Five style rules to break & five style tips to try.
As summer rolls swiftly towards autumn/fall, I am wearing my shorts as often as possible, no matter what people say I should or shouldn't be wearing. A woman over 60 wearing shorts???!!! The very thought of it. Well, I happen to like the sun on my limbs and I want all the Vitamin D I can lap up before Winter emerges. I don't care whether I'm deemed too old to wear something I love, as long as I look in the mirror and feel good about whatever I'm wearing. Nor should you. So that's one extra style rule (no doubt published somewhere for the Over 50s) that I'm willing to break, wobbly thighs or no wobbly thighs. (And they're wobbly, trust me!)
STOP PRESS: one of my regular readers, Janet Green, has submitted a photo of her in shorts. She is the same age as me so we have come call each other Twinnie. We want to start a revolution, let's get hashtagging for what's left of summer: #iwillwearshorts as well as Catherine's, Not Dressed as Lamb, wonderful hashtag: #iwillwearwhatilike
There are too many do's and don'ts out there for women of any age. You shouldn't wear this over 30, you shouldn't wear that under 18, and you certainly shouldn't be seen in this Well Over 50! There's no such thing as "age appropriate" if you feel and look confident wearing whatever the hell you want to......so here are a couple of guest blogs to give you food for thought this week.
(The guest blogs will be in italics so you know when it is them speaking, and my comments are in plain text)
4 Other Rules to Break after 50
There's a wonderful group of women who are part of a new tribe I've joined in the US known as the Fierce 50 Revolution. Here's some sound advice I found on their Facebook page written by Nina Bandoni from Florida (Sharing a Journey) for Over the Hilda, (what a great name for a blog!) You can see the article in full here. Thanks for sharing ladies.
Get your hair cut short by your 50th birthday (or before).
Many magazines with so called beauty “experts” decree that a woman’s hair should be cut to her shoulders or above at no later than age 40 and to the jaw or above by age 50. No one knows where the rule came from – some say it’s just “appropriate” and some say short hair makes us look younger. We weren’t supposed to question where the rule came from or why, we were just supposed to do it. Whether you wear your hair long or short, it should not be because it is “appropriate” but because it is how YOU like it. BAM!
I so agree! Here's an example of a great friend of mine who is in her 60s and one of the most popular models & Instagrammers on this planet! Sarah Jane Adams not only has long hair but also has beautiful long grey hair! Read on...........
Never, ever let them see a grey hair.
My fashionista grandmother employed a dubious hairdresser called Monsieur Dupree, who gave her a “platinum” pixie colour and cut. Her hair had been a beautiful, healthy chestnut brown before he did his magic, turning her tresses into what looked like the pelt of a dirty poodle. The idea was for her to be an exotic blonde, while hiding a few grey hairs that had started to emerge. Instead, there was a year where she wore hats and scarves while her severely damaged hair grew out.
So here’s my rule: if you want to colour your hair, and it makes you feel good and look good, by all means do it, just don’t go to a Monsieur Dupree. And if you want to go grey. do that!
As many of you know, I've had my hair dyed bright red or orange for the last fifteen years. I can't tell you how liberating it was to go grey, with a little colour added, and it was painless. I don't feel invisible either, the main reason I started dyeing it such vibrant colours when I hit 50!
Older women should wear little to no make-up, and certainly no bright colours.
To that I say, let’s get out the paints and play! Our skin tone and hair colour is changing. Now is the time to try a bunch of colours and see what looks good. My friend Christine has exquisite thick white hair and very pale skin. She rocks a 50s’ red lip and a nip of eyeliner along her lash line. Simple and gorgeous. Me, I like blush, a smokey eye and usually a nude lip. We are all different. Play a little. Have some fun. If you have always worn your makeup a certain way, try something new. If you’ve got it nailed, make a YouTube video and teach the rest of us!
Love this advice. Watch this space 'cause I'm doing a makeup video and blog for women over 50 in the next couple of months. Meanwhile, pop into a department store or your favourite makeup emporium for a full makeover, like I had at Mac, see below.
If you wore it when it was first in style, give it a pass when it comes back around the second (or third) time.
If you love leather pants, for example, but you wore them when you were in your twenties, and you are wondering if you should pass this time around, take a good, close look at yourself in the mirror. Are they “you”? Do they fit well? Do you feel amazing in them? You know when something works. If you are feeling a little iffy, then pass. That’s what “iffy’ means. When it comes to style, we walk the fine line of holding on to the old styles vs. taking the risk of trying something new – so take your time. Get to know the “you” who is emerging. Many of the things we wore “way back when” can be incorporated into our wardrobes – that’s how great style is achieved. Sometimes, just one interesting piece from the past is all it takes to make the style statement we are after.
Sorting out our personal style requires honesty and time. Style evolves and shifts all the time, just like life. Updates and tweaks freshen our look and keep us from becoming dowdy and matronly or like crazy fashion victims stuck in the past.
Here’s the key takeaway: for every “rule” I can think of, I know a friend or celebrity who shrugs her shoulders and breaks it. Find what makes you happy and unique. Wear what gives you confidence and signals the awesome woman you are. If you like to follow rules, that’s ok too. Being you is what we are talking about here.
Again, I totally agree and I'm sure you do too. That's probably one of my biggest style tips: try on an "iffy" outfit & LOOK IN THE MIRROR before going out the door. I love dressing up but I won't go out in it if I don't feel a ten out of ten, let alone look it. Sometimes the mood I'm in doesn't match the look I'm after - in which case it's a no! Be brutal, be confident and strut your stuff with pride!
Now talking of wearing things with pride, let me introduce Bethanie Lunn, UK stylist, mum & blogger. She might be half my age but we've bonded over cups of coffee and talking all things clothes plus she's big on helping women Over 50 go from frumpy to fabulous....... Here are her 5 style tips on what to try before you buy. Again, Bethanie's words are in italics mine are in plain text.
As a personal stylist, I help advise women on what to wear in order to look and feel like them at their best. Style is so personal and everyone’s needs, tastes, and body shapes are so different but I help find what suits the individual.
Many of the women I shop for are aged 50 upwards and the majority told me how they often felt invisible. Until recently, when it came to image and fashion, there wasn’t enough choice and 50 equated to frumpy if you left it to the High Street. But not now! Finally, the stores have caught up with you and 50+ fashion doesn’t just mean a dress with sleeves (yawn).
Bethanie Lunn’s Top 5 Style-Savvy Tips:
If you love it, get it and then amend it. If you love an item that fits really well but would fit even better if it was a tiny bit more pinched at the back, use a good tailor to get it exactly right. Well-fitting clothes make every difference and will last.
I've saved a fortune by finding really cheap vintage clothes & getting them altered and the best bit of all is that no one else will be wearing the same thing!
Invest in good underwear. Whether it is shapewear, lingerie or risqué – wear whatever pleases you (and others!), but it must fit well or else everything that sits on top of that won’t look good either.
So true, only this week I got re-measured and have gone up a whole cup size and down a back size. I just need more coverage at this age without little squidgy rolls of fat spilling over the sides of a bra! Get measured every time. It's worth it.
Have a signature. You’ll feel and appear invisible only if you let yourself, so stand out by adding a little quirk that is unique to your look. Perhaps it is bold frames on your glasses, a head scarf or a love of vintage like the fabulous example that is Suzi. (Thank you Bethanie) You might enjoy wearing hats or flamboyant shoes, or maybe you never wear black; choosing colourful clothing every day. Whatever it is, own that decision and enjoy it.
What can I say, I do all of the above! But, as I said earlier, you need to feel confident and happy to dress up and we don't always feel like it, even me. Choose the style to match the mood - as long as it's not a black mood!
Don't show too much flesh. This isn’t ageist, this is for everyone since showing too much cleavage or leg doesn’t flatter anyone. Opt for emphazing your shape over your skin.
Again, couldn't agree more. My golden rule is: don't show cleavage AND thighs. One or other, not both. At any age. Oh......look who's broken my own golden rule in the first photo on here! I think you can get away with far more on the beach & it's not as if I was wearing stilettos!
Make no apologies. You are you, you dress for you and you like it that way so if you want to wear the kimono robe you spotted in a charity shop, or that black leather jacket inspired by Helen Mirren, do it!
I am still trying to summon up the courage to wear my kimono out and about as normal day wear. I have only worn it in once in Byron Bay and once at a Festival in the UK. Watch this space!
Meanwhile, I want to say a huge thank you to my two guest bloggers and I hope you found their top tips on being stylish at any age, let alone Over 50, really helpful.
If you want more fashion fun, don't forget there's a new Blog Categories here, or in the menu, where you can find much, much more! And please leave a comment or add your top styling tip to share with the tribe!
See you soon,