This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.
For us young-oldies, stylish fashion for the older woman is still something we should seek out and celebrate.
Have you ever wondered why models in fashion shots sometimes show off clothes by taking up postures that we would not (or could not!) adopt. Like leaning sideways against a lamppost to show a bit of shoulder. Or caught mid-air in a sunlit meadow scattering petals. So why do they do it? Well, it’s all about style. It’s to do with creating an image – an ‘edge’. Something a bit quirky to catch the attention.
But don’t worry. I’m not talking about us taking up tricky poses (if only we could)! What I am suggesting is that we create ‘an edge’ to whatever we are wearing – a touch of attractive individuality.
I know, I know. It’s not easy. It’s not like when we were young and could slip into more or less anything and look attractive. (Though we didn’t always know it at the time). Now it’s harder to find a style that suits us and makes us feel confident. But it is worth while making the effort and here’s the good news. If we focus on what really suits us, we will be on the way to buying less, but better. Which is an important aspect to sustainability. We will not be adding to the ‘buy a lot then throw it away’ trend that causes so much waste.
So, this week I want to talk about finding our own individual style
A challenge, I know. It’s difficult enough to be your own person. Let alone know how to dress that person. But there are ways of getting there. Here are three easy starters:
- Choose one striking colour from top to toe, combine two closely toning colours, or try clashing colours
- Add a colourful, or unusually patterned scarf. I am addicted to this!
- Decorate with unusual jewellery.
And here’s another idea – not new – but rewarding if you have not thought about it before. In a word or two, think about how you see yourself. Are you sporty, home-loving, dramatic, feminine, relaxed, classic, minimalist, trendy, or funky – yes, don’t rule out funky because being older doesn’t drive out all our adventurous instincts!
This can be difficult at first because we often regard ourselves as a ‘mother’ or ‘grandmother’; or ‘professional’ or ‘retiree’ rather than a person of individual identity. But how we saw ourselves when we were much younger is a good guide to how we are now, even though now it’s a more laid-back version.
Then try Googling ‘feminine clothes brands UK’, or ‘minimalist fashion UK’, or whatever. And lots of trails will pop up for you to follow. Even if you don’t like shopping online, it will give you ideas to follow up on the high street.
And then think about how you can adapt your young self into the current, more mature version.
FOR MORE INFO ON ANY OF THE CLOTHES FEATURED BELOW, CLICK ON THE PIC OR RELEVANT BLUE LINK
S P O R T Y
If you loved outdoors, always wore dungarees and a short-sleeved tee shirt, for example, your choice now may be smart jeans and a patterned blouse with sleeves rolled up, or a long-sleeved tee.
Artichoke Collection for their range of super comfortable jeans
Marks & Spencer Sienna straight leg jeans (with stretch / suits everyone) £22.50
Boden multi passion bloom linen shirt £70
Saint & Sofia long sleeved silky soft tee shirt £44 (usually £65) … and I’m wearing the same Saint & Sofia Austin crew tee in Floral Haze
F E M I N I N E
If you were a boho floral type, scooping up whatever swirly, flowery skirts you could get your hands on, you could now look at the huge choice of pretty, long tiered dresses that have almost become a uniform for summer parties and everyday wear. So easy to wear. None of this bodycon rubbish. Sorry. My prejudice, because my shape never allowed it! Contemporary flowing dresses – fluid is the fashion term now – hide unwanted curves rather than putting them on display.
- Pure cotton leaf print midi £69.95 online only at Marks & Spencer
- Ruffled printed dress £79.99 from Mango
- Lollys Laundry Nee Floral maxi £165 at John Lewis
F U N K Y
Were you a rock chic? Tight jeans, ‘love and peace’ tee shirts, sparkly denim, false eyelashes, lots of black? Any, or all of the above, could quality. Even at this later stage of our lives we can still get into character. Jeans have never gone out of fashion – and have morphed into shapes and sizes that suit absolutely everyone. And if you stick to black there’s no need to worry about ‘does my bum look big in this?’ Denim jackets can now be worn with quality tee shirts by brands such as Me+Em and Bauken.
- Organic boyfriend jean in Washed Black £99 by Baukjen 15% off using code ANNABELGRACE15
- Cut out twist detail top £65 by Me+Em
- Noella ecru denim jacket £49 Monsoon
- Denim knee length dress £75 Sosander at Marks & Spencer
R E L A X E D / C A S U A L
This is probably the easiest category to go with because ‘casual’ is having a big moment in fashion. There are so many choices in comfortable and stylish soft trousers and tops. Plus there are lots of very high-quality ones that you can venture outside in with confidence – no worry about being seen as someone who has just got out of bed!
- Wide leg linen trousers £79 COS
- Boxy fit striped top £35 COS
- Jungle print tunic top £81 Artichoke Collection
C L A S S I C
Classic elegance has never, and will never, go out of style. But grown up styles that once were just a tad frumpy are no longer so. Marvellous-Mother-In-Law loves classic neutrals and she’s looking great here in one of Me+Em layering tops, a sleeveless rib cotton crew neck jumper £79 from The White Company and some white jeans. But patterns work equally well – prints and fabrics are much more varied now, so if your inclination is to be traditional there is a wealth of choice online and in the shops. Geometric always looks so smart – such as this Elizza print top £45 from Phase Eight or this polka dot shirt £29.99 from Zara.
There are lot more ways to bring style into our lives. What I have said so far is only the beginning. And I will talk more about this subject in later articles. But also remember that focusing on style means we buy only what really suits us, not masses of the latest trends. This helps keep our planet alive and well.
More fashion articles from Maggie Cox can be read here.
You might also enjoy reading Maggie’s book It’s Never Too Late To Look Great! which is available from Amazon.