One thing that every woman around the world has in common is that they all want to look their best. Naturally, defining ‘the best’ is a subjective issue that changes depending on geographical location, age, culture, and more. The world of fashion, however, is mainly driven by the younger woman, ranging from late teens to mid 20s. This is in part due to the fact that slightly older women, up to their late 30s, feel comfortable wearing those fashion styles as well.
Few, however, have taken the time to look into the fashion needs of the woman over 45. No longer are women of that age and above classed as old, and thanks to women’s empowerment, they also no longer have start wearing nothing but long skirts, floral blouses, and sensible flats. While this attitude in women has changed, the attitude in the biggest fashion houses, unfortunately, has not.
The notable exception in this is UK fashion retailer Bonmarche, who focus specifically in fashion for the woman over 45. They have recently completed a significant piece of research to look at which celebrity women inspire them, both in terms of their dress sense, and in terms of their attitudes to life. Many celebrity women now fall into the over 45 age category, and this was evident in the results of study, which made no mention of women like Britney Spears or Rihanna.
Bonmarche’s study looked at three age categories, being:
- 45 to 54
- 55 to 65
- 65 and over
What they found, interestingly, was that there was no difference at all between the first two age categories, and that there was only a slight change in preferences once women were 65 or older. They also looked at three main geographical areas of the United Kingdom, being:
What they found, again, was that there was no difference in geographical area. The exception, once again, was in the over 65, where Scottish women had a different attitude to those in the rest of the country.
The top 10 women across England, Wales, and Scotland, for women aged between 45 and 64, were found to be:
- Helen Mirren, mentioned by 19.2% of women.
- Jennifer Anniston, mentioned by 16.3% of women.
- Meryl Streep, mentioned by 14.5% of women.
- Joanna Lumley, mentioned by 13.5% of women.
- Nicole Kidman, mentioned by 10.3% of women.
- Elle MacPherson, mentioned by 10% of women.
- Julie Walters, mentioned by 8.1% of women.
- Jane McDonald, mentioned by 5.9% of women.
- Salma Hayek, mentioned by 5.4% of women.
- Ruth Langsford, mentioned by 4.8% of women.
The only real change in women over the age of 65 was the top 4. For England and Wales, Jennifer Anniston fell to fourth place, and 28.4% of women placed Helen Mirren in first position. In Scotland, however, Jennifer Anniston jumped to first place, where 27.8% of women put her.
Reasons as to why these women were inspirational ranged from their high levels of sophistication to their commitment to healthy living.
The e-commerce manager at Bonmarche, responsible for the study, feels that what is clear is that women’s attitudes towards style may change as they develop, but that all women want to grow old gracefully and look their very best.
“Looking fabulous at any age is easy and achievable – as proven by women such as Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep and Jennifer Anniston: they are in shape, dress for their body types and give off a healthy and confident vibe. It’s no wonder women across the United Kingdom take fashion cues from them.”