Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Mary Portas dresses...for any age!

I’ve blogged in the past about the Mary Portas range at House of Fraser and how great I think it is. It's becoming my workwear uniform. But when I mention to friends and colleagues where my outfit is from, they all think (without fail) that the range is for older women and that if you’re under 50 it’s not for you.

We do tend to be a bit obsessed with age in our society. Lots of women would never set foot in Topshop/H&M/Warehouse etc because they’re ‘too young’ for them. Lots of other women wouldn’t set foot in M&S/Clarks/Hobbs etc because they’re “too old” for them.

I totally get that we do dress differently at different stages in our lives but for me it hasn’t been a drastic change – I’d hope that the main change is that I’m a bit more stylish than I was in my teens...and even my twenties. Seriously, I went through a phase at university when I seemed to embrace Melanie Griffiths in Working Girl as my fashion icon...in the mid-90s! What the hell was I thinking?!

Anyway, I think it’s really about finding your style and adapting it to how you feel at any stage in your life.

J Crew is opening a store in the UK later this year...just up the road from my office on Regent Street (eek...god help my bank balance!). I was recently reading a profile of  J Crew’s creative director, Jenna Lyons and there was a real emphasis on the brand being somewhere where women of any age would shop. It was about style and quality, not targeting an age group.

So maybe I’d still shop at the Mary Portas range when I’m over 50. I’d certainly encourage my mum to shop there, as I think as women get older they can really get ignored and feel lost on the high street. But I’d also really encourage all my friends to take a look. There are such great pieces. And if you can’t afford full price Portas, then there are always sales.

I think where the range really excels are dresses. A lot of them may not have hanger-appeal but when you get them on you realise how flattering the cuts are.

These are my current favourites. Some are really simple, so it’s all about how you style them. That may vary depending how old you are, who you are, what you like...

Twist knot dress in navy - £49.50 (down from £99)

Tuck front dress in black - £49.50 (down from £99)

Printed no-brainer dress - £99
(though pretty much sold out)

Pleat neck dress in red - £67 (down from £135)

No brainer crepe dress in red (though looks
quite an orange-red, which I really like)
- £49.50 (down from £99)

Tree print dress - £80 (down from £160)
Fit & flare Linda dress - £49.50 (down from £99)

Cowl neck jersey dress in green - £49.50 (down from £99)

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