The rise of ageless style: why women over 40 want to look good not young
After making the shift from fashion magazines to freelance and the burgeoning online world in the early noughties, I started blogging as That’s Not My Age nine years ago. Before long, I was networking with lots of brilliant, like-minded women of a similar age and one thing has become abundantly clear: the common wisdom on what is appropriate to do, say and wear over-40 is no longer wise – or relevant. Gone are the days when hitting 40, 50, 60, 70, or beyond, meant conforming to a ubiquitous look. The one thing fashion industry influencers agree on is that age no longer dictates our style parameters.
Money, mindset and changing lifestyles – we are living and working longer – together with the rise and rise of the internet – has led to something of an ‘ age quake.’ The era of focusing on anti-ageing and youth is being ushered out to make way for a new emphasis on health and ageless style. Looking good, not looking young is the new mantra.
The popularity of quirky prints, sneakers for smart dressing and bolder colour choices are all perfect examples of a less age-prescriptive way of dressing – as is the rise of denim workwear and the slogan top. And comfort is no longer associated with elasticated waist slacks and nan shoes, but rather luxurious fabrics and pieces that have a relaxed, sportswear-inspired feel. ‘The 40-plus consumer bracket is growing,’ says Clare Hornby, founder of Me+Em, ‘And it’s a demographic that appreciates quality – beautiful fabrics, flattering cuts, the right attention to detail.’
Dressing for comfort, personality and body shape, rather than following ‘age-appropriate’ fashion commandments, is another victory for the ever more visible generation. And experimenting is the way to whoop up a wardrobe and celebrate our style liberation.
This is a very short extract from a larger feature I’ve written on ageless style for the Telegraph’s Stella magazine. Read the full article HERE. It’s one of their premium features but everyone can sign in to read it.