Recently, I was asked the question “Do you think people should dress for their age?”
As a woman of *ahem* a certain age (actually 45), I was staggered by even this notion. What does ‘dressing for your age’ even mean?!
If you’ve got it…
When I hear people saying “ooo, She shouldn’t wear that at her age” it infuriates me! Why shouldn’t we wear what we feel good in? I believe if you’ve got the legs for a short skirt – lucky you, flaunt them! Same goes for boobs (not that I can claim to fall into that particular category with my not-so-big pair!) Life’s too short and isn’t fashion there to have fun with anyway? Age is a trivial matter and merely a point of perspective! That’s what I say.
Just look at the instagram grannies who are taking over the advertising world: Baddiewinkle age 86, Iris Apfel age 95 – these stylish women rock! They are having the time of their lives and being fearless with fashion in the process. Go ladies!
My personal style-evolution
As for me, my own personal style changes on a daily basis along with my mood, but I like to think I am on a ‘Style- Evolution’. I guess like many other areas of my life, my style journey is finally falling into place. I don’t take myself very seriously at all. I’ve always been a bit ‘edgy’, a bit rock ‘n’ roll. Infact, more recently, I have been told I look like a rockstar – by a famous rock star, no less! (Obviously my quirky nature was thrilled at this and is making me ‘rock it’ even more!).
Over the years I have experimented a lot with fashion. I think that’s what it’s there for. However, sometimes I have felt a bit hit and miss when trying to ‘find’ my own style. Has this ever happened to you?
In my teens, I obsessed over mens hats – much to my mothers dismay! I loved a good Trilby. Still have a soft spot for them actually. I currently own three: a black felt one, a black straw one and a white straw one which goes on my travels with me. As a child, I used to make a bee line for the hats department on our shopping trips to the department stores!
My obsession with shoes
Also, I have a confession to make. I have had a longlasting, with no signs of stopping, very deep love affair with shoes. To the point where I should introduce this bit as: “My name’s Claire and I love shoes.” Even in my younger days, while shopping with friends for an outfit for an upcoming night out, people didn’t bother asking what I had bought – knowing it would only be shoes. Never clothes.
Heels, flats, brogues, trainers, ballet pumps, Converse – I just love them all. I collect Converse like others collect art or supermarket loyalty points! And have a rather good collection. Many of which are older than a lot of the models who grace magazine covers these days!
Nowadays, I am trying to really hone my sense of style but have to admit to having a bit of a struggle at times. You see, I like the idea magazines often promote, of owning a ‘capsule wardrobe’: where there are a key set of items which all go well together giving so many possibilities for outfits – but I just don’t think it could ever work for me. There’s so much choice out there and I am a bit of a chameleon. I seem to flit from look to look. Must be the Gemini in me. I never know which one of the celestial twins I will wake up as – and this determines my style for that day!
I used to devour fashion magazines with zeal and have no doubt spent a small fortune on them over the years. Now I find Pinterest is a wealthy, inspirational resource for seeking out all things style related. Whether it’s clothes, shoes, bags, interiors… I literally pin like its going out of fashion! These pins are incredibly useful on one of my ‘Haven’t a clue what to wear days’.
It’s also on these kind of days I wonder how others seem to look so effortless and stylish yet I look like I have thrown on literally the first thing that has jumped out of my wardrobe! I blame it on that quirkiness again.
I suppose I have always been a bit experimental when it comes to fashion. I grew up in a small town with an attitude to match, so I reckon my wearing those utterly fabulous men’s Trilby’s as a youth – when everyone else around me was wearing vulgar shell suits (eurgghh!) – took a degree of confidence on my part, to pull off.
Infact, when I look back I think I was somewhat a ‘Pioneer of Fashion’. Ahead of my time, you could say. A bold claim perhaps but there is a reason I can make this statement: I have always found when I get an idea that I NEED something (like an ‘I must have it and can’t live without it’ kind of need), I never find it. Ever. Well at least not until the idea has completely gone out of my head and I no longer have the desire for that item – then suddenly they’re everywhere!
Searching for the stylish staples
I’ll give you an example: In my job, I receive invites to glamorous balls from time to time. This is usually a time when many women are thrown into a blind panic: finding that perfect evening/cocktail dress which not only makes them look fabulous but, more importantly, no one else is going to be wearing, can be a major trial and can shake the foundations of the most stable-minded and experienced shopper.
This has never been an issue for me. I always have an idea of what I want in my head for such an occasion and then I go out and find it. Simple.
Yet when I get an idea that my wardrobe requires a standard staple item (cue: grey grandad cardigan) – can I find it? Can I heck as like! I even scoured all the old gentlemens shops in my quest to satisfy my need for said cardi. But to no avail. It did not exist. At least not until a year or so later when I had gone off the idea! Ahead of my time, I tell you. Obviously capsule wardrobes are not for me!
Of late, I have started to get a bit more savvy where my wardrobe is concerned. I have created a wish list and my intention is whenever I go shopping I aim to tick one or two items off the list. Thus creating my fabulously stylish wardrobe. Ummm, I’ll let you know how that goes. Stick with me, it should be an interesting ride!