Fashion trends have never been a huge priority for me. I am really a bit of a beatnik. Style is a different matter altogether. Like many women, over the decades, I have been seduced by hats and scarves and have always enjoyed putting things together in a way that communicated my personal style.
More than anything, I always loved wearing accessories that started conversations. Like many of the women in our community, my goal was to express my personality, while applying simple, timeless fashion principles.
While searching for positive examples of older women who are embracing style after 60, I came across fashion expert Judith Boyd. Judith writes a fabulous blog called Style Crone and is an inspiration to myself and many other women in the community.
When I interviewed Judith, I was truly inspired. Not only is she fabulously full of vitality, energy and passion, but, she also offered several practical tips for how to embrace your personal style after 60.
Here are a few of the fashion and style tips for women over 60 that I took away from our conversation. I hope that you find them useful!
Judith advises us to invest in basic wardrobe pieces that are neutral and fit well – and then embellish them with jewels, scarves, hats and other accessories. This aligns perfectly with the advice that image consultant, Melanie Payge, gave us when we filmed our fashion for older women video series.
Judith is beautifully flamboyant with her accessories (particularly hats!), but, her basic outfits are well tailored and fit her petite body type perfectly.
She highlights the importance of having a simple black dress as a canvas and then doing amazing things with jackets and scarves.
Judith’s advice for women who are unsure about colors, accessories, or styles is to start simply. When in doubt, you can always following Coco Chanel’s advice and limit yourself to one accessory, to avoiding having your outfits deliver too many messages at once.
For Judith, simplicity is a priority and she combines every single element with careful reflection. She calls putting outfits together for her a form of meditation.
Judith is a big fan of shopping for clothes at estate sales and in thrift and consignment stores. This is for a few reasons. First, recycling clothes can be a challenging and fun experience. Second, it is the ecologically sensitive thing to do – an important concept for all of us grandmothers, who are trying to leave a better world for our families. Finally, she reminds us that there is beauty and magic in the styles from every era, especially since they tended to focus on the quality materials and intricate details.
For Judith, hats are a magical addition to an outfit and bring out a woman’s true personality. She encourages women to try a simple hat to start with – like a beret. For her, hats are a perfect way to transform an outfit, while making other people smile.
Judith understands that hats are not for everyone, but, she encourages women to experiment anyway. She is absolutely convinced that interesting experiences happen when you wear a hat – and as a beret lover, I couldn’t agree more!
Fashion can be a great way to express your unique personality and tell the world that you are not invisible. There are basic fashion guidelines, but, there are no hard and fast rules.
One thing that Judith said, which I thought was very insightful, is that it’s ok to be subdued and creatively “invisible” if you want. She says that clothes can be a form of art; they offer a way to adorn your body, while uncovering your inner spirit. Creativity does not have to be garish – it can be gentle and subtle too.
Judith encourages us to see that fashion can be a form of celebration for older women. When we choose clothes, we have the opportunity to reveal of our unique, creative, outrageous and authentic style.
Judith says that a woman’s style choices can communicate her hard-earned wisdom, knowledge, experience and love. Clothes give women the freedom to be themselves. They are a form of self-expression. Judith reminds us that style is personal – so, express yourself in whatever way you want.
What I love about Judith (and there is a lot to love) is she combines her own bohemian, creative style, with a firm understanding of classic fashion principles, including the value of tailoring. She chooses colors that highlight her skin tone and shapes that compliment her petite body shape. Then, she adds an unapologetically exuberant hat, scarf, purse, or shoes, do declare her unique personality.
Oh did I mention Judith is over 70? She is amazing!
What did you think of my interview with Judith? If you could ask her just one question about fashion and style for women over 60, what would it be? Which one accessory or clothing item that reflects your personal style the most? Please add your thoughts in the comments section below.