Stepping out in style

Stepping out in style

With London Fashion week just behind us and Autumn requiring a wardrobe update, now is the time to dress, not just for the season, but for yourself.

As you get older how you dress is more about style than fashion, what looks good on you rather than on the catwalk models.

Who remembers the fashion gurus, Trinny & Susannah of the early years of this century with their programme What Not to Wear which may have appeared too outrageous for some but made us all more aware of our dress sense?

To quote Donna Karan, ‘You don’t need a lot of clothes, just the right ones.’

Fashion Boom

For the high-spending, full-living baby boomer generation, dressing well is as important as ever. But different ages bring different dressing conundrums. No-one wants to be thought of as mutton dressed as lamb, but neither do they want to look like mutton dressed as more mutton.

A quiet revolution is taking place on the High Street. As you walk past shop windows, you may spot it: sleeves on dresses, flattering fits that are looser on the waist, and campaign shots that feature greying models. Elegant clothes for grown-ups, rather than styles for youthful fashion victims.

The large retailers are focusing more on the 50-plus women they abandoned years ago.

Clothing, Age and the Body

Professor Julia Twigg of the University of Kent has undertaken research into the role of clothing and dress in the changing cultural identities of older women.

The research focused on the ways in which older women negotiate changes in the body and the self through the medium of dress. Exploring the interlinkages between dress, the body and ageing, it addresses the ways in which identities are constructed through clothing choices, and the responses of the Fashion/Clothing System to this.

In her book Fashion and Age she discusses the neglected topic of how later life and clothing function in today’s society. Julia shows how older women, the media and the High Street all interact to create our understanding of both ageing and dress.

The result is that shops are pulling out all the stops for a slice of the Grey Pound. They have finally realised that the over-50 woman is more likely to walk in, run her fingers over fabrics, and try on in dressing rooms, as opposed to buying blindly online before returning items, and is therefore the most desirable customer on the High Street.

Timeless Style

Still a little guidance is always helpful, which is why I was impressed with the book by Vogue’s Anna Harvey called Timeless Style: Dressing Well for the Rest of Your Life.

So good news that it is possible to be well-dressed, stylish and happy. Timeless Style covers such essentials as what to wear to suit your shape; how to disguise the bits you don’t like and show off the bits you do; what to spend money on, what to save money on – and much, much more. When you’ve read it, you’ll long to go shopping again.

We have 5 copies of the book to give away so to be in with a chance go to our website –