Fifty and fabulous say super six

Women over 50 are feeling forgotten about by the fashion industry, yet they are the UK’s most powerful consumer group, according to a new survey.

A recent YouGov survey, commissioned by fashion retailer, JD Williams, revealed that 94 per cent of 50-plus women feel younger than their age and 66 per cent feel they would like to see more choice of fashions suited to their age group.

This means solutions for problem areas, such as those highlighted in JD Williams’YouGov report.

The stomach (64%), upper arms (35%) and thighs (28%) are areas of the body mature women feel most negative about, and consequently the retailer is able to cater specifically to these areas including lifting necklines, altering waistlines, realigning the bust, lowering hemlines and adding design features such as in-built sculpting technology. With statistics showing that the majority of us look to our mothers for our source of style inspiration, JD Williams invited the mums of five of the nation’s most successful women to be the stars of its SS15 fashion campaign, styled by former iD Fashion Editor and body image activist, Caryn Franklin.

Taking centre stage are Deborah Leng, mum to model TigerLily Taylor. Debbie was an international model in the 1980s and starred in one of the original iconic Flake commercials; Melissa Bell, mum to former X Factor winner and pop star Alexandra Burke.

Melissa was the lead singer in legendary 1980s group Soul II Soul; Karen Clancy, mum to model and designer Abbey Clancy. Karen has been recently signed as face of Avon fragrance and is a single mother to four children; Janet Ellis, mum to singer Sophie Ellis Bexter. Television presenter and actress, Janet is best known for presenting BBC children’s television programmes, Blue Peter and Jigsaw; and Ruby Hammer, mum to founder of Urban Retreat Reena Hammer. Ruby is an internationally acclaimed make-up artist and co-founder of cosmetic brand Ruby & Millie.

Caryn Franklin said: “When JD Williams asked me to create a shoot to showcase the SS15 collection, I knew I wanted to work with discerning and spirited women.

“Women like us have money to spend on intelligently constructed garments and choose clothes that empower us, support us and comfort us. We want the reassurance that designers have understood our lifestyle needs, changing body shapes and requirement for practical, durable classics.

Deborah Leng, 50, said: “Women are no longer expected to fade quietly into their middle years in terms of their personal style.

“Fashion is waking up to the fact that the women from 40 to 60 and beyond are an instrumental part of the buying public, and designers are finally creating clothes to suit our bodies and our lifestyle.”

Melissa Bell, 50, said: “Six years ago, my entire wardrobe was black. I wore black because life felt black…having just been registered disabled after being diagnosed with kidney failure and heart problems.

“Fast forward to now – fitted dresses and bold colours are my fashion staples. I turned 50 and chose to turn my life around. I realised I wanted to live, and was ready to fight.

Karen Clancy, 53, said: “Who says you have to let go once you hit the big 50? “I’ve finally got to that point I’ve always dreamed of, and after 17 years of raising my family as a single parent, I’ve got the time to start living life for me.”

“I’ve never felt better in myself.”

, my kids have left home and I feel like I’m beginning an exciting new chapter. Now, I want to wear the latest trends, but I need them tweaked so they fit and feel comfy to wear.

Ruby Hammer, 53, said: “Everyone’s body changes with age, no one is exempt and accepting that is vital. What you don’t have to accept is that your style should suffer as a consequence.

“You need to make peace with that process and embrace the change. Be open to exploration and don’t be afraid to say no if someone’s style recommendation isn’t for you.

Janet Ellis, 59, said: “I’ve always adored clothes and I can’t imagine a time when I’m not excited about them. But if something doesn’t make me feel good, I won’t buy it just because it’s ‘in’.

“I’ve seen trends come and go and it was fun to play with disposable fashion in my youth, but now I’m in my 50s, I’m all about style. I won’t settle for discomfort and pay a lot of attention to detail.”