In the book of clock-stopping commandments, "Don't let your clothes age you" is up there with "Always wear sunblock." The trick is to take some smart, super-flattering risks. Model Beri Smither (a gorgeous 41) demonstrates.
Add some party to your preppy
A swath of animal print (at an incredible price) and cool jewelry move classic layers from elegant to awesome.
Go short over long over slim
Why is it the perfect flattering formula?
It hides a tummy, plays up your legs, and comes off as rather badass. (any biker-style jacket will do)
Make a jewelry statement
A single, dramatic dose of glitz is chic in a confident, dowager-countess kind of way.
Just keep the rest of your jewelry minimal, or absent.
Balance girly with tough
Sweet pieces--ones with ruffles and frills--won't read too young if you add in studded booties and a spiky necklace.
Show off your legs...
A simply cut, slightly boxy, long-sleeved minidress lets you bare your stems. Just throw on black opaque tights if you're shy.
...or your arms!
Please put away any insecurity about your (strong, capable) arms: Play them up! A foxy-cozy turtleneck also spotlights bare shoulders and lets you relax already about your neck.
Be strategic with paneling
See how nice her waist looks? It's not just because she's a model--those side panels visually nip her in, without the Spanx.
Find the right jeans (at last)
Here's the deal: Slim, dark-wash, mid-rise jeans work on everyone, and keep you from looking like your mom (or, um, dad). Add a luxe top and flat boots and be done.