By Fiona Ingham, House of Colour Star Consultant
Should Jill Biden avoid fishnet tights despite having ‘great legs for her age.’ Should a woman of over 60 wear a jumpsuit? Should we wait until we are ‘old’ to dare ‘wear purple’? Should you dress your age? What does that mean anyway?
We can dismiss these questions as outdated and ridiculous but many women ask for help to discover what works ‘for my age’, which can be anything from 40 upwards. Instead we explore how to dress their individuality. After discovering their colour season I work out their Clothing Personality based on body shape, personality and lifestyle. This gives guidance for all aspects of the wardrobe.
There are twelve Clothing Personalities but in a nutshell the basic ones are Dramatic, Classic, Natural, Gamine ( boyish) Ingenue (pretty) and Romantic ( glamorous).
As an example take a look at the Bandana Healthy Back Bag: the small pretty flowers compliment an Ingenue’s look whereas Romantics might prefer the larger florals and rounded patterns of Pop Art Floral.
Dramatics and Gamines could go instead for the angular Urban Zebra print and the gorgeous Lush Palms would flourish in a Natural’s wardrobe. The patterns we are drawn to can give a clue to our Clothing Personality.
The shape of you
As the decades pass our body outline might change, with a redistribution of weight or lessening of space between shoulders and waist. The jawline sometimes softens and if we aren’t Anna Wintour, our upper arms might no longer be our greatest asset. Consequently we might wish to change the detail of our clothes.
As a Classic Gamine short tailored skirts work for me, but I’ve gradually descended from micro minis in the 60s to a mid knee length. Longer is frumpy for me. In contrast some body shapes are flattered by longer line skirts, whatever their age.
Top to bottom
A regular reassessment of hair is an excellent plan. Is the style current? If the texture has changed are those flowing locks still a crowning glory? New products or a different cut can work wonders at any stage of life. Is the added colour right for the skin tones? Might the increasingly popular Silver Vixen look work well for you ?
Clients often tell me that updating their make-up colours and application works like a tonic. A bright lipstick brings back contrast to the colouring. Forget the dated adage only ‘lips or eyes’. Do both. Especially on Zoom!
After months of comfort dressing the current look is relaxed. Too much formality can look dated. Shop in your wardrobe and mix that smart jacket with jeans. A change of footwear can be a great way of updating the look. Be aware of trends but go only for those that work for you. Do the current long, unstructured jackets, slouchy coats and ultrawide legged trousers swamp you as they do me?
Though over 60 my utility jumpsuits and denim jacket work just as well now as they did the first time around. On trend dungarees were a favourite in the 70s but I don’t like the look of them on me now. I have always looked and felt boring in the wrap dresses recommended as flattering for women of my age so I’ll continue to avoid them and also the current pretty, floaty florals which look like a nightdress on my body shape.
It’s a journey
Clients of all ages are delighted when they learn what looks work for their colouring, body shape and personality and most importantly make them feel good. This evolves but doesn’t drastically change over time. Beware of advice and rules which dictate what to wear during the decades of your life. Look in that all important full length mirror and dress your individuality!
*** This article first appeared on thehealthybackbag.co.uk
Fiona Ingham is a consistent holder of the House of Colour Star Consultant award each year since 1991 plus the new Double and Triple Star Consultant award for 2019. Winner of the Business Development Award and Team Productivity Award and also a 2017 Livewire Innovation and Excellence Award.