What do Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pfeiffer have in common? Aside from being actresses they are both over 50 and have won numerous awards for their beauty and sex appeal over the years. We know they have access to the best clothes that money can buy but still unless it was the right choice they wouldn’t have won the awards would they? We don’t have to have loads of money to have a style but we do have to be careful of spending money on the high street as we get older. The question I get asked by many of my 50+ clients, ,some of my 40+ clients and a few of my 30+ clients is – I don’t look like mutton dressed as lamb do I?
I remember the mantra of Mary Portas when I worked for her. “It’s not an age thing, it’s a grown up thing” Totally overused at the time of course but in reality when you think about it, it actually makes sense. Bottom line- if you aren’t in your teens and you think you look like a teenager, then you most likely are wearing clothing that is unsuitable. Doing this gives off a vibe of desperation that makes you look infantile for the wrong reasons. It screams “ I have not accepted my age, I am not confident of who I am and I am going to show that to the world.” The real truth though behind why women do this is because quite frankly they want to feel sexy , they don’t know how to do that from a fashion persective and it’s a fine line between looking sexy and looking for sex. Know what I mean? I have styled a lot of women over the years and to me the ones that stand out are the ones who knew their style, or in the absense of that were willing to figure it out with help. The women who look great take the classic stance when buying apparel. The less is more approach (and that isnt the amount or the length of clothing) This is a simplified slightly boring but effective way of styling. Great denims, crisp white t-shirt, good blazer, awesome handbag- you get the picture. Think French, think chic.. Now that’s sexy..
Does this mean that the over 50’s cant shop in the High Street without looking like a teenager? Absoloutely not! We can shop anywhere we like at any age once what we buy makes us look and feel amazing. I have styled many women in various shops from Prada to Zara, even Penny’s some who were regular visitors to the latter shops and some who wouldn’t walk inside the door of these places for fear they would be ousted by their younger counterparts. I don’t get shopping confused with age I put it down to emotion ( we place emotional attachement to clothes people, I know its sad but it’s the truth check it out on google). I put on a dress and if it makes me feel amazing I have to have it, I will make up any excuse to have it . I also know that this could happen with a less positive outcome. Like a lady could put on a pair of bell bottoms which remind her of her youth ergo a purchase. I sincerley hope that this hasn’t happened but the rule here is NEVER go shopping on your own, take a friend, personal shopper, ask the sales assistants or try and assess the glances of other people in the fitting room, that always works for me. I never say something looks good on someone if it doesn’t, and Id like to think there arent many who would, if they did that would be incredibly mean. Get a second opinion when you shop especially if you are unsure of your style, don’t know if it suits and if like a lot of women you have a wardrobe of clothes that don’t match, don’t fit and don’t work!
I am 35 and there are just somethings I cannot buy on the high street and this isnt because I am getting older its because of a number of reasons. The high street stores takes trends and sells it en masse. They do this very well and in a manner that makes fashion afforable – horray! I seek out clothes which reflect my personality and style. Edgy, fun, sometimes classic and always with a twist be it accoessories or print. I also am conscioius of my shape I have a big arse, big thighs, and cellulite. I will go out of the way to hide that from the world( except my blog I hear you scream) which means spending money on denims. 80% of the skinnies that are on the high street don’t suit me ( with the exception of Next lift and shape, go get them immediately if you are pear shaped) but they arent going anywhere anytime soon. In fact skinnies in general don’t suit me I have to work hard on the other bits so you don’t end up looking at my leg which is not easy. Is this because I am older? No its cause I have shit legs!
I had a lady last week who was in her early 50’s and looked 45 ( now now be nice). She loved quirky clothes but had the fear of god about looking like a teenager , she wanted a dress for a wedding that reflected her personality but she was afraid of looking like a young one. We spoke about the challenges of shopping for her age, size and budget and had a great time gabbing at how well some things looked and how less well some things looked. We scored an awesome LND( that’s little navy dress to you ignorant lot) from Mango no less, at €40.00 a steal which had me running after the appointment to try it on. The difference here was this lady was putting it with leggings, boots and a leather jacket, she was editing the high street to suit her style and remove the likely hood of her looking like a teenager. The message here is edit which trends you take on in your wardrobe. By all means take a bow to the trends on the high street but change them to suit you and don’t stick ridgely to what is on the mannequin. The point of the shopping session with my fabulous 50 something client though was to get her a dress for a wedding. We went to a shop that she wouldn’t have gone to as she thought the clothes werent for her for a number of reasons but mainly because like most of us, we have an idea of what something would look like without trying it on. “It wont suit”, “It’s not my colour”, “I wouldn’t get away with that” etc,etc. The end result was this dress was chosen. Why? She shed a tear at how fabulous she felt in it, and that my friends is what the right clothes should do, high street or not ( The dress was a coast dress incidently )
All I ask you ladies whose fashion home has changed since your 20’s, is that you buy whatever makes you feel good, don’t be afraid to spend money on a good pair of jeans or a leather jacket, save for it for 6 months if you have to. If you don’t have shit legs like me then buy all the colours of skinny jeans on offer in Penny’s if you must but don’t for one second think that age holds you back, bar the neon colours, baring your arms( unless you do 20 hours of yoga a week) mini skirts, and PVC the high street may surprise you but always take note of what suits your shape and what highlights your good bits, and makes the least nice bits easier to bear. Oh and think French!!! Oh la la….
I offer a personal shopping service starting @€70 P/H with discounts for additional time and services including half a day wardrobe de-clutter and personal shop, colour analysis & Bodyshape analysis. Contact Fiona for further information