With winter on our doorstep, figuring out the season-appropriate essentials is a must. What colors are trending? What are the best winter accessories to choose from? Join us in discussion with fashion blogger, Josephine Lalwan, who freely shares her ideas. Enjoy the show!

 

Margaret Manning:

My guest today is Josephine Lalwan who blogs at Chic at Any Age. She started her website about seven years ago with the intention to inspire mature women to be fashionable and stylish in their own personal way. Welcome to the show, Josephine.

Josephine Lalwan:

Thank you, Margaret. It’s a great honor to be on Sixty and Me. I think you’ve got a fantastic site with great resources for women of a certain age.

Margaret:

Yes, we are a community of mature women, and we know we are special. As we’ve discussed in previous interviews, there is still a stereotype that women over 60 don’t really care about fashion and style. Maybe some women prefer to be comfortable and not worry about looks, but many do care.

I’m so happy you’re here with us today because you have spent most of your life in the fashion business. You know a lot about the trends, and so today I’d love to chat about winter because it’s here.

Josephine:

Yeah, it’s definitely here in London.

Margaret:

It has claimed most of the northern hemisphere. When you start preparing for winter, where do you begin? What’s the first thing to think about?

Josephine:

I would say having a good coat in your wardrobe is most important. That’s where you need to put a little bit more of your budget because it should last you a while, and it should really keep you warm. If you possibly can afford it, go for a natural fabric.

Another option is a duvet coat, or puffer coat. It has gained popularity over the last few seasons. The French call it a dudu, and they were wearing those a lot when I was over there recently. It really is a good work horse, because it keeps you very warm. If you are a traveler, you can get one that you can pack away in just a little bag. They are really, really good to have.

Margaret:

They are a good investment. I’ve seen women over here in Switzerland wear them as well. There are the short jackets and a three-quarter length option that is more popular. Is that what you are talking about?

Josephine:

Yes, I’ve got one of those, and it looks great if you are a trouser wearer. If you’re into the longer, over-the-knee skirts or dresses, then you would need a longer coat or jacket.

Margaret:

They come in beautiful colors, too.

Josephine:

They are lovely. Some of them have a little bit of a silver metallic look that can cheer you up in the dull weather.

Margaret:

The metallic is trendy right now. This Christmas I’m seeing mostly gold, and some silver, everywhere.

Josephine:

Yes, there’s a lot of sparkle, a metallic sheen, in many of the styles.

Margaret:

I like that. I think it’s great.

Josephine:

As we get older we need a little bit more sparkle in our life. If it’s too bland or too dull, it can pull us down a little bit.

Margaret:

Yes, because your clothes shout your personality to the world. True example: I was in Scotland a few weeks ago. I went out in Edinburgh and noticed that everybody had on a black coat, myself included. It can be depressing, so I think color is nice.

Josephine:

It is lovely. As I get older I try to wear more color. Black is fine, and you can always jazz it up with a scarf with great color that suits you. I think it is quite hard to wear black as we age. Our skin fades and so do our hair color and our eye color, and black needs a bit of drama if you’re going to wear it well.

Margaret:

With a black coat you can wear boots that are a funky color. I wear berets all the time. I have inexpensive berets in every color under the sun.

Josephine:

So do I. I’ve got a lovely bright red one. I’m a real hat person, and I always feature my new additions on the blog. My favorites are the brimmed, fedora and panama styles.

Margaret:

Do you know Judith Boyd?

Josephine:

Yes, I do. She came to France, and we met in Nice. We had such fun together. She is so lovely. When she does the hat attack event on her blog, I always send her a picture.

Margaret:

Ladies, if you’re interested, Josephine’s website is chicatanyage.com and Judith Boyd’s is stylecrone.com. Judith loves hats, that’s what made me think of her.

So, our most important winter basic is a warm coat. Invest in one that is going to last a few years, and don’t be afraid to spend a little extra for quality material. If it’s black, you can color it up with boots and hats. Maybe try puffer coats or duvet coats.

Josephine:

Yeah, they are fantastic. These days coats have become not just utilitarian, they are a fashion statement in their own right. Some women, if they can afford it, have a few coats for different occasions. I’ve got a post on my blog with street style shots in Paris. There are some wonderful burgundy coats and lovely bright blue coats. Burgundy is my color this season.

Margaret:

What did you see in Paris in terms of coat styles and shapes?

Josephine:

I saw a lot of anorak style coats and a lot of fake fur collars. There were the usual puffer coats though with a bit more color. The Parisians can be quite into black, so it was interesting that there were some pinks, some blues, some brighter tones, in general.

Margaret:

I’ve never seen much pink in France at all. In Switzerland they are very toned to pale pinks and pale blues, not so much to bright colors.

Josephine:

The same is true for the Parisians so I was quite surprised. In the post I mentioned, I’ve got two blue coats featured, as well as one burgundy and two bright pink fake fur shawls. They also like khaki in Paris.

Margaret:

Yes, they do like khaki as well as black, brown and navy, and they like to accent them. What about capes and shawls? Those are my favorites, so what do you think of them?

Josephine:

I love them this season. I’ve featured a few of them on the blog, too. They add an extra layer of warmth, which is useful. I wear them over the coat, or the blouse, in milder weather. I’ve got some reversible ones, too, so there’s a budget tip.

Margaret:

That’s a great idea.

Josephine:

Yeah. It’s burgundy on one side and black on the other. I’ve got one for the summer, which is gray on the one side and blue on the other. Actually, I cheat with those. The inside usually has a label on it, so I just pick the label, and it becomes reversible.

Margaret:

So you’re making them double-sided. I love your attitude to clothing because it calls for some basics that are well styled, and then you can go crazy personizing your look. It’s wonderful to have fun with it.

Josephine:

Absolutely. It’s fun to complement your outfits with great jewelry and accessories that work for you. For example, leopard print is trendy, but it doesn’t look good on me because of the yellows and browns. So I found a blue-gray leopard print that works for me. It really lightens things up.

Margaret:

That’s wonderful.

Josephine:

Yes, it really jazzes up the coats and jackets. If you’ve got a grey, navy or black coat, it’s lovely to have a little bit of color just under your face.

Margaret:

The winter months are too gray and bland, and it’s nice to add an element of color for spirit. Good quality coats tend to be a solid dark color, so you can always add a beautiful scarf to liven them up. The faux fur is a nice addition as well.

Josephine:

I’m really into faux fur at the moment. I feature it a lot on the blog. There are some lovely ones out there you can choose from. I recently bought a bottle-green one, which made an old navy coat look fabulous.

Margaret:

It’s a green and blue combination. It must look pretty.

Josephine:

Yeah, it is. It works.

Margaret:

I like how you break the rules, and rules are meant to be broken in fashion. That is your philosophy with your site, Chic at Any Age. You are a great supporter of feeling stylish and chic in your own personal way.

Josephine:

Definitely. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, though it may take a little planning.

Margaret:

With planning in mind, I’m going to try and find a faux fur. I have a parka, like a duvet jacket, which has brown fur attached around the edge, but I like the idea of detachable.

Josephine:

Yeah, that’s very on trend at the moment. People are wearing those parkas with the fake fur a lot.

Margaret:

Thank you so much, Josephine. We will talk to you later, but thanks for being on the show today. Your advice is great.

What colors would you choose to liven up a dark coat? What are your favorite winter accessories? Please share your ideas!

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