Stacey Duguid's Tips For Ageless Style
Once upon a time, when we were young (or, at least, younger), we’d leave the house looking frazzled from a crazy adventure and totally get away with it. Whereas now, the thought of spending three days at Glastonbury in a tent, peeing into a bucket, is enough to bring me out in hives (taxi to The Pig, anyone?). Back then, I’d see a festival as a sartorial challenge to be faced head on. Floral tea dresses, scruffy camo jackets, welly boots, hair packed with dry shampoo? Bring. It. On. Obviously if I tried to get away with such a look these days, a helpful teenager may ask whether I’m "feeling ok", or if I "need a seat". Yup – the days of flinging on any old thing are long gone, but do you know what? I’m fine with it.
So, how to dress over the age of, ooh, shall we say, forty? I reckon trends are overrated and should be avoided at any age, which I know is easy to say, especially if you’re unsure of your style. But knowing your style is just essentially knowing what suits you and as for 'uniforms', forget about it – I can’t abide that fashion phrase. A uniform is something police officers wear, whereas you, my dear, are free to choose whatever the hell takes your fancy.
I reckon figuring out what to wear where is a far more useful way of looking at things. I know that sounds bleeding obvious, so let me explain…
I chose & Other Stories for my night out with the girls at the pub because, despite looking a bit 'young' for the last few seasons, it’s my high street go-to when I need something a bit swish. And hello, cheetah print jacket, aren’t you looking mighty French Vogue this evening? Pair with black jeans (skinny, wide, slim, whatever) and black heels and go have a blast.
Square Buckle Heeled Sandals £59, Leopard Printed Jacket £89, High Rise Slim Jeans £59, Open Back Top £45 | All & Other Stories
Now, unlike & Other Stories, Arket (if you know how to pronounce it, please tweet me) is THE high street destination for grown-ups. Even though it’s a fairly new kid on the block, it never, ever fails me. Take, for example, this suit. Granted, I might not wear it as an entire suit, but I love how the jacket is loose-cut and mannish and will look great with most styles of trousers and jeans. As for the shirt, I’d throw it over a bikini at the beach or wear it with white shorts on holiday. The shoes are A: comfy, and B: look like Céline, which C: makes them a total workwear must-have.
Wool Linen Trousers £99, Cotton Wool Twill Blazer £135, High-Heel Leather Sandal £150, Oversized Hairline Poplin Shirt £45 | All Arket
Off-Duty / Airport Vibes
I admire any woman who arrives at the airport wearing white jeans. Personally, I’d have to wear a plastic sheet around my legs if I ever dared travel in this outfit (I’d like to blame the kids, but there’s also red wine stains to consider). I often arrive at the airport and think, "I really need to up my airport game." I love Whistles and how fresh this outfit looks and feels. A pouch is a no-brainer when travelling – stick all your important bits and pieces inside and pop it in your tote. I imagine myself journeying to the south of France in this look, as opposed to being dragged to the local soft play…
Breton Paris Cheri Sweatshirt £79, Tula Soft Twist Front Sandal £165, Vive Les Vacances Coin Purse £25, Stitch Barrel Leg Jean £95 | All Whistles
When it comes to being the best dressed wedding guest, there's no competition – you are already the best dressed wedding guest because you are the best dressed version of yourself. I feel very snazzy in this blue jumpsuit and blue linen blazer, teamed with these white earrings, all by Mango. I love wearing jumpsuits. In fact, I own way more jumpsuits than I do dresses. I think that’s probably because, with the right fit, I tend to feel more comfortable in them, which in turn makes me feel more confident – I generally prefer mine to fit loosely around the waist.
Beads Bucket Bag £59.99, Linen Double-Breasted Blazer £69.99, Metal Earrings £9.99, Ring Wrap Jumpsuit £59.99, available in store | All Mango
A day dress to wear on holiday that can also be dressed up and worn in the UK, you say? Yes, I do! And this one by M&S is available to buy now. With a total 70s prairie vibe, I'd wear it on holiday, or to an event, or even to work. I’d also wear it in winter with boots and chunky tights with a jumper thrown over the top. All year-round wear, honestly, what’s not to love?
And that, my friends, is the perfect place to end. Confidence isn’t about hiding our bodies in cover-ups because we’re a certain size, shape or height; it’s about finding clothes that bring us joy. We all need to go easier on ourselves, and I often wonder what the 55-year-old me might say to the 44-year-old me. She’d probably tell me to get out there, have fun, experiment with clothes, be less bothered about what other people might think. She’d probably tell me to wear the camo jacket – but only if I’ve washed my hair.
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