Last week, I launched the first STYLE MATTERS interview and was overwhelmed with all the fabulous feedback.
This week I am delighted to introduce Jaimee who’s 40 years old and lives in Grenoble, France – Jaimee is a Kiwi girl living in France blogging her side of the story & exploring her 40 year old mum-style. As always I hope you enjoy the interview,
Love, Lizzi x
How do you describe your personal style?
Evolving because I’m still finding it! But here is what I know for sure; I have a love of vintage clothing and I won’t follow fashion trends just because it’s popular. So I find myself mixing new finds with vintage pieces and my own personal stockpile to create an outfit.
Vintage earrings with a vintage t-shirt will turn a pair of old jeans and this season’s blazer into a stylish look that you can’t find on the high street.
Why does style matter to you?
I love to feel good in what I wear. I spent my 30’s putting everyone else first and having babies. Now I’m 40, I am taking time to figure out how to express myself and break away from that mum vibe!
Exploring colour has been my main focus over the summer (I even went 31 days without wearing black to kickstart my creativity) because colour plays a massive part in whether a certain piece will look fab or drab. It also says a lot about my personality and for too long I’ve been hiding it behind greys, tans and blacks.
Have you always been interested in style?
No, anything but! As a double Olympian, I spent my 20’s playing international sport so I never wore makeup and I was constantly training and tired, making style a low priority! Then I had 3 kids and we moved 4 countries in 6 years which pilfered some more of my energy reserve!
It wasn’t until I turned 40 that I decided to consciously find my style. I always had an idea of what I liked and didn’t like – I had just never explored it.
What would be your signature style look?
Pretty simple: skinny coloured jeans, ballet flats and I never leave home without earrings in.
What’s your view on fashion vs. style?
Fashion is what’s popular but style is individual and timeless. Who can afford to follow fashion trend’s that change more than my 2 year old’s nappy? I won’t wear something because it is in fashion, I’ll wear it because I love it, it fits me well and it’s comfortable.
What is your body shape?
Probably straight and short-ish – I have always been small all over. Until I hit 40 years old, I maintained 54-55kgs (121lbs) and I’m not tall at 164cm (5ft 4in).
Now I sit around 57kgs (125lbs) . I don’t have big boobs or a big tum or big thighs, I’m pretty even all over. But I am carrying more of a mum-tum nowadays thanks to baby number 3 at 38 years old!
Have you worked this out for yourself or did you get professional advice/training?
Of course, I sought the advice of Dr Google!! I think my body type is pretty obvious…I am not voluptuous in any area and the curviest parts of my body are probably my ears!!
What is the best thing about being straight / petite?
I have a naturally athletic, lean build so there are lots of things I can wear and shop sizes are usually pretty easy to predict for me so I can buy without trying…sometimes
What’s not so easy about your straight / petite body shape?
Trying to make my body look like it has more curves than it does! Plus finding trousers that aren’t too long.
What three (hmm four?!) styling tips do you have for straight / petite?
- Find shirts / tops that are cinched in at the waist to give shape.
- Choose tops that have an open, scoop or off the shoulder neckline and fluttery capped sleeves – these are super flattering.
- Trousers: I always look for a wide elastic band or a pant I can wear with a belt – again to accentuate my waist. Mid-rise to High-waisted skinny jeans are ideal at my age too. They hide the Mum-tum and it means I can wear a fitted top without muffin top!
- If all else fails, wear a killer pair of earrings to redirect any attention!!
What must you avoid (regardless of if it’s in fashion) for your straight & petite body shape?
- 3/4 length baggy or loose trousers – make me look short with stubby legs.
- Flares of any size or type.
- Oversized tops / blazers – make me look like a little child.
- Tight tops around my stomach! I like to eat and not have to worry about the fallout, literally!
What are your three favourite stores to shop (bricks or clicks!)?
- Zara is absolutely my main shop for everyday pieces.
- Any quality preloved / vintage clothing shop.
- I also have my eye on two awesome NZ clothing brands: ‘Love Knot War’ and ‘Augustine’ by Kelly Coe
What do you own that you will never ever give away?
- A fabulous pair of Tommy Hilfiger wedges I bought in New York in 2013.
- My collection of coloured jeans
- My ‘Kathmandu’ winter puffer jacket
What do I want my style to say about me?
A casual-chic mum of 3 that’s fun, cheeky and willing to take a chance. That I don’t fit into a ‘Fashion’, ‘Trend’ or ‘Latest Craze’ box – I wear what I want, the way I want to, and its always comfortable.
If I could raid anyone closet, who would it be?
Jennifer Aniston for sure!! Simple, fuss-free, stylish and chic. She epitomises the girl next door look and rocks a black dress.
Also Janine from @fashionlovingphysician for her unique and colourful pieces and earrings.
Also, Emms from @beautifuleverday_uk for her elegant and chic style.
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