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October 04, 2010


linda charie

Very interesting as I was 60 yesterday! I keep very fit, own a beauty salon,keep up to date with make up etc, work with young gorgeous girls and envy them being able to wear very short skirts. However - short skirts are definitely out for me, even with opaque tights I just feel too much mutton trying to be lamb. I buy lots of high st clothes but for instance only can wear River Island/Topshop dresses with leggings. At 5'8" I struggle with dress lengths being knee length but Wallis at the moment are excellent.
I adore fashion but think we are 'programmed' to believe chic and sophisticated is how you do it over 45, which is great as I love 'chic and sophisticated but we all need the 'trendy' bits.Just notice any of the glossies - they all have sleek lines and no fuss for the 'over 50s'! If we maintain our figures and brains why shouldnt we wear trendier clothes? I think with most of us over 45s it is more a case of subliminal persuading from the media that we should have a certain 'act your age look' which more often than not is soo wrong, we still want fun with clothes. Its the same mentality that says you shouldnt have long hair over a certain age. Menopause definitely shakes your confidence and that came to me as a great shock and having spoken to many of my clients they all confirm this even to the point where many things they experienced are never spoken about when 'symptoms of the menopause' are listed! Many ladies have mentioned panic attacks just going out driving and the thought of going into a boutique trying on clothes can be very scary when your confidence is low. We need to talk more about this age and boost confidence. I think Mary Portas new campaign for older fashion will really do us some good.I personally still feel and act 30ish so would really love to dress 30-ish!


I like to go shopping with my teenage daughters, as they are very honest about how I look in an outfit...if thay say no then its no! Howerever they do encourage me to try on slightly more daring items than I might normally go for, which is great.
I do like to have the advice of a shop assistant..but don't always believe them when they say something looks great!


I find it helpful if a sales assistant can articulate why something looks good on me rather than just saying I look great in an outfit. It helps if they give me some extra info, such as this would look good with blue or green, or you can style it like this for a different look. And do all the above in light manner. I love it if a sales assistant tells me somethings not right on me and finds me a more flattering outfit. Like in all areas of life some sales assistants are better than others at their job.


There are times when I wonder "mutton?" at myself!! Being nearly twice the size I was in my 20s and having started the menopause don't help. Neither does clinical depression!! But, dammit, on the good days, I have more confidence than when I was younger and hopefully get it 'right' more often than not. As my physio said, when I was all dolled up for a Ballet Gala, "You scrub up well!", so I guess I'm doing OK!


Linda, fantastic response, thanks so much and whole heartedly agree about the lack of confidence during the menopause. it's something that I've only realised causes great security problems, mostly undiscussed, for a number of years. Emma and Cathy thanks too, I think sales assistants offering up advice on what NOT to wear is invaluable, especially if an alternative is found, but I hardly ever find anyone brave enough to say it. Brilliant comments ladies!


How refreshing to even hear comments about older ladies! You are so right about the age of 'caution' being closer to 50 than 40. At 40 I found myself pregnant and wearing the sme clothes after the birth as I have done in my 30's there was no real fashion dilemma then, and having young children around I was the only 'fashion' person in the house! Fast forward 13 years and the house is crawling with beautiful young things with tight, toned bodies and shiny hair, and the old confidence takes a bit of a hammering to say the least! I love colour, and wear it and then worry I look clownlike (think TV Childrens presenter) Shorter skirts, (spend the evening pulling it down), lots of junk jewellery only to meet Mrs One Good Necklace, and Ring and feel trashy! Still, keep trying, I do listen to the daughters who are honest in their opinion , but even some days I resort to black and blended! Mother Nature has a lot to answer for, where do these lovely younf things from 1974 go?? Letters on a postcard please........


Pennyblossoms and Jill thanks too, I particularly empathise with the 'black and blended' comment...And I forgot to say 'happy birthday ' Linda.....Ax

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Thank you all for your help!
I know that my customers who trust me do so because they know that I would never send them out in something inappropriate. I would lose my reputation and any further sales faster than I could say 'mutton dressed as lamb'! I have this problem partly because I know that new customers are wary of the sales assistant telling them they look fab in everything, regardless! Sometimes I have to play it down so that it doesn't sound sycophantic even when I know we've got it right and the customer looks amazing!
The menopause can change a woman in so many ways, her entire wardrobe may even no longer fit from one Autumn to the next and if her hair loses it's natural colour too, she may literally be looking at a stranger in her mirror.
This conversation has helped so much, thank you all for your pearls of wisdom!
x Pippa x NOM de PLUME

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