There are so many articles in the glossies about what to wear for your age, and what we should be wearing as we hit each milestone decade. But then come the rules – no miniskirts over 35, no long hair after 40, the list goes on.
Irené and I believe that there should be no hard and fast rules when it comes to dressing for your age. After all, many women in their 40’s, and even older look fabulous in miniskirts, and there are also stunning fashion icons who are well into their 80’s.
Our lifestyles are changing, there are many women choosing now to work into their late 60’s and 70’s, who are extremely interested in fashion and looking good.
We feel strongly that this older age group has been forgotten by the magazine industry.
Yes, we see the occasional article titled ‘What To Wear In Your 50’s’ etc. but why don’t we see women of all ages routinely showing fashion trends?
Perhaps this helps to explain why so many women struggle with the question of what is ‘age appropriate’ in fashion, when we see magazines categorising women this way… by age groups.
Although we don’t believe in ‘dressing for your age’, we do think that what is appropriate for one person can be quite different for another. Instead of focusing on your age, dress according to your body shape and style. For example, if you are curvy with a fuller bust, a wrap dress is more likely to flatter you than a shift dress whether you are 25 or 65. The way that the wrap dress is worn may vary according to age – a 25 year old may choose a short, lower cut version and look stunning, whereas an above knee, less cleavage option may be more flattering for the body shape of the woman in her 60’s.
Focus on good fit and what flatters you. Very few people are completely happy with their body shape. Although I am naturally very slim and able to wear many styles, I do have narrow shoulders and have to work to accentuate them, and often struggle with good fit. Changes in body shape, due to aging or having children, can often bring about new insecurities. Concentrate on the parts of your body that you are happiest with and show them off! Accentuate a slender waist with belting tricks or jackets that nip in at waist level. Learn to disguise your problem areas – whatever your age, there are many tricks.
As we get older our dress sense will often change, but our sense of style should stay the same. If we had an eccentric style in our 20’s and 30’s, why should we change it as we get older?
Since having 3 children, my skirts and dresses are longer, often closer to knee length than minis, and my jeans are higher waisted. This is by no means frumpy or a ‘mum jean’ but a reflection of my lifestyle and body shape. Comfort is important to all of us, but you can be stylish and comfortable!
Life changes can also affect the clothes that we wear. Breastfeeding springs to mind, that certainly brought about a few style challenges for me! Also around the time of the menopause, physical changes may alter the styles that we gravitate towards. For example, Irene found that she was no longer comfortable wearing clothing with high necklines, and has since then opted for more relaxed cowl and Bardot styles – equally as flattering but a great example of how our clothing choices may alter with age.
Many clients struggle with shoe choices – yes, bunions can present problems for some! But really, women of all ages complain of overly wide or narrow feet. I have also had clients who complain of finding shoe shopping difficult because their feet are slightly larger than the average size. You may need to adjust the style of shoes that you wear according to physical constraints – but there is no need to compromise on style.
Irené has found that Russell and Bromley and M&S both have up to date styles with a wider fitting and slight platform which are both comfortable and look fab.
Whatever your age, ensuring that clothing fits well is essential in achieving an overall stylish look. This is equally as important for underwear! It is amazing how many women wear the wrong size bra – regular fittings are invaluable. The right support and uplift can change your body shape and fit of clothes. Our body shape changes with age and so do our bra sizes. What fitted pre-children in our 20’s is unlikely to do so in later decades! Regular bra fittings are a quick and easy way to ensure that you are wearing the right size, which in turn enhances your waist giving a cleaner silhouette.
Trends come and go, how much you embrace them will depend on how they fit with your style. I love the velvet that is currently flooding the high street. In my 20’s I may have embraced this head to toe – now in my 40’s I prefer to limit it to a jacket or a midi skirt and mix it with other fabrics. Like me, Irené is also embracing this trend but wears a figure hugging, knee length velvet pencil skirt. This being a good example of wearing ‘a trend’, not according to your age but in relation to body shape.
So, instead of focusing on age and what is or isn’t appropriate, dress according to your style and your body shape. It’s so important to have a sense of what suits your body, personality and lifestyle – whatever your age.
Please contact us with any comments or questions , we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Irene and Chloe.