Can young fashionistas learn from older women? YES!

Some of this season’s hottest trends are based on classic of yester-year whether its 1970s, 1990s metallic’s or 1940s tea dresses so it stands to reason that the people to ask for style inspiration have seen some of these looks the first time round.

So while more mature women might be great for trend inspiration they are also on the whole big fans of developing a sense of ‘style’ instead of following fashion slavishly- possibly because fast fashion is a recent development and clothes were more expensive relative to wages (unless you shop at Harrods etc).

Writing for The Guardian, fashion journo and 1960s legend Felicity Green, said: What I am passionate about is style. So different from and so much more important than fashion, especially for a mature woman. Yes, I follow fashion, but from a very respectful distance, and I advise everyone over 60 to do the same. Look at everything available, but learn to cherry pick from the bewildering choices now offered.”

And she makes a good point. Everyone looks better if they dress for their body shape and feel comfortable in what they are wearing. As Felicity said: Fashions go out of fashion. Style stays with you.”

Felicity Green, the legend

So how do you carve a niche and find your style?

Felicity (and plenty of others) suggest keeping a scrapbook (or Tumblr etc) of looks that you like (and possibly would like to emulate) whether its catwalk trends, celebs or street style  pictures. When you have a few, identify a few common factors- do all your looks include jeans, certain colours, use of print etc and finally work out if they will suit you!

As much as I love Audrey Hepburn she is not pear-shaped like me and cropped cigarette trousers are not my friend (best to admire from a distance!)

Felicty suggests that mature women unsure of how to tap into new fashion trends: Be positive – look out every season for the fashion touches that can liven up the most conservative wardrobe; spot the current way to tie a scarf, buy one thing in the latest colour craze, shorten a skirt, wear a belt on a coat….try something new. And always go for the larger size. Experiment, but if in doubt leave it out. And remember, if you’re exploring new ideas you’ll need to try on a whole lot of dross before you find your style gold.”

And you know what; this is the perfect advice for us relative youngsters too!

The good news is that we’re using technology to make this style search a whole lot easier. Soon you’ll be able to identify your body shape and get styling tips via our clever app – all you have to do is take a photo!

And we’re launching a visual search tool so you’ll be able to find celebrity looks to suit your budget- again, just by taking a picture or using a magazine image.

We’d love to know who your older style icon is. We reckon Fearne Cotton’s might be Debbie Harry, adventurous dressers might pick Iris Apfel who has a big designer and youth following or you might pick a classic Audrey Hepburn or Marilyn Monroe. The quirkier the better!

Here’s some great quotes from legends.

“I believe in basics. Crisp White shirts, beautifully cut trousers, on-the-knew pencil skirts and tailored jackets will take you anywhere.” Quite right Joan Collins!

“Twentysomethings with substance and depth are few and far between. There’s a bucketload of mature women who stand for something.” Thanks Alexis Bittar (jeweller) but we will be looking to golden oldies for styling tips!

“Fashion fades, only style remains the same.” Coco Chanel hits the nail on the head.


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