Life Begins At » Older Aussie Women Increasingly Stylish, Optimistic
Beauty and Fashion

Older Aussie Women Increasingly Stylish, Optimistic

In recent years women around the world, including Australia, have been inspired by the ‘advanced style’ movement.

What exactly does this mean, though? Well, the concept of advanced style is defined pretty clearly on the American blog of the same name. Just check out some of the images:


advanced style 1

advanced style 2

Now, there’s research to confirm women over 65 are more stylish than ever. More specifically, that they possess the qualities fundamental for any aspiring advanced style icon.

Among these 65-plus women, there have been some gradual attitudinal shifts.

Back in 2011, 60 per centagreed that ‘I try to look stylish’, but this has since grown to 65.3 per cent. (Tellingly, the proportion who believe ‘It’s important to look fashionable’ is much lower, at 24.8 per cent. After all, advanced style is not about following fashion but being an individual.

More importantly, advanced style is about enjoying life and being open to its experiences. To quote advanced style icon Iris Apfel, “You only have one trip. You might as well enjoy it”.

It seems more older Australian women are doing precisely that, with growing proportions saying they ‘live a full and busy life’ (67.7 per cent, up from 65.5 per cent in 2011) and ‘look for new experiences every day’ (21.8 per cent, up from 17.9 per cent).

This lust for life is also reflected in the high proportion (67.7 per cent) who agree they’re ‘optimistic about the future.’

And while style is not dependent on wads of cash, a little financial wriggle-room doesn’t hurt. When it comes to discretionary expenditure, older women are better off than they were in 2011: 15.2 per cent qualifying as ‘Big spenders’ (up from 11.2 per cent) and 26.7 per cent ‘Medium spenders’ (up from 24.5 per cent).

Of course, none of these qualities in isolation guarantee senior style superstardom — although they’re a good start. But do any Aussie women aged 65+ possess all of the traits above? Does the concept of advanced style have any relevance in Australia beyond the media hype? Roy Morgan research data indicates that yes, it’s relevant and it’s gaining traction.

Last year, this niche group numbered some 54,000 women: all of whom try to look stylish, lead a full and busy life, look for new experiences every day and feel optimistic about the future; as well as being Big or Medium Spenders who enjoy shopping for clothes and do so in any given four-week period. This represents an almost 40% increase on the 39,000 who ticked all those boxes in 2011.

Roy Morgan industry communications director Norman Morris said said that “with the release of the Advanced Style documentary in 2014, the world learned that old age is no barrier to fabulousness”.

“Spearheaded by the inimitable 94-year-old Iris Apfel (currently the face of Australian clothing brand Blue Illusion’s aptly named ‘Ageless’ campaign), advanced style is all about defying society’s expectations of ‘age-appropriate’ dressing and behaving, and having fun with one’s personal style.”

Below is the trailer for Advanced Style.

Do you identify as stylish? How has your approach to the way you dress changed as you’ve aged?

About the author

Alana Lowes

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment