Saturday, October 1, 2011

Over 50 Fashion Role Models: A Change in the Air?

I admit to spending way too much time combing the fashion sources—Women’s Wear Daily, The New York Times Style section, other fashion blogs, and the doorstop-size September issues of all the fashion magazines—in recent weeks. I was curious about fashion’s buzz for the fall season. While my basic style, like my basic personality, has not changed tremendously in the past 40 years or so, there’s nothing I hate more than total stagnation. I’m always on the lookout for a fresh fashion idea to infuse into my style. The New York City streets and the editorial fashion buzz are where I find inspiration. Naturally, being an over 50 woman, my eyes gravitate to fashion being worn by women my age. And based on my recent reading, there seem to be signs of the fashion world finally waking up (at least opening one eye) to the fact that women over 50 are an important audience. Here’s a couple of examples:

A few weeks ago, Women’s Wear Daily reported that Uniqlo has enlisted Susan Sarandon, 64, to model the company’s clothing. According to the article, Uniqlo Tapes Diverse Celebs for Fall Campaign, Sarandon has been chosen as part of the clothier’s “Made for all” campaign. When it comes to fashion, Sarandon says, “I hold onto things.” In my mind, that’s the beauty of 1) not being a slave to fashion and 2) buying well-made garments you absolutely adore. If you buy good quality things that suit your personal style, you can put them away when you’re tired of them and recycle into your wardrobe down the road. I also like the eco-mindedness of it. I'm trying to buy things that last longer, rather than lots of cheap stuff that has to be tossed at the end of the season.

Also, I reported last spring that the Talbots’ catalog featured a bunch of older women with varying body shapes. This fall, beautiful Julianna Moore, 51, is all over the place, modeling Talbots fashions this fall. Okay, not exactly someone I can readily identify with, but it’s a step in the right direction. But more importantly, the Talbots website has non-waif 20-something women modeling fall sweaters line in a section called Shop Real Women. It’s not a huge section, but there are a few over 40 women in the group.

Finally, and actually what inspired me to sit down and write this post, if you haven’t check out the blog Advanced Style, I highly recommend you do. Spoiler alert: It will put you in a great mood. This week, the New York Times Style section featured the blog’s author, Ari Seth Cohen, in If Holly Golightly Had a Grandson. I hadn’t been on the blog in a few months and I was glad to be reminded of it. If you can’t get to New York City, stop by this blog from time to time. There are incredible older women everywhere, but New York does have a lot of them. Ari’s mom must be so proud of him.