over50feeling40: Fashion Fusion or Confusion?
Fashion and Lifestyle Blog for women over 50 to help achieve strength, confidence, joy, inspiration, and, of course, head-turning personal style!

Oct 14, 2014

Fashion Fusion or Confusion?

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Fashion Fusion or Confusion?

By Paula Reeves

It’s exhausting! Weaving endlessly through the maze of this season’s ‘fashion looks,’ (or any season theses days) one thing sings out loud and clear. There is no definitive ‘look’. And there hasn’t been for some time. Gone are the days when it was easy to be a ‘dedicated follower of fashion.’ The mini skirt in the 60s with the midi and maxi hot on its heels; bell bottoms and platform shoes in the 70s: shoulder pads and power dressing in the 80s: all are clear identities that marked out their respective eras.

 Today anything goes! Skinny jeans, wide leg jeans, culottes; heels, flats, trainers, wedges: capes, wraps, trenches; lace, leather, tweed, chiffon; monochrome, brights, pastels, prints, stripes, checks. How do you find your way through all that? I think you don’t and I have given up trying.

This is good news and bad news. The good news is that it’s liberating, and gives us licence to find our own style, one with which we feel comfortable and which defines our individuality. The bad news is that it can be much harder work to develop and hone an individual style confidently. But the rewards of doing so are immense.

 Freedom from being a slave to today’s fusion and confusion of fashion, and from a chameleon-like switching of identities from one trend to another is both rewarding and here’s the even better news, far less expensive.

I have taken the easy route and removed myself from the season to season fashion fray.  I opt for classic basics which stand the test of time, and are largely immune to changing cuts and shapes, and I dress them up and ring the changes with beautiful, timeless accessories. Maybe it’s my age but it makes a busy life much simpler.

Simplicity is the key to timeless style and effortless chic and here are three ladies; all champions of classic simplicity and all style icons of their time. Their outfits, in easy to wear neutral palettes, could be from any decade from the 1960s onward.  We have suggested accessories to complement these basic styles: all from Black.co.uk.

Audrey Hepburn

An all time style icon, Audrey Hepburn is the epitome of the power of understated elegance. This black top and Capri pants, finished with pretty flats, could be from today’s fashion pages. The outfit provides the perfect canvas for accessories. I have chosen a Black Cashmere Poncho, a Leopard and Lace Cashmere Scarf and Black Suede and Leather Bow Gloves for a chic spring and autumn ensemble.

Angelina Jolie

What could be simpler but more stunningly effective than this classically cut white tuxedo trouser suit which Angelina Jolie chose for an Oscar night. In today’s ‘anything goes’ fashion world, a suit like this can be dressed up or down and the jacket and trousers worn together or separately. Black jeans and white jacket are perfect for a chic casual look by day or night; black shirt and white trousers equally stylish. I love outfits like this which have endless permutations. To accessorise I’ve gone for a striking Monochrome Print Cashmere and Silk Blend Scarf,  Black Bow Cocktail Gloves and Nina Black Cylinder Clutch.

Jackie Kennedy

From ball gowns to polo necks; from classic suits to simple shifts, the first lady of American fashion was always exquisitely stylish, elegant and chic whatever she wore. Classic cuts gave her a sophistication that many  emulated. I love this timeless camel coat which she teamed with a simple brown polo neck sweater. To accessorise I’ve selected similar tones and picked a Hand Spun, Hand Woven Houndstooth Cashmere Shawl, Black and Taupe Italian Woven Leather Gloves, and for cold winter days an Adriana Black Fur Felt Hat.

Update your accessories now and simply say....


  1. Pam I agree with you 100% on the classics. The women I admire so much, Jackie, Audrey, Grace, anything you see them wearing, no matter the decade is so absolutely stylish!

    The Arts by Karena

  2. Hi Pam, Interesting perspective on the melding of fashion. You are so right, just about anything goes these days. I've been feeling the same way and it's all about figuring out our own personal style and the elements that work. I'm definitely in a less is more mood this season and focusing on what makes me feel good. Great images!

  3. Class and elegance never go out of style. ~ Catherine

  4. Audrey's a fave inspiration for me! In the last few years, I've tried to hone in a style that's classic--yet creatively fun. Accessories are a great way to infuse new and creative life into my classic basics. T. http://tickledpinkwoman.blogspot.com

  5. I am with you on this one. I just don't have time for a complicated wardrobe let alone the budget. I try to keep things as simple as possible.

  6. What wonderful accessories to highlight the look of 3 stylish ladies.

  7. Great article! I am a lover of the classics that will always be in style. I, too, would have included Grace Kelly on the list, definitely in place of Angelina Jolie, who I have a hard time seeing as someone who defines classic dressing in her generation.

  8. I totally agree. At my age, the classic's play the major roles in my wardrobe and small insertions of trend are laced in, only if they work with my personal style. On a funny note, midi skirts are back. Remember them? I wore them all the time...back in the day, but when I held one up to myself in the store last week I instantly gained 25 years in age and lost every feeling of being stylish. No slave to trends here. Great post Pam. I loved it.

  9. it's all in the details! lovely accessories selection - black bow gloves are my favorite!

    a possible fantasy
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  10. My mother taught my sisters and me the value of buying good classic clothes that you could wear for seasons. I also love the classic look of Jackie O or Audrey Hepburn. Thanks for a great piece!

  11. Love these styles. So classic

  12. I LOVE your post and so glad I stopped by from Thurs Favorite Things. You are such an inspiration and it's so awesome to find another woman of our age who is finding time to continue to learn and reach for dreams and new heights. Thank you so much for your insight and advice. Carrie, A Mother's Shadow

  13. You've listed all of my favs! I would have to name Grace Kelly as my favorite, though.

  14. I love your choice of timeless, chic and stylish women...for me, nobody did it better than Ms. Hepburn!


Thanks so much for joining in our conversation today! I appreciate your time and love hearing from you!