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Dispelling Ageist Fashion Myths for the Over Fifty Fives

Jean Mountain of The Dressing Room Hosts Free Fashion Event at Albany Lodge
Jean Mountain of The Dressing Room Hosts Free Fashion Event at Albany Lodge

Local fashion expert and owner of Derby fashion boutique, The Dressing Room, Jean Mountain is attempting to dispel the ‘ageist myths in fashion’ that are keeping older people from expressing themselves through their personal styling, with a free drop in fashion event at Albany Lodge on November 8, 2023, from 2pm.

Jean is a well-known local businessperson and personality in Derby, as a former President of the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce and Nottinghamshire Businesswoman of the Year winner in 2021. But after a lifelong love of fashion, Jean turned her commercial attention to the fashion world and in her latest local business, The Dressing Room, she helps men and women of all ages to increase their confidence through how they dress. Jean is now bringing her experience outside of the boutique, in a bid to dispel myths that prevent mature clients finding their personal style, at a free drop-in fashion event at the Burghley Retirement Living development, Albany Lodge.

Ahead of the event, Jean shares with us her top five common misconceptions in mature styling, as she challenges fashion myths for the over fifty-fives:

You can’t wear black and navy together – this is a myth that people of all ages still believe. However black and navy can look fabulous together, especially when paired with neutral tones such as grey and white, or a pop of colour. Just make sure the tones are strong enough to contrast so that the outfit doesn’t blend into one. A navy blazer over some tailored black trousers or jeans, or a black jumper (cashmere or something super soft and cosy) paired with navy midi skirt (satin or pleated) can look effortlessly stylish. Add a scarf or statement bag for interest and a finishing touch.

Plus-sized women can’t wear prints – this is one of my least favourite myths as it can be quite harmful. It’s not uncommon to gain weight as we get older with hormonal changes and the menopause, but fashion should be an expression of your personality at any age or size. Plus-sized women can and should feel empowered to wear whatever print they feel represents their unique style whether it is floral, animal print, tribal or geometric. I’m a strong advocate that if you love a print then you should wear it. Fashion is all about confidence. There are a few tips here if you do feel self-conscious but still love a print. Choose smaller prints with less ‘negative space’ (areas of the fabric with no pattern) as this can be more flattering for larger body shapes.

You must dress your age – age is just a number, and you should wear what makes you feel comfortable and confident. Don’t let anyone else dictate what you should wear based on your age. Nothing should be off limits in my opinion but what many of us tend to do as we get older is hide our figures and wear loose, ill-fitting clothing. Where in fact, playing to our strengths and defining our best features can do wonders for confidence. So, for example, wear a belt that nips in and defines your waist. If you have great legs, then show them off with a shorter skirt – wear tights if you feel self-conscious. Roll up jacket sleeves to show the forearms which can balance an outfit. We can all be so afraid of showing our arms and legs as we age, but they really, they can be our best assets.

You can’t mix patterns – Mixing patterns can add visual interest and depth to your outfit. There’s no need to be drab and dull just because you’ve hit fifty. Just make sure to balance the patterns and choose pieces that have complementary colours. Stripes for instance will look fabulous with a bold floral print that picks out the same colours.

You need to spend a lot of money to look stylish – this is simply not true. You can look stylish on any budget if you choose pieces that fit well and make you feel good. Don’t be afraid to browse second hand or thrift stores for unique, affordable finds. Mix these with some wardrobe staples each season and you can look stylish on any budget.

Burghley Retirement Living is a leading provider of luxury retirement apartments which operates four stylish and comfortable retirement developments and is hosting the free fashion event with Jean Mountain and The Dressing Room at Albany Lodge, Bramble Drive, Derby DE22 3ZB on 8th November from 2pm. To find out more about Burghley Retirement Living and the event, CLICK HERE

Talking of the event Jean said: “I’m so excited for this event, it’s going to be lots of fun. I’ll be bringing lovely seasonal clothing along, including a bit of sparkle for those festive nights out. And of course, there will be a range of gorgeous accessories to finish any outfit. It’s a great opportunity to pick up a few early Christmas gifts too. Don’t think it’s just for the ladies either. I have some fabulous pieces for the fellas too.

“If you have any fashion questions or feel you’re in a fashion rut, then this is the event for you. I want everyone to know that being over 55 doesn’t mean you have to retreat into those elasticated pants – you can have a distinctive, modern, fun style that suits you and displays your character from the inside out.”

Marie Buckingham of Burghley Retirement Living added: “We’re delighted that Jean will be joining us for an afternoon of fun, fizz, and fashion. The event promises to be the perfect occasion for people to get their fashion fix in the run up to Christmas, perhaps finding a gorgeous new winter outfit or picking up some fabulous gifts and stocking fillers ahead of the festive season.

“Events like these are part of an ongoing programme at Albany Lodge. It’s a core part of our ethos that life over fifty-five should be the best time of your life. Where you have less responsibility and more time to enjoy doing the things you love, including fashion. Thankfully, our apartments come with generous wardrobe space!”

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