In recent months I have seen an increase in the amount of octogenarian-style attire in high street shops and fashion magazines. I’m torn when it comes to retailing and wearing clothes that my Granny wears on a daily basis, but it seems many are enjoying loose, beige cardigans, black brogues, pleated trousers and paisley scarves. Is it that young people are unaware of pensioner panache, or are they looking to put their own spin on it?
Yesterday, I did the charity-shop round in my local town as I love browsing unique pieces and snapping up bargains. I came across a huge blue paisley scarf (pictured) and deliberated whether or not I should purchase it on the premise that I may be looked at like an old, fusty lady. After trying it on I came to the conclusion that it’s about how the item is worn and not always what it is. At just £2.99 the scarf was a steal, and should brighten up any outfit; my mother was not so convinced, mentioning that she had bought a similar one for her eighty-seven year old mother last Christmas.
Not such a bargain are Topshop’s patent leather loafers (pictured) retailing at £70.00, which for me, are just too far when it comes to grandma get-up. I’ve seen petit ladies wear loafers well with a floral tea-dress and pixie haircut, but I can’t help but feel unconvinced by the insubstantial footwear that makes me wonder whether the wearer is heading towards bingo or bikram yoga. The loafers come in an assortment of colours, the white pair reminding me of nurse shoes, but to their credit, they do look very comfortable and are far less likely to give the wearer bunions unlike the popular high-heeled shoes. For that reason, loafers get a thumbs-up for practicality from me.
I wouldn’t slate anyone who decides to wear such clothing, but I do think there is a fine line between brogue vogue and O.A.P catastrophe. Like many things in the world of fashion, looks tend to come back around again, so it was only a matter of time before grandma-chic would start hitting the high street and inspiring fashion followers everywhere. One bit of advice I would give you though; go easy on the beige and leave the perm in the past.
Written: March 2013