Style Beyond 50


A recent article in the Sunday Times Style magazine covered the issue of 
50 plus dressing and how best to look stylish. Whilst the article was 
interesting, the premise that women at 50 were over the hill and lost 
interest in looking good confounded me.  Why should women over 50 be any 
different than women in their 20's, 30's or 40's?

Women of all ages have body insecurities, lack of confidence and low 
self-esteem and are confused how best to dress to make the most of 
themselves. To my mind, dressing well is even more important after 50 
than before, because you don't have youthful vitality and glow to fall 
back on - it is all about the clothes, makeup, hair and accessories. 
There is no reason why a woman in her 50's cannot look better than she 
ever has done, freed from 'the tyranny of fashion' and confident to know 
what suits her body shape regardless of trends. As Coco Chanel said 
'fashion passes, style remains'.

Unfortunately, a recent style survey by Isme.com seemed to reiterate 
what the article was saying. The results of the survey showed that 8 out 
of 10 Britons think women should start dressing down once they reach 50. 
In addition, almost half of 50+ women polled stated they were scared of 
wearing fashionable clothes for fear of what others would say.

Of course it goes without saying that women in their 50's and older have 
probably been through the menopause when weight starts to be put down 
around the midrift and gravity has won the battle of the tops of the 
arms and maybe even the boobs.  However, with a little artful dressing 
these problem areas can be easily disguised and body assets shown off - 
in particular wrists, ankles and top of the shoulders.

A common cry I hear from clients is "I want to look nice but don't want 
to look like mutton". So I have compiled some easy tips to looking good 
regardless of age which hopefully will give hope to women beyond 50 that 
they don't have to resort to a twinset or tracksuit nor end up looking 
like their daughter's much older sister...
Buy clothes that give you pleasure in terms of fabric, pattern and 
colour and are comfortable. Don't be influenced by trends -  they come 
and go.  The fashion industry survives by changing it's mind as to what 
is the must have skirt or top or pattern every 6 months - it has little 
bearing on what suits the majority of us. Wear colour on your top half - 
it lifts the face - keep neutral shades ie black, navy, grey and brown 
for jackets, coats, suits, trousers and skirts. Tops and dresses with 
arms will hide your wobbly bits but so will cardys, shrugs and wraps. 
Dress according to your body shape - if you have very slim thighs then 
skinny jeans will work regardless of age -  if you are curvier go for 
bootleg. Good underwear is essential - M&S is the saviour of us all.  
Wear simple and timeless shapes but decorate with statement jewellery, 
scarves, belts, shoes and handbags.

On a final note the 50 plus age group spends more on clothing, footwear 
and accessories for themselves than any other age group - 41% of the 
total UK clothing market.  Isn't it high time that the high street 
recognised this and instead of constantly catering for the 20 something 
market started designing and selling clothes for the 50 plus woman who 
is still very keen on looking good and has the purchasing power to 
ensure that she does!
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