I could scroll through the Advanced Style blog for hours and hours, stealing style inspiration from women four times my age. Let’s face it: My signature leggings-with-a-blouse look is to these women what the paper bag princess is to Downton Abbey’s Dowager Countess.
With a colouring book, a documentary and a world-renowned blog, Advanced Style is taking the world of fashion by storm. Street-style blogger for the sassy granny in all of us, Ari Seth Cohen’s motto is, “respect your elders and let these ladies and gents teach you a thing or two about living life to the fullest.” He says that Advanced Style offers proof from the wise and silver-haired set that personal style advances with age.
Ari photographs women of all different shapes, sizes, ethnicities and ages, and he also profiles many stylish older men, breaking down stereotypes and showing the inclusivity of aging. Here’s what I learned from scouring through his blog.
You are here, you are alive, you are creative, strong, and wise! Ari blogged this tagline in 2011, stating that this is what the outfits of the women and men he photographs say. This is an excellent mantra for your morning routine.
You don’t have to shop at UO and Brandy Melville to have incredible clothes. Many of the women of AS acquire their amazon pieces from vintage and second hand shops, and many say they’ve had the same pieces for years, decades even. The difference is not in the brand, the price, or the fit. The difference is you.
Aging is Privilege. Not everyone has the privilege of growing older. Though we have pretty good odds, illnesses and accidents often prevent us from truly appreciating grey hairs. Instead of worrying about getting older, embrace it and be thankful for each second. Besides, age is not an inhibitor; it is your greatest accessory.
The best accessory you have is your smile… and a dog. The women of AS have a few common threads: excellent smiles, and adorable dogs that often sport matching hairstyles.
Spontaneity is beautiful. Most of the women Ari photographs don’t get dressed in the morning anticipating a photo shoot. The spontaneous and unique, raw beauty of the photos is truly exemplary of elegance in later life.
Posture is Powerful. Many of the women Ari photographs have incredible posture, lending them an air of elegance. With our eyes focused down on smart phone screens and laptops, it’s important that our generation doesn’t lose this appreciation for elegance, and the ability to command a room with the turn of a head.
Style doesn’t come from the runway, it comes from you. Who cares what’s on the runway this season? These fashionable women certainly don’t, so why should you care about the latest trends? Wear what makes you feel like a goddess, and you’ll always be in style. Wrinkles, Botox, white hair, bright red. Nothing is unstylish; it’s all about what makes you comfortable.
You really can’t go wrong with headwear and don’t underestimate what unique glasses can do for you. So much of what makes these incredible women stand out is wrapped up in hats and glasses. From top hats to baseball caps, from vintage cat eye frames to modern ray bans, never be afraid to up-the-anty when it comes to accessories that show off your personality.
Don’t be afraid to make a statement. Whether it’s with a bold print or a rousing public speech, the women of AS don’t hold back. In order to be your most genuine and stylish self, it’s important to stay true to the clothes and causes you care about.
Don’t forget the sweat & sunscreen. So many of those featured on the blog say they owe their bodies to Pilates, yoga, or running, but staying active isn’t just about keeping your boobs from being tucked into your waistband, it’s also about preserving your mind, just like applying sunscreen is about preserving your skin.
The only anti-aging potion you need is a sense of humour. In a world obsessed with anti-aging creams and makeup, we often forget that this is not the end goal. Your laugh and smile lines aren’t something to be ashamed of, something to mask or prevent. They are something to look forward to, and I think we could all stand to ensure that ours are a bit deeper every year.
“More is more and less is a bore.”- Iris Apfel, Advanced Style.