Fashion trends – the return of the lady

The Guardian has listed 25 trends at London Fashion Week. How many of them are suitable for women over 40?

Overall, the message I get from the collections at London Fashion Week is the return of the lady. Conservative, covered-up, careful and considered. The 50s are clearly back with us. Think Grace Kelly and Neopolitan ice-cream… Good news for grown-ups.

The Guardian has identified 25 trends. Here’s a look at just 10 of them.


NicoleF1 – Clashing colours.

Such as emerald with salmon and chartreuse with lilac. Works on the catwalk, where the fabrics are superb and the colours are subdued and knocked back, but be wary in real life. Imagine this on a slightly porky, menopausal woman, or in a harder, cheaper cotton. Keep it high end, as here at Nicole Farhi.

Peter Pilotto dress2 – The Angular Hourglass silhouette. 

Doesn’t sound promising for the average woman over 40, who is round and curvy, but actually, it resulted in the structured draping of fabrics with body, and that can be very good news. Think Ava Gardner in her amazing 50s evening wear – all cinched-in curves and statuesque shoulder lines. Here, hot new designer Peter Pilotto shows how it’s done – nice dress, shame about the model. 

3 – Rolling up your trouser hems. 

Oops. I do this, but only because I am very lazy. A proper hem looks better on most women – rolling and turnups foreshorten the leg, and most of us would give our eye teeth for more leg length. Incidentally, it’s another 50s trend. 

Bayswater handbag4 – The Mulberry Bayswater handbag. 

Gimme this now. Capacious, quite subdued, and – knowing Mulberry – very well made. The Bayswater is a classic design, but at 780 euros, I won’t be buying one any time soon. Or ever, probably.

5 – Sky blue and lemon yellow. 

LuellaSounds like a child’s combination that you should save for the grandkids, but again, the colours at Luella (right) were subdued, knocked-back and very 50s in feel. Deliciously ice-creamy.

6 – Ankle boots. 

Did those in the 80s, thanks. Particularly to be avoided with skirts. 

7 – Big shoulders. 

Well, within reason. A slightly wider shoulder balances your hips, and gives you a bit more fullness in the arm – good news for most women.  Wider shoulders also tends to mean more room in skirts – just the thing to hide that pot belly under. 

8 – Double denim. 

IE: denim shirts with denim jeans. Strictly no, unless you live on a ranch. This is a young girl’s look, and even then you look like you’ve escaped from a rodeo. 

9 – Sequins for daytime.

Well, that’s me back in fashion then. 😉 I have a collection of vintage sequinned cardis that I wear relentlessly with everything from jeans to evening dresses.  Love ’em.

10 – Polka dots. 

Always good news. Clean, classic, lively, and if you pick ’em right, they won’t date.


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