Happy Spring. I just love living by the sea and this time of year is particularly special. On sunny days the sea is sparkling, the sunsets are spectacular and the evenings are long. Yes, the rainy days are still here (this is England!) but even they can be pretty amazing, with short, intense bursts forcing people to scurry into doorways to avoid the deluge.
Now is the time for a “style overhaul”. You want to look fresh and vibrant, and you can’t do that wearing your faded, worn out old clothes. Updating your wardrobe with some crisp, fresh new pieces will make you look and feel as zingy as the weather.
The colour trend this season is pastels. You’ll see baby-blues and cute pale pink everywhere. Treat with caution unless you know these colours suit you. Many of us older ladies need bolder colours to stop us looking “washed out”. White is always stylish – the classic white shirt is a wardrobe staple – and can be paired with a pastel sweater or modern jacket for a contemporary look.
Short skirts are still with us. If you’ve got the legs, go for it, but remember to team with flats and cover up your top half. Dresses are gaining in popularity and are definitely on my “up” list. I’m wearing daytime dresses more – it saves time and always looks stylish. I prefer just above the knee for a youthful but modest silhouette. Avoid mid-length as this can be ageing. If you want to go longer, be bold and go for just above the ankle.
Capri pants are a godsend for women over 50. They are classic, comfortable and say “summer is on it’s way”. They look fab with an oversized shirt and colourful scarf. You can go a bit hippy, or stick to the Hepburn look.
There are a few trends I advise my clients to avoid when they are 40+. One of my mantras is “if you wore it first time round, don’t wear it now”. The eighties look suits our daughters – we just look like Charlie’s Angels gone wrong! Another one to approach carefully is lace. Pretty, flimsy lacy pieces are everywhere. I adore lace but I only allow myself the tiniest touch so I don’t end up looking too “Miss Haversham”.
Nothing will make you look more refreshed than a new haircut and updated makeup. If you’ve been wearing the same makeup for over five years, you need to update your look. Your skincare needs boosting at this age with masses of exfoliation and hydration to give you a healthy glow. Choosing the right colours can be a challenge so ask for help – either in-store or pop along to one of my fun tutorials (see the What’s On section).
Have a wonderful spring and I’ll see you again in the summer with tips for holiday packing.
I am Michele Duke, an independent style and beauty consultant based in St Leonards. I hold regular demonstrations, workshops and tutorials for women. Call me for dates and more details on 07801 621310. See my website at www.micheleduke.co.uk.
First published in Golden Times May 2016
Picture is Christine Legarde Head of IMF