With new grey hairs escaping every passing day and those odd twinges in your back or knees you didn’t have when you were younger, you might sometimes wonder if your best years are behind you.
“Am I having fun?”, you might ask. “Such a ridiculous question. Why would I be having fun?” I can imagine many of you may be thinking if only I had more time to myself, that would be fun! And I understand.
Life at any age, including for us over 50s, brings its challenges of work, sorting out budgets, and looking after grandchildren – (even grown-up children nowadays who can’t afford a home of their own).
Though, remember the line, “Just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down”, from Mary Poppins. Well, you can say just the same about fun. Even a little bit can make life sweeter.
I know this could be seen as trite, but laughter and lightheartedness can brighten anyone’s day. And because I love fashion, that’s where I first look for cheeriness. And there are lots of ways fashion can give us fun.
I don’t mean rushing out to buy more clothes – the so-called retail therapy fix – as that rarely gives anyone any long-term fun. It might produce a brief high, but then a downer when you find you have umpteen things like that already in your wardrobe, and an even bigger downer when you next look at your bank balance. But there are lots of ways clothes can cheer you up, and give you satisfaction, confidence, and enjoyment.
Hopefully, the following steps will help you find fun in styling your wardrobe.
1. Reassess the things you really love – for a fun update of your style
This is an easy one to start with right away. Open your wardrobe and pick out the garments, shoes, and jewellery you’ve loved, or still really love wearing. And then think about new ways of wearing them. Posh (heeled, sparkly?) shoes, once kept for special occasions, can nowadays be worn with jeans to give that ‘individual’ edge to your style. It’s great to be creative.
Equally a fancy jumper or cardi (used to be ‘for best’) can be worn in a casual way with cargo pants, or an everyday skirt. It’s now a fashion norm to put on a jumper with a frilly, swishy or silky skirt.
An extravagant piece of costume jewellery will also add fun to a denim, or basic cotton jacket. It’s worth having a look at Essentiel Antwerp for inspiration in this department. They (albeit pricey) take basic elegant garments and jazz them up with pattern, colour, or jewellery.
2. Mix and match fabrics
The feel of materials on your body (cashmere, or alpaca) or swishing against your legs (viscose, pure silk, or fine cotton) is not only sensual but fun. It can take you back to your youth when you probably experimented more with luxurious fabrics.
One of my first memories of fabric was when I was about four and I loved to play with fine, coloured silk scarves I found in my mother’s wardrobe, and pretended to be a fairy or a butterfly. Well, that was exciting. And it still can be!
3. Experiment with colour
This, for me, is the biggest fun fix of all. You will have gathered this, I’m sure, from what I’ve written in the past. Colour – and colour mixes – are bewitching and uplifting. The most uplifting combination I favour at the moment is orange and bright pink.
I appreciate this won’t be for everyone. It’s fashionable but very vibrant. You can’t shrink into the shadows when wearing even a small amount of this combination and you definitely have to have the courage (or foolhardiness!) to be seen.
But soft and moody can be fun too. I have a kaftan dress in merging colours of sea greens, cream, and soft russet, which is lovely for a summer holiday. And the colours give off a wonderfully soft vibe, which, even at a winter party would make you think of a sparkling sunset over the sea.
To find out more about how colour could work for you, you might want to read our article; 10 tips for dressing with colour and confidence.
4. Edge out of your comfort zone
In my book, It’s Never Too Late to Look Great, I told the story of one particular hat. A woman was feeling a bit blue. She went shopping and saw a hat that made her go ‘wow!’ It had bright colours and a very quirky shape, and was unlike anything she had ever worn. She bought it, went to a party in it, and it (and she) were greatly admired by a charming man – and she married him.
So, while I’m not saying that we should dress to attract a partner (though some may want to!), by wearing something unusual, pretty, quirky, or whatever makes you look and feel just that little bit different, you could have a life changing moment – or at least a lot of fun.
If all else fails, try to choose clothes that you feel excited to wear and that make you want to open your wardrobe every day. This will likely mean something different for each of us, as style is very personal.
When we feel good about what we’re wearing, we’re more likely to go out into the world with confidence and strive towards our goals.
For more fashion tips and inspiration, check out the fashion and beauty section of our website.
How do you have fun with style? Are you planning to use any of the tips above? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.