STYLE
23/04/2018 16:19 BST | Updated 23/04/2018 16:19 BST

No Alexandra Shulman, Women Shouldn't Stop Wearing Frills When They're 40

All the thrills in looking like a three-tiered cake.

“The one thing that looks frightful as you age is a swamp of frilly fabric,” wrote Alexandra Shulman, the former Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue, in a guide on how to master ageless style.

Writing for The Telegraph’s Stella Magazine, the 60-year-old advised women to avoid frills along with tiers, flounces and bows - which she regards as “completely unacceptable in ageless style, not working for most people past the age of two”.

Though Shulman’s advice did touch upon dressing for your authentic self and in what makes you feel comfortable, we say, your authentic self can also be dynamic, fun and daring. A woman over 40 (or indeed any age) can rock a three piece suit one day and can also be seen in a frilled gown the next, and still be dressing for herself, right?

“The core of how we dress should be our personal style, which also makes us feel the person we like to be,” Shulman wrote. So what if looking like the red senorita emoji is who we want to be? Does it matter if off-shoulder frills are on the body of someone who may be older?

There are so many examples of how a diverse range of women beyond 40 can dress, especially when it comes to challenging the outmoded idea that you should ‘dress for your age’.

Maximalist Iris Apfel has grown to be popular as a fashion influencer for all ages; someone who really believes in dressing for you (which Shulman does advise) and not for anyone else around you. The designer is known for her flamboyant accessories, colours and textures.

A post shared by Iris Apfel (@iris.apfel) on

Actor Tracee Ellis Ross, 45, contemporary and bold style personifies the mantra of owning your style regardless of your age. 

While Maye Musk is known for dazzling everyone with her silver hair and sharp cheekbones, Musk has been spotted as a feature in Harper’s Bazaar US in a red voluminous frill gown to celebrate her 70th birthday - who said you can’t wear frills over 40?!

A post shared by Maye Musk (@mayemusk) on

If you would like your wardrobe to express your multi-faceted personality, here are some frilled looks to dance around in this summer. Enjoy!

  • Blue Skies
    Blue Skies
    ASOS
    Raw Edge Frill Sleeved Dress, £45, ASOS
  • Summer Frills
    Summer Frills
    ASOS
    River Island Premium Lace Frill Hem Shift Dress, £48, ASOS
  • The Dancing Dress
    The Dancing Dress
    ASOS
    Parisian Shift Dress With Frill Sleeve, £16, ASOS
  • The Go-To Skirt
    The Go-To Skirt
    ZARA
    Frilled Jacquard Skirt, £29.99, Zara
  • The Off-Shoulder Choice
    The Off-Shoulder Choice
    ZARA
    Frilled Asymmetric Top Details, £19.99, Zara
  • The Minimal Frill
    The Minimal Frill
    H&M
    Crêpe Dress, £34.99, H&M.
  • The Pyjama Trousers
    The Pyjama Trousers
    H&M
    Wide Trousers With A Frill, £26.99, H&M.
  • Lady In Red
    Lady In Red
    H&M
    Frilled Dress, £19.49, H&M.
  • Mermaid Trousers
    Mermaid Trousers
    Topshop
    Mermaid Frill Flare Trousers, £22, Topshop
  • The Puffy Shirt
    The Puffy Shirt
    H&M
    Puff-Sleeved Frilled Blouse, £7.99, H&M.
  • The 'Lemonade' Dupe
    The 'Lemonade' Dupe
    ASOS
    Frock And Frill Plus Cold Shoulder Velvet Smock Dress With Floral Embroidery, £62, ASOS
  • H&M
    Frilled crêpe blouse, £14.49, H&M