This month’s article is inspired by one of my truly fabulous clients, a former human resources manager and now corporate wife and mother of four children. We first met when, as a woman approaching her 50’s, she was looking for someone to help her refresh her wardrobe and style.
I continue to be in awe of her incredibly positive “life is for living” attitude and [as a woman in her 50’s] she is nowhere near ready for the pearls and twinset look that keeps appearing when you explore fashion for women of that age. She told me that she wanted to make sure she was “rockin’ not rocking chair”. The old adage that “Life begins at 40” is so out of date, she confirmed: “Life really DOES begin at 50”. Instead she is looking forward to embracing the fun, freedom and opportunity that comes with being comfortable in your own skin, and she asked me to put some life back into her wardrobe to help reflect this.
This got me thinking. We like to feel good about ourselves. We are quite vain creatures, more so perhaps when we are hanging onto the last vestige of [a sometimes forgotten] youth. Creating a sense of style can provide some encouragement, and fashion is the perfect way to express yourself and your personality through what you wear and how you dress.
As our bodies change with age, we may feel differently about our body image. The majority of my clients (50-65 age range) feel they have changed but they are stuck in a rut. They would like to feel more confident about trying new styles etc. but they don’t know what now suits them and where to start.
Of course what you look on the outside doesn’t really matter. What matters is how you feel about how you look. Fashion and style is only half the story but it can help….knowing that you look the part and receiving compliments will increase confidence.
Here are some simple steps to help you create your own sense of style…
- Think about what type of clothes and styles you actually like, and not the ones you think you should be wearing. Trends come and go.
- Learn about style, whether it’s leafing through current magazines, window shopping or just by looking at what people around you are wearing. Keep a fashion scrapbook; paste pictures of styles that you like and jot down notes about outfits you see. When you have a fashion dilemma or need to go shopping, flip through the book for inspiration and find looks that you like.
- Don’t be defined by labels (see point 1).
- Know how to tell when clothes fit you, and what kind of clothes and styles you can use to flatter your body shape. Use these guidelines when you shop, which will help you…
- Know how to put outfits together.
- Accessorize! They can make an outfit feel complete and they can turn an okay outfit into a great outfit.
- Get to know your local tailor. For a nominal fee, they can fine-tune an outfit or customize items to make them unique to you.
- Take risks. Need a new skirt? Don’t go and buy one; make one! Although changing rooms can be daunting places, always try something on if you think there’s even a small chance that it could work. Clothes often look better on than on the hanger, and you can surprise yourself.
- Be confident and wear your clothes; don’t let your clothes wear you!
After all, 50 is when life starts to get really interesting……
Image: Floral print trousers from £35; Leather jacket from £199; Leather clutch bag, £30; T bar wedge sandals, £35; Short sleeve knitted jumper from £30. All items Fifty Plus.