-hugging V-neck sweater. The result: one curvy lady.

    Liz Linder

    Allison loves a cute dress, and there's no doubt that the wrap works wonders. Fitted correctly, a wrap, like this turquoise piece, creates an hourglass middle, and the slightly flared skirt hides any thigh issues. Finally, a pair of black high-heeled boots (worn, as Allison does, with patterned tights) give short legs a long-limbed appeal.

    Liz Linder

    Where have you heard this litany before? Susan, who is 60, demands that her clothes keep her warm, make her comfortable and hide those middle-age bumps. Small wonder that Susan, who recently moved from northern California to Boston, hides behind over-sized turtlenecks like this one.

    Liz Linder

    Susan has great height and great proportion, so all she really needs is a little magic to smooth things over. First step: a bit of Lycra. Next, a small print (nothing is more timeless and fun than an animal motif), a V-neck (it's far more youthful), straight-leg trousers and a little heel. Now, what were the flaws Susan was complaining about?

    Liz Linder

    The most elementary rule for beating back the cold: layers. And that's the surest way to keep Susan warm. Here, we paired her black pants with another Lycra V-neck top, then added a black cotton sweater jacket, which, happily, does double duty. Not only is Susan toasty-warm, but her torso also looks long and lean.

    Liz Linder