Does 'Ageless Style' Only Mean One Thing?

It’s one year on since last year’s rather disappointing Vogue ‘Ageless Style’ Issue, when we discussed the lack of and misrepresentation of women in their 50s and 60s in Fashion.

And, whilst sadly Vogue still has a long way to go (a couple of women over 50; Stella Tennant again; a plethora of anti-aging articles; and one piece on glasses mainly showing 18 year old models isn’t good enough), generally speaking we can agree that the concept of ‘ageless style’ is finally is being widely accepted by the media.  

Barely a week or two goes by now without a feature centered on the topic being in a magazine. Gradually more 50+ women are gracing the pages, showing off their fabulous style, proving that age should never be a barrier. The only issue is, celebrities aside, they nearly always seem to have the same aesthetic.  

Consider this: most non-famous women featured in these articles have one distinctive look. Bright colours. Clashing prints. Often accompanied by stacks of chunky statement jewellery and thick, oversized glasses. They’re kooky with a dash of eccentric. Iris Apfel is an iconic example. And there’s no denying they all look fantastic.

But is that the only way a woman past her 40s can truly accomplish ‘ageless style’?

After all, the concept of ‘Style’ is very broad; its highly personal attribute results in it encompassing thousands of different aesthetics. And this is something editorials readily embrace – at least when it comes to women in their 20s and 30s. But it seems as if, as soon as the word ‘ageless’ is thrown in, more often than not, the featured woman’s style fits the outline above, implying that once a woman hits 50 she must dress a certain way to be stylish. So whilst the purpose of these articles is to seem inclusive, the execution says something very different.

Now if we were talking ‘fashion’ this would make sense. Because, no matter what age, size or shape you are, there are looks that are ‘in’ and looks that are ‘out’. But when we’re talking style, that’s about projecting an individual statement through your wardrobe. So it’s very likely kooky and eccentric isn’t going to be you.

If you look at these woman and feel their style speaks to and inspires you, then that’s great. Give it a go (after all, I’m never one to suggest shying away from colours and prints). But if it doesn’t, that’s ok too. And that doesn’t mean you aren’t - or can’t be - stylish.

You can be eccentric and kooky. Or you can be elegant, sophisticated, sexy, edgy, riske, demure, feminine, androgynous, colourful or monochrome. Or something entirely different. All are right.

The lovely stylish ladies helping to celebrate our launch last March. Read there interviews here.

Take our countdown to our official launch – we showcased 7 very different women, all equally chic, all with their own personal style. And all it takes is a quick glance at instagram to see the eclectic range of both bloggers and other women over 50 showing off their latest look – all different, all equally gorgeous.

So let’s move away from a restrictive interpretation; magazines and articles need to be celebrating all aspects of ‘ageless style’. Because, in the same way that style alone can have a multitude of interpretations, so can ‘ageless style’.

Ultimately you define what it means to you; it’s not for someone else to.

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