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Friday, December 07, 2007

Trinny and Susannah got it wrong

I'm normally a big fan of Trinny and Susannah and their brisk advice. But this week, when they bullied some mature ladies into going into stores like New Look and TopShop, and insisted they encase themselves in tailoring, I felt they'd got it wrong.

They'd assembled a great bunch of women in their 60s and above: feisty, independent, enjoying life. And T&S seemed to assume that because they'd given up on the high street, they'd given up on life.

What they didn't seem to get was that older women, quite often widowed or single, no longer feel the need to compete with each other in the way younger women do, or that they had to win the attention of men. It must be incredibly liberating, I think, to wear what you want, even if it's just something comfortable, and have great companionship with other women. Sheesh, when I'm that age I don't want to have to keep dieting and exercising and forcing myself into tailored clothes!

My mum is a great case in point. She wears very bright colours so could never be accused of fading into the background. But she gets most of her clothes in M&S and wouldn't be seen dead in New Look or Top Shop, Nor would I, frankly. Who wants to be looked at as if you're a mutant by teenagers wearing all the stuff you wore years ago? (Nothing is ever new these days my darlings).

If you want to play the mutton game, and turn back time, you end up being ridiculed like Faye Dunaway in today's Daily Mail. On the one hand they praise her flawless skin, her perfect veneered teeth, her tumbling hair...but then they spitefully show a close-up of her hands. In true Daily Mail style, they aim to humiliate and ridicule an older woman - when most of their readers are women. I just don't get it.

It would have been far more realistic to my mind if Trinny & Susannah had persuaded the ladies to shop around in M&S and not just in the Classics dept. They could pick up some tailoring or smart shoes and dresses in Autograph, Per Una or the other department whose name escapes me, and not feel out of place.

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