Ask Jeanne

ASK JEANNE Age Appropriate Trends

Dear Jeanne:

Many of falls trends seem designed for the young or adventurous. Where can I look for inspiration if I want to embrace pink, punk or leopard-print?



Dear Marianne:

Let’s me preface this reply by reminding you that, when it comes to fashion especially, “young” and “adventurous” are merely frames of mind. You’re right in observing that this is a very spirited time in fashion—time to make bold statements, time to be fearless, time to stand out from the crowd and exercise our individuality. It’s all part of the general zeitgeist: We want to have fun with fashion and express ourselves, no matter what our age or occupation”. When we think “pink” we think of happiness, of being upbeat, a little romantic, and very much alive. I’m not saying that we all have to dip into the hot pink to be on trend, but what about playing with different shades of pink, even something soft, like the dusty pinks we saw on many fall runways, especially when it came to coats. And of course, teamed with black or charcoal grey, the effect is dramatic and sensational. I wouldn’t suggest dressing head-to-toe in pink, but splashes of pink are always uplifting, so pink accessories are always welcome. You may indeed want to veer away from an all-out “girly” look, but imagine the lady-like femininity of someone like Grace Kelly, who would have worn pink with great aplomb in her day. Re-visiting punk for us “women of a certain age” might seem a little perilous, but if done subtly, you can definitely pull it off. The essence of punk speaks to an attitude of irreverence and edge. All the leather and PU trim around, especially in black, will give you that hint of edginess without going overboard. I also think it’s possible to indulge in studs, though I prefer them on accessories like shoes and bags for that ‘rocker chic’ effect. A pair of little black booties would also jive well with the whole punk feel. And a dash of plaid can be a nice nod to the trend, though I might stick to a mere wool scarf rather than a full garment. Finally, nobody’s going to tell me that leopard-print is reserved for the chronologically young, or those who only walk on the wild side. My 92-year-old mom has worn leopard-prints like nobody’s business for decades now, and she does it wonderfully. I remember when leopard-prints first made a big comeback. Well, this is one “trend” that’s here to stay. The look is now a classic, and there are myriad classy ways of injecting leopard-print into your wardrobe—whether it’s just a leopard-print lining you’re sporting (Dolce&Gabbana have certainly celebrated that notion) or whether you go for a pair of leopard-print shoes or again, a mere scarf. Diane Von Furstenberg did a great pair of leopard-print trimmed leather gloves that would give any type of woman, at any age, a fabulous dose of “oomph”. But if you really want to glean a little inspiration from some fearless fashionistas who’ve defied the whole business of age stereotyping, check out this Pinterest board. It’ll rock your leopard-print socks off!