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French style over 50: Chintz, or how Floral patterns diminish your LIBERTY….

Article by Meredith Keeve a.k.a The Wandering Parisian

50 plus style french scarves image

France is famous for its fabrics. Lyon has been making printed silks since before the French Revolution. Hermes sells one of its printed silk scarves every second every day somewhere in the world. Pierre Frey, Braquenie, Tassinari & Chatel are all exceptional creators and purveyors of an enormous range of fabrics of the most beautiful colours and patterns imaginable.

And none of them make clothing.

French women love colour and pattern. But pattern tends to be for curtains. Upholstery. Wallpaper.

While small French girls are often dressed in ultra-charming smocked Liberty fabric dresses – a trip to a local park in Paris finds girls up to age 8 dressed in the most adorable, traditional printed dresses and outfits and they are irresistibly cute.

 French women tend to steer clear of prints

On the other hand, adult French women, a part from a summer frock, tend to steer clear of prints.

There are several possible reasons for this: it may be because after age 8 or 10 such prints may look either childish, or god forbid, matronly or because it simply is less flexible to work with prints in your functional wardrobe.

And prints are tough, if the motif is too small a normal size woman may suddenly look like an armchair.

If the pattern is too large, she may be confused with the wallpaper…

 Separates in solids or discreet stripes are easier to mix and match

Separates in solids or even discreet stripes are much easier to mix and match with other pieces in your wardrobe. Furthermore, floral prints tend to limit your season. While nothing says summer like a floral print, you may want a dress or blouse that you can wear throughout the year. With climate change giving us unseasonably warm winters or cold, rainy summers you want your wardrobe to work with the weather as it is, rather than as you would like it to be. (No one looks sparkling and sexy when they are shivering!)

Why not a wardrobe of scarves? I have lots of prints and florals for spring and summer that I retire for fall and winter in favor of different colors, weights and weaves for those seasons.


If you love florals and Liberty prints – which I adore – indulge. But choose a wallet, a scarf, umbrella or notebook. You are not your furniture.


style over 50 accessories image

Ralph Lauren scarf

ted Baker scarf

And a word on polka dots – no. Or at least not yet, post-75 why not, but post-50 those dots just serve as a reminder of how close you are to post-75…


Meredith Keeve

Now a Personal Stylist, Meredith Keeve has worked in publishing, fashion, cinema, interior decoration and art in Paris, London, Miami and Toronto. Working as a wardrobe consultant with her French mentor, she learned to identify the ‘closet’ issues women face – the emotional/intellectual relationship to clothes and how clothing can impact and influence how a woman presents and perceives herself. MK chose to specialize in the 50+ customer, attuning her understanding of that customer’s particular needs and desires to determine and implement optimal wardrobe solutions for each individual, in every circumstance.

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