Monday, 13 August 2012

My fashion forecast for Autumn and Winter 2012

I received an email recently from's Petite Fashion guide written by Paula Darnell, outlining some of the key looks for Autumn  - or Fall as our American cousins call it.  I'm no fashion expert, as regular readers will testify, but I thought I would give you my own spin on these trends for over 60s, and particularly for those of us who are over 60 and petite.  Many of my warnings should also be taken to heart by anyone who is over 40!

1.  Rich Wine colours

Paula endorses this trend for petites, though she does point out that she can wear these colours, which suggests to me that many people can't.  I recollect from the dim and distant past that although I looked good in our burgundy school blazer, many of my blonde and redhead friends didn't.  As we are fast forwarding nearly fifty years, I am not going to assume that I will still look good in this colour.  I will try on any tops or dresses that I like, but I will be ruthless about whether this shade suits me now and I may restrict any  purchases to accessories.  I suggest that if in doubt you do the same.
Croco tote
One for my Christmas present list?
2.  Winter white hues

Light colours aren't very slimming and, if like me you have a dog in the house, they're not practical either so I think I will give this one a miss.  However for some over 60s white is softer and more flattering worn close to the face than black, so if white suits you don't write it off, just don't wear it on the widest parts of your body unless you want to emphasise your curves.

3.  Big and baggy tops

Just one word for this one - no!  If you're not a petite you may be tempted by this trend, as it hides a multitude of sins, however all over 60s look better in clothes that skim their body rather than shapeless clothes that just emphasise their bulk.  Baggy tops are only for wearing curled up in front of the TV, if at all.

4.  Trouser suits, aka pants suits

This is a good trend for petites, particularly if you choose a dark shade that flatters you, and also for any over 60s who want to look slimmer.  Make sure that the jacket doesn't end at your widest point though, and I would suggest that if you are petite you will look better in single breasted styles.

5.  Velvet

Velvet is good if you are tall and slender, but because of its nap it can add weight to any woman who doesn't have a model figure.  If you're short and not so slender like me it can definitely make you look bulky, so it's best not to combine this trend with the previous one and buy a velvet trouser suit.  A velvet scarf or collar though in a shade that suits you is a good way to embrace this trend.

6.  Embellishments

Jewels, lace, sequins, embroidery, beads - sounds to me like a recipe for disaster for most petites, who are likely to be overwhelmed if they go for this fashion,  and in particular for those of us who are more mature.  I like to wear a dress and not have the dress wear me.  I do have a sequin scarf in my wardrobe though that could add a fashionable touch to some plain tops and dresses.

7.  Military fashion and in particular khaki

This is an ideal trend for over 60s who look good in khaki, although petites like me should avoid double-breasted styles and long coats.  A quick way to update your favourite coat or jacket would be to replace its buttons with metallic ones.  Not being that handy with a needle and thread, I may look for a khaki handbag to update my wardrobe.

My advice is to check out the fashion magazines and websites, decide whether a particular look will suit your shape, your colouring and - we're going to have to be honest with ourselves on this one! - your age.  If the answer is yes, then go ahead and update your wardrobe.

JOSEPH Khaki Cotton Stretch One Button Blazer
This is tempting, though I would need to try it on in case it is too long for a petite


  1. Why do petite clothing manufacturers go longer in tops when they size their garments? Even those of us who need a larger size as we age (ugh), don't need longer garments fact we are shrinking...every top I purchase needs to be altered a least 3/4 inches. When I compare petite tops in the store, there is a considerable difference in the length of the garment between small and large. We are petite and usually high waisted and need just as short tops as those who wear small. Thank you for the opportunity to express my opinion.

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