We recently asked our Facebook fans to review one of the handful of books that have come out this year, discussing the onset of middle age and how to tackle it. We're pleased to post our first review of Alyson Walsh’s ‘Style Forever’, written by Jane Cunningham - thanks again Jane for sending it in!
Style Forever - by Alyson Walsh was a joy and revelation to read; a small treasure chest of wonderful titbits for fashion and beauty. It starts with some subtitles that might be easy to miss but have a powerful message - "The Grown-Up Guide to Looking Fabulous" and "How to Look Fabulous at Every Age". I particularly love the fact that there is not a hint of the dreaded "how to look YOUNGER" verbiage, which at the ripe age of 58 and showing off my new white hot hair, I'm over.
Before going further I have to say that the illustrations by Leo Greenfield, in this book are pieces of art. The colours and outfits were inspirational and turning the page to see the next illustration was like a small treat each and every time.
The book begins by introducing us to Generation Fab (Fifty and Beyond) – yes, that's me and probably many of you too! The book is full of quotes from fashion experts and I actually used a yellow highlighter to mark those remarks or pieces of advice that really spoke to me and applied to the journey that I started 19 months ago when I cut off my very long, blonde locks. So many emotions internally, so many comments from friends, family and oh yes - strangers. So many moments of realising that some of my wardrobe no longer ‘goes’ with the new me either because the colour works against my grey hair or the style seems off.
Within the book, Harper's Bazaar editor Justine Picardie tells us that Generation Fab is "not a passing trend; brands have done detailed research, and realised that their key consumers are women over the age of 40 - in many cases over the age of 50 - who are affluent, financially independent, sophisticated, and who don't want to be patronised with inappropriate advertising campaigns". I say amen to that and about time!
Walsh explains that "you don't have to have youth to have style" and they go on to help you define what your style is in the Grown-Up Style Tribes. Are you a ‘Casual Glamourpuss’, a member of the ‘Older and Bolder Brigade’, a ‘Superpower Dresser, a ‘Gentlewoman’, there are others and you'll spot yourself quickly. Giving tips about fit, proportion, colour and accessorising, they tell you how to play up your style and where to find the fashions that fit your tribe along with naming each style's heroines.
The book is also full of helpful lists, one of my favourites being ‘You Are Never Too Old For...’ (kooky sunglasses, chandelier earrings, to name a few) and ‘What I've Learnt About Fashion’ (don't waste money on bad clothes, avoid being ‘matchy-matchy’ and spend money on decent shoes come to mind).
I'll end this review with a powerful quote from the book that has stayed with me - "beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself" - Coco Chanel.
Keep an eye out for our next review of India Knight’s ‘In Your Prime’. If you want to read ‘Style Forever’ by Alyson Walsh yourself, you can buy it here. To read Alyson Walsh’s blog 'That's not my age' click here.