‘Clothes must be comfortable and not mumsy: Finding my fashion groove’

Oct 05, 2021
Karen knows what she likes and how to dress up (or down) a look. Source: Stock Photo/Getty Images

I’ve found my fashion groove and I’m staying there. After my younger decades where platform shoes, stilettos, synthetic fibres, and tight silhouettes seemed to dominate what the world wanted me to look like — I am now happy in my 68-year-old crepe-like skin.

First of all, I wear natural fabrics as much as I can. Summer sees me in cool calf-length cotton frocks with a slightly boho vibe, paired with Birkenstock’s, which are great for my feet plus a nice sunhat and a stylish cross body bag, and I am off for the day. Add some gorgeous earrings, some sunscreen and light makeup and I am comfortable and cool. I take a denim jacket in case it gets cool, or a light wrap can add a warmth layer.

On other summer days I can’t go past linen calf-length shorts and a soft, flowy cotton top in a bright colour. If sophistication is needed, a few linen shirts with a long wooden necklace can add some style.

My main thing is that fabric should not cling or sweat. Cotton frocks on the beach are great to throw over swimmers.

No more underwire agonising lacy bras for me, I have soft moulded ones with no wires. Knickers are boyleg and cotton.

I am a ‘Karen’ and I have a grey bob. I am intending to put a few pink stripes in it soon — just for fun.

When I was young and a bit sexy I lived in black as I thought it was slimming. Now I look like Morticia’s grandmother, so I enjoy bright but not garish colours.

Winter is another season I enjoy comfy, non ‘mumsy’ clothes. Well-fitted (but not tight) jeans, a warm jumper made of natural fibres and a wrap is my main look. Layers that can be added or taken off. But not itchy jumpers. A long sleeve cotton tee underneath solves that dilemma. A raincoat for those grey days and I’m set to go.

Boots, boots and more boots. Otherwise trendy walking shoes. I avoid beige and pale insipid colours unless I am going to tart them up with some beads or a scarf.

I used to hate elastic waistbands but now can see the logic. My advice though is to keep them hidden at all times.

My clothes don’t really date as I wear them for years, buying secondhand on eBay, or online. Also I keep an eye on local stores for sales.

My budget is finite, so often friends swap clothes or we share a few fancy bejewelled kaftans for special occasions. I also sell clothes online or on my local Facebook Marketplace. I have favourite labels, which I look out for and get excited when I can get them cheap.

My advice is to find your look and then build up your wardrobe to suit. Just enjoy being the you that life has made you to be. Being comfortable and happy in your own skin is the best look of all.

How would you describe your style? What are your wardrobe must-haves?

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