How to look stylish forever – A Style interview with Alyson

by Sylvia

How to look stylish forever - A Style interview with Alyson | 40plusstyle.com

When I was in London I had the pleasure to meet and interview Alyson, writer of the book Style Forever: The Grown-Up Guide to Looking Fabulous and creator of the blog That’s Not My Age.

We talked about her book, her own style and her plans for the future. We cover a lot in this interview and I think you will love getting to know Alyson a bit better. Enjoy!

Interview with Style Forever author Alyson | 40plusstyle.com

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I’m Alyson Walsh a freelance fashion journalist and author. I blog as That’s Not My Age and I’m the author of the book Style Forever: The Grown-Up Guide to Looking Fabulous.



As a point of reference which age group do you belong to or perhaps you are willing to share your age?

I’m happy to share my age, it’s 52.

Denim jacket outfit idea | 40plusstyle.com

Can you tell us a bit more about your blog and why you created it?

I started That’s Not My Age, in 2008, in order to celebrate the creed ‘style begins at 40,’ to prove that midlife had evolved and discuss the issues of age, fashion and culture. Well received by the media and other bloggers, That’s Not My Age soon had a loyal group of engaged followers, stylish women from all around the world, devoted to the blog’s unique content, expert advice and insider fashion knowledge.

Stylish cropped pants outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Prior to that, I’d been working as a fashion editor on a magazine – where I’d been writing all those prescriptive style rules, and I just wanted to talk to women in the way that I talk to my friends. I hope That’s Not My Age is empowering and fun and offers style advice in a down-to-earth way. I’m lucky to have a loyal following who I am eternally grateful to because without them my book Style Forever wouldn’t exist.

Leather jacket outfit idea for women over 40 | 40plusstyle.com

How did your book come about?

About four years ago, one of my friends Emma (a freelance journalist who works a lot in book publishing) said, ‘There’s a book in your blog.’ So, I wrote a synopsis and sent it out to a few publishers, had several meetings with people and there was interest, but nothing concrete. It was too soon.

Style Forever Author Alyson | 40plusstyle.com

I just forgot about it until early 2014 when what the artist Sue Kreitzman calls the Old Lady Revolution was getting quite zeitgeist-y and I thought it was worth giving it another go. I updated my proposal, pinged out a few emails and Hardie Grant, who’d been quite keen initially, came straight back to me and said yes.  And they were right, it did feel like perfect timing.

Chic blue denim romper fashion | 40plusstyle.com

Can you tell us a bit more about it and why 40+ women should read it.

I’ve had some wonderful feedback from people who’ve bought Style Forever – and they tell me that it’s fun, informative and empowering (which I’m really happy about). My favourite thing about writing the book was meeting and interviewing all the fantastic women.

These are role models, industry experts and women of substance who I admire like – Iris Apfel, Professor Wendy Dagworthy, Linda Rodin, Kay Montano, Thelma Speirs, Cindy Joseph. I loved interviewing them all.

Army green outfit inspiration for everyday wear | 40plusstyle.com

Can you describe the Style Forever woman?

It’s every woman, it’s for women over 50 (well over 40 really – I was in my 40s when I started That’s Not My Age, in my 50s when I wrote Style Forever).  For all the women included in the book, for feminists, for every woman.

What are some of your favorite quotes from the book from the women you interviewed?

Alyson of That's Not My Age style interview | 40plusstyle.com

I interviewed Iris over the phone and these are some of my favourite quotes:

On style: Being comfortable is the most important thing – and I don’t mean slobby! I never pay attention to trends, if something’s in fashion and I look like a horse’s ass in it then why would I buy it? If you don’t know who you are and you copy someone else’s style, then that’s sad. You must learn who you are and dress to suit your personality. It’s hard work getting to know yourself – the biggest fashion faux pas is to look in the mirror and see someone else

City fashion outfit: Floral blouse | 40plusstyle.com

On Age: And I don’t know why people look in the mirror all the time and worry about their wrinkles, it’s so narcissistic. If they spent the same amount of time putting things into their brains as into their faces, they’d be much more interesting.

Floral kimono jacket and wide pants outfit inspiration | 40plusstyle.com

On staying current: I love museums and the arts, they’re very important to me. I always try to stay current and be interested in things, if not you just dry up. If I wasn’t designing or doing creative things I’d go mad. You must get out there and get involved – otherwise you’re still living in the dark ages.

You are currently working on a new book as well. What will the focus of this book be?

Denim romper outfit idea | 40plusstyle.com

My next book will be purely about style, not about age. So, Ageless Style is the angle. Women of all ages wear similar clothes, shop at the same places and have a keen interest in style.  We wear what we like.

How would you describe your own personal style?

It’s what I call Casual Glamour, a blend of day and evening wear and comfy shoes. (See Style Tribes in my book for a full explanation!).

Outfit ideas on how to wear patterns and denim pants | 40plusstyle.com

What would you consider the most important components of your style?

I like to mix things up. I have a sort of Split-Personality Style: half minimal, menswear-inspired dressing, half bohemian, hippy-punk – with the occasional Advanced Style moment thrown in. And I think as we continue to reinvent ourselves throughout our lives, most women have become more comfortable with this high-low, pick and mix approach.

Edgy and feminine inspired outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Key components: jeans, a kick-ass jacket, flat shoes or trainers and statement earrings.

Where do you live and how does that influence your style?

I live in London with Mr That’s Not My Age. The fashion/media industry is quite relaxed, so I can wear what I like, usually jeans or a jumpsuit and trainers.

What inspires your outfit choices the most?

That's Not My Age: Casual outfit | 40plusstyle.com

I wear what I feel comfortable and confident in.




What is your current body type and height and what are your best tips for dressing for these?

I’m a UK size 12 and about 5’10” – my tip is always to wear what you love; clothes that you feel happy and confident in.



Has your style changed at all after turning 40?

My style has been pretty similar throughout my life. It probably varied a bit more when I worked as a fashion editor on a magazine but even then we could wear jeans in the office.

Mustard dress with a leather jacket for a feminine yet edgy look | 40plusstyle.com

I was usually a bit smarter if I was going to an event or conference or meeting readers – in fact, I’ve just decluttered and sent all my old kitten heel ‘fashion editor’ shoes and heels to the charity shop! God knows why I’ve kept them so long, as soon as I went freelance (about 12 years ago, now) I went back to jeans and trainers, or Church’s brogues.

Do you believe in dressing ‘age appropriately’ and what does it mean to you?

It doesn’t mean anything to me. Age appropriate is dead. It’s all about ‘ageless style’ now.

Stylish ideas on how to wear a T-shirt dress | 40plusstyle.com




Why is the way you look important to you?

I studied fashion and have always been interested in style, while I’m not obsessed about the way I look, it is important in terms of self-esteem and feeling good about yourself.



What is your beauty routine and what are your favorite beauty products?

Minimal outfit idea: blue striped blouse with a comfy pair of jeans | 40plusstyle.com

My beauty routine is completely low-maintenance. I don’t wear a lot of makeup, would never do Botox or mess with my face. I love a good facial cleanser – my current favourite is Decleor’s Aroma Cleanse with no Parabens. With makeup, I tend to focus more on my eyes – Benefit’s products are ace -I can highly recommend They’re Real! mascara and all the eyebrow products are fab.



Do you follow trends? And if yes, which trends excite you at the moment?

Chic outfit idea: A black tunic paired with wide legged pants and golden accessories | 40plusstyle.com

Not really, I’m more interested in style and what individuals are wearing – I seem to be wearing a lot of khaki at the moment! For my freelance work, I do need to pay attention to what’s on the catwalk.


Do you have any fashion and style tips for women over 40?

Androgynous fashion inspiration: A loose button down blouse with jeans and silver flats | 40plusstyle.com

Wear what you love, what you feel happy and comfortable in. And read Style Forever!



What are your plans for your blog and how do you see it develop over the coming years?

Sophistcated glamour look: Gold glittered and embellished jacket | 40plusstyle.com

I’m currently busy with my second book and so don’t really have any immediate plans for That’s Not My Age. Though I do want to to continue providing interesting, informative, well-written content about age and style and to continue to engage with my lovely followers.

Be sure to visit Alyson’s website at  Thats Not My Age and @ThatsNotMyAge for Instagram! Her book  Style Forever: The Grown-Up Guide to Looking Fabulous is a great read full of useful tips and inspiring interview with 40+ women. Definitely recommended.

Which of Alyson’s outfits is your favorite?

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Jodie filogomo

I love reading Alyson’s blog. And what an absolutely perfect saying—it’s not age appropriate anymore—it’s ageless style!! I’m so going to use that!
jodie
http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

That's Not My Age

Thanks so much for the fantastic feature, Sylvia. It was lovely to meet you in London and I hope to see you again very soon.

Greetje

This sounds like a “fighter” for visibility and change for women who are getting older. A rule breaker. Thank you for that Alyson. And boy oh boy, do I like those silver flat shoes / ballerinas…
It struck me that she is in jeans most of the times since working freelance. I have just heavily invested in dresses and I am only a short while away from retirement. I’d better stay working in an office or so to get my money’s worth haha.

Chanteuse

OMG! We are the same age! It’s great to see my peers not giving up on dressing with flare^^

Tiffany

I must agree that style begins at 40. I love the denim jumpsuit and all black ensemble. Chic!

Elaine

I love Alyson’s style and the way it reflects who she is. Her casual outfits look so comfortable and effortless. Another thing I admire is her use of color. Lots of inspiration for those of us who live the casual life most of the time!

Silvia DiPierdomenico

I couldn’t agree more with her comment that age appropriate belongs to the past;
what’s important is to dress for your lifestyle and in what you feel resonates with who you are. True style has no age.
http://www.beastofstyle.com

Highland Fashionista

I absolutely love every single outfit that Alyson puts on. Great interview!

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