I recently highlighted articles in the press that elucidate us on what women over 40 want in their jewelry wardrobes. Now I’d like to zero in on an important subcategory of that niche market, women over 60.
This week, at the holiday luncheon of the local chapter of the Association of Image Consultants International, I enjoyed a presentation by Colette Michelle, AICI, CIP, a charming and tres chic image consultant, 77 years of age, who hails from San Diego and is originally from France. Her topic: “The Ageless Woman After 60,” in which she shared “her knowledge and passion for keeping women attractive and sexy in their prime years.”
It should be no surprise that women over 60 want to feel attractive. Have you considered that jewelry plays an important role in this aspiration?
Ms. Michelle shared with the group a number of pointers she gives to her target audience on subjects ranging from hairstyles and makeup to hem lengths and shoes. As the body ages, physical changes may include the neck losing tone, the bustline lowering, and earlobes lengthening. Of course, these issues affect the optimal choices in jewelry. When she got to the subject of accessories, I scribbled away madly, eager to capture her view of what this niche market seeks.
With her charming French accent, she persuasively made a case for enticing the most reticent senior into bolder choices of accessories. “Don’t be afraid of wearing big accessories,” she urged; “they’re like the wind for a sailboat; they are the gusto in getting dressed.” In her workshops, she addresses individual women on what they are wearing. Inquiring about an audience member’s tiny cross on a chain and small dangling earrings, the wearer told her that the jewelry was a gift from her granddaughter. “Then when your granddaughter visits, wear them,” Ms. Michelle told her. “Otherwise, wear bolder pieces.”
A single strand of pearls all by itself is crying “poor little thing,” she noted. Don’t be afraid to mix it up with gold or silver necklaces or beads of other colors. And a mix of faux and real pearls is absolutely fine. Or buy two identical necklaces and wear them together. She believes in giving permission to women to wear more of their jewelry, something they appreciate.
The “greatest accessory” for a woman to wear? If you’ve read Jewelry Savvy, you know the answer to this. Ms. Michelle physically demonstrated this point. Where do your eyes go as you look at me? she asked before turning around to face away from us. Now what’s different? she asked, turning back, after having removed her large sparkling clip earrings.
The greatest accessory for a woman to wear is earrings. Why are earrings so important? According to Ms. Michelle:
- They add glamour to an outfit.
- They effectively change the face shape and take five pounds off around the face.
- They bring a gleam to the face.
Although she recommends large earrings, she discourages the wearing of dangling earrings (referencing 1920’s and other antique styles including chandelier earrings), which she says can look old-fashioned on an older woman.
Dress well, she encourages her audience. Why? It gives you confidence. And confident, bolder choices in jewelry are part of the mix. Retailers, take note.