From the November 2007 issue of Boomer Market Advisor • Subscribe!

Fashion alert -- Earth shoes and paisley prints no longer cool

Baby boomers spend more than $100 billion annually on clothes, but you wouldn't know it from the styles too many choose. However, consultant Sherrie Mathieson says youthful style is still an option for those over 50.

According to Mathieson, a former costume designer and author of "Forever Cool: How to Achieve Ageless, Youthful and Modern Personal Style," boomers don't have to surrender to invasive cosmetic procedures to look youthful. Alarmed at the lack of fashion sense displayed by her generation who has confused style that is "young" for youthful, Mathieson is teaching America's boomers the principles for classic, youthful, yet age-appropriate style.

"Boomers are competing with their own Gen X kids and Gen Y grandkids for jobs, dates and center stage," she says, "yet are often ignored in our society with its focus on a strong youth culture."

Using mature real people of diverse backgrounds rather than models, she illustrates more than 200 "before and after" makeovers, offering remedies for popular boomer style crimes and prescribing the vital nutrients for basic fashion health. Mathieson says staying "cool" means knowing who you are and realizing your full potential, but "forever cool" is ageless, modern and youthful. Build your look on a foundation of classic styles and it will serve you well through years of changing fashion trends, because according to Mathieson, "cool" has no expiration date.

"It seems as if people turn 50 and suddenly look either decidedly un-hip or as though they are trying to appear ridiculously youthful," says Mathieson. "It is ironic for the generation that prides itself on reinventing the concept of middle age."

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