Who hasn’t seen clothing on a tall, slim, 20-something model in a glossy advertisement and thought, ‘well, it looks great on her but I have no idea how it’d look on me’?
With that quandary in mind, Starts at 60 got together with Black Pepper to see how the Aussie fashion brand’s latest summer collection looked when modelled by a gorgeous 60-plus – and wow, the clothing and our model, Kathy Thornton, looked fantastic!
With summer so close, it’s time to pack away the knits and say hello to the sunshine – the prime time to be your brightest, boldest self and have fun with fashion.
So, with that in mind, Starts at 60 community member Kathy let me restyle her from Black Pepper’s new Style, Classic and Platinum summer collections in looks that suited her personality and lifestyle.
As a woman who’s always on the go, Kathy loves classic, tailored styles with an emphasis on separates. She works full-time and devotes her free time to family so her wardrobe must be versatile and functional but still stylish and flattering. So far, all easily within Black Pepper’s remit!
But whereas Kathy’s go-to colours are black and white, the summer Classic, Style and Platinum ranges have plenty of bold colours – Kathy was happy to experiment, though, with what she called the “fresh and vibrant” hues on offer and it paid off in outfits that hit on her style preferences while introducing bursts of colour.
The great thing about Black Pepper’s mix-and-match offerings that is any woman can do the same, by seamlessly adding a few new separates into an existing Black Pepper summer wardrobe. That way, if you’re not usually a fan of eye-catching colours, you can throw couple of items into your otherwise more neutral-toned wardrobe and look like you’re ‘doing’ summer, while still feeling like yourself.
As for knowing which of the Black Pepper collections is right for you, the distinct style personality of each one makes it easy to choose. The Classic range is designed for women who prefer to mix-and-match separates, while the Style range is for those who go for on-trend styles in bold prints and colours. Meanwhile, the elegance and attention to detail of the Platinum range is perfect for special-event style.
Kathy says she’s aware that her clothing choices impact the way the world sees her, but being busy means she sometimes finds it tricky to locate stylish, well-fitting outfits. Black Pepper, however, has the answers.
“The Black Pepper cuts worked well for me and were flattering,” she says. “The clothes were functional and fashionable and I love being able to throw some clothes in an overnight bag and head off for a few days, and know that at the other end I don’t have to iron them!”
Kathy shows how to reinvent your favourite staples with a splash of colour.
She loved this fashion-forward three-piece ensemble that met her preference for some classic black and white, and can be worn as a complete summery outfit or can be toned down a little by wearing individual pieces with other summer separates in black and white.
Another plus, Black Pepper cleverly designers their vibrant colours to look smart, you’ll never look garish. Take this Monty jacket, for example, which is 100 per cent linen and has the quality touches you’d expect of a classy jacket, including button detailing, a flattering curved hem and tab cuffs.
Again, the Loulou t-shirt has classic, simple French-style stripes, but is brought up to date with the pretty pink floral motif. So tres chic.
Next up was the Sonora dress, which was Kathy’s favourite of the day. The soft A-line style ensures doesn’t cling, making it great for all body shapes, while the tribal pattern gives it a modern edge.
Three-quarter-length sleeves protect the arms from the sun, while the neckties can be tightened for those who prefer to protect their decolletage, making it a cool, comfortable and practical choice for summer holiday dressing.
Black Pepper understands that the key to easy dressing is having a wardrobe full of versatile pieces you can throw together and instantly look put-together.
The brand’s popular Nashville denim clam-diggers are just that kind of wardrobe staple you can wear with almost any top when you need to quickly dash out of the house. The clam-diggers are made from 100 per cent cotton in four lengths (ankle-length, three-quarter-leg, knee-length and shorts) – Kathy tried them in knee-length – and with a looser fit than traditional clam-diggers that gives you more freedom to move. Genius! It’s a great example of the way Black Pepper considers customers’ comfort as well as style with comfort.
Paired with the Leonie top in cheerful but not overwhelming pinks and purples, the clam-diggers make an easy base for the perfect summer outfit. Add a tonal necklace in the style you prefer to elevate the look to something very ‘you’.
If easy-wear and easy-care is your main requirement when it comes to clothing, Black Pepper’s Liberty pants are another great choice. A good pick for travelling types, the super-comfortable trousers are drip dry and non-crease. I styled Kathy in the Liberty pants in lively cobalt blue and, because tonal dressing both lengthens the body and slims it, paired the pants with the Amara top in floral blues and greens for a flattering yet wearable ensemble.
Again, all it takes is a necklace or beads in similar cool tones and a pair of strappy tan leather sandals to make a stylish summer outfit.
When special occasion dressing calls, going for a feminine silhouette means you’ll always be in style.
The Luana three-quarter-sleeve shirt in gorgeous coral-hued florals is made from lightweight georgette crepe fabric and can be worn buttoned up over evening pants or left unbuttoned as I did with Kathy so it becomes an elegant topper for cooler evenings. Add a soft, flowing skirt and strappy mid-heel sandals and you’ve got dressier summer evening events covered.
Another favourite from Platinum collection are the effortless Gasp pant, with a pleated front and wide waistband to ensure they remain comfortable no matter how big a dinner you’ve indulged in!
The tapered seven-eighths-length leg provides a modern take on a pair of classic black pants and, best of all, the Gasp pants are also easy-care, making them great for travel.
For Kathy’s restyle, I paired the pant with the feminine Linaria floral print top that shows off Black Pepper’s usual attention to detail with its contrasting yoke and trim. The soft, short sleeves are long enough to flatteringly cover any trouble spots, but still short enough to feel summery and light. Add another set of beads in matching tones, and the ensemble is effortlessly elegant while still perfectly comfortable.
Designed in Australia to be both timelessly stylish and comfortable, Black Pepper’s collections will fit easily into your wardrobe. Add a touch of colour with new season prints and styles, and shop timeless wardrobe essentials.