I don’t need to tell you that being stylish doesn’t end with your 60th birthday – but I do sometimes wonder whether the rest of society actually got that memo when you see how it chips away at the confidence of older women and undermines their efforts. Who says we can’t be stylish at 60, 70 and beyond?
Hollywood icon Sharon Stone was a brilliant example of how to look sexy at 64 at the Dolce & Gabbana show in Milan last month, while 65-year-old Kim Cattrall – Samantha Jones in Sex and the City – just became the fashion face of upmarket website farfetch.com. They both look like they’re having a blast. Isn’t that half the battle? Actually learning to love your age? And to hell with the idea of dressing “appropriately”?
Stone had this to say to Lisa Armstrong, head of fashion at The Telegraph: “No one tailors better than Dolce & Gabbana. You can trust their clothes not to slip and slide or collapse at the wrong moment. And if you’re going to show skin, whatever your age, you want clothes you can rely on to stay in place.”
Now, I know we can’t all afford to dress in Dolce, but you’ve got to admire a label that makes a PRO AGE warrior (which she is, whether she likes it or not) the face of its latest campaign and puts her on the front row in a crystal-embellished trouser suit. How lucky they were to get her, because, make no mistake about it, she is a real-life, whip-smart Hollywood goddess whose fame crosses generational borders. And she looks sensational.
In 2014, Stone said: “This idea that being youthful is the only thing that’s beautiful or attractive simply isn’t true. I don’t want to be an ‘ageless beauty’. I want to be a woman who is the best I can be at my age.” Don’t you just love that attitude?
Meanwhile Cattrall appears to be having a ball as the face of farfetch.com in a succession of out-there looks. When asked why the site chose her, Ronojoy Dam, the senior global director of brand and culture, said: “We’re more interested in mindsets and attitudes than age brackets. Kim’s not only beloved for her Sex and the City character and her on- and off-screen style, but also being decidedly independent in the personal choices she makes.”
In a series of explosive images for the brand, Cattrall rocks a shiny gold trench coat, backless pink mules, a multicoloured checked jacket with cinched-in waist, and skinny black trousers – not all at the same time, you understand. But the result is a set of pictures that, according to Armstrong, “celebrates an older woman’s right to enjoy the kind of clothes that guarantee attention rather than designating her a wallflower”.
Like Stone, Cattrall is the epitome of old-school Hollywood glamour. And while she has described the pressure to stay young as “suffocating”, she has found her own way to navigate it – piling on the pizzazz, rather than going under the knife.
“I never want to look in the mirror and see someone else staring back at me,” she has said. “Am I happy about ageing? Not particularly. But I’m not going to go down without a fight. And that doesn’t mean I’m not taking care of myself, and that I don’t feel beautiful or vital or sexual.”
We could all take a leaf out of Stone and Cattrall’s book: embrace our sixties with style and a hefty dose of attitude. Because who wants to slide into midlife in a beige twinset and pearls (unless they happen to be on trend)? Not me. I’m not going down without a fight.