Over-50s style tips

John Deeks: Well, now this is an interview I’m a bit nervous about doing because it’s all about fashion. We’re going to be speaking to an expert when it comes to fashion.

Rebecca O’Hearn: Hello, Rebecca speaking.

John Deeks: Rebecca O’Hearn. It’s John Deeks here from YourLifeChoices website. Mind Your Own Retirement is the podcast. You’re on the air right now, and I’m in deep trouble.

Rebecca O’Hearn: Why is that?

John Deeks: Well, you have had, and I quote, ‘a long career in fashion and beauty as an editor of Yours, Women’s Day, FHM magazine. You’ve styled some fabulous and famous faces and you’re obsessed with making women of all ages feel confident. That their wardrobe and beauty choices are the best they can be’ Rebecca O’Hearn.

Rebecca O’Hearn: Absolutely. I definitely am.

John Deeks: I will be quiet and let you talk and tell me all about why you think many of your clients have found themselves lost with their style because I’m a guy. I’m a guy, Rebecca. I am lost because if my partner says to me, how do you think I look in this? Or do these jeans make my bum look big? What do us poor mere males say?

Rebecca O’Hearn: It can be dangerous territory sometimes, or at least it can feel like it when somebody is not feeling good about themselves. I mean, as women, we can often find a way to sort of look to the negative side, unfortunately. But that’s sort of the part that I get obsessed with is like – styling can be a little bit of psychology as well. It usually comes from a lack of confidence. It’s not about a trend or a fashion thing. It’s about sort of getting the wheels in motion and believing in yourself again and having the confidence to just choose what you’re drawn to and wear it happily.

John Deeks: Rebecca, is it true that women dress for other women?

Rebecca O’Hearn: Definitely, certainly, Yes. Yes.

John Deeks: Tell me, are you allowed to tell me some of your clients that you’ve styled for, or is that a trade secret? Did you have to sign a confidential?

Rebecca O’Hearn: No.

John Deeks: Go ahead, please. I’d love to know.

Rebecca O’Hearn: Well, in terms of the names that you would know, it was when I was working on the big weekly magazines, and so I was lucky enough to style Lisa Wilkinson for a cover shoot.

John Deeks: Oh, Fabulous. She’s class.

Rebecca O’Hearn: Absolute class and she’s somebody who, she definitely has her own taste, but she’s still happy to try new things. And so that’s where that general confidence comes in where you can trust that you know if it works for you or not. And she was very happy to say if it didn’t, but she was really open to trying things, which I thought was fabulous, but she just had certain prerequisites about what she likes, which, that’s what I believe in finding. You should find your limit.

John Deeks: Yeah. I feel so ill-equipped to conduct this interview, Rebecca, but fortunately, Janelle Ward from YourLifeChoices has given me some questions here. So, this is not me being clever. This is her question. What is your general advice to help people get out of their style rut?

Rebecca O’Hearn: I’m a very visual person, so I provide visual cues to people. So if we’re talking about a woman who’s a little bit lost with her style, I’ve developed four types of fashion guides and I will present to you they are: a boho style, an artsy style, a sea change of style and just the classic style. And we will work together to pick pieces from each of those that you like, and you will very intuitively ended up developing your own personal style from each of these four types. I can use celebrities as examples. For example, boho, I would say Dame Judi Dench does that very well, everybody loves Judi Dench, as they should, and her style is also impeccable. She’s very much honed her style, and so you can take pieces of that if you like her stuff. The artsy, that’s a bit more eccentric – always great specs. I would say Diane Keaton is a perfect example of that, she’s almost got a uniform, you don’t have to have a uniform. She is very eclectic and confident with her choices. Then what I call sea change, and this is a really Australian style to me. So I think a lot of Aussie women fall a little bit into this, and that to me is a really fresh look. Often starting with white, you know, a great white pant and a beautiful statement, floral blouse, and soft colours to compliment that blouse. Somebody who does that a lot is Goldie Hawn in sort of the American inspiration, but also our local Lynne McGranger. I would say she too has a sort of a uniform and she’s a great inspiration for that. And lastly is your classic and so that’s really simple styling, but you probably more focus on the shapes and the cuts to get right for you. Like an amazing white satin shirt that you love, that sounds simple, but it’s your favourite and it lasts and you wear it a lot with great black pants, or a simple belt or you know, little slip on flats, very, very, very simplified styling, sort of the Lauren Huttons of the world. She does a very relaxed version of that, and it can get a little bit preppy, it’s very neat and clean. So what I do, is you start with those four inspirations and you say well I like this from that, I don’t like this from that, and you start pulling from column A, column B. And next thing you know, you’ve got your own little style going and those are your foundation pieces, to get out to the shops and be confident in what works for you and don’t be distracted by what you know doesn’t. It’s really personal.

John Deeks: Rebecca O’Hearn is a style guru. There you are, you’re now a style guru.

Rebecca O’Hearn: I like the guru.

John Deeks: And Rebecca is talking about style and fashion for specifically our over fifties, for somebody on a tight budget because many of our YourLifeChoices members mightn’t be fully flushed with funds, what are some of the basic tips for those who don’t have a lot of money to spend?

Rebecca O’Hearn: Yeah, I’m in that league and I think a lot of people are feeling that at the moment too. But lucky for us, a lot of, even the big department stores are doing really well with the women’s fashion lately and even better they have a huge size range. Most of their range will go from 8 to 18 and then they have some of them follow through up to 24 and they’re usually really affordable. The key though, to be able to shop at those places is going back to defining your style. So, walk in knowing what you want. Don’t walk in going, I’m going to let the shop tell me, you tell the shops. And although we all love a sale, don’t get caught up in a great buy if it’s not in the realm of your style because I mean, I have to say I’ve done that.

John Deeks: And of course, one of the biggest things to remember is that beauty starts from within.

Rebecca O’Hearn: Yes. It absolutely does.

John Deeks: Now didn’t I see who was on the front of Vogue was it was Dame Judi Dench just recently?

Rebecca O’Hearn: It sure was. 85 years old.

John Deeks: 85. Imagine if you’d have told the 20-year-old Dame, or Judi Dench back in those days, that when you’re 85 you’re going to be gracing the front of Vogue. Isn’t that sensational? Doesn’t that say something about how far we’ve come?

Rebecca O’Hearn: Absolutely. And she looked beautiful and they didn’t try to put her on a certain angle, or retouch too much or anything like that. And she looked, you know, I don’t like the word age appropriate.

John Deeks: I know what you are saying.

Rebecca O’Hearn: But she looked lovely, and she didn’t look like they were trying to dress her in the super crazy Vogue outfits, which would be fun too, if she wanted to do that I guess but I just thought it was fabulous, 85 years old and confident.

John Deeks: And I just saw her in a fabulous movie on one of the pay per views and it was just fantastic. I think it was Red Joan, a fantastic movie. Anyway, take care, tell people to go to your website, which is?

Rebecca O’Hearn: Yes. It’s smartcasualclassic.com

John Deeks: One word, smartcasualclassic.com Rebecca O’Hearn, I hope I have survived this interview with a little bit of integrity. So thank you so much for giving up your time and being so wonderful to accept my very uneducated questions.

Rebecca O’Hearn: No, we all start somewhere. I’ll have you in no time.

John Deeks: Thanks, Rebecca. Take care.

Rebecca O’Hearn: Thank you. Bye bye.

John Deeks: Well, folks, I hope you’ve enjoyed the YourLifeChoices podcast Mind Your Own Retirement for today. Thank you to Janelle Ward from YourLifeChoices for coming on at the start, and all the information from the podcast you’ve heard is on YourLifeChoices website. We’ve got so many wonderful members and we’d like always to have more. So please do encourage your friends to join us at yourlifechoices.com.au absolutely free. There’s no charge. No one’s going to come asking for money. You’re just welcome to be part of this wonderful community. Thank you so much for joining us and we’ll see you next time for our next podcast Mind Your Own Retirement.

Written by YourLifeChoices Writers

YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.

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