Refresh your style: Creating an age-appropriate look

Terri Pastrana, left, before her makeover and two new looks, right, after her makeover.
Terri Pastrana, left, before her makeover and two new looks, right, after her makeover.

“I am a thin, fit, confident 55-year-old with a nice figure and an old wrinkled face,” Terri Pastrana, owner of Coffee and Crepes in Cary ( wrote in email. “As the owner of a local coffee shop, I can presumably be more colorful and less conformist than someone who goes to a corporate office. My problem is how to do it without looking silly for my age.”

I know how to do that. I created a look for Pastrana that matches her energetic attitude and eclectic tastes without swinging into “I’m trying to look young” territory.

Before: Pastrana’s outfit hugs her figure, showing off her fit shape, but it doesn’t match the professional image she’s aiming for. “People have accused me of trying to look like a teenager. They say I dress too young.” Pastrana needs modern clothes that look sophisticated.

After, hair and makeup: Wanda Tripp at Rumors Hair Studio in Durham gave Pastrana a haircut and color that took years off her appearance. The warm brown haircolor better suits her complexion and makes her hair look fuller. A side swept bang takes the attention off her forehead and showcases her eyes and cheekbones. Barrel-shaped curls dance around her cheeks, softening her jawline. LaToya Simms added makeup that accentuates her coloring. Simms created a frame for Pastrana’s eyes by filling in her eyebrows, and then added warm, neutral eyeshadows, a fringe of false lashes and pops of colorful blush and lip color.

After, what’s trending: Mixing patterns is a modern, age-appropriate way for Pastrana to play with a trend. She resisted pull-on pants when I first showed them, but these printed Elliott Lauren pants ($135) won her over. I teamed them with the textured Curio sweater top ($156), worn under a Tribal patterned top ($74) and Brighton belt ($55). I added quirky touches with the Pikolinos sandals ($180), Hobo crossbody bag ($148), Karma umbrella ($20), necklaces by John Wind ($118) and Poetic License ($184), and bracelet by Brighton ($42).

After, elegant maxi: You don’t have to show everything to highlight a fit figure. The Soft Works knit maxi skirt ($89) skims Pastrana’s slim figure elegantly, while the Escapada tunic top ($80) and Street Ahead woven belt ($110) highlight her trim torso. The Pikolinos sandals ($180), Be You Ellen clutch ($85), and necklaces by Brighton ($38) and Poetic License ($184) and Brighton bracelet ($42) show her individuality.

Kudos to LaToya Simms and Wanda Tripp for providing a pampering makeup and hairstyling session for Pastrana. She picked up some tricks she’ll use and may return for more pampering, she said. Pastrana was pleasantly surprised by the cool pieces at Smitten Boutique, which she hadn’t visited, including the patterned pants, sandals and sleeveless sweater she bought. “I can see it’s a matter of having confidence in what looks good on you,” she said.

Photos by Juli Leonard

Hairstyling by Wanda Tripp, Rumors Hair Studio (, 2604 Hillsborough Road, Durham 919-382-3224

Makeup by LaToya Simms of Raleigh, or 919-272-7555.