Age is just a number


Have a look at the photo above. How old is the lady in the photo?

You can’t really tell without looking at her face, can you?

She’s sixty, incidentally. Not that you’d know it from the way she’s dressed. Time was when sixty meant boring, frumpy clothes that didn’t flatter. She’s wearing an outfit I picked out for her to wear to work and she wanted conservative but fun at the same time. A lover of red, I had a great time finding a red top and bright red handbag for her to wear round the office. Maybe the pearl string gave away that she is slightly older, but a few people I asked this question of said ‘dunno, forty-something?’

Point is, it doesn’t matter how old you are. You can look good if you’re sixteen, sixty or a hundred and six. My ninety-one year old grandmother still manages to look stylish in a timeless way.

I met someone last week who, when I told her what I did, said ‘Oh, I’m too old to be bothered about all that fashion nonsense any more, I’ve given all that up’. She was very nicely dressed and her remark kind of made me sad. I didn’t think she was that old (I never did find out her age) and she knew how to dress for her body shape and size – she was quite petite and slim and what she was wearing, even though it was just trousers and a t-shirt, looked really good on her.

I can understand giving up on the stranger fashion trends. As I get older I’ve had to accept that no, I can’t wear cold shoulder tops and peplums are not my friend, but that doesn’t mean giving up entirely on what’s ‘hot’. I’m still wearing florals and pink, two big trends for this season, but within that I know what colours and styles work best for me. And that’s what matters, really – as long as it works for you, you can rock it.

I think it’s sad when people give up caring about how they look and how they dress because they’ve reached a certain age, or they think they can’t look good because they’re not one of the hot young models in a fashion magazine and it’s expected that people ‘let themselves go’ as they age. There are plenty of older women who are incredibly well dressed and enviably stylish. Helen Mirren, Iris Apfel (absolute goddess, I would love to meet her) and Diane von Furstenberg to name just three. They know what works for their personal style and they never look anything but amazing.

And that’s what it is about, no matter what age you are. Find your style, find what works and stick to your own personal rules. Age, like size, is just a number and nobody should ever be ashamed because of it.


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