Photo: Robert Trachtenberg
Q: I'm 37, but people frequently think I'm closer to 20, which is a problem at work. Can you help?
A: Sure, but don't you think a grateful nod to your genetic fairy godmothers is in order first? Seriously, though, I understand your need to look more authoritative. Maybe you've been stuck in the same style since college—naturally young-looking people often fall into that. More sophistication is in order: Wear makeup. Get a good haircut (no ponytails, no cascading locks). Shop judiciously (J.Crew, not Abercrombie & Fitch; Ann Taylor, not Bebe). Casual-verging-on-sloppy outfits and pastels read young; deeper colors and polished, fully accessorized ensembles read grown-up (but not old).
Left, a suit (Ann Taylor jacket, $229, and skirt, $119) will command respect at the office (top, Hilton Hollis; belt, Kristin Kahle); right, a pretty floral print dress with belt (Ann Taylor, $169) looks more finished with a sleek cardigan (Magaschoni, $298).
From the March 2009 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine