This month we meet Alyson Walsh. The founder of @thatsnotmyage.
A celebrated fixture of UK fashion journalism, Alyson offers in-depth commentary on bridging the gap between age and style. She believes style is for every woman of every day.
We visited her in South London where she gave us insight into her world and a view for the season ahead.
Women are always being told to ‘dress appropriately for their age’, what do you think of this, and what would you say in response?
Age-appropriate is inappropriate! Along with an ever-increasing network of women, I consider age limits on what to do, say and wear over a certain age a thing of the past. Having grown-up breaking and remaking the rules, those of us born in the 60s and 70s are never going to be boxed in by prescriptive directions. Age-related fashion rules are irrelevant. Rather than ‘dressing your age’, the emphasis today is on looking relaxed, chic and modern. Women of all ages are liberated (hooray!) and are now dressing for comfort, personality and body shape rather than following specific rules.
How has your style evolved over the years?
My style has been pretty similar throughout my life. I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy: think oversized shirts, jeans and jackets. Comfy shoes are a given - and, I’m a big fan of the jumpsuit! During my time as a fashion editor on magazines, my outfits were a bit more varied but even then, we could wear jeans in the office. I would say that I am more self-assured now that I’m in my 50s, than when I was younger. One of the good things about getting older is realising that you can safely ignore fashion fads, and do your own thing. There is a freedom that comes with age and experience.
How do you build a staple wardrobe, what are your go-to items?
Over time I've developed a signature style that has become something of a uniform. The items I love and wear on repeat – slouchy cargo pants, straight-leg jeans, the pull- on-and-go jumpsuit, an outstanding jacket – are the clothes that I feel most comfortable in. These wardrobe staples form the foundation of most of my outfits, and then I whoop things up with accessories to add impact.
Alyson wears the Dalia
Talk us through a typical day in the life of Alyson.
I feel very fortunate that there isn't really a typical day in my line of work. I love the variety of what I do, and the fact that I get to work with fantastic female creatives and women doing incredible things.
Most days I wake up at around 7.30am, have breakfast then it's a quick scan through my inbox and a scroll through That's Not My Age to check if there's anything urgent, I need to look at. Next is a caffeine fix - I'm a coffee obsessive! Then, I might go for a walk around our local park or cycle over to a co-working space. Once I’m back at my desk, I get to work writing features for That's Not My Age, which could be anything from practical style advice to interviews or podcasts with inspiring 40-plus women. Some days I head into central London for meetings, press events and exhibition openings. Others, I'll be on set shooting and styling content for my website and socials. It’s always busy, there's always something going on!
What does being a #DuoWoman mean to you?
Being a #DuoWoman to me is about feeling included, whatever your age, size or shape. Comfy footwear is important to me – I want to move freely throughout the day, and no one ever looks glamorous when their feet hurt!