For those of you who don’t know her yet, let me introduce my friend Joann Cohen
Meet Dating Expert Joann Cohen
Joann has Master’s in Education with a concentration in Human Relations and Counseling and had been featured by TV guide, Fox news, USA today, TLC, ABC and many others ( To find out more about her visit www.joanncohen.com/ )
A couple of weeks ago we were talking about the subject of older women and some of the challenges that they face…here’s what Joann had to say
Some seniors are in great shape
My mom is pretty awesome. She still goes to the gym three times a week and does weights/cardio, is taking sign language, volunteers at the airport and is in better health than all her kids! “
Looking good in dating photos….This can be more of a challenge for seniors.
Women have more a challenge
As you said, women have more a challenge. As they become over 65 years, there are tons to women and few men. Of the men who are single, there are few healthy, financially ok, relationship minded men. Women who want these men – have lots of competition. Those men almost always want to go for younger and they definitely go for youthful appearance. A woman can go online and search for women in her age category and search for men to see the numbers for herself.
I don’t make the rules
I don’t make the rules but I do communicate them to clients. Therefore most of these points below are for senior women.
Old Hair Styles
Women – keep old hair styles that age them. It’s the bouffant/puffy look. They can stay grey/white but add a contemporary edge. There are several senior women models that they can take some photos to their hairdresser and try something different.
Not too Blond
Women go too blonde. It washes them unless they are super careful with makeup. Blonde is a color that hides the grey better (greying roots are more observable on dark color hair) but it’s a double edged sword. Women’s coloring naturally fades as we get older and really light hair, makes us washed out. Women need to be careful and look for adding darker blondes perhaps with a few blonde highlights.
Men/Women – seem they wear lots of blacks, whites, grey. On seniors – I think color really helps to make them youthful. The black just seems to wash them out. Color seems and feels more vibrant = youthful. (there’s actually a study that wearing color and good fitting clothes can alter a bad mood to a positive one!). Blues, teals (look good on almost any skin shade), purples (that’s a go to color for men – there’s always a shade that looks good on a man), etc.
Smiling is even more important – it diminishes the jowling.
Even more important
Posture is even more critical. While it’s a problem for anyone not to stand up straight – when they’re seniors, things have really sagged. This sagging really ages them and makes them look older and heavier. This results in women having less definition in their curves. It’s important women wear good bras (yes- I will tell women of any age that.)
Show who you are
There’s numerous studies that men are attracted to curves so it’s crucial women show them. Women make a mistake that men want skinny ladies – big mistake. I had a senor client (80 something) and if a woman was 5’4”, she better by at least 165 pounds. So whatever women have – make sure they show it!
Women try to hide the weight (of all ages) by wearing loose billowy clothes. This always adds weight to everyone but really bad for older women. They are more likely than younger women to wear baggier clothes – it’s a safe way of disappearing. But it disappearing doesn’t work online to capture a man.
Don’t try too
Some women go the opposite and try to dress too youthful or wear too much makeup. They’ll try to capture the men’s attention with some outfit that would look best on their granddaughters. The color is too dramatic for This will actually make them look older and more desperate.
Classy and contemporary
I recommend to my senior clients style to go for classy and contemporary. They don’t have to dress in the latest Vogue fashion but show that they know classic style. For example – my mom’s dress ( I bought it for her). It’s classic, Ralph Lauren.
Seniors’ skin has sagged and gotten spotty so a deep cut (even v neck) may not be their best look. So a Boat neck (straight across like my Mom’s), round collar can be flattering. I don’t usually like turtlenecks as most women (unless they had work done) is jowly and the turtleneck emphasizes it.
And most (not all) arms have really gotten saggy. So wear clothes that go to the elbow, ¾ sleeves or long sleeves is a more flattering look. Of course, men over 50 without shirts isn’t going to work but they still try. If you’re someone that has toned arms (I do have 1 senior female client with amazing toned arms) than she’ll want to flaunt them. But that’s 1 out of a thousand.
Shoes are huge. In photos many will wear clunky orthopedic looking things which is again. I always have women wearing a spikey (even if it’s a small heel) to make their ankles and legs look slimmer. I have women of all ages wear spikes because wedges, chunky heels make legs look bigger. If they can’t wear heels, then a ballet slipper or similar simple flat. IF that fails – don’t take any photos showing the feet.
Take the time
I also recommend to all clients that they have photo shoots that are at least 30 minutes (even if it’s a family member). Because they start to relax and then the best photos are taken. What I do with my clients is have the photographer shoot about 5 shots and then show the client how marvelous they look. Once they see that, they feel more comfortable and we get better photos. This process can be repeated throughout the shoot to make sure the client feels like a super model.
From the Heart, Joann Cohen
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