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Thursday 2 August 2012

Dresses that are older and wiser

I firmly believe that age is no barrier to dressing exactly how you want - check out those ladies at Advanced Style for ways to do that completely fabulously. Yet, while it's a magazine cliche for a more mature star to boast that she still shops in Topshop, you never hear a 20-something starlet bragging about her bargain from Phase Eight, for example. We all can be guilty of a spot of high street snobbery.

However, shops that are pitched at older customers are also be great hunting grounds for people still paying off their student loans. I started shopping in 'older' shops when I realised a M&S shirt fitted my large bust better than an H&M one. These shops are great if you want to get something that doesn't necessarily flash your thighs or your bust or both, or you just want to see something a bit different. That dress at the top of the post? It's a gorgeous design from Fenn Wright Manson, currently reduced to £59. I don't think I've ever been in a Fenn Wright Manson store, now I'm wondering what I've been missing out on for so long.

This yellow pleated shirt dress is from Jaeger. Not Jaeger boutique, just Jaeger. And it's a pretty as a summer's day. Admittedly Jaeger isn't the cheapest but they have great sales, as proved by this dress which is currently selling for £75.

Another store than I'm guilty of walking right on past on the street is Wallis. Which is a shame when they are selling things as lovely as this taupe spot dress. One of the reviewers on the website says that she feels like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman when she wears it - that makes it more than worth far more than the meagre £30 price tag.

This luscious floral Kaliko dress is £36 from John Lewis. Department stores are brilliant for this kind of ageless shopping. Simply try on everything in a colour, shape or pattern that you like, without feeling ridiculous for going into a shop where you are by far the youngest or oldest person in there.

Some more sunny delight to finish on with this Bily dress from Hobbs, currently reduced to £79. A cheerful colour and some eye-catching cut-outs, it's a dress for everyone to feel happy wearing - whatever their age.


  1. I've been shopping at M&S for donkey's years too - so much good stuff, and because so many 20-somethings are snobbish about it you very rarely end up with that awkward " own it too" moment.

    I absolutely adore these dresses, but sadly however old and wise I get, I will never, ever like my upper arms enough to brave wearing one. I'll leave it to the rest of you!

  2. Exactly. That shop snobbery is a strange thing, especially if it makes you more likely to turn up wearing the same thing as someone else.

    I'm also not a huge fan of my upper arms - something that I should have mentioned in my posts is that these shops also excel in little jackets and cardigans as handy cover-ups.

  3. I wonder if one of the reasons I don't go to these shops is because the dresses tend to be cut a little more demurely. I usually need a little bit of a cleavage and don't suit anything that rests just below the knee. The shape always seems to fit a bit wrong.

  4. I would much rather spend my time in Hobbs, being treated nicely and with space to breathe, than in that wretched Oxford Circus Top Shop which is hot and messy and crowded.

    I realised this a few years ago, when during my first shop at Banana Republic (just after it opened here) I was approached by a personable assistant who offered to take the things I'd picked into the changing room for me whilst I continued looking....she then showed me to their AMAZING fitting rooms (I thought I must be somewhere really posh, what with their fresh flowers and chaise longues!) and I swore I'd never get elbowed at somewhere more trendy again.

    I don't care if this makes me a dull grown up.....and I do revel in being complimented on something by a trendy person, knowing it comes from M&S.


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