Lovely at 60: Accessories and jewellery

Carefully chosen accessories add pizzazz and interest to an outfit. Think animal print belt, flashy handbag, sunglasses, jewellery and scarves.

Hats and berets are fun and stylish. Always tilt a hat or beret over the left eye. Curved belts sit well on the waist. They are difficult to come across but a leather worker will make one for you. Have one in black and one in tan.

TOP TIP: When wearing an extra wide curved belt, let it sit lower at the front by doing it up slightly loose. This looks excellent when the belt is worn over an untucked, close-fitting top.


Designer handbags are the must-have accessory at the moment and certainly add prestige to any rig-out if the name of the designer is prominently displayed. Happily, reproductions abound so everybody can indulge in designer handbags and almost nobody can tell the difference. Mind you, you need to cultivate the persona that shouts “Of course it is genuine!” Keep handbags in proportion to your height. Smaller handbags for shorter girls.

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If you include black, brown, grey and navy in your wardrobe, use jewellery and scarves for a lift. Red, yellow and beige are difficult for fair ladies to wear. Those colours tend to drain the complexion, but are fabulous on brown-eyed brunettes. Accessories can come in bright colours and lolly colours and ice cream colours and the stellar jewel colours to add that vibrant finish to your outfit.



No doubt you have a lovely collection of jewellery after all the years of inheriting, receiving presents and indulging yourself.

Jewellery is the ultimate accessory and adds the sophisticated finishing touch to your appearance. Try not to be too fussy about matching pieces. Don’t worry about mixing white gold with yellow and rose gold.

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Have your precious jewellery serviced by your jeweller: claws renewed on precious stones, worn down bands on rings built up, dents “panel beaten” out of pieces, usually bangles, when necessary. Necklaces need to be restrung when you notice wear or a fault in the thread. Try to have knotting done either between every bead or at least here and there to safeguard against loss if the necklace breaks. You may have vintage or antique pieces that can be functional again with a repair as simple as a new catch on a brooch. Have a loop put onto a cameo brooch to transform it into a pendant – I guarantee that it will look sensational.

Professional cleaning of your jewellery will make it “new” again.

TOP TIP: If you have a double or triple strand of graduated cultured pearls that you never wear, have them restrung to opera length. An opera length strand of graduated pearls looks a million dollars.


Continue to add to your collection. Vintage jewellery is sold for around half value, so is always good buying and often more interesting and stylish.

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Include the full range when wearing jewellery. Earrings to light up the face, watch, bracelet and rings to flash and sparkle. Brooches are fun and can be conversation pieces. Always wear a necklace. Even on home and gardening days, wear a simple silver or gold chain. A necklace really adds prettiness to the face.

I will list basic jewellery must-haves but the sky is the limit and your jewellery is really your collection.

  • A decent silver and a decent gold bracelet or bangle. Antique pieces are ideal.
  • A fine gold chain, a fine silver chain and a seed pearl necklace about 16 inches long. A variety of small pendants to add to the silver and the gold chains. Include a tiny diamond pendant.
  • Pearl, silver, diamond or zircon and gold earrings of medium size.
  • A watch with an easily read dial and day and date.
  • A variety of rings – diamond, emerald, sapphire, ruby or garnet, pearl and opal. Mix and match, but only three or four at once.
  • Now, whatever you like – long pendants, a variety of pearl necklaces. Designer necklaces. Opals are fantastic. Craftsman-made pieces. Costume jewellery across the spectrum. Your collection is only limited by your purse.

I must mention here that I consider pearls the most beautiful of gems and they are a personal favourite of mine. They make any woman look wonderful. Pearls suit everybody. I have recently been given a pink pearl necklace and it too is certainly gorgeous. Pearl necklaces, pearl earrings, bracelets and rings are timeless – pearl earrings would have to be the most enhancing and useful piece of jewellery you own. Mix pearls with opals for a pretty, springtime effect.

Costume jewellery can be so much fun because it is low cost, not usually of sentimental value – more here today gone tomorrow. I am sure that you will already have quite a collection. Time to sort through and discard the pieces that you will never wear again and broken pieces not worth repair. Identify pieces that have potential but have been forgotten. Clean them with a jewellery dip, detergent, warm water and a toothbrush. Costume jewellery and precious jewellery mix well – throw in some vintage pieces. The combinations are endless.

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Wedding, engagement, eternity rings and jewellery received as gifts, inherited pieces, holiday purchases, items chosen for you by children and grandchildren, pieces you couldn’t really afford all celebrate highlights of your life. Show off those pieces and re-live the wonder of those moments.

Nowadays when travelling, just when we have the opportunity to show off some precious jewellery it really can be too risky. Our age makes us more vulnerable to burglary. Best not to travel with valuable pieces. Make up a set of costume jewellery and simulated pieces, less valuable settings and stones. Try freshwater pearls, zircons, crystals, sterling silver rather than gold settings and include funky costume jewellery. Travelling without valuables takes away a great deal of stress.

TOP TIP: If you have a nickel allergy use clear nail polish to keep the nickel from touching your skin. If you develop a rash apply Betnovate cream (see Creams, Lotions and Ointments).



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Here are some ideas to flatter and enhance your appearance:

  • Lace, fur or a frill near your face.
  • Pearls – earrings and necklaces. The most flattering gem; probably because pearls are usually white and white near the face is ultra-flattering.
  • Eight denier panty hose – especially black.
  • A few curls in your hair.
  • “Your” colour near the face – pinks and blues for blondes. Burnt orange, saffron and yellow tones for brunettes. Jewel tones, emerald green, ruby red, sapphire blue, purple amethyst are lovely on girls with really dark hair, eyes and complexion.
  • Never wear a shade that is the same colour as your complexion; be wary of dusky pink, mushroom and pink-beige.
  • The flash of diamonds – or diamante or zircon around the face. After all “A kiss on the hand may be quite continental, but diamonds are a girl’s best friend.”
  • A soft light behind. Never choose to sit facing a window.
  • Remember, pockets on the backside of jeans and slacks to flatter the bottom.

We all have areas of our bodies that are now best hidden.

  • Use scarves and polo necks to conceal a wrinkly neck. The neckerchief worn with a crew neck top will blend the crew neckline with the neck, mask some of the lower neck wrinkles and add a touch of casual style.
  • Use slacks, jeans, boots and long skirts to conceal thick ankles and legs that you’d rather not show. Longer shorts will be necessary to hide wobbly thighs.
  • Apply wash-off leg tan from the knee down to mask patchy, mottled calves and feet. The result is really stunning. Just use a dark coloured washer to wash it off at bedtime.
  • I am about to put away the two-piece swimsuits in favour of a one-piece or tankini to hide the saggy midriff. I may also have to re-think the lovely long legged look of high-cut legs on swimsuits – the boy-leg or shorts look could hide a few leg problems and be more flattering.
  • Sleeves will hide a multitude of arm problems.
  • And always remember that we can be incognito behind sunglasses ala Jackie Onassis!
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For other great Health & Beauty Tips For Women Aged Between 60 & 80, Margaret Woodberry’s book is available for $23.25 via Booktopia.