Friday, 20 March 2015

Style Forever - How to look fabulous at every age by Alyson Walsh

Style Forever by Alyson Walsh (Hardie Grant, £12.99)
Illustrations: Leo Greenfield

I’ve recently been enjoying a new grown-up guide to looking fabulous called Style Forever by That’s Not My Age blogger, Alyson Walsh. It's all about embracing age with panache and is stuffed full of seasoned advice from experts on looking great as we get older. How not to disappear into a haze of beige but say hello to Generation FAB (Fifty and Beyond). Here, here I say!

I tend to get lost style-wise sometimes, especially on the school run and at one stage in the not so distant past had slipped into a uniform of wellingtons, Barbour and flat cap - I know, I know - no excuse (unless I was Kate Moss at Glastonbury).

Style Forever hit a chord - why should I as an older mother not continue to enjoy clothes as much as I had in my younger days, okay maybe not the lurex hot pants or sky high heels my young legs and feet could carry off in my clubbing days, but yes decent shoes and a good pair of jeans with a well-fitting Breton top, rather than literally throwing on whatever was at hand. Thankfully I have been shopping since the wellington days and a with a pair of decent boots, a well cut coat and a big scarf I can pass muster at the gates. This is exactly the kind of advice that can be found in the book.

The author, Alyson Walsh was actually a magazine fashion editor and for years was making-over readers, friends and family so knows her stuff when it comes to looking stylish and feeling good in what we wear. Taking in elements such as fit, proportion, colour, layering, jewellery and make-up the book gives plenty of useful pointers such as: eight perfect pairs of jeans and where to buy the perfect Breton. I love Dr Sam Bunting’s advice on skincare - ‘Eat 80% of what you should eat and 20% of what you want to eat.’ 

You can also learn how to tie a scarf à la Mary Berry or perform a DIY facial by Su-Man with step-by-step diagrams beautifully illustrated by Leo Greenfield. I liked the chapter on inspirational women such as Kay Montano and Wendy Dagworth and it was interesting to see what they would have said to their 15-year-old selves.

‘Spend money on good shoes.’

I especially enjoyed the Grown Up Style Tribes chapter with where to shop and heroines for each title. And fab titles they are too: The Casual Glamourpuss, The Older and Bolder Brigade, The Superpower Dresser, The Gentlewoman, The Fabulous Femme, The Scandinista and The Ageless Rocker. There's nothing to say you can’t be more than one depending on how you’re feeling on a particular day, it’s all about following your style and not the fashion of the moment.

Alyson’s writing has a friendly warmth to it and is not preachy at all, I almost feel like I am exchanging tips with a best friend over coffee or Martinis on a shopping trip; sharing where to get the best trainers or various styles of sunglasses. Some wonderful visual imagery is conjured up to clarify points too, such as Neneh Cherry in 1988 or Farrah Fawcett in 1972.

‘Take your shirts to the dry cleaners’ - life is too short 

I’m also going to be purchasing a few new beauty products offered up by six experts in the field: especially Guerlain’s Terracotta Compact powder - 'every Frenchwoman's secret for looking healthy and rested' as recommended by Mak Gilchrist.

This is a book for grown-up women, either on the verge of menopause or who shut that door a long time ago, women who are confident in their style or have lost their way, but women wanting to stand up and be counted and look their best whilst doing it. 

I have a few wrinkles but I earned them and I earned the right to look my best. So what if I'm over 40. Over 40 and fabulous darling!

‘Fighting ageing is like the War on Drugs. It’s expensive, does more harm than good and has been proven to never end.’ - Amy Poehler


That's Not My Age said...

Thank you for the lovely review! I'm so pleased you like Style Forever. Stay fabulous! Alyson x

westendmum said...

OMG hello! You're welcome - I loved it.

Other nonsense

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Anon - after Larkin

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