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Fashion for all ages
Time and time again in my business as a personal stylist,I speak to women in their 40s, 50s and 60s who complain that there are no clothing store ‘niches’ for them. They see shops specifically catering to the young, and those who poke their noses into shops suitable for ‘more mature’ women, sharply pull them back out, as they feel the styles are too frumpy. The crazy thing is this generation of women are the ones who have the money to spend on clothing!
Like all women, women over 40 want to wear modern clothing that suits them, but they worry about the ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ factor. Quite a lot! And so being casual Kiwi’s, they’ll often choose the default position of dressing for pure comfort in three-quarter length trousers and a fleece. Or they’ll wear loads and loads and loads of black.
So, what do you do? If you've felt uncomfortable with skirts, I urge you to give them another try. They are versatile and feminine for summer. If you are unsure of which style and length, then select something that is just below the knee (above and you might feel it’s too young, below and at calf length a bit frumpy). Just below the knee is a modern length, it draws the eye to the slimmest part of the leg and is age appropriate for all. A gradual A-line skirt will also be a winning style. Max currently has a lovely box pleat dark denim skirt and Jacqui E and Wild South also have a range of nice A-line skirts.
A great pair of jeans from Just Jeans, a coloured T-shirt with the right neckline and the right fit, and a string of beads or a scarf from either Pagani or Max, is a fantastic ‘any-age’ outfit. Use accessories to modernise what you have. Again, draw inspiration from some of the younger shops to add some chucky jewellery, a pretty floral scarf or a coloured pair of sunglasses, to your day-to-day ensemble.
And summer is a great season for dresses. Wild South has some very flattering wrap style options. Pop a cardigan or blazer over your arms if you feel they need extra coverage. There are always ways of problem-solving any fashion issues so that it works for any age.
And if you have some nice pieces of clothing, wear them. I recently had a lovely email from a fan of our Facebook page about this particular issue. She mentioned how she finds New Zealand women like to save things for ‘best’ and as she very rightly says, ‘TODAY is the best there is’. I completely agree. She also mentioned that when she wears a skirt, she sometimes gets told ‘there is no need to dress up’. Yes there is, you feel so much better when you go to a little effort and it encourages others to do so too.
Don’t use the fact you are not going out as an excuse not to put on a summer dress. You will feel fantastic all day, even if you don’t see anyone. And chances are you’ll ‘pop down to the shops’ and run into people you know.
Be brave this summer. It’s a great season and this year there are many flattering styles in A-line skirts and pretty patterned summer dresses that suit all body shapes. Add colour & accessories and watch the compliments roll in.
Helen Mirren - looking wonderful as always