Although it’s not the best color combination for me I’m always attracted to the classic black and white look. Certainly when that combination is worn with a bit of an edge with comtemporary jewelry and elements of draping and asymmetry. I’m therefore very attracted to Deborah’s unique minimalistic style. Let’s find out a bit more about her and why she mostly sticks to this color palette.

Deborah wearing black top and checkered pants |

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I am a Melbourne girl, now living in the largest regional centre in the state of Victoria, Australia. My career has been varied with social justice/social inclusion and style being my two main passions. I am grateful to be able to work between the two.

Deborah wearing plain dress and checkered scarf |


Want more inspiration? Check out this extensive guide on how to wear black and white


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

Happy to share, I am 48.

Deborah wearing black and white striped long dress |

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

I am an avid blog reader, and just over 12 months ago I decided to start my own blog. Stylish Murmurs was born out of a desire to document my style evolution and connect with like minded women.

Deborah wearing blazer and printed skirt |

How would you describe your style?

I think my style could be described as minimal. I prefer a neutral colour palette and garments that drape and have interesting, but subtle, design features mixed with more structured items.

Deborah all black outfit with black and white scarf |

You stick to a mainly black and white palette in your dressing. Why is that?

I have a very strong positive emotional response to black and white. Put very simply, I like it. But to elaborate, I would like to paraphrase something a very stylish friend of mine said recently, 

“Why does black sing the sirens song for me? Black “gets” me on so many levels – particularly on emotional levels which express my message. Black embodies the qualities of mystery, quietness, intelligence, formality, and simplicity. It is powerful and can be conservative, edgy, avant garde or elegant in turn. These qualities are the message I wish to convey – these things are me”

And white tends to flatter and light my complexion. White is my ‘colour’. When I don’t feel like an “all black” outfit, I turn to white to accent the black.

Deborah checkered top and black pants|

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

I live in regional city and I would say technically where I live has little to do with my style choices. However, relocating to a city where we knew no-one, freed me from any preconceived ideas I, and others, may have had about my personal style. I felt free from the expectations of others, and myself, to really start exploring exactly what felt “like me” and started dressing for myself.

Deborah wearing all black and white necklace |

Do you feel you have a signature style?

I do feel I have a signature style. The consistent elements of my style would be black, my blonde hair (which I recently chopped) and red lips.

What inspires your outfit choices the most?

I consider a number of things. What I am doing that day, weather, will I be on my feet etc. Mostly practical things, but I am a bit of a mood dresser too, so how I ‘feel’ also comes into play.

Deborah wearing black lace longsleeves and printed skirt |

Do you take things like color profiling or body type into account when you dress?

I definitely take body type into account. I am a petite ‘apple’. I have a tummy… and a large bust. Figure flattery is a priority and I choose garments that visually elongate my legs, hide my tummy and reduce my bust. But there are some days where conventional figure flattery goes out the window and I wear something simply because I like it.

Deborah wearing all black and white statement earrings |

Has your style changed at all after turning 40?

I feel any style changes I have experienced have been more related to knowing myself better and being more fully at peace with myself. So that does tend to come with age but I don’t think it is directly related to turning 40. Having said that, and at the risk of sounding clichéd, I did find turning 40 quite liberating. I am in a place where I like what I wear and I don’t mind if others don’t.

Deborah wearing black sweater and printed skirt |

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

I have read and participated in many ‘age appropriate’ discussions, and I am still not sure what it really means. It is quite subjective and I think it means different things to different people. I think we should dress in what we believe is ‘appropriate’ for us.

Deborah wearing embroidered top and white statement earrings |

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?

Sylvia, I am almost ashamed to admit that I am a little (ok, alot) obsessed with style. I have always loved fashion but my perspective is slightly different now. For me style is more important than fashion. A woman doesn’t have to be fashionable to be stylish

.Deborah wearing black long coat |

Which of the outfits on your blog are personal favorites and why?

It’s difficult to pick favourites, but I would say that my more recent outfits would be my favoured ones. When I started my blog I was coming out of a period of experimenting with colours, trends, etc, whereas I feel I have now much more in touch with what not only works for me but what feels like me.

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

I do like to keep up with what is happening trend wise, but my wardrobe is not trend driven. For me to include a trend item in my wardrobe it has to meld with my personal style aesthetic. At the moment, I am excited by the amount of fluid silhouettes that we are seeing.

Deborah wearing long sleeveless vest |

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

I don’t have any specific tips. I would like to encourage women to simply be who they are. How we dress ourselves can be a wonderful creative expression. Enjoy getting dressed, have fun with style and don’t allow anyone to make you feel you should dress or look a certain way. Be authentic to yourself.

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

Well I am a bit of a lazy blogger, posting only fortnightly. I would like to post more frequently. I hope the blog will somehow be a reflection of my growth, both stylewise and personally, but what that looks like, we will have to wait and see.

Deborah wearing checkered dress and scarf |

Anything further you would like to add?

Sylvia, thank you.

I love Deborah’s unique style and especially love her new haircut! Be sure to check out her blog Stylish Murmurs and check out all her outfits!

Which of Deborah’s outfits is your favorite?



Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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