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Effortlessly eccentric dressing at 50 plus. How to look quirky not completely daft?

(162 Posts)
SureIusedtobetaller Thu 15-Feb-18 12:29:42

I saw a woman when I was on hols, harem pants, flowy fabrics, grey hair, clearly didn’t give a damn. Looked gorgeous. Must’ve been at least 60 or over. I often see older women looking fabulous but not classic. But sometimes I see older women just look like they got dressed blindfold in the dark and didn’t brush their hair.
How can I achieve this? I like hippy stuff, Dr martens, pretty colours. But I just feel stupid when I try and end up in jeans and a t shirt.
Help me. Where to shop? What to get? What’s the key? I suspect good skin and hair helps? I don’t want to look classy I want to look odd but lovely!!

Astrabees Thu 15-Feb-18 12:54:48

At 60 I became really interested in "fashion" again. I'd lost some weight, had an empty nest and lots more money to spend. I know what suits me and don't feel constrained to wear exactly what the magazines say. This winter I wore Chelsea Boots with dresses and as the bare legs and socks thing is a step too far I wore contrasting tights and bright socks, but with a plain dress or skirt. I buy lots of vintage stuff and have a large collection of patterned vintage cashmere. I've also recently developed a penchant for silk scarves with cowboys on. I do buy some expensive things - including a huge enveloping coat from Toast recently, that will go with everything, whether it is vertiginous heels or my army style boots. I think the answer is really to follow your imagination and widen the places you shop to include charity, vintage and ebay.

AuntieStella Thu 15-Feb-18 12:56:53

Firstly, forget age. It only ever hampers thinking about style.

Secondly, you need to go and try on a lot of the things that you like seeing on other people. Monsoon isn't such a bad place to start, and you could try department stores too (there's a concession in JL - Flip? Phool? which might have the sort of stuff you seek). Also google for tunics/kaftans and try surf shop type sites for them.

Thirdly - decide which colours you feel best in. If you get too scatter-gun it's harder to pull off. The basic choice is whether you like blue-toned or yellow/earth-toned palette better. That doesn't rule out accents in any colour you want, but keeping staples in one range IYSWIM might help.

Fourthly - get a good bra. Unless the style you want is very 1970s hippy.

And finally, yes, good haircut and good grooming help every style - including hippy.

rightknockered Thu 15-Feb-18 13:46:25

When you want to change your style, or try something new, just change one thing at a time. Often it isn't that the look doesn't suit you, it's just that you're not accustomed to seeing yourself looking different in the mirror. You probably look fine. A gradual change is always easier to pull of than a totally different look.

Gruach Thu 15-Feb-18 14:04:22

Ah, brilliant - another excuse to avoid getting on with stuff!

Not sure it can be completely effortless. I expend very little effort in actually getting dressed - but that's because I've put in the hours trawling through websites (those I already know and the new ones I keep finding). And relying on decades of trying on in shops.

Not having too much stuff helps. And only buying things you love. Money or a good eye are useful - expensive fabrics and expert cutting simply will look better. You need more time on a tight budget but it's perfectly doable.

Do you have the patience for T K Maxx? Only the Gold Label section, nothing else. Utterly fantastic for the quirky and eccentric.

Will have a think about other places.

thedevilinablackdress Thu 15-Feb-18 14:06:54

I think you've got to look like you really meant it. No half-heartedness. Probably for that look you want lots of interesting silver jewellery, maybe some bright lipstick (even if not doing any other makeup)

thedevilinablackdress Thu 15-Feb-18 14:09:39

Also try looking up 'Lagenlook' on eBay, Pinterest.
For clothes maybe Masai, Toast, Sahara

SureIusedtobetaller Thu 15-Feb-18 14:14:07

This is all really good advice! I’m particularly happy that I now need to spend ages finding things I love. I love a bit of research grin
Thank you.
I’m off to procrastinate then! (Should be working!)

Gruach Thu 15-Feb-18 14:18:53

This place is full of inspiration. (Usually ...)

Gruach Thu 15-Feb-18 14:24:33

But, to be honest, it's more about putting things together in original ways than actually buying odd clothes. Different levels of expenditure but you can shop for eccentricity at & Other Stories just as well as at Acne Studios. (Though the second is wonderfully reliable.)

Astrabees Thu 15-Feb-18 14:29:13

I love that site, Gruach. Yes, forget about age. I'm sick of reading depressing posts on other threads saying "am I too old for dungarees?" etc. I wear anything I feel like and don't look a fright (unless I am deluded).
I've just realised no one has mentioned learning to sew. Not an easy option but if you can there is a whole world of lovely fabrics and vintage or new designer patterns to try.

SureIusedtobetaller Thu 15-Feb-18 14:53:52

Definitely can’t sew! Thank you for the recommendations.

ilovecherries Thu 15-Feb-18 16:02:27

Oh, this might be my kind of thread, so shamelessly jumping on board, even though I have nothing to contribute to it yet! In the last year, I've turned 60, lost 65 lbs and lost my hair. While the first two of these are related and reflect an absolute determination that my 60s (only started these a week ago) were going to be a damn sight better than my car crash 50s, the third one is just a bastard auto immune condition that has slowly been decimating my hair for years and has finally won. So I'm reinventing myself, and I've done with being invisible. I don't want to look like a crazy lady wearing 'fun' clothes but nor do I want to look like I've jumped straight from the pages of an Aga saga or from a meeting in the City. I've started with wigs - loads of them in styles and colours Id never have tried with my own hair. Now for the price of a cut and colour I can try something completely new. Hush has actually seen me through this transition year very nicely but I'm ready to be more daring now.

SureIusedtobetaller Thu 15-Feb-18 16:27:41

I’m more tie die than Hush I think. I might be the crazy lady blush
I’m thinking Frankie from Grace and Frankie.
But this is now our reinventing-for-not-so-young-women thread!

OCSockOrphanage Thu 15-Feb-18 16:37:28

Placemarking... I see some familiar usernames here already, and OP, you will get inspiration, encouragement and lots of kindness from this crowd.

Seconding the PP who suggests that you will be a work in progress for a while, and that grooming matters as much as ever. Crazy shouldn't be synonymous with unkempt.

I love colour and texture expecially, and both will enrich your new look, but eyes and mind wide open is the way to go!

clarazabel Thu 15-Feb-18 17:02:41

Nomads, lovely colours I'm saving up for some bits and bobs when I lose some weight.

Floisme Thu 15-Feb-18 17:15:07

I think a dose of not giving a shit goes a long way. I wouldn't call myself an eccentric dresser, although I did enjoy the 'quirky' thread a few months ago (and I never brush my hair!) but I'm far more adventurous than I was 10 years ago. I'm 61 now and realised when I hit my late 50s that invisibility was starting (I know some people disagree but it's absolutely a thing in my experience) so I decided to make the most of it. I now experiment a lot more and I'm less self conscious because, let's face it, no-one's looking.

I put effort into the stuff I enjoy. I'm very much into clothes and will happily spend time fussing over the length of my cropped trousers but grooming, tanning, waxing, eyebrow and nail maintenance etc etc all bore me senseless. I'm lucky to have a really good hairdresser who understands that.

Style-wise I think it's important to keep moving. I try and 'freshen up' my style every few years, because I know my body and face are changing. I look better in more structured clothes now. I try and buy mostly second hand - various reasons but partly so I can afford brands that would otherwise be out of my league e.g. Margaret Howell, Vivienne Westwood, some Toast. I've always been into vintage although these days it's the more tailored stuff rather than the floaty tea dresses of old. My favourite high street shop used to be H&M but their quality's taken a dive over the last year as has TK Maxx - although it might just be my local branches that have gone downhill.

But I think the main thing is to have fun with it and not worry too much about getting it wrong because it really doesn't matter.

Fekko Thu 15-Feb-18 17:17:45

I like the clothes that the female judge wore in the pottery competition on tv.

Namethecat Thu 15-Feb-18 17:21:13

How about a spiky haircut and get a splash of a quirky colour in it.

SureIusedtobetaller Thu 15-Feb-18 17:24:04

Quirky thread? I shall look for it.
I think the invisibility is very liberating. I don’t feel the need to be “attractive”. I was never pretty so I don’t miss that, I want to enjoy the freedom.

SureIusedtobetaller Thu 15-Feb-18 17:25:25

Ooh not spiky. I have lots and lots of almost curly hair! I like the splash of colour idea...

Floisme Thu 15-Feb-18 17:34:18

I'll dig out the quirky thread when I get home as my phones' about to die. There were lots of brands on it - made me realise I'm pretty tame really!

Bourgainvillia Thu 15-Feb-18 17:35:31

Beauty is on the inside so they say, so just let your look reflect your personality - if quirky then so be it.

We all worry too much about how we look to others. Forget it imo, just be yourself!

thedevilinablackdress Thu 15-Feb-18 18:17:38

Another one to check out OP

ElspethFlashman Thu 15-Feb-18 18:35:31

I was just gonna reference Frankie. Total style crush.

One thing I noticed about her styling is that she has all these skinny body tops underneath everything.

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