The Fashion Entrepenuer Tackling Ageism with Style

We’ve all read pieces on what to and what not to wear over a certain age, or what trends to try right now. But what these lists all fail to recognise is the true essence of style: confidence.

The problem is, you can’t just wave a magic wand and suddenly have confidence. And as we grow older it’s even harder to have it when it comes to your self-image. Imagery and the media consistently tell us youth = beauty, whilst very few fashion labels want to acknowledge women over 40 and cater to their changing bodies. So it’s pretty easy to feel invisible.

So what’s the answer? Well first, find a space that truly celebrates style at every age. Beyond Fabulous is a fantastic community that truly empowers maturer women. But when it comes to shopping, pro-age retailers are pretty non-existent. Which is why I decided to create the-Bias-Cut.com – Shopping With Attitude, Where Ageism Is Never In Style.

Imagery and the media consistently tell us youth = beauty

I myself am 25, but I’m saddened and frustrated at seeing discerning style loving women, like my mum, being treated as irrelevant by the Fashion Industry largely because of their age. So it is my mission to combat ageism in Fashion once and for all.

Wanting to look good doesn’t just suddenly disappear as you get older, so I founded a much-needed online boutique that recognises this – from curating unique contemporary collections featuring pieces that are just as flattering as they are stylish, to the use of ‘real women’ models over 40, to tailored filters such as searching by your body shape.

The best part of what I do is hearing how I’ve helped women’s confidence grow and about the “life-changing” impact it has had. Yes, confidence comes from within, but we’re offering support and proof that every woman can and deserves to be stylish. That said, as I always tell our customers, this process can’t be one-sided; you must support yourself too – and there are ways to start:

Stop putting yourself down

“That won’t suit me”, “She can look good in that but I couldn’t .” “I’m not treating myself to anything new until I lose weight”

Sound familiar? All these phrases are doing is reinforcing a sense of lack of worth. You’re telling yourself you’re less deserving or not as beautiful as others, which chips away at your self-esteem. So try to have a more positive outlook by banning yourself from using these phrases.

Try something new

One reason women lose confidence is that they get stuck in a rut, wearing the same old things and shopping in the same places as they’ve done for years. Inevitably this is not going to make you feel good. It’s like eating the same food for dinner every day – you’re going to get fed up, bored and miserable. Fashion should be fun and bring you pleasure, so encourage yourself to broaden your horizons, play around more, and try something different. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Give colour a go

Often women wear navy or black because it makes them “feel safe”. This means you’re feeling insecure, so every time you put on something that’s navy or black you’re reinforcing that message.

Wearing other colours adds vibrancy and energy. Pantone’s colour of the year is ultraviolet so now is the time to really go for it. And if you’re really nervous, just start small with accessories.

Don’t be scared of making a mistake

A lot of women don’t invest in beautiful quality clothes because they’re worried about making a mistake. You may be concerned about what your partner, children or friends will think but remember all they really want is to see you happy. And if you like what you’re wearing and feel good in it, your confidence and joy will shine through. The only opinion that really matters when it comes to style is yours.

So remember you deserve to feel and look fabulous at every age, and the first step is gaining confidence. It isn’t easy, but with the support of others and some self-love, you will get there.

* All clothing in piece available on site

Jacynth Bassett is the founder of the first online premium fashion boutique & blog celebrating style at every age, the-Bias-Cut.com. Determined to cut through ageism in the Fashion Industry, she has written on the topic for the likes of The Guardian Online, and The Huffington Post. She has also contributed to an internationally published book, is a weekly and monthly columnist for multiple online magazines, and regularly speaks on panels and podcasts. In her spare time, she is a hip-hop dancer (you’ll have to see it to believe it), loves great food and drink, and is on the constant hunt for the next show she can binge watch.
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