Why on earth would any confident woman over 40 want to avoid colour, wear their hair only at a certain length, stick to clothes that are loose, eschew a bikini, skip ripped jeans and keep their legs covered?
There isn’t a style that a woman of a certain age can’t wear, and do it with the knowledge that years of experience have earned her several gold badges for taste.
Let’s take shorts, for instance, the idea that a woman should keep her legs covered obviously was not written for those of us who live in the Caribbean.
Firstly, we live in the dog days of “summer.” Secondly, we party like there is no tomorrow during Carnival, a 2-day street party, where shorts is the most crucial wardrobe component for every fete, lime and boat cruise.
So maybe the right question for a woman over forty (whether from the Caribbean or otherwise) is not whether we should wear shorts. But rather how short should be our shorts and what should we wear them with, if we want a more polished, grown-up style?
For the answer, I turned to fashion designer, Meiling.
The key she says is to pair your favourite shorts with polished tops, jackets, belts, and shoes for a grown sophisticated look. For Carnival, we went for a fun, playful look with shorts she designed and then combined with statement tops, full of flare and flair because of their ruffles or oversize silhouettes.
So, should you wear shorts over 40? Of course, you can, it really does not matter what your size is or your age, it’s about proportion, fit and styling. Oh yeah, and your confidence levels too!
Want a visual example? Here are three of my favourite styles, all designed by Meiling.
In my books, ruffles are timeless, and very feminine without being too girlish. I first saw this pairing some years ago in one of Meiling’s fashion show. The model was at least 30 years younger and just as many pounds lighter. Ok, maybe 40 pounds lighter; still fashion is about reinterpretation so for this pairing Meiling lessened the ruffles, lengthened the shorts and added an organza waist tie for impact but also to give definition to my waist. For styling drama, I added my favourite mesh booties with a pair of black and silver socks which simultaneously gave off a vibe that was fun yet put-together.
When I was younger I would have worn this shorts with a tank top and hit the disco …arghhhh nightclub. Thankfully, I can still rock sparkly shorts in a more tempered way. To be honest though my tummy harbours fibroids and they like to show off their bossiness with the occasional bulge. Meiling suggested the sash that ties around the hip area which added a perfect bit of deception. My hesitation: was this too short? In the end, I didn’t think so because of the very feminine blue top that she added for balance and contrast and which thankfully made my lower half sparkle.
You should own at least one cape in your wardrobe for its multi-functionality and style because nothing can match its billowing sweep and dramatic playfulness.This piece accompanied me to South Africa and warded off the chill. On the Savannah stage (Yes! I can say I was the first to cross it in 2018) I draped them over yellow shorts added over the knee boots and a remnant from my 2015 costume and got into the real spirit of the season.