What then, does a fifty-year-old lady wear? Ooh, that already sounds hideous and has caused me to grimace so much that I will need some serious face stretching to iron out the cracks … Aaaah! My answer to pretty much everything is to eat green things … spinach, kale, broccoli, chlorella, kiwi fruit, savoy cabbage …. I digress. What to wear? Me? I shop anywhere. Really. It could be Reiss, Phase Eight, White company or New Look, River Island or the local Charity shop. I burst into song (it’s OK, no one is listening) ‘It’s not what you wear it’s the way that you wear it’ la la la. It’s about finding your personal style, and it doesn’t need to be fixed. For me, I like simple understated but with a quirk or twist; think interior decorating’s minimalist room with a slightly intrusive accent colour or weird sculpture in the corner. However, the accent colour may not actually be a colour; it could well be slightly ridiculous shoes, oversized cuffs on a shirt or a clashing colour somewhere. It depends on my mood. Never say ‘I’m too old to be fashionable’ but DO say ‘I’m not young enough to carry off this particular frock/look/piercing’. Mutton dressed as lamb never looks good and you need to be confident that you can carry off that rah rah skirt with docs before venturing out to Sainsbury’s and giving the prepubescent boy stacking the cereal shelf a premature heart seizure! That said, you have the right to wear whatever the f*** you want so you go girl! I would suggest that you are mindful regarding what it is you are aiming to achieve.
Adapt, Enhance but don't copy
In my humble opinion, looking youthful is not about replicating what the younger generation are wearing, doing or listening to; it is about being aware, embracing it and adapting it to suit yourself; it is about working it lady! It is about recreating the allure and zest of youth but not necessarily youth itself, and believe me, we do still want to be alluring at fifty don't we? In short, it is about shining as brightly as the young without trying to pretend you are twenty something. With our self knowledge and self awareness, we are in a prime position to combine everything to make one fab and sassy human being who is visible and vibrant, (just don’t forget your greens!).
HOW TO DO MINIMALISM WITHOUT LOOKING FRUMPY
At fifty, it is sometimes refreshing to declutter your mind by decluttering your life. If your are starting with your wardrobe, however, there is a misconception that keeping hold of all your patterns, wacky items and over the top colour will keep your look youthful. Surely if I ditched those I relinquish all that is cool and interesting about me? Well, I beg to differ; unless of course, the aging, whimsical cat lady image is what you are aiming for, it is time to streamline. An elegant and up to date collection with a limited, carefully chosen and co-ordinated selection of your very favourite colourful and quirky items will not only up your fashion kudos but also take years off you.
Just like our make-up palette needs to tone down in order to keep us looking fresh and youthful, so does our wardrobe. The skill is in curating your look without forgetting your personality. If you like vintage … great! Think Grace Kelly, Coco Chanel and Jackie O, not Madonna, Claire Grogan or Olivia Newton John in Grease; the time for that has passed and will do you no favours.
How I dress at fifty in a nutshell
My personal aesthetic is a largely neutral or nude colour scheme. However I also think that a carefully selected colourful item can magically elevate your look to sublime and enhance your beauty if skilfully matched to your skin tone and colouring. This is a simple trick to refine your style at fifty.