Part 5: 12 Tips to Help Find Your Personal Style in 2013

January 25, 2013
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By Barbara Ardolino

Ah, we are here at last, the start of a brand-new year. I honestly believed the Mayan Calendar may have been right and the end of the world was upon us! Like many of you, I am happy to say “bon voyage” to 2012 and turn to 2013 with a renewed confidence for the New Year!

In my final article for this five-part series I will share with you a few questions I have been deluged with in my Q&A format and finish up with my personal list of “12 style tips.”


Q:  I was in Red Bank this past weekend with my girlfriends when we noticed a woman wearing a very short dress. She looked great until she turned around and we saw that she was a lot older than we would have guessed. The outfit seemed “strange” or out-of-place to me. A big conversation ensued about the woman and whether her outfit was “age appropriate.” I would like you to weigh in since you work with women over 40.


A: There are two schools of thought here. One, if you’ve got it, flaunt it. And, two, there is an expiration date on how long you can wear “mini anything.” I am of the second opinion. Short dresses, short skirts and short shorts translate “youth” to me. If you have wrinkles, veins and/or are coloring your hair to “get rid of the gray,” move that hemline down a few inches!


Q: What trend(s) have you most enjoyed this season and which ones would you like to say “goodbye” to?


A:  As I have said previously, trends come and go but style is forever (actually those are Yves Saint Laurent’s words). It is important that the trends work for you. I love leather and I loved the cropped leather jackets this season and, yes, leather is hot again in the spring! Leather, however, is not for everyone.

Get Planting: Spring Has Sprung

I can name a few trends I never said “hello” to and do not work for many women, and age does play a huge factor!

Neon, please begone. Neon is beyond bright and is so easy to get wrong. There is no reason to scream “look at me” in this blinding color or worse – multicolors. I actually saw a woman wearing neon yellow and neon blue on top and bottom. I just wanted to cry – and cry I will. Neon will be seen this spring from eyeliner to accessories. I am not a fan of “see-through” clothes. This fall see-through lace tops were all the rage. And get ready because spring promises to bring an array of “peekaboo” clothes including see-through skirts.  I just think this trend is so unnecessary.


Q: It is after the holiday season and I have certainly put on a few pounds. Do you have any advice to help look thinner while trying to work off the extra pounds?


A: Yes I do! This overall silhouette works on most body types.  It is called “column dressing.” The idea is to create a vertical line, long and lean. Wear dark colors on top and bottom (dark colors have a slimming effect while light colors expand). For example: black leggings or tapered pants, black top (I would suggest something a bit “drapey” to cover any tummy problems), pop on a tunic-length blazer or cardigan in a different color, add a fun scarf, throw on some riding boots or booties (in black of course) and you are good to go!!

Personal style tips for every woman:


1. Every woman needs a crisp white shirt.

Family Ties, Struggles and a Taste of Ireland

2. To truly look “sexy” you need to show your skin strategically!

3. Round down denim when in doubt.

4. Never buy a boring coat.

5. Conquer your fear of color.

6. Hem your pants to a specific shoe height.

7. Every woman needs a great tailor.

8. Pair loose with tight, short with long, long with short (the juxtaposition of dressing).

9. Every woman needs a great foundation.

10. Monochromatic dressing creates a vertical line.

11. Adding accessories not only “punches” up an outfit, it also expresses individual style.

12. Embrace your figure!!!!!!!!


I hope you have enjoyed reading my series on “Re-discovering Your Personal Style.” You may have found it entertaining or informative, maybe even interesting. Whatever it has been, I have enjoyed sharing my “pearls of wisdom” with all of you.

Remember: Personal style is an attitude not just a look. I wish you luck in your quest to be the very best … you!





Barbara Ardolino is a personal stylist. Since starting her company, Fab Over 40, she has been helping women understand their sense of style and what looks best on them. This is the final installment in her five-part series on personal style for the Style section of The Two River Times™. Please reach Barbara by email with your questions or comments at

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