Wednesday, 21 March 2018
Latest Issue


May 2017

Mayday, Mayday... I’m in that awkward place between what I am wearing now and what I really want to be wearing.

April might be the cruelest month, but May is anyone’s guess – and given that it snowed in the last week of April, well, anything could happen. So I find myself in style limbo – some lovely fresh new colours and looks to embrace... but only when this bracing weather allows!

Is it me or were the Mays of old sunnier, warmer and more ‘summery’ than nowadays? Maybe I’m remembering the days of my youth with fondness, if not accuracy. You see the thing is I actually don’t feel any different than how I felt in my teens and twenties. Yes, I may know a bit more and feel more confident but I certainly don’t feel older. So I’m certainly not going to start ‘dressing my age’. Getting old is cruel enough as it is. The last thing I need is my clothes ganging up on me too!

Thanks to advances in diet, fitness, healthcare and non- invasive surgery, our ages seem to be less about acting a certain way and more just the number of candles you’re willing to risk on a cake before the emergency sprinklers fizz into action. So why do we still buy into the myth about “dressing our age”?

Recently my own darling mother uttered the dreaded words: ‘old’, ‘those’, ‘you’, ‘for’, ‘too’, ‘are’, and not necessarily in that order. This was a woman who had always taught me that it’s about style, not following fashion rules so, for her to offer such “mutton-shaming” style advice was shocking.

Some associate dressing your age with dignity, or a loss of it, but I find the idea of any woman bowing to pressure and compromising her personal style much more undignified than dressing as she pleases and holding on to her individuality. Just look at Jennifer Lopez (48), Gwyneth Paltrow (44) and Cindy Crawford (51) – do they look undignified? Heck no! They are strong, successful working mothers who also happen to be smoking hot – not forgetting Julia Roberts (49) who was recently named The World’s Most Beautiful Woman by People magazine for the fifth time!

So, if I venture out in a pair of high-waisted Topshop Jamie jeans which, let’s be honest girls, are so much kinder to our figures than the hip huggers of the 90s, teamed with the Topshop lace-frill cold-shoulder top and the Accessorize Whipstitch mini saddle bag I know, instinctively, that people young and old will look from my clothes to my face and make an instant judgement. It will be assumed, perhaps, that I’m having a midlife crisis or chasing lost youth. But I have no desire to look young – I don’t and it’s an impossible quest anyway – I just want to look good. And feel it. I don’t want fast fashion or fickle trends, nor to be told ‘this is what you wear when you’re 30, 40, 50’; the boundaries between the generations are blurred, it’s all about ageless style now.

A huge part of fashion is making an impression on others, whether we want them to admire us, desire us, respect us or listen to us but an old (male) friend recently suggested that I dress to get attention. To use a Chandler Bing-ism... he couldn't be more wrong.

I want to wear clothes that hang well on my body, despite not being a Victoria’s Secret model, that make me feel comfortable, powerful and stylish. I want to be one of those funky grandmothers on Instagram who dance about in baubles and proudly sport turbans. They refuse to fade, hide or match their attire to the wallpaper. I’m going to dress for who I am and where I am, but also who I want to be and where I’m going.

Personal style is a dichotomy: challenge yourself and try new things, but also work out what suits you and stick to it. The truth is horrible clothes will always be horrible clothes, no matter who’s
wearing them so choose well.

And when these arctic conditions pass I will wear this season’s Miss Selfridge Ivory one-shoulder cutwork top, I will continue to enjoy my Daisy Dukes and Ash boots and I will never stop wearing my Zara leather leggings and Amplified Ramones tee!

Here’s to never growing up. You wear it well.

Follow Stephanie on Instagram - Bladonbabe

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