Fashionable or frumpy?

Fashionable or frumpy?

Have you changed your style as you have grown older and tried to embrace the latest in fashion? Or like many women of a certain age you will be expected to wear the twinset, pearls and sensible shoes all of which meet the approval of friends and family.

I am not suggesting that you suddenly start wearing leather skirts and stilettos, everyone would be horrified, especially any offspring.

But there is one lesson to be learnt – walk away from fashion and wear just what you like. Certainly keep an eye on trends that appear in magazines and television programmes and find your own style so that you won’t look back in five years time and say did I really wear that!

Don’t worry if you are criticised by friends and family. Especially family who would like you to sit back in an armchair and start knitting. No, this lady is not for knitting.

A recent article in a well known newspaper debates whether older women should wear skirts just below the knee accessorised by the latest trend of patterned tights. What is the problem?  Women with lovely legs should show them off at any age if they feel confident enough. The response from their readers was staggering, all agreeing that older women can and do wear what they like.

Age does mean you have some wrinkles, or laughter lines which one of my daughters calls them! That of course was leading up to her begging me to buy the latest pair of trainers without which she would not be cool! I thought she meant the temperature, but no it means state of the art shoes the cost of which would cripple anybody’s bank account.

You might have reached an age where you have to pay attention to your clothes or make-up, anything goes as long as you look good and are comfortable. Trying to squeeze into clothes that are too tight, or loose for that matter, is not a good idea and often makes you regret buying the new clothes you think you really need. I read that British women’s wardrobes contain thousands of items that have never been worn. Alright I am guilty your honour and promise not to purchase any more clothing, or just that beautiful jacket I saw yesterday.

I do not advocate returning to mini-skirts that we wore when youthful nor the midi skirts which I thought was a dreadful look. I think that you should pay attention to those who write about fashion and try and find a look that will suit you and not frighten the horses!

Style is not something you can buy, you might be guided by glossy magazines and even shop assistants but I think you should wear exactly what you want. Turning into a vamp is not good news, nor is the Miss Marples look.

However having teenager children is a bit of a nightmare when it comes to clothes. If I wear anything that looks remotely alluring they tell me to go upstairs and look through my wardrobe to find something sensible to wear. Preferably something that makes me look seriously frumpy. I could cause a scene but whatever I say or do is wrong in their eyes. Typical teenagers!

Pot and kettle spring to mind. Was it that long ago that I was ticking them off for what they wore to go to the nearest pub or club? However nowadays while they may disapprove I simply smirk and sing “Everything you can do I can do better”

If they ever give me a string pearls for my birthday or Christmas I shall smile, say my thanks and chuck them to the far back of my wardrobe, where they will rest. I shall produce them only if the Queen drops in for a cup of tea. I bet she will wear real pearls and not fake like mine.

So the great debate about the fashion versus the frumpy is something which will run for ages. I know which I prefer, whose side are you on?

Jane Buckle