Saturday, 8 September 2012

Style at 35

After a month's break for Noah's summer holidays I'm back. It has been good to clear my head and come back fresh and enthused so I thought what better opportunity for a little spring [OK summer!] clean on the blog, let me know what you think - please? I almost enjoy tinkering with the design as much as filling in the content, it's a creative process in it's own right.

So as the summer nights draw in and autumn grows nearer it is getting closer to my birthday - not a big one, but I'll be 36, so I thought it was timely to blog about style at 35. I recently read a study, carried out by a British design company, that suggested women are in their style prime at 35 [although I'm convinced that like a fine wine after that we only get better!], but it seems after years of experimenting both in life and in the style stakes we finally have the confidence and conviction of our own sartorial taste by our mid-30s - hooray! If you'd like to read more about the study click on the following link: Life Begins at 35.

I certainly think that I have grown more comfortable in my own skin. Age, experience and motherhood have all helped to make me much more relaxed and confident about the way I dress. I remember trying so hard through my 20s to look the part - especially working in an industry that put so much emphasis on the way you look and dress. I've blogged before about never feeling quite up to the grade [here].

But I think other factors are at play that go hand in hand with being a certain age - we have new priorities whether that's an earnest focus on our careers as we progress higher up the ladder, an interest in our homes as we become for the first time house proud [past 30 my Living Etc subscription replaced my Vogue subscription], or our time and energy is more focused on our partners and children. Like most women we are trying to achieve a better balance between the many facets of who we are, and our clothing and style is just one part of the whole rich tapestry of our lives.

I've also discovered the benefits of exercise in my 30s which helps me to feel more positive about myself. I spent my 20s relying on good genes [and jeans!], to counter the boozy nights and my inherited sweet tooth [which needless to say I have passed on to my son]. I always remember one of my old editors asking if I did any exercise, and when I said not she gave me a knowing look and said I would discover the importance of moisturiser and exercise when I turned 30 - how right she was!

More companies are tapping into the 30 + market realising that we have the fashion knowledge to wear the trends but we want quality with our style.

I was recently sent the new Pure Collection look book which looked right up my street - classic, well-tailored pieces with a sharp, modern cut in quality fabrics [I'm obsessed with natural fabrics - nothing synthetic past a certain age!]. The book has a relaxed, easy style [very Red Magazine].

I also noticed the new Autumn catalogue from Boden seems to have grown up a little, the pictures are softer, sexier, a little darker - what do you think?

So I thought I'd give you 3 modern classics that will keep you looking up-to-date, but don't take my word for it!

1. Statement jewellery like this bit of bling from J Crew is what I call a 'personality piece'. It takes the mundane out of the everyday. For day it will make a striped t-shirt look really modern and updated, and for evening you could match it with something as simple as a white shirt, your favourite well-cut jeans and a pair of sharp heels and you're ready to go.
J Crew bead necklace, £165, Net a Porter.

2. A really well-fitting cocktail dress is something that every woman of a certain age will appreciate having in her wardrobe. It can be worn with a tailored jacket for work or dressed up for a special occasion, I think these kind of pieces are investments and will help to avoid expensive last minute purchases when you are invited to a party.
Black dress, £38, Warehouse Definitives.

3. The well-cut cashmere sweater is something you will wear to death. It can be worn from work to weekend - easy, comfortable and versatile. How great would it look with the statement necklace right?
Merino cashmere sweater, £79, Pure Collection.

Have you hit your sartorial stride? And what age did you feel confident about the way you dress? 


  1. Love the new look Amy - clever thing! I had to get a designer for mine!!! As far as clothes after 35 (38 now!) I feel like I need to spend more time on it - difficult with 3 kids under 5. Definitely more comfortable in what is me - not as adventurous though... Good to see you back and hope you had a lovely break x

  2. Great work Amy, well done, it looks fab! Totally hear you on the 30 'something' fashion and thought exactly the same about the new Boden catalogue. Love Pure Collection as well. I think I feel less confident in the way I dress than ever, but that is because unlike you, I am still to get off my backside and find the benefits of exercise, I'm not the waif like size 8 I was 10 years ago and don't I know it every time I go clothes shopping!

    Looking forward to seeing more on the new blog xx

  3. Thanks for the lovely messages Mel and Anna. x

  4. Hi Amy, glad you are back. I have been thinking about this lately as i just turned 39!!! I am feeling more confident in my choices lately..i started to follow you at just the right time. I do know what i like and what does and doesn't suit me and i find myself procrastinating less over a purchase ..even paying full price bc i seem to know better whether i will get good wear out of something or not. Having never had a job that required me to be dressing in suits and that type of attire I've often admired dressing up but in reality i would like to have great clothes that can go around everyday and be dressed up and down. Especially since I had my son. I finally worked out to stop buying fancy..pretty going out tops that sat in my cupboard and started to spend money on basics and now always feel i have the right thing to wear. No long ago when I needed to lose a bit of baby weight i started to have a fashion identity crisis but i think it was a body image crisis and also dealing with my pre conceived idea of what a mum would wear. I think that you have a great niche and i have loved all your posts...i even have started buying some more accessories and have a neon statement necklace which i wore with my grey t shirt and got a lot of compliments..i never really felt confident enough to wear that type of thing before ..we are heading into summer and i have already started getting some dresses that i know i will live in.....sorry about the long comment! nicolex


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