‘FOR­GET ABOUT AGE – STYLE IS FOR EV­ERY­ONE’

The Mail on Sunday - You - - Editor’s Letter -

My 13-year-old daugh­ter was head­ing out of the door to a friend’s party and I was taken aback by what she was wear­ing. There was noth­ing in­ap­pro­pri­ate – the sur­prise was that she was wear­ing some of my clothes. Me – her em­bar­rass­ing, naff, mid­dle-aged mum. This is the girl who it seems only yes­ter­day was say­ing things to me like, ‘Oh. If that’s what you’re wear­ing, can Dad please take me to school?’

Yet there she was, try­ing to sneak out in a pair of on-point boyfriend jeans with my red slo­gan Bella Freud knit. I wasn’t an­noyed that she’d delved into my wardrobe (and just hap­pened to pull out prob­a­bly the most ex­pen­sive jumper I own). Ac­tu­ally, I was… flat­tered. Thrilled, in fact, that a hip young thing would find some­thing she wanted in there. ‘Mum,’ she said. ‘I’ve re­alised that you have some nice clothes.’ I de­cided to gloss over her shocked tone of voice and revel in the com­pli­ment from the per­son who gives me more bru­tal feed­back than any­one I’ve ever known. Ap­par­ently my laugh and the way I sleep are both in­suf­fer­ably an­noy­ing, but hey, here, fi­nally, was a morsel of ap­proval.

Soon enough I’m sure that I will be in­fu­ri­ated by this new mother-daugh­ter mile­stone, but the nov­elty is fresh. And too of­ten I hear that fash­ion is only for the young. Or that once past a cer­tain age we must not ex­per­i­ment with clothes or, worse, be a woman over 35 with the au­dac­ity to take pride and plea­sure in what she wears. I’m view­ing these new raids on my wardrobe as a badge of hon­our – that a young per­son con­sid­ers the things I wear to be cool.

Our fash­ion di­rec­tor Shelly Vella cer­tainly ap­proaches our fash­ion pages with an age­less sen­si­bil­ity. We know that grown-up women have no time for ridicu­lous trends like midriff-bear­ing, but I’m adamant that there is very lit­tle out there that’s off lim­its. At 48 years old, I shop en­thu­si­as­ti­cally from YOU’s fash­ion pages, and my aim is – whether you’re con­sid­er­ably older or younger than me – that you will, too. Style is for ev­ery­one. Just be warned that any­one with ac­cess to your wardrobe will prob­a­bly agree!

En­joy the is­sue.

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