Does fashion ignore the 40-plus woman?

By Sujata Assomull
New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANSlife) I am 47-years-old and have worked in fashion for over 25 years; earning every smile line on my face and those extra few kilos around my mid area. Unfortunately, the industry I work in writes off every woman over the age of 45. Of course, we all know the reason, it’s because fashion sees the youth as the future of the industry, it is where the growth is. But what about the now?
A recent study by the International Longevity Centore (ILC) found that those over the age of 50-years account for over 50 per cent of the spending in fashion — the fact is mature women have more purchasing power and today are also in better shape than ever– they become an easy target for fashion. Yet they are ignored. Brands are so occupied with pleasing millennials and Gen Z-ers, they forget to make styles that work for today’s 40 plus woman.
It is only in your 40s when you really understand what your personal style is. You definitely make less fashion faux pas than you did in your 20’s, but you still want some style inspiration. I keep reading articles on how “Fifty is the new Thirty” in fashion glossies — yet when it comes cover girls, women over 40 only tend to be chosen for the “Ageless” or “Fab at Every Age” cover. This at a time when inclusivity is one of hottest fashion talking points.
Luckily, there are a handful of real women in this age group who have great taste, I suggest you follow them on Instagram — they have style, substance and just the right amount of sass.
Anaita Shroff Adajania
The 40-something fashion powerhouse is the name behind some of Bollywood’s red carpet most glamorous moments and fashion magazine’s glossiest covers (Anaita has styled everyone from Aishwarya Rai to Alia Bhatt); though her own sense of style is comfortable, carefree yet always chic; she can go from a handloom sari, a Dior gown to a Savio Jon kurta while always injecting her special blend of boho-chic into the look. The launch fashion director of Vogue India, this celebrity stylist still rocks a bikini better than most swimsuit cover girls. Anaita was recently part of a Gucci social media campaign for its iconic Jackie 1961 bag and added her own unique cool girl vibe to her Instagram video for the Italian fashion house.
Trinny Woodall
I grew up watching “What Not to Wear” the BBC make-over show featuring Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine–women who always said it as it is. Today Trinny runs her own successful make-up company, Trinny London, (and I suggest every woman over 30 use her Miracle Blur — it smooths the face and blurs those lines in an instant). Trinny’s personal Instagram handle is the one to follow though, a digital closet confidential. From shopping to styling tips this 50-something likes to have fun with her fashion. Honest about the aging process, she enjoys dressing up and her flamboyant (yet mainly high street) outfit of the day choices will always surprise you.
Roohi Oomerbhoy Jaikishan
The executive director of an Indian FMCG company, RR Oomerbhoy has a maximalist take on fashion. A true style maven– she is an art collector, a clotheshorse and a hostess with the mostess. While food has become the mainstay of her Instagram account, she shares recipes from some of her fashionable friends around the world, it is served with a side of fantastical fashion. From timeless saris by her mother- in-law, veteran fashion designer, Pallavi Jaikishan to Erdem floral dresses Roohi adds her own sense of eclectic charm to her ensembles. A permanent fixture on best dressed lists, her fashion super-power is the way she plays with fun and statement making accessories. It is never about fashion diktats for Roohi but about her own personal take on style.
The writer Sujata Assomull is an IANSlife columnist. Assomull is the author “100 Iconic Bollywood Costumes” and was the Founding Editor In Chief of Harper’s Bazaar, India.

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