Did you ever used to have women of your mother’s generation declaring, ‘I wish I could still look that good in a mini skirt!’ or, ‘I used to have legs like that you know!’, or, even better, ‘just wait until you have children, you won’t be able to wear things like that anymore!’. It was the kind of thing that used to make me wriggle uncomfortably; how were you supposed to respond to these declarations?
I am now ashamed to say that these thoughts have started to creep into my own head. I see 20-somethings trotting around sporting crop tops and skinny jeans and sigh. I used to be able to get away with that!This topic of conversation came up with a friend last week. She popped round for a cup of tea, which we enjoyed over the sounds of the girls’ whooping as the brick tower they were building was assembled and then toppled repeatedly. We ended up talking about ‘style’, or more specifically, ‘how should we be styling ourselves?’ I personally feel that my crop-top-and-skirt-with-thigh-high-split-wearing days are behind me. To be clear, I’m not that sad about this, styling myself to be bang on trend was exhausting, and the ‘wear as little clothing as possible’ vibe doesn’t really mesh with my current lifestyle!
My friend expressed the opinion that we are in a bit of a no man’s land, style-wise. She felt that we were too mature to dress like 21 year olds, but hardly need resign ourselves to dressing gowns and slippers just yet. After much discussion, and some research into the concept of ‘mature fashion’, we decided something. We made a pact that we probably should have made years ago. We are going to style ourselves according to how we want, to how we feel comfortable, to how we feel stylish. We decided that to have style is more about having confidence, than on-trend fashion sense.
There is no reason why a person’s style shouldn’t change as they get older. What is means to be beautiful changes as we develop (of course, it’s always in the eye of the beholder!). I think that how I interpret myself, and making myself beautiful, is very different from how I viewed the same things in my early 20s. When I was young beauty meant being slender, wearing figure-hugging clothes and being a great big bundle of energy. For me now, beauty is more a mix of glamour, sophistication and holding your head high.
Lately I’ve been taking style inspiration from the 1940s/1950s: floral tea dresses that glide over your curves; fitted coats; and sensible heels (okay, I don’t wear heels that often with young children, but I could do!). Oh, and hats. And gloves. There is something very elegant about gloves and they protect your age-betraying hands. Hats are hard to pull off, but I love the notion that there was a time when ladies wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without a hat. All in all it makes for a sophisticated, timeless look.
There is no one who is going to make you feel more beautiful than yourself. If you want to look great, spend 5 minutes applying that lippie or pop on a great dress. Personally, I love nothing better than perching in a floral dress at my kitchen table, drinking tea out of a vintage-inspired floral teacup (yes, I like florals, a lot).
So, ladies, don’t worry that you’re not 21 anymore. Forget about being on trend. Be yourself. Ooze glamour, sophistication and, well, whatever you like…even if you’re just sat drinking tea in your favourite floral pyjamas.