I’ve been asked for help. A friend of mine has a girls’ night out coming up and would like some ideas on what to wear.
The request coincided with a sunday night at our local concert hall watching 1980s’ pop band, ABC. Mr P was/is a big fan, I liked one of their songs back in the day and I’m known to belt out the chorus when it’s played on Radio 2, so he bought us a pair of tickets.
Turns out not being a huge fan and knowing every track on their (two) albums can make for a lot of down time during a concert and I assumed the position of voyeur rather than participant. Looking around the stalls, which was full of 40-somethings and upwards, I couldn’t help but notice that I was surrounded by a lot of grey heads (mostly men TBH) and a flock of “going out tops”.
A going out top is a wardrobe staple for the over forties. The younger generation has them too, but for those of a certain age it’s a steadfast must-have, because you don’t go out as much and likely have less money to spend. You’ve also got kids that want the iphone 7. So where as the younger women wear theirs on Thursdays going to the cinema on a date, we are wearing ours on Saturday night, to the pub, to the restaurant, on a girl’s night out, to get away from the date, who we married.
The only draw-back with this sitch is that you end up wearing your beloved top with slim fit, skinny, coated, pleather jeans, or even with the other wardrobe BFF, the black “I can wear these anywhere” trousers, that you’ve worn a million times before. You never quite feel dressed up.
Nothing beats full on dressing up. Didn’t we all love seeing Carrie strip down to her knickers and bulldoze through her way through “the” closet until she found the perfect outfit that made her feel like a million dollars, then head out with the girls?
I get it, I really do. The last time I went out, out with the girls was in September. It’s a rare occurrence for me to go out. However, that last time, I wore a whole new outfit. Not only did I think I looked okay, I felt great, and that’s the point, it’s an occasion to have fun, not “get by”. So just for a change, why not put yourself first?
Now that you have to get a whole new outfit (yes, I’m being an enabler here) where do you start? The good news is that this autumn, trends are on our side girls and you don’t have to spend a small fortune. The shops are ablaze with flattering pieces and if you don’t have time just order stuff online. It’s getting easier and easier to do and if it doesn’t fit/you don’t like it, nearly every retailer offers free returns.
Material-wise there is an abundance of silk (skims) and velvet (warms) fabric pieces out there and if in doubt go for red, metallic or leopard print pieces that will add to your outfit. A red blouse here, metallic shoe there, and a leopard bag is THE swag to have.
Store-wise I would head straight to H&M and Zara for cost-effective, current designs. Also worth noting here is the brand new Alexa Chung collection at M&S (see below), which is out this week, though I think M&S in general is brimming with finds this season. Check out their shoe collection and you’ll see what I mean.
For a full make-over I would go straight for a 1970s’ mididress. These have appeared in most retailers’ windows this autumn. They are feminine, cut flatteringly and all you need do is add an ankle boot and you’re good to. This dress also has a multitude of uses – school events, family gatherings and Christmas Day wear. Here’s a selection of dresses on the high street and online.