Wearing the right accessories can do wonders for reflecting one’s personality. What does ‘right’ really mean, though? Fashion blogger, Josephine Lalwan, is here today to give us some tips when shopping for fashion accessories. Enjoy the show!

 

Margaret Manning:

My guest today is Josephine Lalwan who blogs at Chic at Any Age. She created her website to empower older women to feel fashionable and stylish in their own personal way. Welcome, Josephine.

Josephine Lalwan:

Thank you, Margaret. It’s a pleasure to be on Sixty and Me. Your site is a great resource covering a vast range of topics for women of our age.

Margaret:

Thank you very much. It’s wonderful to have people like you join us now and again to talk about things that we don’t know very much about. Your site really is fabulous, and I noticed you get a lot of wonderful comments about Chic at Any Age. I’m thrilled to have your expertise here.

In this interview I wanted to talk about creating your own personal style. It can be relaxed and comfortable, with little-to-no interest in fashion, and can run all the way to the other end of the spectrum. Let’s talk about personal style and how to create what works for you.

Josephine:

As we grow older we become more aware of ourselves; we know our tastes. I think style has to do with being authentic. Clothes are just an accessory which projects who we are to the world. The more authentic we are, the more people are going to warm to us.

Margaret:

I think that’s really true. I actually found that men of any age like being around older women who feel comfortable in their skin. When you feel comfortable, you don’t try to dress a certain way to please or impress anyone. I think that makes it more fun. I’ve had some great conversations with people of all ages, and I think that’s partly because I like being me.

Josephine:

Exactly.

Margaret:

I know there are people who don’t know what their style is—how do they figure that out? How should they accessorize the clothing that they’ve got so it would work to their advantage?

Josephine:

Sometimes we can get a little bit lost along the way, or we try and get a bit too retro or hang on to what used to work for us. One of the things that inspires me, personally, besides reading blogs and websites, is looking through magazines. I would flip through the pages and go, “Oh, that attracts me.”

It’s nice when you allow yourself to freely be attracted to something. With magazines you can also tear the sheets out, and keep them in a little folder. Then when you look through the folder, you may go, “Hmm, maybe that’s a look that I can aspire to.”

Then just do a little bit of gentle experimentation. You don’t want to spend a fortune on something until you try the look out. So buy that little top if you think, “Oh, I’m not sure, but it’s quite reasonable so I’ll give it a whirl.” Once you try it you might think, “Oh I love it.” It’s not the end of the world if you don’t because it hasn’t cost you a fortune.

That’s a good way to start experimenting. Otherwise, we can be stuck wearing the same trousers, sweaters, etc. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be comfortable. In fact, you’ve got to be comfortable in your clothes—just push the boundaries a little.

Margaret:

I love the idea of experimenting. I also like to pick up magazines and have a look for things that draw me. Sometimes I’d only like the color, or just the style, and I’d make a note of that. Then I would find the next best thing in the price range that I can afford and go from there.

In another video we talked about the words that best describe our style. Yours were ‘classic with elegance’ and mine were ‘cultured bohemian’. I think we both have a cultured side to us mixed with a little bit of something else. How do you define your elegance? What do you wear that brings that out?

Josephine:

I do stick to classic shapes. I know my figure is pear shaped, my shoulders are narrow, etc., so I work with that. Once I’ve got that done, I can go out and add a little bit of a sparkle to it. I’ve got some accessories that accentuate my style.

For instance, I might wear a very plain linen dress in the summer, but I’d accentuate it with a chunky necklace. That look is a little rebellious, I admit. When I go along the lines of classic and elegance, I wear pearl strands and things that look tame.

When choosing accessories, it’s really important to remember scale. If you are petite, a large chunky necklace could overpower you. You want to get something to scale—I think that’s one of the first guidelines to keep in mind when creating your style.

Margaret:

Yes, if the accessories are out of proportion, they could be overwhelming. I wear a lot of pearls. Sometimes it would be a very simple one strand. However, I’ve got quite a long neck, so I’d often wear a necklace of three pearl strands.

Josephine:

Those look lovely.

Margaret:

I really like them. Then on a train journey I went to a place called Zermatt, and I bought this big chunky necklace.

Josephine:

Yeah, the colors are very Saint Tropes. I would say it looks a little bohemian.

Margaret:

So my style corresponds to my words—the classic with the pearls, and then I also love the bohemian. I think it’s a good idea to go to your jewel box, pull out your jewels and identify them. They may be bohemian or romantic, or whatever look they inspire in you. Once you’ve got that down, then you can buy accessories that go with them, like scarves, for example.

Josephine:

Yeah, scarves are great. Let me just tell you that pearls could carry more than classic elegance. There are very chunky strands to complement a certain mood. Then there are pearls that look more romantic, fine and delicate or a bit shell-like. You can choose what to wear depending on the occasion.

Margaret:

Did you live by the beach, or were you born by the beach?

Josephine:

My husband and I always have to be somewhere near water. We live by the river here as well as in France. We love water.

Margaret:

I can see a theme in the jewelry you choose. It’s interesting if you pay attention to these things.

Josephine:

There is a theme.

Margaret:

So what about your scarves? I think you were going to tell us about your scarves.

Josephine:

Yes, the leopard print has been around for some time now. It’s still very much on trend, and we still love it. Concerning the color, I don’t look good in the browns and the rust. Instead, I found my equivalent, which is a navy with soft gray. That gives my scarves the leopard print feel, and it’s also flattering for my personal coloring.

Margaret:

That’s really very pretty. I don’t think there has been a year where animal prints have not been in fashion. They are everywhere, even in the shoes and scarves.

Josephine:

Absolutely. They are always in. I think a lot of the brands are widening their ranges now. I even saw a lovely pair of shoes in that navy/gray leopard print.

Margaret:

I think animal print is really worth checking out. It’s one of those things that I see French women wearing a lot. It could be just a clutch bag or a wallet, or something very small. I don’t know what it is about animal print, but it gives you something for your inner instinct.

Josephine:

They are feral, I suppose. Also, I think animal print looks quite sexy. It gives off that dangerous leopard feel to it.

Margaret:

There’s also an unpredictable side to it. Anyway, there is some subliminal thing to all the clothes we wear, isn’t there?

Josephine:

Sure, definitely.

Margaret:

What about other kinds of jewelry like rings or bracelets? Also, would you say hair decor is popular right now?

Josephine:

I don’t know about rings or bracelets, but I love earrings. I have got short hair, and the earrings draw attention to my face. The ones I’m wearing right now have a little pink stone, which picks up the color. I’m not sure about hair ornaments; I’ve never got into that.

Margaret:

Earrings are a really great accessory. I wear pearls with everything, but I should probably be a little more adventurous. I think it’s nice to choose earrings that are unexpected. Yours, for example, are really sweet with a pink stone at the top and the pearl at the bottom.

Josephine:

Yeah. I’m not sure what the pink stone is, but they weren’t expensive.

Margaret:

So here’s our next tip for buying accessories: don’t feel like you have to be guided by rules. Accessories are a great opportunity to let that little tiger—or that little romantic—out. We use them to communicate with the world, so let your fantasy soar.

Josephine:

Yes, accessories can send our personal message to the world.

Margaret:

Totally, clothes and accessories, both. It’s just so sad that ties are all that men can use to express themselves.

Josephine:

They are a bit more adventurous these days; they’ve got colored, less formal shirts.

Margaret:

I think the secret lies in knowing your personal style. I would suggest you find the three words that define who you are and go from there. We are going to add rebellious to your list of words, so now we’ve got classic, rebellious and elegant.

Josephine:

That’s a funny combination, but we’ll work with that.

Margaret:

Mixing styles is really fun. Once you’ve got your personal style figured out, then go out and buy the accessories that would reflect it, and wear them. Don’t put them in a box.

Josephine:

No, don’t. Wear them every day and just enjoy them. I think that goes for everything. Some people will buy these precious handbags, and then they would put them away. They won’t wear them at all. It’s a total waste. Life’s too short to stack things in your closet.

Margaret:

I’m really glad that you are on today’s show, Josephine. Thank you so much for your support of Sixty and Me and for everything you’re doing for your site, Chic at any Age. It’s fabulous. Thanks again for being here.

What is your favorite kind of accessory? Would you tell us about the boldest thing you’ve ever worn? Is there an accessory you would never be seen to wear? Please join the conversation!

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