RECENTLY, Spain’s Queen Letizia was criticised for wearing a dress that was “too short” for her age (43), with comments that it isn’t “fit for a Queen”. As if we were inhabiting the Victorian Era, where ladies were obliged to cover themselves – from chin to heel – to venture outside.

The attempt to shame Letizia for showing her shapely legs follows the horrible trend of UK tabloids posting TikTok videos of people who are plus-sized, have body modifications, or are heavily tattooed, and passing it off as “news”. The real reason is to create click bait, so that Facebookers can post silly comments underneath.

Whatever happened to diversity? And personal choice?

In fashion these days – bearing in mind it’s 2022, not 1922 – anything goes, and “the rules” are there to be broken. Who says that a lady of 50 cannot wear the same dress as a 20-year-old, especially if she feels a million dollars in her chosen outfit and accessories?

Madonna recently said that her son looks better in some of her dresses than she does. Last month, he was pictured cutting a striking figure in her red Adidas number, carrying off his look with aplomb. 

Similarly, American Mark Bryan, who lives in Germany with his wife and children, wears skirts to work and is not taking any nonsense!

Although there are zero restrictions on our selection of colour, style, and hemline, when we plan our outfit, we should bear in mind our destination for the day or night. 

Really, it’s not discrimination if you visit a five-star restaurant in Madrid wearing your beachwear from Ibiza, and there’s an existing dress code that doesn’t allow bikini tops, so the doorman says “no”. Equally, a “no” might apply if you attend a black-tie dinner in your carnival outfit, resplendent with sequinned hot pants – amusing though it might seem beforehand!

Mike Von Geig Unsplash
A bikini top might not be suitable for your dinner date. Photo: Mike Von / Unsplash.

While choosing from this season’s styles, there are some options that convert easily for daytime and evening use. A well-cut pair of jeans and a shirt is the perfect, chic solution. Both are available in cuts designed to fit most body types, with colours to flatter every skin tone. Go for classic blue jeans with a white shirt or choose ones that reflect your personality – such as ripped black jeans, flares or sparkle details. Change accessories depending on the time of day, and how you’re feeling.

Jade Destiny Unsplash
Blue jeans are a good choice for everyone. Photo: Jade Destiny / Unsplash.

We can also maximise our individual body shapes – whether we’re size 0 or 20.

For example, people with narrow shoulders might feel happier in a polo neck than a shirt, as it gives a flattering look, especially if you want to create a slightly fuller silhouette.

Those who have a strong, athletic build might find looser fitting trousers and a more fitted top will make the most of their physique.

With all styles of clothing available in many sizes, larger ladies have a great choice of flattering options, depending on their style, but don’t be tempted to “cover up” by wearing oversized clothing. Sometimes, a shape that simply skims the figure is the most flattering option. Try a fab patterned maxi dress and cropped jacket for the daytime and palazzo pants with a chiffon blouse for simple evening elegance.

Our various lumps and bumps can be made to look – well, less lumpy and bumpy – by wearing darker colours, a scarf that hangs to hip level, a wide belt over the waist, or sleeveless long gilet.

Whatever we choose, the most important thing is that we feel comfortable, happy, and confident with our choices and our “look”.

Fashion advice and styling can be found in The Armario de Freya, Calle Correo 1, Orgiva, 18418 Granada.

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