Age Archives | Style Is Forever featuring a Q&A with Stephanie Cole

To be honest, I find the idea of age-appropriate dressing quite boring and ridiculous.  Indeed, I agree that most women past the age of 16 probably shouldn't wear certain things (One Direction T-Shirt), but to tell a woman she shouldn't wear a miniskirt or a pair of skinny jeans because she's over 40 is just ludicrous. (more on that in a bit)

Most of my personal clients are older in age (ranging from 40-70) and I really apply the same rules when styling them as I do with my under 40 clients. The first thing we do is discuss our bodies and the things we love and the things we dislike... I have one client who has amazing legs but feels her arms are not the best and then I have another client who has great arms and legs and breasts but is not happy with her mid section. This is going to help me figure out the best ways to enhance their best features. We then go through their closet and really define what they want to say about their style. Some clients make story boards with pictures of outfits they like or they might include style icons for me to follow on gram and really get a sense of that person's style.

During the "closet purge" I create three piles...a donation pile, a consignment pile, and a keep in your closet pile. I love working with my clients in such an intimate one on one level because it allows me to contact them every time I get something new in with my ecommerce consignment shop (www.shopsamscloset.com).

I always also have my eyes and ears constantly open when visiting other stores whether it is in person or on the dot com to let them know of things I see that they need! (One of my clients is channeling Marissa Webb so i frequent her gram daily; Another client loves the storyboards and is striving for a Sedona Safari type style and then in her casual pieces is wanting a more chic & disheveled vibe; And then I have a client who is needing to update her whole entire Spring wardrobe as she just lost 40 pounds so it's all over the board). A lot of my clients are following my way and are wanting to do a capsule wardrobe. This is probably my fave thing to work on. (Will definitely post on that whole process soon.)

I love dressing one of my fave friends and clients, Stephanie Cole. She has always had  this je ne sais quoi about her that just gravitated me towards her. (Major girl crush. #wcw!) I knew this was someone I wanted to get to know and be around!

photos above courtesy of Lavada Nicholls

She understands her body and she understands her amazing sense of style. She recently did a whole closet purge and redefined her look. She even now knows if she buys something new something old must go which I love. She just celebrated her 60th birthday and I think her style just keeps getting better with age.

photos above courtesy of Stephanie and Ralph Cole, and Lavada Nicholls

She is a prime example in seeing something on a hanger that doesn't really appeal to her at first but then knowing her and having her try it on she almost always loves it and purchases! We keep her fresh and modern and do not let any age put any boundaries on this fashionista. She looks fantastic!! And I definitely put her up there with some pretty major style icons in my life that are also getting better with age!!! Follow her lead ladies! Follow her lead. Trust me. She's one to watch!!

Whether you find her working with her hubby in their gorgeous downtown studio with their photography business, (www.ralphcolephotography.com), playing fetch with her cute little pup Roxy, in a boat pose at yoga, or enjoying dinner and dirty martini's with friends... the woman is always the best dressed!

And lucky you...I was able to interview her....so you now get to know her just a tiny bit better!

Interview with Stephanie Cole

At What age did you start becoming fascinated with fashion?

-1964...The year of The British Invasion. I was only 9 but The Beatles and their girlfriends got our attention.

How do you stay updated on the current trends?

-Mostly magazines and my groovy friends

What are your favorite trends for Spring 2016?

-Every year it seems there is a color that dominates. I usually try to participate in that way. Looks like yellow is playing a BIG role in 2016 so this could be the season to pick up something classic in yellow. I am noticing slippers for shoes, like little Chinese slippers or flat mules and midi skirts !

What trend would you most like to disappear?

-Cut away shoulders... but I learned a long time ago that your eye will eventually get used to anything.

Your favorite thing in your closet right now?

-A turquoise 3/4 length sleeve dress that I have not even worn yet!

Your least fave thing in your closet right now?

-A couple of old sweaters that are really tired...they may go at the end of the season so I will be forced to replace them with one nice warm sweater for next year. One that I will buy on sale.

Your favorite all time designer?

-For me it isn't so much designers as it is eras. I love design at the turn of a decade for example when the 50's morphed into the 60's and YSL became the head designer for DIOR. So many iconic pieces that we still wear today !I never really got the jones for labels but great designers inspire us through decades. Where would we be without Givenchy's LBD or Diane Von Furstenberg's wrap dress. The times inspire design. 

 YSL Mondarin dress (above) the Givenchy LBD on Audrey and the DVF wrap dress (below)

YSL Mondarin dress (above) the Givenchy LBD on Audrey and the DVF wrap dress (below)

How did you prepare for a career in photography?

-I dropped out of college and a boyfriend gave me a camera. I quickly realized that I wasn't such a good photographer but I enjoyed the other elements of the business. I loved working in the darkroom and I love producing photo shoots. Everything from styling to keeping things running on schedule and on budget. My husband is the photographer and we have made a good team throughout our career. 

Advice for the up-and-coming photographers out there?

-The career of photography will redefine itself in the next few years and it will include video.  Everyone has a camera now, right in their pocket. The technology and tricks have made photography a "household" ability.  Still it takes a good eye and understanding of the basic principals of how a camera works.   My advice would be not to rely on too many tricks and filters to fix things but to try to make your images as good as they can be with lighting and composition.  Learn about darkroom techniques even if your darkroom is now on an APP.  Always have your camera with you and copyright and protect your work.

What is the one beauty item you never leave the house without?

-Lipstick

If there was a movie based on your life who would you want to see play the part of you?

-Ooooh I was gonna say a young Laura Bacall, but how about Tina Fey?

Your favorite Sunday consists of ...?

-Hopefully it is raining or too cold to go outside so I don't have to feel guilty about staying in and sleeping late and drinking coffee and looking at the style section of The New York Times. Then cooking a big Sunday meal while watching reruns of anything I love and have seen a million times..then maybe some friends over for dinner. 

Gosh, now don't we all want to be her?!!!

photos above courtesy of Ralph Cole

And follow the lead of these fashion icons too who do not let age limit their fashion choices! (I'm not including Anna Wintour. Duh...That's a given.)

Linda Rodin

Founder and Creator, Rodin Olio Lusso, NY

Talk about eternal cool .....

Iris Apfel

Retired business woman and fashion lover

I want to be this fabulous in my 90's

Tilda Swinton

Actress

Fierce...this woman can pull off anything including every hair color!

Carlyne Cerf De Dudzeele

Legendary Stylist

Can I just be her bestie, even for a day?

Linda Fargo

Bergdorf Godman Executive Linda Fargo

There is just something about her!

Anh Duong

Artist, actress, and woman-about town

Just effortless

Beatrix Ost

Artist, film producer, writer

She makes me want to dye my hair purple right now and I think she should do a tour in all
cities on how to wear the perfect turban! She's frequently with The Olsen twins and I can't even! This is the real bae!

 

And, ladies - do not be afraid to ruffle some feathers.

Great style is timeless-until it isn't.

Keep youthful with these fantastic pieces here !

 


Xo,

Sam