Debunking the myths

OK hands up who feels old?  To be fair, at what I don't consider to be the particularly ripe old age of 43, I wasn't feeling old. 

But I keep coming across articles that seem to think they can dictate what I can't wear.  Because at 43, that's way over the hill. *weeps*. 


Seriously?  


40 is the new 30. Hell, 50 is the 30.  Times have changed.  Women have changed.  Our lives and our jobs aren't remotely similar to those of women of the same age 20 years ago. 


Dress codes have gone out of the window.  So today, I wanted to debunk a number of the myths I have come across lately that dictate what women of a certain age shouldn't wear (interestingly none of them are remotely didactic though in what we *should* wear...!) . 


1. Jeans


Ah.  Good old denim.  I keep coming across research that finds fashion to be age restrictive, which, funnily enough, I don't remotely agree with.  Nor do CollectPlus, who recently released some denim research which found that respondents thought you shouldn't wear denim after 53 (there isn't enough eye rolling for this, is there?).  Certainly their Marketing Director Catherine Woolfe doesn't agree and said:



 'It's surprising to see our research reveals that many people think jeans are the reserve of the younger generation, suggesting that we should all put denim back on the shelf at the age of 53.
'Denim is such a universal material and with so many different styles available it's a timeless look that people of all ages can pull off.
'This is highlighted by the fact that 55 year old George Clooney came third in our list of most inspirational male celebrity denim wearers and the ever-stylish Mary Berry can often be seen in a pair of jeans.

I will be 53 in ten short years.  I still have jeans that are ten years old.  I can remember ten years ago like it was yesterday (admittedly there were a few years straight after that when I had three kids under four that are ever so slightly hazy).  I am SO still going to be wearing jeans at 63, let alone 53. 

Although we are all aware that I have been having a teensy issue with finding the perfect pair this season so I'm more than happy to have all the help I need and have scoured (aka pinched!) their online guide for ideas

So I'm going back to the drawing board with jeans and shall be exploring in a LOT more detail in the coming days but first off, I'm sticking with blue.  I had tried to find a black pair and failed hideously in my mission.  Having just invested in some navy pieces - the lightbulb moment has been - get an amazing new blue pair.

The great thing about fashion these days is that there really are no rules.  There is no style that is deemed as being "unfashionable" - genuinely anything goes.  So you can choose the style that suits you and be happy and look gorgeous in your denim, aged, 23, 33, 43, 53, 63 or 73 (and if you're 83 and you're still wearing them - I officially love you).

What do I currently have my eye on?  Well my hero jeans in Winter are definitely definitely skinnies.  And the one thing that I did buy in the US when I was there, was a pair of AG jeans.  I've never had a pair before and I don't think I'll ever buy another pair of blue skinny jeans that aren't AG again.  The fit is amazing.  I have worn mine all day with not a hint of bagging.  I was slightly concerned as I had to buy one size larger than usual but seemingly I am deluded as they fit absolutely fine and were perfect.  Mine are a super summery light denim with distressing (which = way too drafty for now) and so I'm definitely in the market for a darker pair. 

Top of my list are these. 

AG The Stilt Skinny Jeans from Trilogy at John Lewis £205.  I know this seems like a lot of money (it is a lot of money!) but these will last you for years.  They are so ridiculously versatile - I would happily wear with a sequin top out for a Christmas Dinner, just add heels - or during the day with an oversized jumper.  Into the Spring with a tee and blazer and ballet flats or sneakers.  The "take you everywhere jeans" 



Now, if you're thinking - well I've already got skinnies, I'd like something else - good luck with that. 

No seriously, I do have some ideas but what I've come around to thinking (seeing as I can't find any other jeans that actually work for me really that aren't skinnies although I AM going to keep on trying...!) are skinnies with an edge.  Some may say we're stretching our "age allowances" here by heading off piste at Topshop but frankly - can't write what I think of people who may say that.  

Topshop skinnies are great.  I won't lie - I have had trouble getting to grips with their straight jeans, but their skinnies are legendary.  And how about your favourite skinny with a twist.  For me, the wear to way these is to make the rest of your outfit super classic.  Oversized shirt, blazer, new pair of skinnies and a pair of stud ankle boots?

MOTO Asymmetric Raw Hem Jamie Jeans £45




I'm almost tempted to just forget attempting to master the straight leg - in fact, I'm going to move on and leave that topic of torture for another day.  Whilst planning new skinnies purchases. 

So I move on to our next bone of contention...

2. Leggings 

I'm going to take this one step further my friends - leather leggings.  From a Poll of 2000 people earlier in the year (I found the article in the Daily Mail so I can't possibly link to it), women shouldn't wear leggings beyond the age of 43.  Because...?

Oh it didn't go on to quantify why, so I feel very safe in proclaiming that statement a lot of tosh.

Leather leggings in particular are a life saver.  They are the ultimate Spanx in a pair of trousers.  So I'm not going to be wearing mine with a cropped top in this lifetime, but with something that covers the crotch area (and to be fair, I'm not a massive fan of seeing anyone's crotch outlined in leather, be you 23 with a crotch to die for) - a longline shirt or tee or oversized jumper and you will wonder how you ever lived with a pair of these. 

hush Leather Leggings £330 in grey 





Or in the black again £330



3. Leather

In for a penny in for a pound.  

I love leather.  And the older I get, the more I love it.  Doesn't matter actually whether it's real or faux, I adore it.  My two leather items of choice this season are skirts and trousers (and obviously leggings above).

At the beginning of the season, I got the most amazing leather midi skirt from Autograph at M&S which is now, alas, sold out.  A great alternative though, would be this from French Connection. 

French Connection Leather A Line Skirt in Zinfandel £175




Or if you're not sure how much wear you'll get out of a more expensive one, then a faux leather one is an amazing option. 

Closet London Perforated Faux Leather Skirt was £32 now £22  Now tell me you couldn't wear this to work.  I wear mine with a jumper and ankle boots.




4. Luxe Leisure wear

This, as we know, is a favourite of mine.  And one I refuse to back down on.  Forget about not being able to wear jeans at a certain age - imagine me telling those naysayers that I wear trackie bums out out.  And leather ones at that.  I can see their little heads spinning and their mouths frothing from here. 

These work.  Best thing of all is that they're super comfortable to boot.  Speaking of boots, I have discovered that these work exceptionally well with cuffed joggers which I've always found notoriously difficult to team footwear with.

Before I discovered that little gem of a styling tip, I would usually buy the uncuffed versions and my favourite so far this season have been the faux leather Topshop ones. 

Now the ones that I've got are sold out but, as I've said before, these are the ones I've got from last year.  LOVE (these are slightly thicker than the thinner TS ones from this season). 

ASOS Leather Look Tie Joggers £35




But I don't let my love of all things leisure wear stop there.  The side striped versions have been around for a couple of seasons now so I think it's fair to say that they're here to stay for the foreseeable future and there's absolutely no reason why there should be an age limit on who wears them.

Side Stripe Joggers from Topshop £30




Slightly upping the budget but I've always been a fan of Whistles trousers 

Whistles Elyse Side Stripe Trousers £120



5. Leopard Print

The fly in the aging ointment.  If one more person mentions "Bet Lynch" (looking at you husband, although he's now adapted his insult to simply "Corrie Bar Maid".  It's not better) I will not be held responsible for my actions.  We have moved on people.  By merely mentioning Bet Lynch you're showing your age (and your ignorance, although I *obviously* don't say that to the husband, I just nod and smile at his eye rolling and go and order something else in leopard).

Leopard is a neutral.  I've said it before and I'll continue to say it until absolutely everyone believes me, it has become a staple element of our wardrobes.  I went out to dinner the other week and there were 6 couples.  Every single woman had an element of leopard on.  One had a blouse, one a pair of boots, one a scarf, one a coat, one a pair of heels and I had a leopard bag.

My love for leopard is so great that I have some big cat dedicated blogs in the pipeline but in the meantime, I leave you with two coats that I think are the most flattering shape and perfect to layer up in the cooler weeks with scarves, or wear as a long blazer style now (she says now as she clutches a scarf and stares at the thermometer saying 3 degrees...) 

YAS Leopard Print £82   For those of you who prefer a monochrome print.  This is definitely a more subtle version of leopard.



Or a more traditional camel shade from River Island £80



Ditto Topshop £85




So those are what I would consider my Top 5 "controversial" items that I totally dispute are actually vaguely controversial.  I'd love to hear your opinions.  Do you agree or do you think there is an age where we shouldn't be wearing certain things?  And if so, what things?!

For me - it's much more to do with attitude and fit.  Anything can look bad on anyone at any age if it's not flattering or you can tell they're not comfortable in.  The key is to feeling great in what you've got on and if you know you look good, others will think so too. 

Today's outfit: 




Black and white striped polo neck - Second Female at Collen & Clare
Navy Boyfriend Jacket - Me+Em
Wide leg cropped jeans - Me+Em
White leather trainers - Autograph
Red Soho Disco Bag - Gucci

Oversized biker and cropped wide leg jeans with white trainers.  Pretty sure none of these fall into the categories some would obviously deem "age appropriate dressing" but posh fitted frocks and suede court shoes will not be gracing my wardrobe any time soon.  You? 
The search for the perfect jeans starts with a vengeance.  

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CONVERSATION

64 comentarios:

  1. So right...fed up of all the ageist/'age appropriate' commentary going on, including in some of the other fashionista blogs out there), thank you for this xx

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    1. You're more than welcome! So pleased you liked it x

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  2. I may personally have things I wouldn't wear again (the aforementioned cropped tops,for example), but I wouldn't make that a general rule for everyone. It depends on your personal style, figure, personality etc,etc.
    As for denim, that's definitely ageless! The rules have gone out the window!! I have seen women 20+ years older than me wearing items I would wear, and they look great. God forbid we end up in crimpolene with a blue rinse!

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    1. Interestingly I wouldn't have worn a cropped top when I was 18! (hindsight is a wonderful thing...!). I just object to other people dictating what I should wear - and the reverse is true as well. Anyone that tells me I'm a certain age so now I can wear xx... I want to scream!!

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  3. AG jeans are the absolute best - I live in the US now, and always manage to buy them in a discount store where they're even cheaper (never paid more than about $90). I've got two pairs of the Angelina petite flare jeans (5'6" but short legs!) and recently got a pair of the Leggings skinny style in a faded/slightly distressed black. I always go up one size in the Angelinas, and I went up two in the Leggings because I didn't want to look like the proverbial sausage! But they don't bag at all, despite having substantial stretch that makes them the most comfortable jeans ever. They're my go-to for plane trips, so comfy. I'm in my late 40s, and I'd batter anyone who told me I couldn't wear something because of my age!

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    1. Oh I am so jealous! My AG jeans are definitely a shade lighter than I would like for the Winter but having said that - I think teamed with navy and white, they look absolutely fabulous at any time of year. And it just seems slightly random that just because you reach a certain age you shouldn't - or should - wear something...

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  4. Bloody brilliant and very apt given that when I awake tomorrow, I'll be a grown up woman of 50 (gulp). Agree with absolutely everything you have said x

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  5. Thanks Kat. Great post. Your blog is always so positive and encouraging. Too often fashion blogs and fashion writing in general makes women feel bad about themselves. Your blog is never divisive, patronising, judgemental or any of the other negatives I sometimes read in magazines and blogs. You always remember that first and foremost our love of fashion should be about fun not about following a set of rules. OK I'll put the soapbox away and have a look at those lovely fur wraps you posted yesterday. :) x

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    1. I try! Thank you for your lovely comments xxxx

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  6. Thanks Kat brilliant blog :-) Nuf said :-)

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  7. Love this. At 47 I have all of these items in my wardrobe. Whilst I have adjusted my choices over the years it's mainly down to the fact that my body isn't what it was, even 5 years ago-legs, I'm looking at you, rather than anything to do with what the research says!!

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    1. Oh god MY KNEES!! I don't like wearing mini skirts but it's because of my knees not, ironically because of my thighs!!! And certainly not my age...

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  8. It ain't what you wear it's the way that you wear it! Another brilliant blog thank you.
    I bought the New Look faux fur wrap you recommended. I saw it reduced to £10 online and went to investigate in store. It wasn't reduced but when I queried it the lovely sales assistant said she would honour the online price! It's very snuggly x

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    1. Oh DANG I meant to go to New Look yesterday. FOILED!

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    2. I got the scarf delivered about 5 minutes ago. It has a great hook and eye fastening which means it feels more like a gillet than a scarf. I love it (although there is a faint smell of fish to it!!).

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    3. ooh that sounds interesting (ok not the faint smell of fish.. I find quite often packaged stuff has that - if you leave it out, it goes very quickly. usually...!!)

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  9. I'm now closer to 50 than 40 (only just...) and I'll wear what I want. My Dad (aged 68) is the font of all wisdom and has always said that age no longer has the connotations it used to. My 62 year old fashion designer aunt is my style icon (and always has been), my mum (almost 69) wears subtle snake print skinny jeans, tropezienne sandals and a 1960s mod's attitude. However, I'd be pretty sure Daily Mail readers didn't get that memo (and if I'm honest, I like to rub their noses in stuffy convention anyway!)

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  10. Goodness what a load of nonsense (the 'rules' not you Kat). I only bought my first leather skirt at 43 because it looked and felt grownup to have a leather midi. Eyeing those m and s biker jackets now. Leopard yes. Jeans yes. Joggers yes. I'll be sure to tell my fashion loving 69yo mum to ditch the denim (not)...

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    1. I got my first biker jacket at 41 or 42 I think and have no idea how I lived without it!

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  11. My mum is nearly 70 and has not got the no Jean memo. She wears skinny zara jeans all the time and I am quite bitter as they look better on her than me (very different shapes me and my mum!). I can't do leather or Leopard, but then I never could, even in my twenties. But denim. Good God, the world would stop if I had to give it up.... X

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    1. And my mother in law is exactly the same - 70 in jeans - hell she looks great! AND she wears leopard print!!

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  12. Totally agree with all this.... I'm 48 (just) and am planning on wearing all these items for a very long time. I didn't embrace leather/pleather until my 40s as I actually think it looks better on more "mature" women.
    As for leopard print, don't get me started... I'm having a running argument with a friend who thinks it's "too Bet Lynch" ... I've told her that modern leopard has moved on and it's a neutral but she won't be swayed. Sadly for her I think it's a confidence issue. I love it, it makes me smile every time I wear it.
    I also still wear short(ish) skirts but with opaque tights as I too hate my knee, but being short I found longer skirts swamp me.
    Keep up the good work Kat
    Xx

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  13. Spot on! Great blog post...I always think you should wear what makes you feel good. And those 'polls' are just another way of trying to make women feel bad...which is why I love your blog, it's about making people feel good. Thank you

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  14. No wonder you're going from strength to strength. I was tempted to send pics of my 51 year old self in my jeans and leather leggings, but I'll spare you. Keep speaking up for us over 40's, because 'they' are listening (M&S, Jaeger and Hush recently, to name a few).... Thanks for the inspo and for giving us all the confidence to be a tad more stylish. XXX

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  15. Oh god I hate the whole "am I too old to wear..." crap. If it suits you wear it. My mum is mid 70s and wears jeans, she recently borrowed my Gap real straight jeans and looked great. I'm going to quote Kate Moss, who told Jade Jagger to dress "more rocker" :).

    I'm nearly 46 and today I am wearing grey skinnies, black biker jacket and fringed skater boots. You look great, Kat.

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    1. and just when I thought I couldn't love Kate Moss any more..!

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  16. Well said! I am 51 and buying things from what are deemed to be 'teenage' shops such as Top Shop and River Island. Part of my problem is that I am petite and most of the clothes shop for 'older' ladies assume that just because you are over 50 you are HUGE. I don't like many of the fashion shops for older ladies either. I have a colleague who shops in Hobbs as she is convinced it is the ONLY shop for smart, older ladies. I secretly think is is a bit frumpy and overpriced and she could update her look by following some of your many suggestions!

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    1. I have the same problem with tall things. Most people assume that because you're tall you're also wide... Imagine being old and tall!! Hobbs... oh there are some really lovely things you can find in Hobbs for sure and it definitely serves a purpose - I know people who love it and yes, some more mature ladies (god that's me - I am now one of those ages!!!) do love the more traditional, classic look. BUT my frustration is the assumption that we ALL want to dress to like that. I would never ever ever say that you shouldn't or there's anything wrong with it. It's just not how I (and lots and lots and lots of us!!) want to dress!

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  17. My mother in law at 86 wears jeans all the time. Not a fashion statement for her as much as just comfortable and sturdy. I'll be 61 (eek!) in less than a month, and jeans are my daily standard. Skinnies please although I do have a couple of boyfriends. While I don't borrow my teenage daughters' clothes (ok, I AM currently carrying one of their discarded handbags but that's about it...), I frequently saw my sweaters, boots, and tees wandering out the door to high school. Thank goodness they are both,as of this year, out of the house and off at school. My clothes are safe again!

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    1. I now have to discuss with my 12yr old which trainers we're both going to have.!!!!

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  18. Very well said. Who gives a monkey's about age appropriate dressing? And why is there even such a thing. Thank you for providing us with inspiration & confidence. There are several items I may not have given a go were it not for you. As Diane said you are non-judgemental, unpatronising & positive. At least I think that's what she said - too lazy to scroll back! Two fingers to all those with pre-conceived ideas about what women of a certain age should wear. It's fashion fascism! We what you like - if it makes you feel good - isn't that what counts?

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    1. Oh thank you lovely. I just don't like the prescriptive assumption that at a certain age you *should* be wearing x and should not be wearing y!!!

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  19. Gah, age ain't nothing but a number. You're quite right and I love your blog!

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    1. Very well said. I'm 57 (!!) and would not be without my skinny jeans or my Stan Smiths (and I don't care if the latter are so last year). It's about what suits you and what you feel comfortable in. Love your blog, by the way.

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    2. I still wear mine if that makes you feel any better...?!!

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    3. It helps! And I know we're not alone; see them everywhere.

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  20. I could not agree more and applaud you for speaking out! I'm 51 and do not want to be limited in what I choose to wear & as for not wearing jeans in a couple of years - forget it. We are all individuals and it's great to have so much choice and reading blogs like yours provide lots of ideas. I think I've been on this planet long enough (only age-related reference here ��) to decide what suits me though of course there are sometimes mistakes but that's all part of it. Keep up with the good work debunking these myths X

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    1. I absolutely agree about making mistakes. It's all part and parcel of the fun of trying something new no? Some things work and others don't but unless you try, surely you'd just be wearing the same old tried and tested things all the time. Which is fine but I prefer a bit of adventure!

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  21. Have been giving this some more thought. Another totally outrageous prescription is the idea that you can't have long hair after a certain age. Yes, long hair doesn't look so great if it's all straggly but that's nothing to do with the age of the wearer, long hair can and does look great on 40+ women. All this 'you can't wear x, you can wear y' is all part of this patriarchal/Daily Fail keeping women down thing, it doesn't happen to men really does it? Rant over, I'll shut up and go away now....!

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    1. *fist bump* only reason I had mine cut was for a change! And as I've had to have highlights to hide the greys, it's got so so dry and, like you say, straggly long hair is bad (at any age mind you!!)

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  22. I've enjoyed reading people's response to this blog, it seems to have touched a nerve, and maybe proves that article wrong. We can wear what we want, and be damned with the so called experts opinions - we can be our own experts (with a lot of help from you, Kat), and trust our own judgement!
    My shoulder length hair is part of who I am, I really can't imagine having short hair, it's been long for pretty much all of my adult life, and probably about half of my childhood. I used to think that after about the age of 40 I'd cut it short, that was way back in my 20's!!
    As for grey hair, I'm not against it, but it does take a bit (okay, a lot) of getting used to. Having always had warm natural (and a bit of not so natural) lowlights, the colder nature of the grey is not so easy. I've had more ash highlights put in, so it brightens up my hair and helps the progression. I swear by morrocan oil, it really helps put moisture back in, I use tonnes of it!

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  23. I've enjoyed reading people's response to this blog, it seems to have touched a nerve, and maybe proves that article wrong. We can wear what we want, and be damned with the so called experts opinions - we can be our own experts (with a lot of help from you, Kat), and trust our own judgement!
    My shoulder length hair is part of who I am, I really can't imagine having short hair, it's been long for pretty much all of my adult life, and probably about half of my childhood. I used to think that after about the age of 40 I'd cut it short, that was way back in my 20's!!
    As for grey hair, I'm not against it, but it does take a bit (okay, a lot) of getting used to. Having always had warm natural (and a bit of not so natural) lowlights, the colder nature of the grey is not so easy. I've had more ash highlights put in, so it brightens up my hair and helps the progression. I swear by morrocan oil, it really helps put moisture back in, I use tonnes of it!

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    1. Grey is very hard to wear as a hair colour - natural salt and pepper anyway I think... I must be the only person who doesn't get on with moroccan oil. I have tried so many different brands and they just don't work. However I LOVE all the Ojon oils. They are magic in my book so I just stick with them!! Not to mention pre conditioners which I use every time now and I definitely think are making a difference. I also now always let my hair dry naturally and then style - I think less heat makes a difference too.

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  24. My favourite I think so far! I'm 46 and I still make exactly the same types of fashion choices as I did when I was in my 20's. I refuse to become invisible, simply because of my age and will not read Daily Mail trash that dictates otherwise. Besides, I firmly believe when I look at my friends the same age, and older, that women look bloody brilliant nowadays. We know how to enhance our good points and disguise what's lacking, far better than our parents/grandparents. I will be rocking my over-knee boots and leopard crombie for many years to come. You've definitely hit a nerve, Kat. You should have your own TV show. Like The Clothes Show. But better. x

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    1. GO YOU!! I think all my friends look amazing too. They all have many different styles between them - I love the eclectiness (it so should be a word!) of us as a group!

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  25. What an absolute pile of crap such articles are! I am 50, and I would dare anyone tell me what I can and cannot wear! I live in skinny leathers and jeans (feel free anyone to check my instagram account Tracy7366) and I will continue to do so as long as I am capable of dressing myself! Seriously, who the hell do these people think they are?

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    1. I could perhaps understand if we were all swanning around in crop tops with piles of bare (not toned) bare flesh on show but jeans?? Leggings? Leather? Really?!! I completely agree with you!

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  26. Refreshing to think there are some women out there getting bolder not older
    My closet is packed with stuff I didn't have the confidence to wear 25 years ago and I was a size smaller! Confidence the ultimate accessory.
    Nudging to 53 thanks for your tips Kat, I always manage to translate your blog into what works for me!
    I'm trying to pass this vital information on to my teenage girls, save them a load of time and angst

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    1. I said further up the comments that I didn't even wear a crop top at 18 - WHY OH WHY OH WHY NOT? Although, to be fair, I Did go through the Monica Years at Uni where I thought living on a curry or pizza every night with cheesy chips for lunch and 5 pints of snake bite and black of an evening was a healthy diet... whoops!!!!

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  27. I'm sure the black currant cordial in your drink gave you enough vitamin C to make it a balanced diet

    That said for me I'm going to have to bite the bullet and get some decent skinny jeans. I hate jean shopping, I find it so depressing and mainly finish off by saying I'm really joining Slimming World this time!

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    1. I tried some jeans on today and came back totally empty handed. The 27 were too tight and the 28 were just right. BUT BUT BUT would they stretch? Who knew and I just can't be arsed to take the risk so I left them there. SOB. I'm putting a blog together on jeans and it's seriously depressing me!

      And hell yes - The blackcurrant cordial totally counted as one of my five a day. Snort.

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  28. This made me angry this morning. God forbid us old gimmers should wear a mini. I'll have to tell my 23 year old niece to be more modest, too! (Sair x)

    http://sheerluxe.com/2016/11/16/how-wear-mini-skirts-any-age?utm_source=Adestra&utm_medium=email&utm_content=READ&utm_campaign=MIDNIGHT%20BLUE%20%2817th%20NOVEMBER%202016%29&utm_term=Daily

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    1. On the upside, they don't say that you shouldn't wear them! I think they're saying you can wear them at any age no?

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  29. Oh Kat I love this, and other readers comments too. I will be 64 next week and I wear Jeans, skinny leather jeggings, lots of leopard and over the knee boots. and I have longish blonde hair and will never let it go grey. I don't look mutton, I look great as do lots of other ladies my age. I also share make up and fashion tips with my three granddaughters 15, 16 and 18. I don't have the perfect figure but I do have the confidence in my ability to adapt current fashions to suit me and my style and it has nothing at all to do with age.

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  30. I will be wearing denim to my funeral. You go, grrls!

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