RIPPED jeans are “unsuitable” for women over 35, fashion trainers not appropriate for women over 40 and wearing a bikini over the age of 41 is a total no-no, says a new survey.
I don’t know who the 2,000 people quizzed by footwear brand Hotter are, but I have two words for them — absolute rubbish.
This month is my big birthday — the big 50.
I’m joining the ranks of fiftysomethings Davina McCall, J-Lo and Halle Berry and let me tell you, I am nowhere close to hanging up my crop tops, trainers, bikinis or anything else deemed “unsuitable” for someone my age in this survey.
There is something liberating about reaching half a century. It has made me bolder and braver in my life and style choices.
I have a story to tell — a life lived — and I tell that tale through what I wear.
What has been key for me is looking myself in the eye in the mirror and accepting who I am and what I look like — I have learned to love my wrinkly bits.
This has helped me find myself and understand what suits me.
Watching women on Instagram wear what the hell they want no matter what their age, size or style has been a revelation.
And after feeling pretty invisible in my early 40s, the last five years have been about breaking fashion rules and not giving two figs what people think about the way I dress — and I’ve documented it all on my Instagram @trayslounge.
So ladies, it’s time to scrap the old rulebook.
Today I tell you which outdated “rules” you should most definitely ditch and advise on which you should most definitely follow . . .
NEVER SHOW YOUR KNEES
I’ve heard so many women say that they wouldn’t wear a miniskirt or shorts as they’ve got older and up until five years ago, I hated my legs.
I have worn trousers nearly every day of my adult life. But at 50, I finally love my pins. They have been good to me, they take me for miles on dog walks and they carried around my big belly when I was pregnant with both my babies.
Now, they have found fitness, so they are also the strongest they have ever been.
I practically live in shorts in the summer. I wear shorts suits to work with plimsolls and a vest, then slip on some thong kitten heels with them for after-work drinks. At weekends I even occasionally twin with my daughter, 18 next month, in matching denim cut-offs.
And yes, my knees are a bit wrinkly but I think it adds to their charm.
DON’T WEAR IT THE SECOND TIME AROUND
There’s a myth that you shouldn’t wear a trend if you remember it from the first time.
Not only would I say “hell no” to that, I’d suggest saving anything you love so you have it when it’s fashionable next time around, or even wear it when it’s not particularly “on trend”. If you adore it, you’ll feel great.
I love to say “Oh this old thing” if someone compliments me on my outfit. I find it reassuring to know that if I wear a 20-year-old dress, there won’t be anyone else at the party in an outfit like me.
I have a favourite LBD (little black dress) that is older than my daughter and I love it. Older clothes tend to be better quality and were made to last.
STICK TO WHAT YOU KNOW WORKS
As you get older, it’s easy to get into a bit of a style rut — you wear what you feel comfortable in which isn’t a bad thing and can make dressing stress-free.
However, if you don’t try something different, you will never know if you can pull it off, and you could be missing out on your hero piece.
So don’t put yourself into any style brackets before you go shopping. You are not too old to wear something. Try it and if it brings you joy, wear it.
As someone who has never worn dresses, I have finally found a style that suits me this year.
I tried 50 dresses on in the fashion cupboard at work and soon realised that, while I’m not a puffy-sleeved prairie dress type of gal, I’m actually more of a Grecian goddess — and I am totally fine with that.
NEVER WEAR NAVY AND BLACK
I disagree. Navy and black are such a classy combo, especially when you throw some tan accessories into the mix.
Try this for work to take all the drama out of getting dressed each morning.
From Kate Middleton to Victoria Beckham and Amanda Holden, navy and black has proven to be a failsafe look for looking undeniably chic.
WEAR HEELS TO DRESS UP
I’m not saying never wear heels, but why put yourself through all that discomfort if you don’t need to?
I ditched skyscraper heels a few years ago and now love wearing metallic flats with a cocktail dress or tux suit.
It’s so chic and I like to give my evening wear a more masculine spin.
NEVER CLASH PRINTS
We’ve all been there. Maybe you’re less adventurous when it comes to clothing than you were in your twenties and it feels safer to stick to a subtle print and blend in with the crowd, than to be bold.
But ladies, prints are MADE to clash. Mix bold florals with polka dots for a truly modern take on occasion wear. Basically anything goes these days. Be loud and proud with your fashion choices. What are you waiting for?
SAVE YOUR BEST FOR BEST
Life is too short. Boss it in the suit. Sashay in the dress. Party in the sparkly sandals. Basically, wear your clothes and enjoy every damn minute of them.
Being stuck in the back of a wardrobe is no fun at all. Do a small wardrobe edit each week and see what you can put together. Get a small rail and plan some outfits.
I copy what is in my favourite shops at the time, so if Arket is pushing florals with neutrals, I grab anything I already own that fits the bill.
This way my wardrobe feels current without me having to constantly shop.
NO BIKINIS AFTER 41
What nonsense. I love bikinis and I will be damned if I am told by someone that I am too old to wear one. Bikinis are for everybody.
I did a swimwear edit for F&F last year, and I felt like freakin’ Beyoncé in the gold metallic string bikini I chose to wear. It was so empowering putting the post up on my Instagram.
I have absolutely no intention of EVER giving up my bikinis, or my sexy undies for that matter. I want to feel as hot as hell AND feel comfortable doing it for the rest of my days – and so should you.
My clothes have definitely got better with age and I like to think that, although I am still a work in progress, I have too.
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