Gretta Monahan

Our style savvy source Gretta Monahan answers your fashion inquiries!

on Oct 16, 2008

I am 39 years old and have always worn surf industry clothes, Abercrombie and American Eagle. But I am just too old for that now, but it is really all I can afford. I am having such a hard time switching over to another style for my age...The problem is that instead of feeling casual now, I just feel sloppy and "old". Like I am still holding on to my youth...what can I do? - Kim

Hi Kim,
With a little guidance, I don't think you'll have any trouble honing in on a sophisticated style that's all your own. Abercrombie and American Eagle are not inexpensive stores, so, I think you'll find there are plenty of chic looks within your budget, you just have step outside your comfort zone and take off that logo hoody! The first step is to find a few, new "must" stops at the mall. J.Crew, Gap and Ann Taylor Loft are great stores for easy to put together, casual looks that are still age appropriate and wallet friendly. While you absolutely need to get rid of anything that has writing on it, you don't necessarily need to weed out your surfer girl attitude. Take a hoody, for example: if you invest in this style in cashmere, you can still rock that carefree part of your personality, whether with jeans or a nicer pant. It's all about picking and choosing. So many of us have had the same, old, outdated style for years and then suddenly realize the rut we're in! That doesn't mean every piece of clothing in your closet needs replacing, you just need to be able to discern what's worth keeping and working into your new look. Stay tuned to the show every week because you'll pick up way more pointers than I could give you in one blog response, but here's a start - Build from the basics. When I think of a grown-up Abercrombie girl, I think a nice, crisp, dark denim, good quality t-shirts in basic colors and some chic sweaters and jackets. No woman in her thirties could ever wrong with dark jeans, a great tee and a leather jacket (worth investing in). What's really important is getting comfortable in your own skin and learning to accept the style that you're creating for yourself. It's about trying things on and seeing what works. You're obviously not feeling the "old you" look, so, when you find the "new you" look, you'll know. Happy Shopping!