Thursday, 27 January 2011


I apologise for my soapbox ranting. Next time I'll take it to speaker's corner instead, I promise.

Let's get back to what's really important. Fashion is getting tricky for me (though I read something in Rose Tremain's latest, in which an old lady is talking to two policemen in their forties and she thinks of them as in the prime of life - how fantastic, I thought, I should start thinking of myself as IN THE PRIME OF LIFE instead of middle aged. Because otherwise you're always going to look back regretfully and think 'I was so much younger then, wish I'd appreciated it at the time.' It's a ridiculous way to spend a life.)

Here are things I have found in the prime of life to help:

  • A good colourist. Seriously, it's insanely expensive but they will take years off you.
  • Wonderbra. I used to scorn them but once you try them they are miraculous, especially if your tetas are not as big as you might have wished.
  • Shoes. They are painful after years of wearing trainers but they make you look ten times more together, grownup and, I'm hoping, sexier.
But some things I can't do anymore. Little flowery dresses, they look absurd. And it breaks my heart that the Allsaints bikers jacket, which I love, stays in the wardrobe because everytime I put it on I take it off again, thinking dear lord, MDL... * Can't let it go though.

Mae West said "Mother Nature will turn you into a hag if you don't show the bitch who's boss." Any tricks you know for flying in the face of nature?

* Mutton Dressed as Lamb


  1. Hmmm.

    While I agree with the spirit of the post, I don't agree with the contents. Wonderbras are hideously uncomfortable. I don't colour my hair and refuse to start (according to a stylist I know, keeping your hair curly is a good way of disguising encroaching grey) - it's a one way trip to an unescapable cycle of ridiculous expense. No-one over 12 should wear little flowery dresses. And biker jackets are timeless. You may be right about the shoes though.

    I refer you here

    I'm sure some of those ladies would happily wear biker jackets. The message seems to be - dress louder and more creative as you get older.

  2. GSE, but I was always about comfort now I'm thinking it might take a bit more effort. And I strongly disagree with your stylist. I see men on the tube with silver hair scattered in their dark hair and it looks very cool. But when you have long curly hair going grey in big streaks, you look like Morticia or the Bride of Frankenstein, but not in a good way.

    I have two models before me - my stepmother, who goes to the hairdresser every week, colours her hair and never wears less than 4 inch heels, and my mum, who doesn't. My stepmother looks amazing for her age. My mum, bless her, looks like Granny Clampett. Rage against the dying of the light, I say.

    I do love that website though. Very inspirational. I wonder if there are more stylish old people in New York? You don't see so many on the streets here.

  3. I've started dyeing my greys too. On the one hand, I want long grey hair. On the other, there's an amazing paint box of colours from which to choose and I'm not ready to renounce them yet.
    I'm unsure about my fashion too. I miss my old audacity (not that it was much, but still). I should go on wearing the biker jacket. Even Nigella wears one (with long black skirt). Am very much mid-experiment just now and trying not to err on either side (too young for me, too old for me).

    Lipstick is the only thing I've found to swear by so far. Scarlet smemi-matte lippy. And when I get the cash I want to have my eyebrows "done".

  4. Same big 3: underwear, hair, shoes.
    Wonder bras don't always work for me (depends what I'm doing and wearing) but the necessity of well-made, structured underwear was my first getting old lesson. I think silhouette is the key to aging, to improve posture issues and allow experiments with style in a way that is no longer about individual pieces.
    I'd rather not have to re-treat my hair color but it's the deal I made - it does make a world of difference. I have to pay attention to tone and texture but that would be the same if I was using non-permanent rinses - aging hair is demanding so, while I'm able, I choose gentle products (Aveda) and stylists who know what they're doing. (I have curly hair but I don't live a breeze-free life). Eventually I'll make the change to grey/silver
    hair but even that will involve treatment of some kind to achieve a shade most flattering to whatever skin tone I have left by then!

    I'll wear heels (anything from 1"- 4" depending on platform sole)as long as I am able. But now they have to be comfortable. Which means well made which means expensive.
    And that's the painful thing about trying to age stylishly (more than the weeping over lost fullness)- it's bloody expensive.

  5. Nigella! Yes, she is my role model. I like the way she always has either a twinkle in her eye or a post-coital kind of grin. I like silver too but the inbetweeny bit is a drag.

    Yes - it all takes thinking. And money.

    You, me and GSE should set up an online secondhand clothes agency for women. It would be a hit in these straitened times.

  6. Little flowery dresses live in the Urban Outfitters catalog with the bambi-legged girlchildren. These things are not for Women of any age.
    Keep the jacket. Try it on with wide-leg trousers(not denim), a soft knee-length skirt or dress?

  7. Oh and yes, there are more stylish people in NYC full stop.
    I should probably go away now.

  8. I will keep the jacket! Hurrah!

    Um. I bought a flowery dress today out of defiance *shamedface*

    It's not that little though.