INSIGHT : Over 50s fashion whinge

I am constantly amazed that fashion doesn’t really cater for the over 50’s, or even the over 45’s.  I am desperately tired of trying to buy clothes that are really for teens and twenty-somethings.  I mean at 60, why on earth would I be tempted to buy an Empire line top, frilled top, or one with puff sleeves? I have to admit, it isn’t something I would have bought even at 18.  I just can’t understand it.  Surely I can’t be the only one with this problem?

The worst thing I tried recently was a blouse with gathers on the shoulders going down to a full bell type sleeve which ended in a tight rolled cotton cuff and a button, the effect was ghastly.  I am slim but not thin, and I have fairly broad shoulders and an ample bust, so none of the above looks even reasonable.

The next whinge is the shape of most t-shirts which all seem to be too fitted.  I don’t want a t-shirt that clings to my body.  I want one that sits squarely, falling straight from under the arms, and hangs nicely just below the waist.  This is flattering for the older woman and designers should prick up their ears to my complaint.  Also – I’m not in the minority with ‘not great upper arms’, so why oh why can’t sleeves fall just a little bit longer.  I have been buying men’s t-shirts that have this extra length.  

I recently had lunch with a group of women friends and we got chatting about this problem.  We ALL agreed that the square cut is brilliant not just for the older woman, but for any age who does not have a sylph-like body.  I would like to find a dress that just hangs, not clings, tops that are plain and go with everything, timeless wear- year in year out.  There area couple of designers who do this very kind of shape, one is OSKA  and the other SHIRIN GUILD, both of which are financially inaccessible to most of us.  I would please love a major chainstore such as M&S to stock these items alongside Autograph and Per Una. They would be a sell out. 

Susan Lamb

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