Advancing Style

Turning 5 0 is making me re evaluate and re consider many different aspects of life and a very small part of course is about how I dress.

Context:

A compounding factor is that I have 3 teenaged children, a son and 2 girls who could not be more different in their style preferences. Let me explain. I do not wish to dress like my daughters, neither do I wish to dress like their grandmother – having said that, my mother rocks her indigo straight jeans! [She found them all by herself.] My eldest loves the ‘bohemian’ look of gypsy tops, jeans and lace up ankle boots. She is also ultra conservative – ‘Mummy, your shirt’s undone [and you’re falling out of it]’ when I have just 2 buttons undone from the top. My youngest is the opposite, she only likes short mini skirts, the tightest jeans and crop tops. I find this hardest to identify with since I never wore any of those things!

Shopping, Body and Attitude:

I’ve written about changes in my shopping habit that began a couple of years ago. The actual items I’m buying are mainly replacements, very few additions to fill a gap and the odd investment pieces that are classics. Fortunately, my taste is classic all the way and I feel most positive about adopting healthier and more efficient ways of shopping going forward: making a shopping list twice a year, regularly editing my wardrobe and keeping an eye on suitable updates every season. All this was only possible once I realised and understood what actually suits my body type, my personal taste and my evolving lifestyle. The added extra – a welcome bonus is learning a little edge or an unexpected touch can lift and update a classic into a modern classic. Love the frayed edges and ‘messy’ rumpled linen of the outfit above.

I must tell you about this super stylish woman I see almost everyday for the last several months. There’s a primary school near where I live and leaving and returning home every weekday, I see her at least once taking her assumed granddaughter to school or alone afterwards. She wears a very concise number of different clothes and manages to look not only stylish but current. I noted that she wears a classic shirt with long sleeves that she rolls up sometimes, slim jumpers that she can wear a wide belt over to cinch in the waist, a midi A line skirt, straight leg tailored trousers and today white jeans. These she paired with the classic white shirt tucked in showing a wide brown belt at the waist of her jeans. Man, she looked fantastic! Her other accessories besides her chestnut wide belt, a light scarf, a simple messenger bag and low comfortable shoes. It helps that she’s tall and naturally elegant but still, her personal style is definitely inspirational to me.

The single most important factor is maintaining my physical shape for my own health of course and so that I can still fit in to all my carefully edited clothes! This has been the most challenging thing for me and is wholly dependent on being consistently diligent in observing the right exercise regime and eating well.

I really love this photo not just because of the outfit and accessories featured but because of the mood it conveys – confident stride and a very happy countenance. This is just how I’d like to be everyday whatever I’m wearing, whatever I’m doing.

The Importance of Tailoring:

I love, love this evening look: a simple tee and long net skirt – literally light and easy yet the exquisitely cut jacket not only pulls the look together but gives the whole outfit perfect polish. This is how I’d love to wear evening wear.

However muddled I got along the way towards better outfit choices, the one element that has always saved the day has been tailoring for me. I find a touch of tailoring even soft tailoring means my outfit can take me virtually anywhere: a casual outfit is never too casual, on travels, I always feel put together, never touristy, it helps to ameliorate my middle aged frame and I feel prepared for most things work related.

Conclusion:

It felt like I found the answers just at the point when my whole body reaches another seismic change beyond my control! But things are never really totally static are they so there’s no point fighting that which I can’t control, I’m learning to be positive and work with what I can control like exercising and trying to be healthy both mentally and physically. I don’t follow trends – never could even when I tried lol! – things that suit my shape and lifestyle will always work and earn a place in my wardrobe regardless of the ‘season’. At my age, I’ve earned the confidence to wear exactly what I please and when it pleases me. That said, there is such a thing as ‘l’air du temp’ and it’s also important to be open to seeing and feeling the mood in a much wider context.

I am buying less and less and wearing what I have more and more – this to me translates as achieving the goal that was once, for the longest time, entirely elusive. What I do buy is still classic but always something that gives me joy to wear and appreciate, functional because I want to use it as often as possible and suitable for what I actually do everyday.

Thanks for reading!

All photos via The Purse Forum

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6 thoughts on “Advancing Style

  1. Pret a Porter P

    I love the quiet confidence that this conveys and you noticing the other woman’s style. It’s also not just the clothes themselves but the energy that they carry themselves with. I saw a woman in the miami airport that really struck me, I had to write about her as well.

    You and chic pragmatist do soft tailoring beautifully.

    The area I work now, I don’t see women of a certain age and think, “how elegant/chic.” The look there is “mutton dressed as lamb” Or there is yoga pants/gym look but with a Chanel bag. Many eons ago when I would be passing through this area it used to be the Juicy velvour track suit but with a Vuitton bag. so not much changes! 30 minutes north, especially in winter, I love the style of the south american women–very classic/elegant semi-preppy/semi-bohemian, beautiful hair and skin, at all ages.

    Reply
    1. silkpathdiary Post author

      Thank you very much PAPP. I really appreciate learning from your style lessons!
      Yes, you are right about that kind of energy that we all have – I like to think that it improves with age!
      I used to know an American lady who may not have come from the South but her style was so very elegant and ultra simple. This is especially surprising because I know she’s surrounded by opulence all the time or maybe that’s why! She had great skin and a beautiful calmness about her that was very attractive. A wonderful lady and chic in the true sense of the word.

      Reply
  2. lady sarah in london

    This is such a great post, I shall be coming back to readit again. The frayed jacket looks adorable,I’d try wearing it with tailored trousers or jeans- and if I may say so, there is no need to worry about your figure or your age. Your figure could be the envy of any 25 year old !

    Reply
    1. silkpathdiary Post author

      Thank you Lady Sarah – you are too, too kind! I know you’d look fab with that CC jacket worn with your perfect jeans! I’m afraid I succumbed to another CC jacket – or two – like London buses they were lol

      Reply
      1. silkpathdiary Post author

        Lol …. not sure if there’s anything to add to what you have already covered on them on your blog? All I can say is how I choose mine in particular and why.

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