I remember (kind of) the absolute luxury of being in my 20s and thinking that 40 was ancient and very much in the ‘has been’ category! Now with a few steps planted firmly in my 40s, I know that my 20 year-old brain was completely ridiculous. And honestly, given the option to catch a ride in a time machine and go back — I have to admit I like it exactly where I am. There is no such thing as a ‘has been’ only WOW if she is that pretty now she must have been incredible in her younger days. There is no such thing as old, only better matured, classier, more tasteful and above all else gaining a better understanding of who you are and what life is all about.
‘Know first who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly’ Epiticus
Style comes from the inside out, so until you are happy in your own skin, you won’t look good in anyone else’s! We keep hearing time and time again about the disadvantages of ageing — more doctors’ visits, high risk for everything, wrinkles, more grey hair, varicose veins, wobbly skin and to top it all off BOOBS and a BUM that have a fascination with the ground and so merrily they set off on a determined trip to reach it…And they do eventually! I know that you are laughing, good, because with a smile on your face, ageing can be a wonderful thing.
Who decides what or who is old? Is there a test that you have to pass? Do we take the understanding that because our government believes that retirement age is something that is completely flexible then classification as ‘old’ is up to the individual involved? A 15 year -old thinks that a 30 year-old is ‘ancient’; my boys are 11 and they think that their 18 year-old sister is old! Have you all not as of yet discovered that if you hold on to your imagination you will never be old and most importantly come to the realisation that playfulness is the secret to eternal youth? t is so very unfortunate that we are living in times where there is a lot of comparing done, I suppose we all do it to some degree but if this is something that becomes an obsession — hold up and grow up. Next time you are passing a car dealership, take a good long look, there will always be a better, bigger, smaller, more luxurious, newer, more efficient model to choose from but does that top class or style? Beauty is and always was in the eye of the beholder and…‘Fashion can make you ridiculous, style, which is yours to control individually, can make you attractive’. Marianne Moore
I absolutely hate the way the word ‘comfort’ is bandied around when it comes to shoes and clothes for women no longer in their 20s; the word ‘tailored’ should be used in its stead. Don’t you just arrive at a time in your life when cheap and cheerful just doesn’t cut it anymore and you are quite willing to spend time searching for exceptional quality at a higher price but also willing to negotiate a more compact wardrobe? Of course you deserve the very best quality, don’t apologise for it just don’t name or label drop — when I hear women doing that it very definitely makes me vomit a little in my mouth. I spent a lot of time in New York years ago around some extremely wealthy people. What will always stand out from that experience was, yes they wore top quality clothes, but what was more important was that it was so subtle, no obvious ‘tacky’ logo plastered front ‘and’ back ( in case you didn’t see it the first time). It’s sad — wearing big logos is for teenagers, they are at the age where they are asserting themselves, they have one foot in childhood and the other in the grown up world and they believe that a Hollister hoody or t-shirt means POWER and that is perfectly OK at that age.
You have arrived at a time in your life where there is no more following ridiculous fashion trends, learned how to take a common sense approach to shopping and realise exactly what is involved in creating a perfect and complete wardrobe. Isn’t it wonderful? Who cares if you arrived here because you made every mistake in the book and wasted an unmentionable amount of money on clothes that you never wore. Life is all about learning lessons so making wardrobe mistakes can only be looked on as a positive thing. You must have, by now, come to the conclusion that ‘good dresses’ tend to look like nothing special on the hanger but fantastic on and vice versa. A dress that looks stunning on the hanger is unlikely to look so flattering on and this is because real women are not shaped like ‘dress hangers’!
‘The dress must not hang on the body but follow its lines. It must accompany its wearer and when a woman smiles, her dress should smile with her.’ Madeleine Vionnet
DRESSES are the epitome of STYLE so WEAR THEM! There is no body shape that doesn’t benefit from the right dress; tall and lanky — pick a knee-skimming bias cut, short and squat — choose a classic shift with matching jacket. Find a good seamstress and never be afraid to let clothes out or take them in or up. It is a complete myth that red carpet dresses are just picked out and look fabulous on anyone, weeks of behind the scenes pinning and tapering and adjusting the boning is what gives the final jaw dropping effect!
I always promote block colour because I believe that choosing a pattern is even riskier than colour, so you have to be cautious. Polka dots need to be kept very small to stay in the ‘stylish’ category. On the other hand if you are going to go ‘floral’ you have to go big and bold – Barbados style even – because the smaller floral print can tend to look a bit ‘quaint’ or ‘domestic’! Colour and print is a minefield of potential nightmare outfits, so you can see that it’s no surprise why women deviate towards black and why the expression ‘that little black dress’ is infamous and will always hold all the rest of your wardrobe together.
Last night I was sitting in my car at the pier in Rosscarbery, my two boys were diving into the pier, having a ball and there in the middle of all the kids and teenagers were two young ‘mature’ ladies jumping and swimming. I felt old sitting in the car; do you think that those two ladies did? My summer resolution is to jump off the pier with the rest of them and if I don’t, PLEASE push me in!