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Fashion and style Q&A with Alyson Walsh

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LautelGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 26-Feb-15 15:15:13

Join us for a Q&A with Style Forever Author Alyson Walsh, and you could win one of three copies of her guide to style for grown-ups! Leave a question for Alyson until March 13.

"Say hello to generation FAB (Fifty And Beyond). Age is all the rage and no one understands this more than former fashion editor Alyson Walsh, who believes you don’t have to have youth to have style. The author of the successful style blog That’s Not My Age, has culminated her years of wardrobe wisdom and experience to bring you a definitive guide to staying stylish forever.

Style Forever is for any woman who refuses to be invisible and this clothes compendium puts the FAB into fabulous. In her friendly and engaging way, Alyson unveils essential tips on colour coordination, the art of layering and what makes up your ‘Wardrobe Glue’. From scent sense to skincare, makeup to dressing up, discover what glamorous group you fit into - whether a Fabulous Femme or a Scandinista, a Superpower Dresser or an Ageless Rocker.

With wonderful illustrations by Leo Greenfield and advice from industry experts and role models – including interviews with Iris Apfel, Kay Montano, Lauren Laverne, Sue Krietzman, Wendy Dagworthy and Ruby Hammer– you’ll soon be forgetting the frump and embracing the fabulous fripperies that will help maintain your Style Forever.

About the author
Alyson Walsh is a former fashion editor for Good Housekeeping magazine; a regular feature writer for the Guardian, Financial Times ‘How To Spend It’, Saga Magazine and All About You. Alyson started her successful style blog, That’s Not My Age, six years ago in order to celebrate the creed that ‘style is forever’. Here she explores how the topics of fashion, age and culture are connected. She has since developed a sizeable online presence and a loyal group of followers. Alyson has also appeared on BBC News and BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour with Jenni Murray."

Style Forever by Alyson Walsh is published by Hardie Grant and is priced £12.99. It will be released on 12th March.

gillybob Thu 26-Feb-15 15:43:27

Hello Alyson

I am 53 and feel like I no longer have a "style" at all. I just seem to throw stuff together. Sometimes they go, sometimes they probably don't. I am on quite a tight budget clothes wise so cannot afford to keep up with top fashion so I try to get little bits such as scarves just to brighten older things up a bit. I'm not very good at putting an outfit together and to be honest I'm not sure where to start so tend to just throw on a pair of skinnies and a tunic or baggy shirt/top whatever the occasion. I love colours but can never seem to get a good co-ordination so always opt for the safe option.I am reasonably slim (size 12) but don't have much of a figure to speak of as I am quite flat chested and have very little in the bum and hip area. Any advice on how to begin putting outfits together would be great. I would also love to learn how to "layer" successfully without looking like a bag lady!

Thank you.

Galen Thu 26-Feb-15 16:02:51

I'm an overweight fat. Long white haired 70 year old. Very arthritic and feeling ancient. I'm about 5' 7" tall and have blue grey eyes.
Do you have any advice for me?

rubysong Thu 26-Feb-15 17:13:40

I have recently unearthed an alpaca (tweed type) poncho edged with fringing which D H brought back from his Royal Navy travels years ago. I am 63. Do you think ponchos are only for the young, or can I get away with it? People do admire it but I wonder if they are thinking it looks a bit like mutton dressed as lamb.

loopylou Thu 26-Feb-15 18:19:51

I'm torn between wearing whatever I feel like wearing, dressing so-called 'smart casual' when at home/out or taking a wardrobe of smart clothes to the charity shop as so rarely need to dress up.
How should a 61 year old, silver-haired size 14 dress? I've never had much dress sense and now need ideas before I drift into wearing jeans/Jeggings and fleeces for the rest of my life, any advice or help please!

kittylester Thu 26-Feb-15 18:39:52

I'm looking forward to this thread as I saved the page from the daily mail! It seemed just what I needed!!

Coolgran65 Thu 26-Feb-15 18:54:22

I'm a 'blonde' 65 year old. Put on weight with steroids and am now size 16 at the bum, 18 around the waist area, and 18/20 at the books. Jeggings were ok with boots in the winter but a bit like a parsnip with pumps.....not balanced. Thinking tapered and 7/8 ankle grazers for summer. And a couple of maxi dresses for a change. Maybe pull out a few pairs of linen trousers if they are not too old hat.

Are tunics now dated.... mid thigh is so comfy for us apples.

Body control is only for events, it's too hot for holidays and too constricting for every day.

Any help on disguising the cuddly bits without being a tent and still being as cool as possible on a hot holiday.

Or at 65 do I just Say......I'm fat....So what !!

loopylou Thu 26-Feb-15 19:18:53

grin parsnip with pumps that's a brilliant description for me too Coolgran!
Body control is like bodily strangulation IMO [shudder emoticon], tried it once with a 'Bodyshaper slip', the blasted thing was so awful I had to stop in a layby on the way home and take it off (couldn't have cared less if anyone had seem me!)

sarah12345 Thu 26-Feb-15 19:26:28

Hi Alyson. Please could you suggest a suitable wedding outfit for a nearly 60 year old, tall ,size 16 hourglass shape, thats definitely not frumpy but not mutton dressed as lamb either. My son is getting married in June and I can't find anything suitable.

Hope you can help!

alchemillamollis Thu 26-Feb-15 20:58:14

This might seem a bit random, but do you know where Theresa May buys her clothes? She said on Desert Island Discs that there's a little shop which knows what she likes. I want her clothes. So where do I go, please?

Galen Thu 26-Feb-15 21:44:37

Actually as darling daughter has just announced her wedding on Sept 18 what would you recommend for me.
Not too formal
I'm a size 20 top but no bust! Just an extremely broad back.
Silver haired. Hopefully tanned as I'll have just returned from a cruise in the med.
5' 7""
Fair complexioned Blues/grey eyes.

amarmai Thu 26-Feb-15 22:07:45

Hi Alyson, I am 5'3ish maybe 10 stone + size 14 Canadian and in my early 70s. I am making summer dresses and separates in shabby chic country style and have bought a pair of light colored scuffed looking cowgirl boots! I know! Please advise me how to put together this look without looking costumey or silly! I am hoping all this sewng and dreaming is not wasted!

Coolgran65 Fri 27-Feb-15 01:00:18

loopylou with regard to body shapers I wore one when going to a family lunch in a nice sea food restaurant .... Mid summer heatwave. Had a nice maxi linen dress that benefited from getting a lump or two smoothed over. It was an all in one, none of this wearing your own bra malarkey... this was the real McCoy.
As lunch progressed I got hotter and hotter...then started to itch.... practically clawing myself. Eventually had to take it off in the ladies and stuff it in my handbag. Spent the rest of lunch looking pretty misshapen...then all decided a walk along the seafront would be nice.....

Well done you...I would have taken it off in the car also.... lol
And this is why we'd like to dress to disguise rather than suffer the torture of heavy duty corsetry.

merlotgran Fri 27-Feb-15 14:52:33

I spend most of my life in jeans, cords, T shirts, jumpers and fleeces. I live in the middle of nowhere so I'm quite happy with my country 'smallholder' look although I try hard to avoid looking too 'butch'.

My big problem is finding smart casual clothes that soften my appearance. I stick to trousers because I often wear calf supports and as soon as I think a top is showing bulges, back it goes in the wardrobe. I seem to have loads of tops I've only worn once. I'm 5' 7" and a size 16 and have tried buying the next size up but then I look even bigger.

My shape has changed over the years. I used to hate being a 'pear' because horse riding had given me big thighs but now I'm turning into an 'apple' which is even worse.

I've tried layering but don't seem to be very good at it and scarves get on my nerves after a while.

PPP Fri 27-Feb-15 19:36:46

Why should it be more difficult to be stylish when you are over 50, 60...?

mrshat Fri 27-Feb-15 20:26:15

Alchemillamollis - I love Theresa May's clothes (and shoes) too. Guess they are rather expensive tho'. Would love to treat myself. (love the name by the way!).

Valbeasixties Fri 27-Feb-15 21:42:09

Hi there,
I love modern fashions with a 60s/hippy flair which suit a 62 year old size 12, young at heart granny. Oh to be able to find a store/label/little shop that stocks such clothes. I tend to resort to TKMaxx but that is so haphazard. Oh to be able to locate a high Street/online store that accommodates us sixties ladies at a sensible price.

alchemillamollis Sat 28-Feb-15 07:41:38

Thanks Mrshat. smile I bet Theresa May's clothes are expensive, but I still want to go to that shop.

Gagagran Sat 28-Feb-15 08:01:19

I love Judy Dench's style and clothes and would love to find a source of clothing like hers. Any ideas where I could try? (Prefer online shopping due to mobility problems).

Oldgreymare Sat 28-Feb-15 08:37:55

Gagagran I have P.M.ed you.... happy shopping!

loopylou Sat 28-Feb-15 08:41:37

Gagagran Judy Dench shops at Hampstead Bazaar, there's a shop on Pultney Bridge, Bath that often has photos in the window of her wearing their outfits. They have a website, lovely clothes!

KatyK Sat 28-Feb-15 11:51:30

I am 65, reasonably slim, 5ft 6 tall. I have always loved clothes and kept up with latest trends in the past. After a traumatic event in my life I have sort of 'lost it' regarding clothes, as that was the least of my problems. I now feel able to get my act together again but no longer know what suits me. When I was working I always loved smart suits, pencil skirts, classic blouses etc but have no idea how to get back there if that makes sense. I will try something on in a shop and think it looks fine but then if I see a photograph of myself in it or even if I go out somewhere and there is a full length mirror I think 'what were you thinking?' Have you any tips? Thank you?

KatyK Sat 28-Feb-15 11:52:07

I mean thank you not thank you? smile

Soutra Mon 02-Mar-15 10:45:21

I wonder what you think of this?
A piece of advice I have found useful, especially when making a major purchase, e.g.MOB outfit and also did this when shopping with DD1for her wedding dress.
Don't merely rely on the mirrors in the shop, get the assistant to take a few pictures of you on your phone, then go and have a coffee to have another think. If a friend is shopping with you even better. You will get a much more objective view of what you look like! Obviously if you are shopping for. MOB outfit or evening dress have suitable shoes etc (as shops specialising in "occasion wear" do)

Agus Mon 02-Mar-15 11:52:11

My main bugbear when clothes shopping is finding dresses and skirts long enough for me to feel respectable in. At 65 I no longer want to wear short clothes and I think retailers would sell a good few more clothes if they were longer which, anyone who wants a shorter style can easily have it altered.