I wonder what their mothers are wearing?

When I was researching my blogging niche I became an avid reader of several fashion blogs, particularly by Leeds-based bloggers. There are some great blogs around, and I am very taken with the ‘What I’m wearing today’ posts of a couple of local lasses especially A Little Bird Told Me

You will all be relieved to know, if you hadn’t already guessed, that fashion wasn’t an obvious niche for me to fall into. That’s not to say I don’t have some fairly wishy-washy ideas on most items of fashion, and some real dislikes – leggings, unironic glitter and gilt on t-shirts to name but two of what I realise is possibly a really long list (hey, I’m in my 50s, I’ve earned the right to an opinion or two!) – but a lack of a decent camera for starters and a preference for early or all day pyjamas meant that I parked that notion early on.

But one thing that kept springing to mind as I read the words and perused the lovely fashion pics was ‘I wonder what their mothers are wearing?’

It seems to me that most fashion bloggers are around the age of my eldest, most of them presumably have mothers, and most of these mothers are presumably not naturists. I have limited evidence for each of these suppositions, but it’s my blog and I’ll assume if I want to.

So, I’m a mother, and I’m very definitely not a naturist. In fact my first and only encounter with naturists began with me falling down some steps, landing face down on a beach and several naturists rushing over to help me stand up. I think you can guess what was at eyelevel as I stood up. I was young, it was awkward. Let’s leave it there.
I’m a mother who wears clothes. But more importantly I’m a mother in her 50s who wears clothes, and I know there are a lot of us about. Advice on what to wear predates Trinny and Susannah with their aversion to wearing red with black and a predilection for manhandling boobs. I remember The Clothes Show when it was on telly and not just an event off the M42, but thankfully Caryn Franklin remains sensible and stylish. But advice on what to wear as a woman of a certain age has proven itself an intellectually interesting exercise as far as I’m concerned. There’s either nothing in the shops that’s suitable hence Mary Portas sets up her own solution for women in their 40s (hello!!) (and check out House of Fraser online sale for 50% off deals on the same) or we’re told that of course we can wear anything as long as we know what shape we are and never fail to flaunt the bits we like à la Gok. And this usually takes it back to boobs. Again.

Personally I find the strident or chummy approach a not too happy reminder of several of my old school prefects. My instinct is to nod obediently, smile sweetly, then ignore them entirely.  I can’t escape the knowledge that someone wants me to buy something that they’ve chosen for me, something suitable for a woman of a certain age. No scrap that: not just a woman of a certain age but a woman in her 50s. Marketing chappies have researched me like mad apparently and lo and behold this is what I should aspire to look like… like loads of other women. Yes all that market research, and I’m not convinced any of the go get ‘em marketers either looked at or spoke to their mums, and seemingly it means looking like loads of other women in their 50s. Loads of women in their 50s, trying desperately to look like we are not in our 50s, which paradoxically results in women in their 50s looking like women trying not to look like they’re in their 50s. Phew! And I’m not even going to mention the anti-ageing bombardment. Not yet anyway…

While I don’t intend to set up a fashion blog I thought I might occasionally throw in my thoughts and my recent finds and pad out the page that I bewilderingly named Knowing Looks! I don’t intend to offer any advice, I’m just going to throw out some information about latest purchases, favourite items (the first that springs to mind is my gorgeous Ghost olive green velvet jacket, bought at Harvey Nicks in Leeds in its opening week and still going strong. In fact my daughter has asked that I pass it on to her. Sooner rather than later I’m guessing), bargains I have found and looks I am loving and hating. And yes that means I will probably have to add some pics. The horror!

Could be fun. Could be an unmitigated disaster! We’ll see, shall we?


  1. miranda
    Jan 28, 2012

    You should do fashion advice on here! You are the best personal shopper ever, great at choosing things that actually work for the wearer rather than stuff you like for yourself. Many of my best buys were with your help. I look forward to reading Knowing Looks.

    • knowingd
      Jan 31, 2012

      or is it really just down to my love of getting other people to spend money!You are of course a pleasure to shop with. Let’s do shopping again soon!

  2. Victoria
    Jan 31, 2012

    I think you’ve stumbled upon a gap in the market here, D…

    • knowingd
      Jan 31, 2012

      it would be nice to think so! Though I feel slightly fraudulent offering ideas to others on what to wear – pyjamas and fluffly slippers being my outfit of choice several days a week!

  3. Sue Baker
    Feb 25, 2012

    Am I the only one who wears things to make a point when someone in the media has announced that such-and-such a garment is not for anyone aged over 45? I once spent several days wearing t-shirts with writing on them for that very reason.

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