How to Look Chic

Get casual: Loosen up your look—but only so far.

In today's workplace, every day has become Casual Friday. To me, it's not such a good thing. Some looks are not office appropriate for women of any age. They include super-low-riding jeans, ripped jeans, shoulder-baring halter dresses, midriff-baring tops, breast-baring camisoles, tight message T-shirts, microminis, hot pants, and flip-flops (the office is not the beach). But now that this clothing has become the new norm for people who work in "creative fields," you can see how a skirt and matching jacket, stockings, and pumps immediately look dated. "Dress less finished, and you'll look younger," says Sharyn Soleimani, personal shopper extraordinaire at Barneys New York. "When you're very young, you can be very finished and you still look young. But when you're more mature, imperfection looks so much better." If you're going to a casual dinner party at a friend's home on a Saturday night in the summer, a suit is too much. Ditch the skirt and wear the jacket (or better, a cardigan) with white jeans and strappy sandals. The goal is appropriately casual. Once you unleash yourself from the suit-as-uniform way of dressing, you will feel liberated and look 10 years (or more) younger.

Excerpted from How Not to Look Old: Fast and Effortless Ways to Look 10 Years Younger, 10 Pounds Lighter, 10 Times Better by Charla Krupp. Copyright © 2008 by Charla Krupp and the Stonesong Press, LLC. Published with permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.