Because I've done this off and on for awhile, I have observed many customers over the years. It has been my habit to pay attention to women who are about ten years older than me. What do they wear? What do they do with their hair? Jewelry, make-up, shoes? I made a mental note of things I liked so that in the future I would have a guideline........not for what was age appropriate (is that saying even mentioned when talking about men?), but rather what I might consider wearing as I got older.
This is what works every single time...........................
Older women who know what they like can wear anything. They can wear a linen sack with a belt and make you believe it's the most fashionable thing you've seen. They can be overweight and in head-to-toe black, but with red patent-leather ballet flats they make a statement. They can be wrinkled and a little stooped over, but with a stack of bracelets on their wrist they could be in a Sundance catalog. They have no intention of trying to look like the daughter they have raised. They know what works and they don't waver much from the formula as it has served them well - much like the body they inhabit.
Money can't buy that and likely explains why I often have a hard time with the hand-holding, propping up and counseling part of retail. I assume that if you're in your forties and beyond you already have a life story of great sorrow and immeasurable joy. You are the acquirer, for better or worse, of wisdom.
This clothes thing is no more than the candle on your cake.