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*.
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...!) .
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:
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...
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
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.
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.