What You Have to Look Forward to as an Over-40 Fashion Blogger

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I am on the cusp of my 41st birthday and like I always do leading up to birthdays, I've been doing some reflection, specifically on my past year as a 40-year old fashion blogger. I am certainly not the only 40-or-over fashion blogger, and I don't think I'm a special case, but if I can say so, I have felt quite differently about blogging since I turned 40 (probably as a result of feeling different about LIFE), and have noticed some similarities amongst others of us “bloggers of a certain age:”

We're Irreverent

Since I turned 40, I've definitely been saying “who cares?” more often. I wish I'd done it earlier, and given up on trying to please people or worry about what everyone else thinks, but I truly believe that wisdom comes with age & time, and I was only ready to embrace it recently. Sure, in my 30's I was learning to let go and find myself, but I only reached that truly amazing stage where I REALLY don't care a couple of years ago. I see this in the other “older” bloggers I follow; an “oh yes I did” attitude and refusal to apologize for or explain our style choices. There's a freedom in this that I find so attractive.

Our Community is Strong

It's weird, but over the last year or so I've really noticed that I gravitate towards blogs with a lot of engagement, which I've found mostly on the over-40 bloggers I follow. We float about from one blogger to another, but there's always a sense of camaraderie there, no matter whose blog you're commenting on. As I've turned 40, a sense of community and finding other women out there who I can identify with is more important than ever.

We're Sincere

I've found with a lot of the over-40 fashion bloggers I follow, there is a combination of irreverence with regard to our sartorial choices, and an idea that it's about more than just the clothes. We're sincere in our discussions of how we see ourselves, and how others may see us, given our style/way of dressing. We also talk about life and ideas, but overall, we're honest and up front about everything. Including fashion.

We're Supportive

It's not always true, but I have found that for me, with age, has come some mellow-ness, and a desire to be less competitive. Sure, fashion blogging is sometimes a lot like high-school (hell, LIFE is a lot like high-school sometimes!!), but I don't need to be all up in it anymore. I want to help and be supportive of other women, and I've found other women who desire the same (of all ages, but mostly among women in their 30's and 40's). My readers, who range from 30's to 50's are also incredibly supportive .

We're Independent

We have a different perspective on fashion/style – you won't see us posting about the latest trends without admitting that we've done them before, and not taking them too seriously. We're also fiercely independent. As I look through my favorite over-30 & 40 fashion blogs, I learn about designers I hadn't heard of before, or maybe hadn't considered trying before (Eileen Fisher anyone?). I see grey hair and outfit pictures that are not posed, exude confidence & grace, and sometimes even a “devil may care” attitude as I mentioned above. So refreshing!

By segmenting this into over-40 fashion bloggers I certainly don't mean to say that these things are not true of bloggers of any age, just that perhaps they're more noticeable to me, now. No matter what age you are now, twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, there is always more to learn, and in my articles here, I try to offer a perspective on blogging that I didn't have when I started, or even five years ago. It would have been nice to have had an older fashion blogger/mentor tell me what's on the horizon, from a shared perspective! Sure, you're surrounded by people telling you how exciting life gets into your 30's, 40's & 50's, but it doesn't really sink in until you're IN IT.

So, take it from me, look forward to 40. I promise, it'll be good.

[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]

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38 Responses

  1. Armand Cox

    Speaking as a blogger who is closer to 40 rather than 20, I agree with the article. As we get older and wiser, it’s great to share my passion for menswear with people and feel secure with how style is communicated between many age groups.

    Reply
  2. Stacey

    Great article! I’m in my early 30s and just starting out and I was worried I was already ‘too old’ to seriously start a fashion blog. I loved hearing that older bloggers are generally supportive and less competitive and its so awesome that you have reached a place of “I don’t care what people think”. Good for you!

    Reply
  3. laurence boxus

    good to know there are other 40+ bloggers. i feel quite ‘alone’ amongst all those young blogsters. regularly i receive nice comments from readers of my age, telling me that they are happy to read a blog which is focused on what women of 30 & 40+ like. that motivates me to continue!

    Reply
  4. Yolanda

    Thanks for this, you just may have made me change my mind about NOT doing a blog. I have tried so many things in my life and many have which have not worked out so being over the hill (lol) it has been difficult to really want to embrace something new especially something so connected to youth and being young..but I LOVE FASHION AND STYLE and all my life throughout all my failures and successes fashion/style has always lifted my spirits and been my private getaway. My closet has been my secret toy box-a playroom when things were not going well. So perhaps I may just do that blog after all. Hell, maybe the world needs to hear from more of us OG’s old gals–( just kidding- age is just a number!)

    Reply
  5. Hey Mishka

    Great piece – and this reminds me of a particularly inspiring article R29 just posted about well-over-40 model Cindy Joseph, whose philosophy on life inspired me right out of my bad mood yesterday. It’s a must-read.

    http://www.refinery29.com/cindy-joseph

    I’m still in my 20s, but I think my soul is on the old side 😉 so I love reading things like this. Looking forward to the future!

    xx
    Mishka
    http://heymishka.com

    Reply
  6. Mark Alexander

    What a great article. I am still 35 (but only just) and I find it really difficult to relate to my readers who are in their teens and 20s. I’ve been trying to please them for too long and I feel like I need to move on towards the over 35s audience.

    Like you, I am at the stage of my life where I realise that I can’t please and appeal to everyone. Like you, I find myself saying “who cares?” more often than “how are you?” 🙂 Like you, I am looking forward to the big 40 and all the good that comes with it.

    Reply
    • Grechen Reiter

      thank you mark! i think the most important thing is to write about what you care about & love, and the readers will follow. no matter what their age, or your age, they’ll keep coming back because of your voice…and if you’re writing for someone else (younger readers) instead of yourself, they’ll be able to tell…

      Reply
  7. Ann

    I have found all the things you are commenting on to be true. The over forty community is wonderful and accepting of a wide variety of styling and voices. I’ve been blogging about nine months and have enjoyed so many of the women I’ve met. Honestly as an older woman, I am happy to see other women interested in fashion and having the gusto to get out there and take pictures!

    blue hue wonderland

    Reply
  8. Ann

    I have found all the things you are commenting on to be true. The over forty community is wonderful and accepting of a wide variety of styling and voices. I’ve been blogging about nine months and have enjoyed so many of the women I’ve met. Honestly as an older woman, I am happy to see other women interested in fashion and having the gusto to get out there and take pictures!

    blue hue wonderland

    Reply
  9. sacramento

    And when you are over 50 it gets EVEN BETTER, LOl
    Brilliant post.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Reply
  10. Monica Lee

    I love this post! I think admitting that I do really like fashion can be hard as you get older as well! Some women my age think I am, well…maybe superficial and then I think of fabulous designers over 40, hello! DVF and I think who cares? I do like what I like! AND if I see a trend go by that has been done before..(we called it “day-glo” not neon)…I try to stay open minded as see how people will reinterpret it!
    Not to mention…now that I am older I know what works on my body and what is actually going to COMFORTABLE all day. OH! I am I have a larger budget!

    Reply
  11. Heather

    Thanks for reminding me that just because we’re over 40 doesn’t mean we don’t have a place in blog-dom. In fact, I think we are the ‘ballast in the ship’ — the younger ones will always look to experience to either push back or guide them. Also, whatever it is we share on our blogs, be it fashion or anything else, there has to be a connection to readers, and age gives us the advantage in that area.

    Reply
  12. Heather

    Thanks for reminding me that just because we’re over 40 doesn’t mean we don’t have a place in blog-dom. In fact, I think we are the ‘ballast in the ship’ — the younger ones will always look to experience to either push back or guide them. Also, whatever it is we share on our blogs, be it fashion or anything else, there has to be a connection to readers, and age gives us the advantage in that area.

    Reply
  13. MizzJ

    That is such a relief that there is a community out there for older women! I already feel a little out of touch being in my late 20s from all the college-age/early 20s fashion bloggers out there, so it’s great to know that I don’t have to drop out of the fashion community after “a certain age.”

    Reply
  14. rae

    Love this post! I’m a blogger on 40’s cusp and you’re right about everything in here!!! I have just started to become fully irreverent. It’s been wonderful. I can’t wait to see what happens next. Thank you so much for writing this!

    Reply
  15. Glenda

    I am 47, and a blogger that has been in the industry for 30 years. I love this age and I agree with your article. With age comes a confidence that I surely did not have in my twenties, nor thirties. I named my blog So What to Twenty. Its not an insult to our younger women, rather an affirmation to remind us that our style shouldnt be dictated by the industry that suggest that being young is better. In fashion, age is simply a number.
    http://sowhattotwenty.blogspot.com

    Reply
  16. Donna George

    Gretchen,

    I’m 53, blogging and happy. Don’t worry, it will be fine, The key is to be youthful not young :)) MY fashion blog launches late October. Watch 53 do this with grace.

    xoxo
    Donna

    Reply
  17. Sabina Styleblog Only in Frankfurt

    The thing is I was blogging being an 40+ for a while and on my own more or less and then came across a over 30s network. And ever since then the interaction has made the whole enterprise so much more enjoyable, so much more successful and I have been getting lots of suport. And just getting thru my first “troll” was so much easier. And its exactly like you were saying: we visit each others blogs, not all and regulary but you popp by, you know. And I also read and get read by younger ones. But whats the most important to me is letting others know that grown up women have got something to say instead of fashion bloggers =blond, leggy, 20s cliche´. Thnx for the post, Sabina

    Reply
  18. PauMau

    Great post and thanks for the link to your older post about fashion bloggers of great age 🙂 I found huge rage of new blogs to read!

    Reply
  19. Jeanine Marie

    I would like to think of my blog as a place where women of all ages can find something to relate to. I am way beyond 20 something but I can relate to some things they are passionate about like the newest cosmetics or certain designer collections.

    Do women over 30+ get “teamed up” with companies. That I have yet to see.

    Jeanine

    Reply
  20. Krystal

    I just turned 30, and earlier this year I had to reflect on that fact. I took a look at my life thus far and where its going. I was inspired by this soul searching to write a similar post on my blog when I first started it. I was terrified that STARTING a blog on the cusp of 30 was goal oriented career suicide. But to be honest, I don’t think I had what it took to do what I do now in my 20’s. There are so many things that I can do, understand, and accomplish because I’m older. Great post Grechen! Heres the article I wrote about bloggers over 30! http://wp.me/p3pnwe-fw #seasoned

    Reply
  21. Daphne Chandler

    Hi Gretchen, Thanks so much for your article. At 46, I literally just started my style blog and the question of whether or not people would think I’m “too old” did cross my mind. But, I love fashion and doing what I can (within reason) to look my best comes naturally. I just thought I could help someone else with what I think has worked well for me over the years. I never really thought about the fact that with a difference in age brings a difference in perspective, but yes…I do agree. Additionally, I know I can’t be the only over 40er who is still in love with fashion and still attempting to cultivate a personal style that is second nature to look my best dressed up or dressed down from head to toe. I figured I would share with those people at least…young or old…I’m not picky about whom to share with. Hopefully my age will not be a stumbling block for someone
    else! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing and listening!

    http://www.stylephyles.com

    Reply
  22. Linda Meyer

    I’m two months away from turning 50 and I look and feel better, stronger, and more confident than ever! Over the last thirty years I have styled, sold, and wardrobed women in every age group. I am also a published writer. But my claim to fame is buying my twenty-one year old daughter clothes that she actually likes! My bog is only a few weeks old and I’m in the process of raising and nurturing it. Please check it out and let me know what you think. Good or bad, I’ll appreciate the input . http://www.middleskirts.com

    Reply
  23. Sonia

    I’ve literally just started my blog, and this is such a relief to read. I think it can be intimidating starting a fashion/style blog when you’re no longer in your twenties. When I was in my twenties (now in my thirties), I was too busy getting on with life and sorting out my career, that I couldn’t quite pin down how and what I wanted to blog about (although I’ve always been obsessed with fashion!). Starting now has been a long-time coming. My career is sorted, and now looking after my baby boy for a full year before heading back to work, I’m finding any spare moment I have, to write about the things I love and need that creative outlet. Even within my job as a broadcaster, I ultimately find myself drawn to wanting to do stories about lifestyle and fashion, (although it’s not what our audience is really about). Bringing that to a blog however, is a dream and comes so naturally.

    I think there’s a real niche that can be filled by older bloggers because it comes down to ‘style’ as opposed to being purely trend-based. There’s bound to be depth to style blogs written by more mature bloggers who have the confidence and self- assurance to say exactly what they think, where their style is a reflection of that and all their own.

    Thanks Grechen!

    Reply
  24. Lisa Carnochan

    Grechen, this is quite true.

    What I also like is that the core group over even older bloggers, like me in my 50s, do not focus on what the industrial-funded media does. We don’t talk too much about wrinkles or plastic surgery. We talk about what we wear, our marathons (not me, can’t abide running, but go Materfamilias!), makeup, how to gray, etc., as though it’s something we want to do, not a set of manoeuvres to avoid aging.

    Reply
  25. Maria

    Hi Gretchen,

    Your title alone made me stop in my brakes at once. I proudly just turned 40 a few months ago and have been a fashion blogger for over 2 years now. It’s very interesting to see a perspective change once that milestone number hits you. I also have questioned my direction and analyzed to exhaustion my life especially in the blogging world. Acceptance is a day by day progression. The blogging world may be primarily very young but there is a huge demographic of wiser and seasoned women who bring a special note to the pages of their blogs.

    Moving forward with engagement and support for all my fellow 40 and over bloggers! Cheers to us!

    Maria

    http://www.onestyleatatime.com/

    Reply
  26. Annette

    When I started my blog in January I had the same worries as most other 40+ bloggers “Who wants to see photos of a 50 yrs old mature fashion blogger?”
    I was totally wrong! The 40+ bloggers are a very strong and loyal community worldwide and I have met the most incredible ladies (and Josep-Maria, wellknown amongst the scene).
    Style is ageless and I am so glad I started blogging.

    Annette | Lady of Style

    Reply
  27. Ana and Diana

    Great Article! I started my blog with my sister as a blogger directed mainly to young girls in their 20’s (like us). But then I decided i should post something about the person that inspired us the most into the fashion world – our aunt with more than 70 years old and a true fashionista! And guess what? Now we try to do a post about her outfits and with her opinions about trends and we are having a good feed back! And it is so fun for us and her to be part of it (and oh god, her ego is going boom!) ahah We called it “Mimi Knows Best” 🙂 Feel free to check it out if you are curious ^^ http://insanely-it.blogspot.pt/search/label/Mimi%20Knows%20Best

    Reply
  28. TRENDSURVIVOR

    Hi Grechen,
    loved your article, sooo true! I have worn most of the trends before that is why I named my blog Trend Survivor 🙂 I totally get what you are talking about. However, it would be great if you could share with us the blogs you love and follow. I believe all my blogger friends are under 30…
    x
    Nina

    Reply
  29. Nadia

    Hello Gretchen,
    Great post! At 45, I have not only become a recurring guest on my friend’s blog but have just been offered my own spot. I couldn’t agree more with the “who cares” attitude… I am embracing my forties and having the time of my life. Our blog is not about the latest trends but more about our own style and what we basically enjoy ….
    Thank Grechen,
    Nadia
    http://www.design-closeup.com/

    Reply