But it is possible to look a little less like the Queen Mother without sacrificing your dignity and embarrassing your children by dressing like a trendy teenager. And come on, do any grown women really want to look like the Queen Mother or a teenager? Most likely not.
How do you do it? It's easy. You stop being matchy-matchy.
This sounds simple in theory, but if you were raised anytime during the JCPenney catalog heyday, it might go against some deep-seated fashion habits, but very few things will give the impression of style and confidence more than confidently wearing something unexpected.
So, instead of a scarf that matches your outfit, throw on a scarf that clearly doesn't match. When you wear a cardigan, wear it in an unexpected color. Throw on a pair of shoes that don't "go with" an outfit. Wear a colored pair of tights that have nothing at all in common with your dress. Or--gasp!!!--mix a couple of un-matching prints. You know, the kind your mom has been telling you to avoid since you were three years old.
You might think I'm kidding, but I'm not. Look at the Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters catalog. You'll find unexpected combinations that are fun and young, without being ridiculous. Then look at the older generation's mail-order catalog and everything will match perfectly.
Matching is great for your socks, for a set of dishes, or even for a family picture. But if you're a mom who's thinking you might be starting to look a little frumpy, be adventurous. Pull out something that isn't matchy-matchy and wear it with confidence.