Who says you stop caring about the way you look when you get older?
There isn’t a ‘magic age’ when you suddenly look in the mirror and think - “Nah…I’m past it now, time to stop trying to look my best”!
We live in a youth obsessed society (at least in the West) and it could be very easy to allow ourselves to fade away into the background as we get older…merge with the wallpaper so to speak.
Some people dare to turn their back on the ridiculous idea that to grow older means you can’t continue to embrace style in your own unique way.
A growing tide of older adults are pushing back against conformity and uniformity and unashamedly, gloriously, flaunting their personal style via the very 21st century medium of Instagram and social media.
Suzi Grant is a 70 year old blogger from Brighton who is using social media, particularly Instagram (she’s sometimes referred to as ‘Instagran’!), to share her own unique style. She says, it’s not about looking younger but looking the very best you can and she’s on a mission to get people out of beige and into vibrant colours.
“Staying relevant, not being invisible, not being ignored” – Suzi Grant
Suzi has an amazing blog - https://www.alternativeageing.net/ where she shares not only her fashion style and tips but also articles on nutrition, travel and lifestyle. Her Insta handle is alternativeageing
Heading further up the age scale (in numbers if not attitude!) is Iris Apfel who became a fashion icon at the age of 83 after the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute (New York) hosted an exhibition featuring her vast collection of clothes and accessories.
Iris makes the very salient point that fashion designers create outrageously expensive garments based on the body shape of teens and twenty somethings – the very people who are least likely to be able to afford to own them. She believes that designers need to start considering the older demographic and actually create beautiful pieces that over 60s will want to own and wear.
Now 98, Iris is still rocking her own very distinctive style and is the first to say that her dress sense is not for everyone. In fact she says "What I think is what I think. If people try to look like me they'll look ridiculous," and goes on to make the point that these days everyone is indentikit, there is little individuality.
Find Iris on Instagram
If the youth won’t change that homogeneity, won’t rebel and stand out then it’s down to us ‘oldies’!
Gone are the days when women disappeared from view once they reached their 50s and beyond. Pick up any magazine or newspaper these days, or look online and at film and TV and you will see a raft of amazing older women – doing things THEIR way.
Here’s just a few – look them up and see how all these ladies are looking good well into later life…
- Helen Mirren – 74, and arguably more glamorous, more stylish than in her 30s
- Judi Dench – 85, rocking close cropped white hair and embracing a timeless elegance and a particular love of scarves as an accessory.
- Debbie Harry – 74, still making a statement with leather, bodycon and bright, bright colours.
- Tina Turner – 80 and ‘Simply the Best’ in her tight jeans and leather.
- Gladys Knight - 75, and looking ultra glamourous at her 75th birthday party.
For a peek at a gallery of photos of 60+ people from around the globe who are defying everything we’ve ever been force fed about fashion in later life, take a look at this website.
Proof, if proof were needed, that you are never too old to be stylish IN YOUR OWN WAY.
One thing that shines out when you start to look at the photos in the gallery mentioned above and at all the other people mentioned in this article is COLOUR! No one is ‘fading into a beige old age’, they’re embracing the use of colour in their clothes, hair and make-up.
You may not want to start dressing like Iris Apfel (although why not…she’s awesome!) but start introducing flashes of colour with scarves, maybe a bright lipstick, a neon handbag etc.
You’ll feel ‘lifted’ and may want to start exploring your own personal style a little more.
Don’t be afraid to stand out and be different. One of the benefits of getting older should be the self-confidence to be YOU and if that means purple shoes and a red dress go for it…it’s your life, no one else’s.
Here’s a few websites and articles you may like to explore to help you channel your inner style icon…