"A bit of sense of humor in the way you dress, I think, is very important," Field tells TooFab ahead of the "Younger" season finale.
"Younger" is all about a woman in her 40s making herself seem like she's in her 20s, so naturally, the costume designers responsible for the chic New York City fashion seen on the TV Land hit have some ideas for any viewers looking to do the same.
Patricia Field, best known for dressing the famously stylish casts of "Sex and the City" and "The Devil Wears Prada," shared a bit of unexpected advice when she spoke to TooFab with colleague Jackie Demeterio ahead of the "Younger" season finale.
"The sense of humor is very important to elevate the mood, so a bit of sense of humor in the way you dress, I think, is very important," she said. "An example is me: I wear glasses, I have very many, I have frames of all colors. I make sure that whatever I'm wearing, it goes with my frame. If I'm wearing a blue-brim hat, I'll wear a pair of blue glasses. Simple, basic ways of looking good, but looking interesting and looking original."
"I say, go into your closet, pour yourself a glass of wine and start rearranging your combinations and see what works," she continued. "That's what I do."
Demeterio said women trying to reinvent their style in their 40s, much like Sutton Foster's "Younger" character, should still turn to magazines for ideas, and even suggested a few famous fashion role models.
"I love Nicole Kidman, and I love Jennifer Connelly," she said.
Read TooFab's entire Q&A with the costume designers below for more useful tips on reinventing your look.
What are some key pieces women should have in their closets to help them look younger?
Field: The key is a much more general key than specific pieces. My way of handling how I present [fashion] imagery -- my basic foundation -- is classic, and then I start to tell the story in the way I style it. Whether it's with accessories or however, I try to adjust it because my main contention is that classic pieces last forever in your closet. I'm not keen on trendy at all because then it has a short lifespan and quickly dies. I like a closet that can coordinate, that the pieces can coordinate in many ways and you can create new looks by new combinations of coordination -- that's sort of my mantra. Although some people think I'm trendy, I never really understood it. I don't come from that mindset, but I do like to tell a story with the styling. So for women under 40, over 40, whoever you are -- to think in terms of a narrative as opposed to a specific piece that they must have telling a story about yourself.
Demeterio: I think it's different for everybody. You have to be able to know what looks best on you -- it's per body type, per personality -- and accent your best features. For Sutton, playing Liza, we tend to use shorter hemlines because she has such great legs. She's a dancer and she has a great body. Also the print and the florals and the bohemian feel on her works well.
Where do you stand on taking fashion risks?
Field: It depends on the woman. It depends on the shape of her body. A woman that's a bit older I believe it's really important to show a bit of sense of humor in the way they present themselves, the way they dress, because a sense of humor is ageless, and I think that those more fundamental ideas are what keep you current.
Demeterio: Some people get a little bit scared of all these trendier pieces, but if you just take one or two of them and incorporate it and not overdo it, it'll work. And I think being a little bit more adventurous with your jewelry and handbags and shoes, as long as you're mixing it in with some classic pieces. It gets troublesome if you try to do the head-to-toe look.
What's one piece every woman should own despite her age?
Demeterio: Outerwear is important, so a great statement coat or leather jacket. A great coat, a great shoe and a great bag.
What's one item worn by Sutton that was created by her team of artists?
Field: It's a tailored shirt, like a classic shirt. Scooter La Ford, one of my artists, painted on this white shirt a tie. So the tie is painted, but it's open, it's not knotted -- it just hangs there on the shirt, and I got a really great reaction, not just from the people inside production, but whoever saw it. And Sutton Foster -- she's 40 -- she's posing younger, she's wearing something unique. I think that that's the key to a woman dressing in an interesting way at her age. My main thing is stay away from trends that will age you, that will say that you're just following the pack. The way you dress, it's important in that it expresses who you are. And who best to express who you are beside oneself? It's got a little sense of humor to it, and when you have a sense of humor, that immediately gets the youthful idea going. Start with a classic. Add a little humor and a little intelligence. But the foundation is a classic, because that's what's the gravity, the believability.
Does "Sex and the City" and "Devil Wears Prada" inspiration makes its way onto the set of "Younger"?
Field: Yes, always. If you look at "Sex and the City," it doesn't seem to die. People always watch it. The costumes are interesting and original. My work is script-driven, so first comes the script, then comes the actor playing the character, then comes my interpretation. That's kind of the hierarchy of it all. I'm there to support the actor to believe in themselves to feel this character and to present this character in front of the camera. They have to feel confident, and a woman over 40 has to feel confident. The trick is interesting, not trendy. Original.
Where should women turn to for inspiration?
Demeterio: I still love magazines, but I also do look at Vogue.com and look at the shows. I love looking at street style, and I do Pinterest as well. Whenever I'm doing a new project or film or TV show, I start on Pinterest. It's definitely more social media and blogging these days, but I still tend to go back to the original magazines.
How can women incorporate the iconic style of "Sex and the City" into their wardrobes in 2017?
Field: Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) wearing a belt over her midriff: That was an extreme, and I felt that Carrie could carry it. I wouldn't suggest anything that extreme like that. SJP has these amazing abs. In order to be interesting and original, it has to be personalized. The woman, it's very important for the woman to take a moment out and not get flustered and confused, and just visit themselves. Who are they? What do they want to tell others about themselves? And have the confidence in doing do. For example, Sutton Foster -- she has a natural DNA of youthfulness. When I first read the script, I was like, this is impossible -- how am I going to make a 40 year old look 20 years younger? But when I met her, she solved all my problems. It comes out of her -- her energy, her sort of wide-eyed addict expression -- she sells that. It doesn't come into your head that business about her unless they talk about it in the script. If you were watching her, I'm sure they never go, 'Oh, she's not 26,' or whatever. She sells it, and that's a really good point that I want to make to your readers, that they have to sell it themselves. They have to first start with themselves, and it's very important that the actor has confidence in the way that they look.
How can women play with fashion to reinvent their looks after 40?
Field: I like comedy, I like optimism, I like positivity. The sense of humor is very important to elevate the mood, so a bit of course of sense of humor in the way you dress, I think, is very important. An example is me -- I wear glasses, I have very many, I have frames of all colors. I make sure that whatever I'm wearing, it goes with my frame. If I'm wearing a blue-brim hat, I'll wear a pair of blue glasses. Simple, basic ways of looking good, but looking interesting and looking original. That's my advice to people. But you have to have some consciousness. It doesn't just happen automatically. I say, go into your closet, pour yourself a glass of wine and start rearranging your combinations and see what works. That's what I do. My clothes -- they go with each other, it expands my wardrobe. It's not just one outfit and you wear it this way and that's it.
Demeterio: A lot of people start to feel a bit stale, especially when they look at things from last season. Going shopping and finding a new piece here or there always makes you feel like, 'OK, I feel like I can go through this day and feel a bit better.' Just going out and shopping makes you feel good. You don't have to go out and find a whole new wardrobe, but if you find one great piece, it can make you feel really great.
Is there a specific celebrity over the age of 40 that has great style?
Demeterio: I love Nicole Kidman, and I love Jennifer Connelly.
What's the best way to utilize vintage?
Field: It depends on the script, but yes, there's always to one degree or another that vintage is mixed in, but it has to be applicable. I personally like vintage clothes because I feel -- depending of course on which era we're talking about -- but in general, they were made better. They had a different attitude, and as such, they lasted time longer. They have a longer lifespan, and I think that's really important for women over 40 who have a longer lifespan and it's a positive one, it's not something to be ashamed of. One of the compliments to me is when I go to the airport and I have to go through security and I'm over 75 and they're telling me I have to take my shoes off and I say I'm over 75 and they look at me like, 'Oh, no you're not!' I get a good personal chuckle.
Any fall trends you're excited about?
Demeterio: Fall is my favorite season, so I like mixing in the textures and the great scarves and the beautiful leather pieces and the fur trim, the knitwear, the hats. We're shooting Season 5 of 'Younger' in February, so I'm looking forward to that because you have more things to play with.
Any trend you wish would end?
Demeterio: I thought this trend died, but it hasn't -- those denim booty shorts girls wear where their butts are hanging out -- like, why is this still happening?
The season finale of "Younger" airs Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 10/9c on TV Land.