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Hepburn jacket and matching trousers: Atea Oceanie

I’ve dressed like a tomboy since I was a teenager. Now I’m 50 all that’s changed is the name. In my book, Style Forever: the grown-up guide to looking fabulous (out March 2015) I call this Gentlewoman Style. My latest piece for the Guardian HERE explains why being gentlewomanly is the perfect midlife style solution.

 

Cord jacket: Margaret Howell

18 thoughts on “Grown-up tomboys: how to dress like a gentlewoman

  1. I'm not sure I am good at pulling off the tomboy look. Boyfriend jeans don't do me any favours and don't even begin with boyfriend shirts… They seem to hang off my widest parts and make me look much bigger than I am. Where I am going wrong?

  2. I adore the look but I could never pull it off, I have wide hips and am narrower everywhere else, so the look does me no favour – i do however love the brogue shoe return as these work for me worn with a short shift 'jumper' dress.

  3. Whilst I like this look on others, I have to pick and choose carefully on me. Wrong shape, I'm afraid. I have just pre-ordered your book on Amazon.Very excited.

  4. Metropolitan Mum, I know exactly what you mean.
    I love seeing this look, but when I try it, I just look like a rough version Ellen deGeneris.
    I even tried a gorgeous looking red cotton Tomas Maier trouser suit, but it looked horrific.

    I think I need to be taller, thinner and more flat chested to have a hope of pulling this off :-((

  5. Interesting to read the many comments who feel that "tomboy" dressing demands a certain body type. Your phrase "gentlewoman style" seems to suggest a broader definition, so I'm curious to read the Guardian article. Personally, while I wouldn't call myself or my style "tomboy," my lifestyle (dailing cycling on dirt roads to our boat, carting groceries from town on docks, boat ramps, etc., walking considerable distances when at our city home) demands practicality — Sturdy-ness, as Lisa (AmidPrivilege) calls it. Doesn't mean I have to eschew the feminine completely, though, and I love a good dress or skirt. . . .Off to read your article. So cool that your book will be out in March!

  6. First of all— Congrats! Hope you can write just one word: "finis" and enjoy your holidays. Although my Hepburn love is more Audrey than Katherine, I know you will have valuable and pithy insights and look forward to your pub. date. FYI, anyone, Amazon UK is very easy to order from stateside as shipping charges are within reason.

  7. As I am getting older, I am definitively leaning towards this style. I have been wardrobe purging and, apart from some items which I have an emotional attachment to, it is liberating to make a look more minimal.

    And although I am on the curvy side, I still go for it and it works very well!

  8. As I am getting older, I am definitively leaning towards this style. I have been wardrobe purging and, apart from some items which I have an emotional attachment to, it is liberating to make a look more minimal.

    And although I am on the curvy side, I still go for it and it works very well!

  9. When I was 24 my mum made me a 'mens' pinstriped suit which i've worn for years. always loved the tomboy/ gentewoman-look but I have te be carefull that it doesnt look too boxy. have a look at http://WWW.ZENGGI.NL great Dutch brand, ( you'd like the look of Some of the older models too!)

  10. SOLD! I've always loved blazers and jeans, but I think what takes this style to gentlewomanly is the quality of the fabrics and the way they drape so beautifully. Sigh.

  11. I like this look too, but like a lot of the clothes you show, they just don't seem designed for women with boobs. I'm not large (sz 14 top and sz 12 bottoms) but just don't think I'm an elegant shape sadly. I'm not sure that many women over 50 are.

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