We love to go a wandering
I’ve been having a clear out. Must be the time of year when you look again at those garments lurking at the back of the wardrobe that escaped the earlier cull. Yes, dodgy culottes bought after wine at lunchtime, and jeans from the hyper skinny era, I’m looking at you! So I’m feeling a little unencumbered, and am able to get a pretty good view at the current state of play clothes wise.
It seems that mainly, I wear grey. Not so much beige, but an awful lot of grey, from dove to mid to dark. Next to that green: olive or bottle, nothing vibrant or neon. It made me think a) have I always gravitated to neutrals and b) are bright colours considered a complete nono for the older person?
For the first: seriously? You expect me to remember? Probably it went something like, op art monochromes (Mod phase), hotter curry colours (Hippy phase), a lot of murky colours (Vintage phase), chintzy (Laura Ashley/young mum phase) beige/grey/black (Professional woman, big shouldered phase). These days, whatever comes to hand. So apart from the hippy years, I have probably always tended towards neutrals although I do love red and orange.
"None of us are going to stop wearing black, fashion police."
For the second, don’t bother googling, as there is so much contradictory and often bordering on the misogynistic advice around. My favourite suggestion is to check out the colour of the veins on the inside of your wrist and go with that. Apparently people’s veins vary through purple, blue and green: the advice is to decide which you are, then look for garments that are within the range. Blimey. Something slightly vampiric about this method, but it certainly wouldn’t work with open veins, as it seems red, along with black, is one of those don’t go there colours once you are past 50. Which is a shame, as the odd bit of red can cheer up the grey, surely? Is it that red has some kind of association with sex, or sensuality? Older women clearly cannot be seen anywhere near that. And maybe the black too, with its implications of the gothic, funereal, deadlier than the male femme fatale. None of us are going to stop wearing black, fashion police. It’s a very practical colour.
Once I have baffled myself with a lot of advice, I pretty much always reach the sod it phase and decide to follow my instincts. Things do change as you age: hair colour, skin tone, shape. But this doesn’t mean you have to hide yourself in neutrals. I don’t like the idea of deliberately not drawing attention to yourself, or of toning yourself down in case you frighten the horses. Looking at the Portraits we have included over previous Foxy editions, I am struck by how amazing they all are and how their style exudes confidence and self-assurance. That’s the thing, really. There’s no need to apologise for the changes or to hide ourselves from view. Surely now is the time to wear whatever the hell we like? No wrist gazing for us, thanks very much.
btw There's a really lovely little film on Nowness, in which American Stylist Shirley Kurata talks about colour and the power of uniformity.