So when will retailers realise that whatever our age we women want to dress with style?
When will they get the message that more and older women want artful clothes that which will fit their lifestyle and budget, and advice on the secret of how to pull together a look that's flattering?
When I look through magazines, catalogues and online fashion sites all too often I see clothes advertised on thin, beautiful bodies and young faces, adding to the confusion of how they might look on me. For those of us not born yesterday we want fashion shown on real women and advice on how to adapt contemporary styles to flatter less than perfect bodies.
For example jeans and a top can be worn by a woman of any age and still look great. Denim jeans look fabulous on older women especially if the denim contains a certain percentage of Lycra which allows them to stretch, fit and help control any problem areas. The same goes for a classic pair of tailored black pants in wool, cotton or rayon plus Lycra. But no bulky front zips please! By a certain age many of us women know what silhouette and colours best flatter our figure and most have adopted a signature style. But whatever our age we want to dress with style, fashion and with a dash of fun!
When you look at fabulous women over sixty you'll notice they often keep patterned clothes to a minimum, tending to focus more on wearing solid flattering colours. Now that I'm older I rarely wear patterned clothes but if I do I keep the design neat and simple. Importantly I've also discovered that whatever one size or shape it can be more is flattering to wear a block of solid colour. Doing this creates a longer, leaner look and stops cutting the body in half which makes it appear shorter. But one needs to be wary of where the top finishes, especially if it's a sweater worn with trousers or skirt, because the eye is drawn to where the two meet and often this is the widest part of the hips. The solution is to wear a longer top which will help disguise a no longer small derriere!
It's assumed that as we age wearing black will be a safe option. It's true that a solid block of black creates a slim, sombre silhouette but it may need to be given a "lift" with the addition of colourful accessories. Personally I have to feel on top of the world in order to wear black well, and if I'm feeling low - wearing an all black outfit can be a big mistake! For my work in London I find the trick is to add a colourful scarf, brooch or necklace near my face in a colour that really flatters me. When you get it right, a black outfit can look sensational!
Fortunately there are an increasing number of retail outlets beginning to sell clothes in diverse styles and colours for the older woman, accepting our individual preferences and helping us express ourselves through the clothes we wear. But I would urge them to concentrate less on displaying the goods on young models' svelte bodies and more on real mature models to show a selection of fashions fit for an older Goddess!
Women can struggle to find clothes they feel confident in because many retailers still fail to cater seriously for the age group. Won't they realize that getting older doesn't mean moving into frump mood, looking dowdy, drab and boring? I want retailers to be more aware of our design and colour likes and dislikes - such as less neon bright or excessively low-cut tops, dresses without sleeves, or skimpy skirts - all revealing too much less than taut skin!
I find that clothes and colours I wear can affect my mood, so when I make an effort to dress up a bit it makes me feel good, and being of a certain age doesn't mean I can't look attractive. Personally I like well cut stylish clothes in easy care fabrics that don't crease and knowing my personal style helps me create a pulled-together wardrobe. As I get older I've observed that seasoned fashionista friends of mine are the ones who exude real style and easily compete with much younger women in making heads turn!
But back to my moan. Many older women don't have the time or the desire to shop endlessly for clothes and feel too much emphasis is still on fashion and advice for younger women. It's frustrating for them, most of whom have over the years learnt how to feel good about themselves and the skin they are in, but through fashionable clothes still want to recognize and express their inner goddess!