Kirstie Clements’ four fashion rules for those of us in the 50-plus zone

Jane Fonda shows that age is no barrier when it comes to style.

Jane Fonda shows that age is no barrier when it comes to style. Photo: Getty

I was assaulted with one of those digital pop-up ads last week, proclaiming  ‘10 things No woman over 50 should Ever wear’ (sic), so of course I was quick to think, “How dare you tell me what to do?” and logged off.

I then spent the next 30 minutes pondering, ‘Hmm what were they, these things I’m never to wear?

I feel like I have a reasonably good grip on reality, and I understand that time and gravity will win in the end, but I intend to go down fighting. So, if there are fashion items or silhouettes that supposedly hasten ageing, then I would like to know.

I logged back in, checked the article and decided I didn’t agree with most of their proclamations, like advising us to wear less makeup and say no to big earrings. I don’t think Elizabeth Taylor, my spirit animal, would agree. Last time I looked at 83-year-old Jane Fonda she was wearing a ton of makeup and looked 100 per cent fantastic.

The stupid list even said pearls were ageing, and I am going to make a stand right now – case in point Queen Elizabeth on her recent Zoom chat. The 94-year-old monarch was absolutely glowing and fabulous in a bright coral pink long sleeved dress, accessorised with a diamond brooch and a gorgeous triple-strand pearl necklace. HRH seemed to be in a particularly upbeat mood, probably because she is embracing the joy of having Zoom meetings rather than leave the palace for in-person formalities, and she was no doubt wearing a pair of comfy slippers on the call like the rest of us.

One item I did agree with on the pesky no-go after 50 list was polar fleece. It is comfy and cosy for a quick trip to the shops to get milk but my goodness, it’s ageing. There are a few more new seasons trends I think we should approach with caution, which I shall list here, but with the caveat that we are all free to wear whatever the hell we want at any age. In fact, we over-50’s have earned it, so if it’s pearls and Ugg’s, then more power to us.

  1. The current “in” jeans are high waisted, straight legged and slightly roomy. This is the mom jean, no getting away from it, it’s the Fountain Gate of silhouettes and no amount of irony or Pilates will make it work on the 50-plus, especially in pale blue denim. Sit this one out.
  2. Patchwork. There is a big trend towards patchwork and artisanal finishes and fringes on pieces like ponchos and overcoats and oversized cardigans. I’m just going to say ponchos, uh oh, and leave it at that.
  3. Homespun cardigans, that are crocheted and multi coloured and sort of sweet and kooky. They are for the young, to prove to us that they can wear anything and look amazing. We are much better off in plain or ribbed funnel-necked sweaters, worn slightly oversized and put with bias-cut skirts and slim pants.
  4. Big, fluffy fake fur scuffs and sandals. I have some on now, which I love, ($8 at Kmart, that’s today’s big tip) but they are for Zoom calls only and not to be seen outside the house. I’m quite sure the Queen would agree.
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