Wear it your way
Jan Shure of SoSensational. co.uk, the fashion website for grown-up women, tells you how to rock the trends if you’re over 45
THE big question, if you are a grown-up woman, is can you wear the key trends for spring/ summer 2013? Happily — with one caveat, shorts (no matter how hip, how fashion-forward, how cool, how slender or how often you visit the gym, if you are aged over 45, shorts are not a trend you should consider adopting, ever) — the answer is, resoundingly, yes.
But whether you are 25, 45 or 65, it is always about how you work the trend, how you style a garment, what you leave off and what you add that determines whether you look fabulously, stylishly on-trend or a fashion victim.
UNDERSTAND THE SMALL PRINT
If you love print, and want to wear it all over as a dress, ensure the print is the right scale for you; not too big if you are petite, not too small if you are tall. Placement prints, with a big splash of flora (or fauna) over tummy or hips can be a great disguise for bumps and bulges.
If you don’t want to do print all over, choose a boldly printed pencil skirt or printed skinny trousers (not palazzos), which you can team with a low-key, plain-colour blazer or tuxedo, plus a T-shirt,
or a plain statement top in a toning shade.
Keep the rest of the look simple and wear your dress or skirt to the knee or (more fashion-forward) over the knee, as too short will look girly, which you definitely want to avoid. Team print with ankle boots and a big, coloured clutch or tote, to keep the look edgy rather than saccharine.
GET YOUR BRIGHTS RIGHT
Spring/summer 13’s hottest shades are emerald and turquoise, but you will look perfectly on trend wearing cobalt, fuchsia, teal, yellow, lime, red, coral or orange — and any tonal variant on any of them. That means if you look better in pale or midtone shades, choose those rather than the full-on brights. Treat pastels with caution, though, as they can wash you out and be ageing.
Again, avoid a girly look by keeping your look graphic and simple. Colour blocking is a bit last season, but mixing up of colours via acces-
sories is very fashion-forward.
TAKE A NO-FRILLS APPROACH
Keep your look streamlined and graphic. Avoid anything fussy (nothing with frills added); keep accessories bold and monochrome.
If wearing leather, keep the look grown-up by ensuring skirts or dresses are knee-length and team a leather pencil skirt with a simple boat-neck top, a trophy jumper, a crisp shirt, or a knit/bouclé biker jacket.
A leather biker jacket looks perfect teamed with an on-the-knee (or over-the-knee) pencil skirt, ideally in a print. If you choose your biker in tweed, wool or cotton twill, it becomes the perfect foil for a leather pencil skirt. But no double leather — do not pair your leather biker jacket with a leather skirt (or leather trousers, for that matter).
Again, keep the look pared down.
Don’t overdo the jewellery (or the zips on the jacket). Ankle boots and a big tote or clutch complete the look.
NOT A HEAVY METAL FAN
Metallics and sequins are do-able, but approach with caution, as they can look tacky (but that’s true of this trend whatever your age). There’s a brilliant gold parka from Nicole Farhi’s diffusion collection, Farhi by Nicole Fahri, which would elevate the glamour quotient every pair of jeans and skinny trousers you own, and is so desirable it may even make you long for a spring shower.
A statement top with sequins or metallic finish is perfect when you need to ramp up the glamour on a pair of skinny jeans for a studiedly casual evening look. Add stiletto courts or ankle boots and a big clutch and keep jewellery bold rather than glitzy.
DON’T PILE ON THE POUNDS WITH A
Whether you choose to embrace this trend will be more about your own body shape and how the peplum sits on the dress, skirt or top, than about your age. If you are not sure, remember Miriam Clegg’s peplum disaster at the Lib-Dem conference and see what havoc a frill at the hip can wreak on a slender but “normal” woman.
If you fancy a peplum, make sure you check your back and side views before buying. Then employ this style trickery to ensure the peplum doesn’t add inches: wear a small pair of shoulder pads to broaden your shoulders and balance out your silhouette; wear matching or toning opaques and the highest heels you can walk in to create the illusion of height; add a statement necklace to take the eye off hips; tuck a big, envelope-style clutch under your arm — this is not just about styling; it will ensure you keep your arms neatly at your side, which keeps your silhouette narrow!
SAY YES TO THE DRESS
Who would have guessed that our infatuation with a fab frock would last so long and be so hard to give up, especially for a generation weaned on “separates”? But while the designers are constantly trying to lure us back into skirts and trousers, Ts and jumpers, we are tenaciously hanging on to our dresses.
For this spring, it is hard to pick out a single, strong shape, except to say that, after several seasons of retro-influenced, sleeveless and strappy frocks, the ladylike dress, particularly one with three-quarter or bracelet-length sleeves, is definitely having a moment, especially in printed silk. Plain also works, just add contrast colour via accessories.
ACCESSORISE ALL AREAS
There are few key accessories that will instantly inject spring/summer 2013 edge into almost everything: first, a big square or rectangular clutch (Acne has one in white or skyblue patent at £225) or a coloured tote (Michael Michael Kors has some of the best and most affordable). High-heel or wedge ankle boots add edginess to pretty prints and pastels; wear them until May, then swap for white courts (Kurt Geiger, Mango), which are set to be the shoe du jour for summer. A pair of cateye, or any 1950s-influenced sunnies, are the finishing touch. Some of the best are by Sheriff & Cherry (leopard-print cat-eye, £85 at MyWardrobe.com) and Ray-Ban, who have recreated their original Wayfarer in pastels and white (£135).
M&S Autograph leather pencil skirt £199.99
Jaeger jacket £250, Leopard trousers £150
Baroque printed shirt £79, Lily print pencil skirt £89 both Biba at House of Fraser
Leather biker jacket £350. Top: £110. Skirt £89. All Hobbs
Mint Velvet knitted biker £129
Jaeger trousers £150
Ray Ban Wayfarers £140 my-wardrobe.com
Sleeved dress by Art on Fashion, £165
Stella McCartney jacket at matchesfashion.com £1,070 Ganni biker jacket, £345 my-wardrobe.com
Print pencil skirt by Versace at matchesfashion.com £445
River Island Lily lemon jacket £70
Michael Michael Kors tote, £310 my-wardrobe.com
Acne clutch, my-wardrobe.com £210
Print plus plain: Sophia jacket £169, Tia top £59, Victoria trousers £139, Mila court £145. All Hobbs
Autograph top £45, skirt £ 49.50, belt £9.50, bag £39.50, sunglasses £15
House of Fraser Linea printed peplum dress £130 Linea clear box clutch £115