Welcome to the first week of spring.
That normally means a thought or two about what your new spring/summer wardrobe might look like, but inspiration is hard to find these days.
Most women my age used to look to fashion magazines for clues, but the media baton has been handed over to a different generation and they couldn’t care less what a 50-plus woman might want to wear, let alone put forward examples that she realistically could.
So, when it’s all Van Cleef & Arpels Jewellery and Louis Vuitton space clothes in what’s left of fashion titles, where do we get our style clues?
I find I get mine from other women now, sometimes stylish strangers I spy out and about. It happened to me in Paris yesterday. I was stopped in my tracks by a blonde woman in her 40s or maybe 50s, wearing the perfect pair of jeans, a crisp white shirt, sandals, and a tote.
While it doesn’t sound ground-breaking it was, because of small details which sent the whole look into a whole other fashion stratosphere. A breakdown….
A white shirt. The shirt was bright white and perfectly crisp, well fitted but not tight, nor baggy. She had the sleeves slightly rolled up and she was deeply tanned which I have to say looked wonderful. You don’t have to ruin your skin to get that look by the way – I have become obsessed with Sisley Self-Tanning Hydrating Body Skin Care which comes with a velvet mitt to apply and is absolutely goof proof, does not streak and does not stain.
The jeans. Again, I have a caveat because she was very trim, but her jeans were fabulous and probably good on lots of body types. They were slightly high waisted, fitted like a glove and flared 1970s style from above the knee, which is a more flattering silhouette than wide-legged jeans, especially if you wear a heel.
Cork platform sandals. I did a double take. I love this 1970s St Tropez look, probably because my mother wore cork platforms and it reminds me of pool parties and Paddle Pops and Piz Buin suncream. My current French inspiration also had brown feet and a very nice pedicure.
A chunky metal man’s watch. At a glance I would say it was an Audemars Piguet metallic steel watch, but the look can be achieved at any price point from Rolex to Seiko.
An oversized tote bag. It was large, in tan leather with a cut out design, I couldn’t determine the label. It looked expensive. She looked expensive. That’s the idea. All the pieces she had on were quite basic, but very chic. You don’t really see Parisian women carrying very ‘Madame’ or over decorative handbags.
Tortoiseshell sunglasses. All these things I’ve worn before. All of these I’ll wear again, just a fab new version.
There’s a definite 1970s vibe in Paris, and while all the beautiful gender fluid kids are wearing wide legged flares and cropped tank tops and shaggy hair with centre parts, I think I found my more age-appropriate look for an Australian spring.