40 Is The New 40: Not Dressed As Lamb's Catherine Summers
It is my distinct privilege to have the inimitable Catherine Summers, she of Not Dressed As Lamb fame, featured today as a part of the 40 Is The New 40 series. As many of you will already know, Catherine has an extraordinary sense of personal style, and is a wonderful ambassador for us fashionistas of the forty-plus variety. I asked her the same four questions I always ask.
What is your take on "age appropriate" dressing for women over 40?
What I consider so much more preferable and practical than age appropriate is occasion appropriate. Why should age dictate what we wear? If you're the kind of person who wants to wear clothes that are deemed "too young" for you but the occasion is appropriate, then I say go for it. Dressing age-appropriately is nonsense, if you ask me. Personally, if you’re unsure about what to wear, no matter what your age you should ask yourself:
1. Do I like it? (If you can't say yes to that you need to question why it's in your wardrobe)
2. Does it flatter me and draw attention to my best features?
3. Is it occasion appropriate? Following those three guidelines should help with throwing the age appropriate notion out the window. It allows women to be classic, trendy, edgy, outrageous - whatever they want to be!
How has your style evolved since your 40th year?
I think my style has properly evolved since I turned 39, but that’s because that was when I started the blog and was forced to look at pictures of myself in different outfits all the time. You soon get to see what does and doesn’t suit you, and therefore your style improves and becomes your own. So I’ve been weaning myself off black for the last 10-12 years after I made a conscious decision to wear brighter colours, and I’ve become bolder and more daring in my choices since following fashion blogs. I’ve had my eyes opened to pattern mixing, layering, colour blocking, double denim - I’ve tried them all! Plus I’ve learned about the power of accessorising - I can happily wear the same basic outfit more than once, but I’ll change my hair, put on a hat and statement necklace and switch from heels to flats… they will totally transform your look.
What are some style items that you will never live without, no matter what age you may be?
Those accessories I mentioned! Basically this girl can’t have too much jewellery or too many hats or shoes, and I can’t see that changing any time. Plus I hope I will always favour bright colours. I don’t feel myself if I’m wearing black and neutrals when dressing down, hence the bright colours on a dressed-down day.
Describe your personal style.
I’d describe my style as eclectic, but erring on the side of “Preppy with a Twist”, and nearly always colourful. Sometimes I wish I were more edgy - I often don’t feel crazily-dressed enough!
Not Dressed As Lamb style blog: http://notdressedaslamb.com
Google+ Catherine Summers