As someone who spends her days writing about fashion trends and style news, Marisa Crous considers how her family influenced her past and current wardrobe choices.
Let’s face it, on the runway, in fashion ads, everywhere we look, we only see fashion for the young, slim and trendy. What about 50+ aged women who have some seriously dope style? Why have we shunned them and their incredible fashion choice from mainstream fashion stages?
No more, I say.
I’ve always loved the festive ad campaigns by Italian fashion house, Dolce & Gabbana. Not only do they show beautiful, unique ensembles in a new and interesting way, they show families – both young and older members. From kids to flawless-complexioned 20-something women (resembling the beauties you might see walking D&G’s Paris Fashion Week runway) to grandmothers feasting on tomato spaghetti – whilst dressed in their Sunday best.
Older women inspire my sense of fashion way more than twenty-somethings do. I always find myself in awe of mature women’s wardrobes and sense of effortless style – be it vintage, classic with a modern twist or quirky and eccentric.
A few years ago I became a massive fan of Advanced Style, a blog which celebrates older women who live in New York. Ari Seth Cohen, this blog’s creator and photographer, provides a point of view so often lacking in today’s mainstream media. He shows that women of all ages are able to care, love and adore fashion. They are able to make it their own and interpret trends in their own unique way. They are glamorous, fun and use fashion as a tool to show their true selves to the world – or sometimes merely to make themselves feel better on an off day. Their sense of style has been so beautiful crafted, perfected over the years, and yes, it has become effortless.
Again, my adoration for this group of women was confirmed when I attended former Elle-editor, Jackie Burger’s Salon58 Bare soiree. I paid almost no attention to the younger crowd’s outfits as the older women inspired me way more. Dressed in all-black textured ensembles, capes, red lips and chandelier earrings – I found myself staring at them. Burger, the salonniere herself (pictured below) has a timeless sense of style that can only be obtained over the years. This kind of style cannot simply be bought, it evolves over time (often with many mistakes along the way) and it is something I wish to emulate one day.
This made me think about my grandmother and mother, and how their style choices have influenced me throughout my life.
When my grandmother passed away during my 2nd year at university, I inherited her clip-on earrings collection. Most find these specific types of earrings to be retro torture devices for the ear – and yes, they can hurt like crazy. But I truly loved the history behind every pair. Some where from the ’60s, the ’80s and some, well, who knows? This is when my love affair with fashion truly began. In a way, my gran unknowingly started my love for fashion.
But perhaps the greatest style influence in my life has been my mother.
My mother is one of those classic dressers. She loves sleek lines and adds a pop of colour or modern twist to every outfit she has. The word “sweatpants” is nowhere to be found in her vocabulary or in her closet. No matter the occasion, jy kan haar altyd deur ‘n ring trek (she always looks her absolute best). Even when my mom was going through chemo, she found ways to brighten her days with fashionable ensembles, be it a beanie or a scarf.
That is the thing. Whenever I am having a bad day, fashion lightens my load. It’s almost become a subconscious act, but I dress only to impress myself.
My advice is to always try and draw inspiration from those women near and dear to you. Make sure your wardrobe makes you feel better about who you are, never worse. We must look to our past and our future for style inspiration, take modern trends and make them your own. No one likes a copy of a copy.
Who influences your sense of style? Tell us and you could win 5 beautiful lipsticks!