Vogue (yes, you’ve guessed it, I’m having another rant) has just published its annual Ageless Style issue. Deep breath, oh my!

Actually, it’s not a totally bad read, but my beef with Vogue is that they don’t have any gumption, nerve, courage or conviction about ageing per se. Because, this so-called ‘ageless style’ is not about ageing at all, oh no. As my very good friend, Tricia Cusden of Look Fabulous Forever, has said in one of her tweets ‘ageless is the new euphemism for ’never grow old whatever you do’!

So to what purpose do we have on the cover of Vogue the 44-year-old model Stella Tennant? Does she represent agelessness? Nope, not in my eyes, she doesn’t. In her fashion shots her velvety, smooth wrinkle-free face is the personification of air-brushed vacuity. Why not use, instead, the amazing 84-year-old American model Carmen Dell’Orefice or our very own Fabulous Fashionista, 86-year-old Daphne Selfe? At least let’s see someone with a lived-in face. Why not, Vogue, what do you fear?

And if you think that I’m as usual shouting in the wind about Vogue to no avail I’ve decided to join Vogue insiders and hope that my responses to their surveys will contribute to a maybe (here’s hoping) different perspective of what my demographic thinks of their Ageless Style issues.

And OK, let me try to be positive. For instance, there is a fairly useful, albeit small, section on ‘Fashion prescription’ with ideas to cover up troublesome thighs, ageing elbows, problem middles and sun-damaged décolletage. But on turning the page I nearly screamed with rage at the paragraph that asked us to reconsider pearls, lurex and chain belts as obviously we must be seeing these as age-inappropriate.

Because never, ever use the term age-inappropriate (or age-appropriate for that matter) to me in relation to older women and their attire. It’s as bad as that awful phrase ‘mutton dressed as lamb’. We are not to be dictated to or advised about clothing because as I’ve said before we should wear what we want.

Of course, I am guilty of saying ‘we wear what…etc, then offering advice. But my aim is to give older women the confidence to branch out and be stylish in whatever way they think appropriate for their life, and I’m saying this from the point of view of someone who i) hasn’t a lot of cash and ii) is approaching 70. In other words I am not a young fashion journalist on a good salary telling older women what is and isn’t age-appropriate – how b…..y dare they!!!!

And in response to Vogue I leave you with my five style tips for positive ageing:

  1. Never ever see yourself having to wear age-appropriate clothes – we are all so different as we age. What we wear should be appropriate only to our size and taste – that’s all.
  2. Do experiment with your style – you may surprise yourself and others!
  3. As for troublesome areas like flabby arms I cannot recommend this enough – go to the gym. Join a seniors’ class and do weight training – seriously it will sort those upper arms.
  4. Wear comfortable but stylish shoes. Schuh stock some wonderful styles – the shop is definitely not just for the young.
  5. And never, say never, instead embrace the new. Next challenge after the new-look blog (still a work in progress) will be an Instagram account (yes, I know, to some it’s easy, but for me it’s the next thing to learn). Then after that I have a long-term plan to start vlogging.

That’s all for now but what’s your latest challenge?

With love, Penny, the frugalfashionshopper


7 thoughts on “Ageless Style? Um, no thanks, what about being stylish whatever your age?!

  • 12th June 2015 at 9:25 pm

    Yes great comment!
    I cannot respond to the article itself because I haven’t read it yet, but it is extremely annoying how mainstream media is jumping on the “fashionable older woman” bandwagon for the sake of selling their magazines without really understanding the concept at all.
    All these terms wich have been over used mean nothing! We dress to suit ourselves – our personality and our lifestyle as well as budget of course. There are some wonderfully creative women who dress so beautifully like showy peacocks that they take my breath away! But even though I am an artist my preferred attire is more classic now despite dabbling in vintage for many years. There is no young versus old in fashion any more,but the benefits of a few years under the belt is that you can figure out what suits you and what you love wearing. Plus as you said always be open to change and experiment. That’s why bloggers such as yourself and others are great because you offer endless possibilities.

    • 15th June 2015 at 7:08 am

      Thank you so much for your comment Paula. Yes, I so agree with you there should be no young versus old in fashion, just fashion!

  • 14th June 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Frugal fashion shopper you are on fire!
    You’re tips should have an an entire page in Vogue magazine, in fact, I think you should be a guest contributor for them -after you’ve acted as a consultant to make their magazine and material more engaging and real of course.

  • 15th June 2015 at 7:15 am

    Thank you so much for your comment and it’s great to meet another person so fired up about the thinness of the models, of whatever age, that we are meant to aspire to. What is wrong with a more well-rounded look? I think it is down to the designers wanting models to be as thin as possible to show off their designs as much as the fashion media. But Vogue and others could take a stand – here’s hoping.

  • 3rd July 2015 at 9:28 pm

    Sorry this is late, I’ve been absent of late. This is such a good article, you make some very salient points. The problem with Vogue (and others of the same ilk) is that their mainstream audience don’t really want to see women of our age, no matter how good we look.

    • 7th July 2015 at 7:31 am

      I mostly agree with you, but Vogue is missing a trick as there is an increasingly large older audience out there waiting to be catered for. Not that we want age-appropriate clothes, mind you! The point is I think that we are all so different as we age and some of us just want Urban Outfitters and Zara type outfits and an acknowledgement that we too are interested in stylish clothes.

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