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Fashion and the Older Woman

Age and Fashion – Who Makes Up the Crazy Rules

I’d like to meet the people who police our wardrobes telling us what we can and cannot wear, especially when women reach a ‘certain age’.

As for the certain age, I’ve noticed its changes like the weather; one minute 40 is the new 30, then 50 is the new 40 and so it goes on.  The other interesting discussion I was having recently, is the terminology used to describe older women, take for example the word mature, it’s also used to describe ‘cheese’, then there is ‘seasoned’, what’s with the food and cooking connotations?!

I know lots of women of varying ages, I find it amusing that an 18 year old wants to look and dress older, yet nothing is said; but heaven forbid an older women dresses to suit herself in a style that is considered for a youthful teen only, and she is considered to be ‘mutton dressed as lamb’.  Have you noticed how the phrases used to describe older women have some negative undertone attached to it?

So just to set the record straight, a woman in her 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s plus, these women, they know stuff, and some of us are still figuring things out; newsflash, that’s called Life, we are constantly figuring things out.  However, back to our wardrobes and what we can and cannot wear, lets start with the obvious, I know you’ll catch on:

  • If its too tight and you can’t get into it, guess what you can’t wear it, but hey that applies to all ages.
  • If its bright yellow and you don’t like bright yellow at all, what’s it doing in your wardrobe?
  • If its tired, bobbled, and faded in colour then do the garment a favour and lay it to rest.
  • If you are uncomfortable, wearing a dress or skirt that is too short for your taste then don’t wear it.  Trying to lengthen the hemline by constantly pulling it down is not going to change anything, except draw attention to the fact that you are constantly trying to pull down your dress or skirt, you will feel miserable in the process, as guess what you are uncomfortable!

Simple facts not rules.

I’m now going to hand you over to one of my favourite women in fashion, Iris Apfel who at 96 and has no intention of retiring her wardrobe anytime soon.

Plus Size Fashion Tips by Coral Turner, Couture Fashion Designer


It seems everywhere you look: there are skinny fashion models sporting the latest looks and designs. It can be frustrating to those who do not fit into the ultra-skinny clothes that seem to be the rage. In fact, the majority of us are not 5’10’ and 110lbs.  Recently, I gained a new customer after I posted a picture of my mother who is not the skinny model type wearing one of my designs.  My mother is elegant, regal and curvvy which is like the majority of women.  I was surprised when the customer stated to me she was surprised that I dressed curvvy women.  As a couture fashion designer, I design for women of all shapes and sizes.  Style does not see size or age.

However, I wanted to give you a few fashion tips on dressing if you do have a plus size figure.

  • Wear the size that fits your body. If your clothing is too big, it only makes your body look bigger. If it is too small, then it will amplify curves and will make you feel uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable in a garment will show, even if you think you look fantastic. 
  • Shoulder pads are in if you are a plus size woman. They look fabulous and give you more confidence in your walk. Do not worry about what the fashion bloggers say about them. Wear them with pride.
  • Get a tailor to fine-tune your clothes. If that blazer does not quite button up at the front, and the next size up looks like it would fit two of you, a tailor will be able to adjust it, so it is just right and looks terrific. 
  • Forget the rules the magazines state you must follow. You can wear horizontal stripes, bright colours, and short skirts. Just make sure they fit properly and go with your body style. 
  • Black is a colour that goes with everything and looks fabulous. Remember, you are not a funeral director, so add a splash of colour to the black.  
  • Your undergarments should flatter what you are wearing.  A proper fitting bra will make you look better and feel better.
  • Your outfit is not finished until you have a pair of shoes that compliment your outfit. A bright colour with a dark dress will make you and your outfit come alive. Just remember, if you cannot walk in heels don’t punish yourself it will show in your walk.  There is nothing wrong with a good pair of flats to avoid making you walk like a wounded gazelle. 
  • Try a different hair do. Do not be afraid to get a little crazy with some colour, or try a shorter look. Remember, you create your own trends let others follow you! 
  • Do not keep your sequined outfits hiding in the closet until you go out at night. They will work for you during the daytime as well as at night. Sequins will add a much-needed splash to your wardrobe that people will notice. 
  • Wear a belt to add some shape to your outfit. A belt can take that dress that simply hangs on you, to one that looks like it was custom made just for you. 

Make this summer one that changes your life by changing your fashion.  Start your own trend make a statement that people will notice and enjoy. Remember, if wearing it makes you feel good inside, then it will reflect in the way you wear it, giving you more confidence in yourself, and your fashion.

And I am always available for consultation if you want to design a piece that is one-of-a-kind, perfectly tailored, never to be repeated creation.