Wrestling with the final edit of Book Number Two and a monster hangover, I was standing in the middle of a Manchester street when asked for a quote by the Observer. So, I am dead chuffed to be included in the ‘Fashion wakes up to the older woman’ article by Karen Kay in today’s newspaper. The piece talks about bloggers and influencers celebrating age and the resulting impact/changing face of fashion. Though there is still a long way to go in terms of diversity, social media has provided a show-and-tell platform that has had a massive impact on how we view and perceive older women. As my mantra goes, ‘It’s not about age, it’s about style.’

Photos: Dina @shelovesmixtapes


I’m making strides in black jeans and boots and the Me & Em leather biker jacket and summer Breton top. Read the full ‘Fashion wakes up to older women’ feature HERE.

38 thoughts on “Fashion wakes up to the older woman

  1. Oh, I can’t wait to read this. I’ve always loved your mantra. It reminds me that when I was a girl of 15, the most stylish woman I’d ever seen was my grandmother’s best friend, Miriam. Miriam OOOOOOZED style and grace, she was probably in her 70’s at that time. Even now that I’m almost 50, she’s still my main style reference point (I often think, Would Miriam have worn this?). I’m glad the fashion world is finally beginning to understand that style is not just for the young.

  2. “Fashion wakes up to older women” great article & about time !! I am a 60 year young woman . I travel extensively, dress fashionably & have likeminded friends. I love these older icons, Dianne Keeton is one of my favourites as is Lauren Hutton. Fabulous older woman who are my inspirations & by the way Alyson , great outfit, it’s my kind of style .

  3. It’s a fantastic article and…… “I am 53 and simply want to look healthy, stylish and modern, not younger. And I want to be relevant, even with my wrinkles.”…. is just perfect.

  4. ….for me the issue is more about how certain older women view themselves, where you live , how much disposable income you have ( not all women of a certain age have lots of it) what surrounds you and how curious you are about life.

  5. …..all for not being invisible, but isn’t that a state of mind/attitude. Tbf there are times when invisibility is just fine thank you very much! Ran out of milk, mooching round in ‘condemned trackies’ ( admit it we all have them) will not be getting changed for quick trip to Co-op! We have got there when there are no more articles on fashion waking up to older women….My mantra wear what you like, when you like, be it beige or whatever, then forget about it, get on with life. Me…silver hair, good skin, rounded proportions ….do wonder about the preponderance of very skinny older women in blogs…eat up ladies! So endeth the lesson for today!

  6. Alyson — you didn’t just give a quote for the article — you are the bloody LEAD!

    Congratulations. Such well deserved visibility for you, your blog and your mantra. 🙂

  7. Having just read the original article, I have posted this comment on there also. But with the caveat here that I do enjoy reading ‘That’s not my age’ very much, and think Alyson has a lot of wise words.
    However, I do wish everyone would not buy into the very mistaken idea that all over 55’s and pensioners are affluent! Likewise, many of today’s older women – and nine times out of ten it is daughters and not sons – are looking after more elderly and frail parents with little time to dwell on fashion trends, etc.
    Sorry to rant on slightly off topic, but it does all add fuel to this government’s appalling crusade to set the different generations against each other in the name of ‘austerity’.
    All that said, it is great to see older women with character on the catwalk and in the fashion industry, instead of young expressionless, stick thin models. Sadly, at 5′ with what my dear husband calls ‘sturdy legs’ (he thought it was a compliment) I am never going to be on any catwalk!

  8. Just love the look and please, please continue inspiring us ‘young at heart but needing guidance girls’. From a devoted and grateful follower!

  9. Alyson Well Done – The Voice of The Older Woman! Will scrounge an Observer from someone tomorrow pdq. You look brilliant and chuffed to bits in these photos. Those boots look very Acne-like? Are they? I have some sale Geox very similar. (Not to mention my charity shop Acne Pistols!!! – smug smile).
    Agree with Julia – not all of us are remotely affluent – I have two offspring in their thirties still living at home, a broke daughter living in Cornwall with her partner and children and my youngest has just started Uni. I am 59 and not well off at all – but you don’t need to be. Charity shops, ebay and judicious splurge buys (good for the soul and promotes a sense of ‘bounty’) and A Good Haircut carry a lot of mileage and I don’t feel sorry for myself at all. Life is good, I look good and your blog is a daily delight.

  10. Hi
    Just came across this blog courtesy of The Observer and glad I did. Just wanted to know if you are planning to do an article on older women wearing Oska/Rundolz/Elemente Clemente labels. Seen lots of photos of older women looking so cool in these designs to the point that I was inspired to go out buy bits and pieces by Oska. I still yet have find my way to the other two labels, Anyway, I intend on coming back. Happy Dressing!

  11. Fabulous post, Alyson – and fabulous you! That’s a great look: you are wearing the clothes, they’re not wearing you. That biker jacket is going on my wish list – pity I can’t order your lovely long legs as well. Sigh.

    As I’ve said before, as a fulltime carer for my disabled husband I don’t get out much; but it’s important to me to look my best – for myself as much as anyone else. I’m not wildly affluent but I do know how to recognise quality. Not all designer labels are actually well made, whereas recently I got a super classic black shift dress from East sale for £23 – lovely cut and fabric and with the inside seams beautifully bound and finished. That sort of luxury is a private pleasure and finding a bargain like that gives me more of a boost than a flash label, though I do splash out on high-end now and then, using the savings I make in sales and charity shops.

  12. For me, the key issue is not even think about what you should wear but what you can wear. In theory, we can all wear exactly what we want but wise women look in the mirror and think: hmmm, maybe not that, then. Or: yes! That’s for me! If you have excellent legs then there is no reason not to wear shorter skirts if you wish or skirts that skim the ground if you don’t want the world to see. Same as going grey – entirely up to you if you go grey or colour. I would draw the line with chestal exposure since that really is the province of the young. When we all start to move away from accepted views of being older, then we will all be a lot freer in mind and body. I don’t think money has anything to do with it – you can be skint and stylish and the high street is filled with great stuff, as is the internet. I rather like sewing, in a modest way. Now that I am almost 60, I have decided to give the heave-ho to magazines and features that try to keep me shiny and obedient and still keeping up the good work. So Good Housekeeping can get stuffed. So can Woman & Home. Take your floaty overshirts and put them where the monkey keeps his nuts. Transmission over.

    1. I agree Annie

      A lot of my clothes are from the high street. I even picked up an amazing magenta pink wool coat from a charity shop last week. I will be changing the cheap looking pink buttons with large bright orange or wooden ones. A tip – when going into charity or ‘pre-loved’ shops, go to towns or areas that are quite affluent, you often find some great labels there.

      Also, I rarely pay full price for anything now. I usually wait for sales, try and find discount vouchers etc. This also prevents the ‘buy now/regret later’ purchases as sometimes you have to wait for them.

  13. Thanks for sharing the feature, Alyson, and to all of your followers for reading it and being so positive. Keep up the great work! KK

  14. Alyson – great work on your part – love the older models you use and that you’re asked for your views on fashion for older women. Love your look in this post, and your hair, which looks really good.

  15. That was a very insightful article Alyson – I hadn’t seen it so thank you for linking. As Michelle said, it’s always a good idea to ask you for some words of wisdom. The silver spend is an interesting one, yet it still amazes me that brands are so incredibly slow to catch on to our spending power. Surely making money is their business, so why are they not exploring this further? Things are changing thank goodness, but slowly. However…

    I’ve actually just had a thing happen to me that contributes to this conversation of the older woman being recognised: I just want to shout it very quietly, but I won Best Fashion & Beauty Blog at the UK Blog Awards this weekend… I couldn’t be prouder. I’m 44, and I wasn’t judged in a special category or a special awards event just for the over 40s, but just on the merit of my (style) blog. PLUS nearly 50-year-old Nikki of Midlifechic was Highly Commended as well – we’re so proud to represent the 40+ community in a very positive way and in a very tough category. It meant that 25% of the Fashion & Beauty category was made up of 40+ women which is SO encouraging… We want that success to continue and hopefully inspire others to enter in the future 🙂

    Catherine x

    (I’m really hoping my comment will publish this time… I’ve been trying for so long!)

    1. The Silver Spend! Spending power! Sorry Alyson and Catherine but I am getting (politely and respectfully) and I am trying to ‘play nicely’ and put this point across but I am so vexed by this bloody assumption.

    2. Well done, Catherine, and well deserved. Hopefully awards like that help put over-40s and over-50s in the wider conversation. More visibility of what we realistically like and want is helpful not only for us, but to inspire women in their 20s and 30s – being fed a message to stay looking young, or ‘fix’ things about their appearance – that style evolves and even improves with age! In the same way that, at 54, I’m now more inspired by stylish, vital 60-year-old women than I am by 30-somethings.

  16. Really glad that it’s been pointed out that we’re not all well off – I get so tired of reading about women my age having huge amounts of disposable cash. I’m self employed, have two 20 something daughters living at home and an elderly mother about an hour and a half down the motorway who needs lots of help – no time, and definitely not a huge amount of disposable cash!
    The article in the Observer was so interesting – and your comments very interesting as always Alyson. Love your blog, look forward to reading it every morning. And love your outfit, definitely my kind of look!
    And couldn’t agree more about Good Housekeeping and Woman and Home Annie!

  17. Just read the online Guardian article before yours. You are clearly well ahead of the curve as they say. Hair looks great as does your outfit and outsize leather jacket Alyson. Spurred on by some of your posts and seeing attractive grey haired models I’m finally growing out my dyed brown hair to see how grey it is. Yes of course having money to buy nice clothes makes a difference, I have a good wardrobe of things I keep and do look for bargains and buy discounted and in half price sales. I’m lucky my children don’t need my support like others I know. Spent plenty on them for decades. Now I focus more on me and partner in downsized situation and try to enjoy being a healthy sixty something as best I can.

  18. Very interesting article Alyson, and it’s great to see that 40+ bloggers are having an impact on retailers, and the choices they are starting to offer at all (most?) price points. Whether or not we have more money as we get older, we all deserve, and should expect, a range of styles to choose from. My 9yo daughter might not agree, but I think I dress far better now, on a limited budget, than I did when I worked full time in a well paid role:
    I have more time to think about both individual purchases and outfits
    I can dress to please myself rather than being constrained by what’s appropriate in a very corporate environment
    The internet allows me access to UK and US retailers who are starting to make the styles of clothes I want to wear, in a range of sizes. Australia is sadly still well behind in this respect, with most ranges topping out at an AU12/UK14, and a lovely range of dowdy prints offered in larger sizes. For the record, I’m a UK14/16 hourglass and while I love to wear a tunic over a pair of skinnies, don’t want that to be my only option!

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