Carrie Symonds

The flower print maxi-dress has been around for decades.


Grey hair has traditionally been an unwelcome sign of ageing. However, many young women under the age of thirty are choosing to ‘go grey’ early in life by using silver and grey hair dyes inspired by the likes of Rita Ora and that rather nice girl who ‘waits-on-tables’ at one of the cafes in my local square.

Indeed, as I read somewhere recently - “Modern silver and grey hair colour is incredibly flattering and is actually very different to grey hair that has changed through age.” It’s really interesting that younger women are going for metallic grey, recognising that it is a very graceful sophisticated look.

This is all very well if you ask me, but if this trend continues in other areas, baldness and beer bellies may be considered alluring. Also I’m not convinced that this new grey fashion for hair will last very long, because it’s alright if you look like a Hollywood starlet, but flowing grey hair after 45 will have you looking like a slightly mad cat-woman or much worse. But that’s the trouble isn’t it; when you are young and carefree, tight of bottom and firm of breast you’d look good in a black bin-bag. Then there is the general unfairness whereupon grey hair on a middle-aged man is thought to be distinguished, but on a woman similarly age afflicted, the words bag and lady spring to mind.

Anyway this revelation about going grey as a fashion statement got me thinking about other strictly later-life styles that may well become fashionable given time. There is the whole business of elasticated waists, sensible shoes and mackintoshes just in case! For the average young fellow who has buttocks of sprung steel, it might be difficult to tell him that when he passes fifty his arse will completely disappear and re-appear around his waist within weeks. Personally, I really don’t have a problem with young men and women experimenting stylistically and to take on an older persona; but I am dead against anything that might flow in the opposite direction. The phrase “mutton dressed as lamb” maybe cruel and subjective, but it is used for a reason isn’t it? Think of the cutting edge really tight-fit suit worn with such élan by young men who you’d quite like to punch. Then imagine your husband, father, grandfather (depending on your age) in that same ensemble limping around the dance floor at a family party because his - ahem, ‘tackle’ has become trapped down-by-there. I see it happening all the time and it really isn’t very nice at all.

Meanwhile, and quite naturally enough, your modern ‘mature-person’ usually does want to look vaguely attractive and almost human. I only say this because that great God of untarnished youth seems to be everywhere nowadays. For my part, I am willing to lead a sort of popular counter-revolution, where nasal hair and memory loss are a good thing and flat stomachs and cheekbones are an affront to society. Indeed, I am currently cultivating a rather impressive beard that I have just recently had ‘shaped’ at my local hairdressing salon and believe it to be both cool and cutting edge, which others insist it isn’t - and alas, say so on a regular basis. However, putting my new beard to one side, I am at a loss when confronted by young women looking to resemble the elderly - it’s not natural is it? Grey hair, as described above can be surprisingly attractive, even I realise that - but, I would demand that for every sexy minx who promotes it, they should also be made to get up at approximately 03.47hrs in the morning to take a leak and then squint at themselves in the bathroom mirror and swear colourful oaths at themselves for looking so crap. Indeed, the ‘older look’ might feature well in Vogue,Tatler and Cosmopolitan, but ultimately it will be just another passing fancy just like boob-tubes, leggings and shell-suits.

When I think about it, those achingly fashionable creatures of now, today, and tomorrow - will be judged to be hysterically funny and naff at the same time, in just a few short years from now, I suppose that’s the nature of fashion. So, my friends, what’s the problem of re-inventing grey hair as a new look, or pretending that the flower print maxi-dress, as worn by Boris Johnson’s current squeeze, Carrie Symonds, is a modern phenomenon and not styled and developed more than 40 years ago as a counterpoint to the rather passé mini-skirt? To answer my own question - not a problem at all - but with this one proviso - please God, let us of a certain age be concerned with style and elegance above modernity and cutting-edge fashion. Indeed, if you are patient enough - as that tired old cliche would have it - “What goes around, comes around,” and fashion is positive proof of that fact. I have an acquaintance based in the UK who is studiously fashionable, but alas whenever I see her I wish that she would choose something to wear that actually suited her, rather than an overwhelming desire to be fashionable. In short, most of the time she just looks silly. Anyway, what do you reckon the next modern ‘look’ might be about? I’m hoping a baggy, collarless, granddad shirt, over stained brownish ‘It Ain’t Half Hot Mum’ shorts and a pair of blue Crocs might be the next big thing. But there again, I could dye my hair orange, get a tattoo and an industrial strength facelift and pretend that I’m 35 years of age again. Hey, don’t knock it, I’m seriously thinking about it.


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