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Amanda Wakeley
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AMANDA ON

TIMELESS STYLE

For me, when it comes to clothes and style, I design for all women, regardless of their age. I want my collections to be timeless and my clients range from their twenties to their seventies. It is all about the way a garment makes you feel: Beautiful from the inside to the outside.

‘Ageing has changed seismically over the past 20 years. Everyone is so aware of health and fitness, and we’re all living longer, so you’ve got to take care of yourself if you want a decent aging process. I really do think 50 is the new 30... When it comes to 'dressing your age' - Forget the rules, they’ve all gone out of the window. Style is all about confidence... Here are a few of my tips for making your style timeless.

 

THE 5 PIECES A WOMAN SHOULD OWN AT ANY AGE

 

A beautifully-cut tuxedo jacket...

 can be worn in the evening or daytime, dressed up or down with a slinky camisole top or a plain white t-shirt underneath. Short and fitted, or longer and looser – whatever suits your shape. 

 

The perfect pant.
This is all about feeling good: your ultimate pair of trousers might be a slim, ankle-skimming cigarette style or a relaxed, high-waisted paper bag pant, or a wonderfully-elongating boot cut. Whatever it is, you need great trousers in your wardrobe. 

A statement coat...
or jacket will immediately make any outfit (from jeans and trainers to an evening gown) feel extra-special. Perhaps it’s a wonderful colour or has fabulous detailing or is a unique vintage piece that you’ll never see anyone else wearing. 

 

The great white shirt
is an oft-cited staple, and for me, too, it’s the ultimate in timeless chic. Make sure it’s plain cotton, with no lycra (the same goes for t-shirts: lycra tends to cling to all the wrong places, particularly as you get older). 

 

A beautiful handbag and/or a fabulous pair of shoes. 
Either can be transformative, no matter whether you’re having a skinny day or a fat day. Wearing lovely things makes you smile and actually walk a bit taller.

 

 

Amanda Wakeley Timeless Style

TIP: if you’re not sure what suits you best, take a quick selfie in the changing room– but make sure to chop your head off so that you’re not distracted by morning hair or lack of make-up. Really look at your body shape objectively, as though you were scrutinizing a shop mannequin or a model: your shape may actually suit a cut you’d never considered before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW TO EVOLVE YOUR STYLE THROUGH THE DECADES

 

Some women are lucky enough to feel comfortable with their personal style very early on, however, for me and the women I dress, I feel as though women generally feel most self-assured in their clothes in their mid-forties to early fifties. As much as some women find it easy to find a look that works for them that not only makes them feel confident but flatters their figure, other women find it a struggle to find the perfect cut that enables them to feel empowered and supported by their wardrobe.

When it comes to age appropriate dressing… I’m a firm believer that rules need not apply… what is important is finding a look that makes you feel the best version of yourself, pieces that make you feel empowered… and there is nothing to say that you can’t feel as empowered in your favourite cashmere as you can a beautifully tailored suit. For me, the art of dressing becomes more refined with age… with subtle changes you can make to feel appropriate in whatever you choose to wear.

 

WAKELEY WOMEN

 

Venetia Archer wears Amanda Wakeley

Venetia Archer wears Amanda Wakeley

Venetia Archer wears Amanda Wakeley

In your 20s you’re experimenting sartorially and finding your style DNA. This is your means of self-expression through clothes – perhaps you go for glamour, or a rock chick look, or boho style, or simply a smart and business-like vibe. We’re not talking fashion trends here, but an overall feel for the kind of clothes that you love. 

MODELLED BY VENETIA ARCHER - FOUNDER & CEO OF RUUBY APP

 

 

Donna Ida wears Amanda Wakeley

Donna Ida wears Amanda Wakeley

I’ve always been more comfortable in monochromes and neutrals, for example - but other women won’t feel like themselves unless they’re wearing a slash of vibrant colour, or a pencil skirt and heels. 
And there’s no need to change this style – just evolve it. Seek out pieces that are really well-cut and of as high a quality as you can stretch to. The one thing you can’t afford as you get older is scruffiness. You want clothes that will look good for a long time, and really fit you well. 

MODELLED BY DONNA IDA - FOUNDER AND CEO OF DONNA IDA DENIM

 

 

Julie Brangstrup wears Amanda Wakeley

Julie Brangstrup wears Amanda Wakeley

Julie Brangstrup wears Amanda Wakeley

Grooming undeniably becomes more important – but be subtle about it. If you’ve just stepped out of the hairdressers with a fabulous blow-dry, you probably need less make-up than usual.

If your hair is scraped back, on the other hand, a beautiful red lip can work terrifically well. Personally I avoid going for the full works (face of make-up, big hair and full manicure) because that can be ageing too.  But really, it’s your look and better to be true to yourself, so if it makes you feel great, go for it!. 

MODELLED BY JULIE BRANGSTRUP - FOUNDER OF CASH AND ROCKET

 

 

 

Kate Percival wears Amanda Wakeley

Kate Percival wears Amanda Wakeley

Kate Percival wears Amanda Wakeley

Ignore people who say you can’t wear figure-hugging or even revealing clothes over a certain age. 
Silhouette-sculpting shapes, in clean and flattering cuts are appropriate as long as your feel comfortable and confident in your clothing, and I have found that it’s only when women reach their fifties that they feel self-assured enough to wear a pencil skirt or a beautifully fitted dress. In my opinion, if you’ve got it, flaunt it.

MODELLED BY KATE PERCIVAL - FOUNDER AND CEO OF GRACE BELGRAVIA

 

SHOP THE LOOKS

 

 

Amanda Wakeley Timeless Style

TIP Beware style advice from certain people! Teenage daughters aren’t always impartial judges on shopping trips, and even good friends can find it hard to tell you what they really think. Instead, find a good, well-trained sales assistant to give you the low-down on an outfit. The best of them can take one look at your shape and suggest a style of dress or a type of jean that works brilliantly but you’d never have chosen yourself.

THE FINISHING TOUCHES

 

When it comes to shoes it’s an insult to women to set any rules here. It’s absolutely about comfort and what you want to wear, and it’s not hard to find incredibly chic flats for even the most glamorous of occasions. 
However… I do think there’s something empowering about putting on a pair of heels. You can’t help standing differently, and throwing your shoulders back and owning a room. In a comfortable heel, women can appear more commanding and, yes, more feminine too; we shouldn’t be shy about celebrating heels for those reasons... but when it comes to running around the studio all-day I cannot over-state my love of casual slides.

My current favourite accessory is the incredibly useful judo belt – a broad piece of fabric, often satin, wrapped several times around the waist and tied at the front. You can cinch anything with it: a big shirt, a tunic, a jacket or a colour block dress. 
Scarves, too, can inject personality – either oversized and wrapped twice around the neck, European-style, or a cute little neckerchief in a lovely print to set off a t-shirt. 
I love wearing a man’s watch with a dark manicure for the contrast of cool androgyny and gorgeously feminine nails. Finish outfits with jewellery: a chunky necklace over something dark in winter, or a gold chain with lighter summer colours.

 

 

Amanda Wakeley

TIPS FOR REFINING YOUR STYLE

  • Turn heads at parties with a long, languid silhouette in tulle, crepe or sinuous silk; sexier than a little fitted dress, for my money, and definitely less predictable.
  • If you’re bored of your style, collect looks and outfits online and create a mood board on the Pinterest app. Let your new style direction emerge from the themes you find there. 
  • Don’t hoard. I’m a great believer in giving clothes a second lease of life, and if you still haven’t worn that shocking pink blouse you bought two years ago in the sales, give it away to someone who’ll really appreciate it. Free up your wardrobe for the clothes you love. 
  • Remember that the quality of daylight changes from season to season, and so does your skin tone. Colours that work on a brightly sunlit July day will look different on a drab February morning of drizzle and mist.

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