Greetje is the most frequent contributor to my style forum, and although you might have thought that she was already a friend of mine, I had actually never met her until this sunny day in Haarlem. I was very keen to meet up with her since I wanted to take some high quality photos of her and get to know the person behind all the quirky posts and stylish outfits. Since my residential address in Holland was very close to where she lives, I was able to visit her in her house in Haarlem where she lives with her beloved husband, cat and dog.
As I imagined, Greetje is a true gem. Warm, straight forward and extremely funny, she is a true pleasure to be around. Of course I could not resist asking her a few questions, as I feel that Greetje can teach us all a thing or 2 on how to have fun with fashion. Enjoy!
As a point of reference which age group do you belong to or perhaps you are willing to share your age?
I am 58
How would you describe your style?
Difficult to say. Somewhat classic, sometimes conspicuous, trying to achieve “chic elegance” but usually not getting there.
What would you define as the main components of your style? What makes an outfit truly Greetje?
A twist. A conspicuous/striking feature (which makes “chic elegance” so hard to achieve).
Black and white, sometimes with an added colour.
(Off)white boots, bold necklaces, very bright colours near my face.
How do you go about choosing your clothes and what inspires your outfits?
Sometimes I start with a scarf or necklace and work my way down. But usually “I go shopping”. In and out shops… some people hate it, but I love it. And anything that grabs my attention is a possible choice. Which is exactly why lots of my clothes draw so much attention that you cannot combine them with anything else or with just very plain things. And if your wardrobe consists of lots and lots of attention drawing clothes, you limit yourself in combinations. I am learning, but nowhere near my goal.
On the other hand I thought it was quite a strange but nice compliment that I got the other day. A friend of mine told me she liked it that there was always so much to see and discover about my appearance. LOL
Do you take things like colour profiling or body type into account when you dress?
Most certainly. It has prevented me from lots of bad purchases. But still, sometimes, I forget or disregard it. Usually stupid and regretful.
Would you say you have a signature style? And if yes, what are the main elements?
Others say I have. I cannot really see it. You have to look at what I said at “What makes an outfit truly Greetje”.
I try to always create a waist with my clothes, either by clothes that go in at the waist or with tops that are wide and suggest you have a waist.
Pencil skirts are favourite and wide skirts (= waist), although the older I get the more conscious I am of the fact that wide skirts have more tendency to be girly than pencil skirts.
Has your style changed at all after turning 40?
The hemline dropped bit by bit to the knee between 40 and 58. I have to be more and more aware of things that make me look too young. As I am tall and have a normal weight and size, I can buy almost anything. Which makes it difficult as you see yourself so different than others do. It is like anorexia: to you the mirror reflects your own perception not the reality. A photo of yourelf in an outfit tells the truth better than the mirror. So being more conscious of what I buy has changed my style. But perhaps not enough.
Do you believe in dressing ‘age appropriately’ and what does it mean to you?
Yes and no. To me yes, I want to dress age appropriately. But that is me. If you have the personality for it, you will get away with nearly everything.
To me there are two different ‘age appropriately':
- showing a lot of flesh, which I think is not very cleaver but it is also a culture thing. This would not be my thing.
- dressing up with lots of attention drawing items, like the women of Advancedstyle.com. Lovely! Celebrate Life!
Would you say that at this stage of your life you are now more, or less interested in fashion, style and the way you look?
More interested. I was always interested, used to change clothes 3 times a day when I was 11, but now I have developed more taste, more style. I know more what becomes me and what not, so I know what to choose from this season’s fashion and what to avoid. And I have more money to indulge myself as I am not a person who has an eye for great pieces in a thirft shop. Only now and then I score there.
Why is the way you look important to you?
Because it is my only creativity. I like to make a picture. From head to toe and then present it to the world as my creation. It is a way to express yourself and it is a way to show you have respect for the people you meet. You have to made an effort. The world looks nicer by making an effort. And it is also a way to mirror somebody which can be cleaver, for instance when you have a tough meeting with someone. We were tought to interpret people on how they look from when we were very little. So you can use that to your advantage.
Which outfit that you have uploaded in the 40+ Style Forum is your favorite and why?
Oh gosh… what a difficult one. The wide Acne creme top with the black trousers and yellow necklace and shoes I think in the item Holiday casual wear… but a little chic. As it represents most of the things I strive for. And the item “The Rome necklace”. Those are the “me”s” I want to be. But again it is really difficult to choose as I have uploaded many outfits that I really like.
Do you follow trends? And if yes, which trends excite you at the moment?
Yes I follow trends, but only the ones that become/suit me. I am excited at the moment by the bright colours. Love them! And they love me. As you can see by my Kermit Green Jacket which I have uploaded.
Do you have any fashion and style tips for women over 40?
Spend some money on a stylist to get to know what suits you and what doesn’t with regard to colours and style. Ask around who is a good stylist for obvious reasons.
It will bring you so much. And if you are interested in fashion, you probably already know 85% yourself. But you will be surprised by the extra 15% of information you will get.
Anything further you would like to add?
Love your site! Hope more people are going to participate in uploading and/or commenting on your Forum? I sometimes feel a bit awkward and lonely there.
Here is what Greetje answered in person to some of my impromptu questions:
Note from Sylvia: Thank you for your inspiring answers Greetje. And I agree! Feel free to ask your questions or upload your outfits in our style forum. It’s fun to see how others have fun with fashion and all of us are there to help you to be more creative and look even better!