What is ageless style and how do you achieve it? It's an intriguing topic that continues to confuse women of every age.
The wonderful jewellery designer Chupi Sweetman recently posted a picture of herself on Instagram wearing a pair of denim shorts. She explained in her text below that when she first put them on her immediate reaction was, "I'm too old for these!" Chupi is 35, though with her lush long hair and cherub-shaped face, she looks considerably younger.
Irrespective of how old she looks or actually is, she touched on a topic that continues to perplex women of every age. How old is too old, or is there any such thing as too old?
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How old is too old? . I had a penchant for ridiculously short dresses in my twenties, in fact I made my entire care on those dresses for Topshop! 🙈 I never understood why some people would ask for longer versions, I loved short because it meant I could walk faster, move faster and generally not be bothered by lots of fabric in my way. . Growing up I discovered midis and maxis and found I love the drama of a longer length dress ❤️ Even a simple dress becomes beautiful when it skins your ankle 💃🏻 . I recently spotted these gorgeous shorts on Zara, they are made from organic cotton and with my plans to spend my summer renovating I figured they were perfect. But my first thought when I put them on was oh god I’m too old for these! . I was so shocked it was my first reaction! I’m 35, I’m really happy with my age (I feel grateful for every day and every year, it’s an honour to get older), I love my body (not all the time, but I feel grateful for it even though it could do with less wine and more yoga!). Clearly the idea of being too old for things is absolute nonsense, my 71 year old Mum wears sequins ✨ . So I’m keeping the shorts, they make me happy and after all isn’t that the point of fashion? ⚡️
Last month I hosted a live podcast on the very topic of ageless style, and one of the questions asked by an audience member was should a woman in her sixties wear a short skirt? I asked how she styles the short skirt? With a pair of white stilettos or with a pair of flat tan leather sandals? And where is she wearing that skirt? Is it on a sun holiday or to the supermarket on a Tuesday morning.
Listen: Ageless Style on Smart Casual
Context is everything. I don't believe in finite fashion rules. I believe in dressing for your personality and making the best of your good bits and minimising the bits you like less. If you approach your wardrobe with this framework in mind, you'll hit the sweet spot whatever your age.
I'm 44 and I wouldn't dream of wearing a pair of denim shorts, but that has nothing to do with my age. I'm an introvert and an inherently autumnal individual, so my instinct and my comfort zone are to cover up; palazzo pants and midi skirts are my go-to whatever the weather because when I wear these pieces I feel most like myself.
Photo: Marie Kelly via Instagram
Only this morning, a colleague of mine laughed at my commitment to lightweight knits through summer. I love knitwear and I always prefer to have my arms and decolletage covered. Again, this has nothing to do with my age, it's just what I like.
In my twenties, I experimented with fake tan and clothes that weren't instinctively "me" like strappy camisoles and sundresses and although I enjoyed this new me for a while, I soon realised I simply prefer how I feel and look in wide-leg trousers than I do in a sundress.
I have a friend who is a couple of years younger than me and she has always and will always be able to wear a khaki mini skirt. She's a sun lover with a beautiful skin tone and she styles the skirt in such a low-key way, with a simple tee and leather sandals, that it looks completely effortless and chic.
In decades past, dress codes for women were clearly defined at every age. These days, there's choice and there's freedom and that comes with its own difficulties.
But if you stay true to who you are, what you like and what you feel good in, suddenly the choices become less overwhelming and the freedom more exhilarating.
That's when you'll achieve ageless style.
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