Discovering Your Style after 50

Hi ladies, I’m Bec. I am the editor here at Smart. Casual. Classic. I was previously the fashion editor at Woman’s Day and Fashion & Beauty editor at Yours magazine. The above quotes are just some of the comments women have made to me while styling shoots or pounding the pavement to do Street Style. Over the years I’ve learnt that many women have put themselves last for so long that they’ve either forgotten or ignored their own wardrobe. While I wholeheartedly agree that fashion isn’t the most important thing in the world- if you suspect your clothes aren’t working for you and in some cases, bringing you down, then it’s time to rediscover your style.

Fashion after 50 is nothing like it used to be. While nobody is saying anyone can wear a mini or teenager trends, there is an equally, no more stylish option for you now than before. This is the time to have fun with your clothes, follow a trend if you feel like it but ultimately hone your style to your liking. In saying that, I appreciate that not everyone quite knows how to clearly define what it is they even like. It’s more common than you might think. So, let’s try and break it down…I have broadly categorised style after 50 into 4 different archetypes- The Classic, The Artsy, The SeaChanger and the Lil’ Bit Hippy. I invite you to see which you fall into, would like to fall into or if you’d prefer to pinch a little from each. Sure, there are variations on each one, some women find they’re a crossover of 2 or even 3 archetypes but the fact is, these are great starting points in discovering and redefining your personal style. It’s not a cookie-cutter theory, you still must have the confidence to put your personal spin on things. However, if you’re feeling a little lost, we encourage you to discover which look resonates most with you and build from there. Ask yourself, what do I like most about this look and what would I change to suit me. As much as we try to share pointers, there are no real hard and fast rules when it comes to style because each person is different in more ways than one. Then, start saving pictures from magazines (or from here) and save them on your phone and reference them when you’re feeling uninspired.

The style images I am using in this feature are of the absolutely amazing women I’ve had the opportunity to meet since I began this website. I realised the best way to demonstrate these style directions is via the very women who’ve inspired them- you! Not celebrities or famous fashion figures, but everyday women wearing clothes that they had no idea they were going to be photographed in that day. I hope this helps you hone your own style. It’s also helped me focus on what blends of these categories I fall into and I try to keep my style in mind before I make any purchases – it saves me money, I tell you! Remember, these are only starting points 🙂

THE ARTY ARCHYTPE: classic arty girls looks always begin with amazing frames! You may find a mix of vintage and plays on prints. Colours – anything goes! Some looks can be inspired by nature, like below, but this style set is also happy to dabble with bold, artwork-inspired colour-blocking when the mood takes them. The rest is free-flowing layering, always hard-to-find unique accessories and a “this is me” confidence. BLEND: You will often see the Artsy style morph with The Classic but the statement specs will always remain.

When the artsy archetype does colour she does it with flair! Gorman is a great resource (for accessories too) as are small, independent brands like Doop Designs.

THE CLASSIC ARCHETYPE: Monochrome is the colour palette of choice here as is sharp tailoring. This sleek aesthetic makes for a very versatile wardrobe as most pieces are interchangeable. Got to love a pop of lippie with all the back and white too. Although we don’t have a photo here, this lady definitely invests in a quality white shirt, worn with black 7/8 pants, point-toe flats and her favourite black leather tote and cat-eye frames. Stripes and polka dots are the print of choice. BLEND: The classic can occasionally look a little like The Seachanger when out on a summers day and doing some rare experimentation with colour.

Wear a black blazer with more tailored pieces or smart up a summer look like the above from Ezibuy

THE SEACHANGER ARCHETYPE: Named so because she may have moved by the water in recent times but mostly because she has a fresh spin on her style. Often can be found in a beautiful print and white is a strong foundation colour in her wardrobe. Fabrics play an important role in her clothing choices, often leaning towards linens or 100% cotton. BLEND: She can get a little bit Hippy, a little bit Classic and occasionally will venture into the Artsy types. She is probably the most open to trying new things.

When shopping for a tailored printed pant make sure you get the fit and quality right. We think Capture @ Ezibuy is amazing for the price
Black Pepper does a lovely job of mixing relaxed prints with flattering cuts.

THE LIL’ BIT HIPPY: This girl loves to wear a long, light jacket or kimono usually in a stunning print. This is the general starting point of an outfit and inspires the remainder of the look. Favourite understated pants, top or dress but she has a multitude of very cool beads. Fabrics are also important, not usually into synthetics and loves colour more than any of the other archetypes. BLEND: Known to occasionally ventures into Arty or a little bit Seachanger, but rarely Classic.

If you enjoy free-spirited style then you will LOVE Birdsnest’s in-house brand, Boho Bird.
Rodney Clark’s swing top is the perfect partner to cropped pants
Sussan has a very strong linen collection this season. Many retailers are pushing linen even harder than last year so it pays to look closely at labels as the prices vary greatly.
The unofficial home of colourful beads – Ruby Olive is a one-stop-shop for bright jewellery lovers. We also love Dinosaur Designs, Elk Accessories, hunting your our local markets and Rockmans own range Amber Rose for great prices.

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