It’s at this time of year when I start to contemplate the months past and think ahead to the new year. So I thought I’d share my reflections on Club Forty and hopes for the future. Brace yourself… it’s a long one!!!
I started blogging almost 18 months ago. Most of you know the history… I had come through a horrid couple of years during which both my parents died in relatively quick succession. I had taken a sabbatical from work and I started Club Forty as not only a distraction and creative outlet, but also to help process my feelings. My first posts were about the challenges I was facing personally and my main passions; food and of course, fashion.
At the time, I was considering whether or not to buy a pair of dungarees. My concern was that they were too young for me, and this conundrum prompted my first fashion post: The Dungaree Debate. I thought, if I am asking myself the question: ‘Am I too old for…?‘, then other women my age must also be asking themselves the same question! The answer of course, is that we are not too old to follow this or many of the current trends – we just need some inspiration on how to style them and once we see other 40-something women working fashion-forward trends, it provides confidence and almost a seal or approval. A follower of Club Forty recently told me that she would never have considered, or thought that she could carry off, red boots until she saw them on my blog. I love providing this kind of inspiration to other women.
At first I thought that I’d just be writing for myself and a few interested friends, but Club Forty has already reached a much wider audience than I anticipated.
There are some incredible, inspiring and successful 40-plus fashion bloggers; Erica Davies and Kat Farmer to name just two. They serve a fantastic purpose for our community in translating trends. The High St retailers, on the whole, ignore us and so it has become the role of the fashion blogger. Affordable, fashion-forward brands such as H&M, Zara and Top Shop never direct their advertising campaigns towards our age group and so many women wrongly think that they are not meant to shop in these stores. Whilst I can only dream of achieving what Erica and Kat have achieved with their blogs, I hope I do my little bit and appeal to like-minded women. That is women who follow fashion and want to be stylish and relevant and subsquently are interested to know where to shop (inexpensively!) and how to style the latest trends. I love it when I receive feedback that I’ve inspired a follower to put together an outfit in a certain way, that they wouldn’t have previously thought of.
I also encourage my followers to look in their wardrobes to re-create a current trend using clothes they already own. Despite appearances, I am a frugal shopper! I always look out for discount codes, shop in the sales and I also buy ‘pre-loved’. Following fashion and being stylish really doesn’t have to be expensive!
It was important for me to create a niche and aim my blog towards forty-something women. Club Forty, in a nutshell, is about celebrating ourselves at this key time in our lives. I love the idea of creating a community and us all being in this ‘club’ together, for better or worse.
The 40-something years are not easy for many women. Loss of identity, lack of confidence and feeling direction-less are commonplace. Added to that; teenage kids, empty-nest syndrome, ageing parents and onset of the menopause can make this time of life incredibly challenging to navigate.
On the other hand, there is a lot to celebrate. We have gained wisdom and developed confidence and better self awareness; and some of us finally have a bit more time on our hands to focus on ourselves. So understanding who we are and what we want from life, especially the next chapter, makes it an exciting time. I am inspired by other women in their forties who are making life-changes, forging impressive careers or embarking on entrepreneurial journeys.
I hope that Club Forty goes some way to empower women be the best that they can be at this juncture in their lives. And it may seem shallow, but I do feel that the clothes play an important role.
The phrase ‘I’m a much nicer person when I like what I’m wearing‘ totally applies to me – and I can’t be the only one! I am a firm believer that what you wear and how you feel in your clothes has a direct impact on how you project yourself. I recently wrote a post about the power of red. Wearing this colour really does instill confidence. I’ve never seen a shrinking violet wear red, have you? Your clothes say a multitude about you; they are your outer layer; the layer you choose to project. Your personal impact is so important and the way you present yourself will affect the perception others have of you. Like it or not, you will be judged on appearance.
In our forties we no longer need or have the appetite to follow all the latest trends and we certainly don’t want to compete with our daughters in the fashion stakes! Finding your own style and what works for you is key and fundamental to putting together a winning outfit. Looking good is instrinsic to feeling good about yourself. I hope I encourage women to experiment with trends and maybe have the confidence to try something new… I have often suprised myself and I certainly make bolder choices since I started blogging.
So what does the future hold for Club Forty?
Fashion is core to Club Forty and I’d love to develop my styling skills and work directly with women to help them select clothes and style outfits. It is also my dream to work with fashion brands and write a fashion column – I’m open to enquiries!
I hope to keep selling Club Forty clothing! So far there has been fantastic interest in my slogan Tees, Sweatshirts and Hoodys. I’ve sent Club Forty tops out to several customers in Australia and I’ve loved seeing women post photos of themselves on social media wearing their Club Forty top.
I also plan to extend my posts to cover the trials and tribulations of life in our forties. I’d love for Club Forty to become a recognised brand in itself offering a suite of services and advice to women in their forties from fashion, to fitness, life-advice and nutrition. Events, workshops and even a retreat are part of my vision, so watch this space!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this insight into my mind’s workings!!! As always, it has been helpful to write and I would encourage anyone who is unsure about what they are doing or where they are headed to put pen to paper – think about your ‘why’ and consider what you enjoy doing, then make a plan! The world really is your oyster!
I’d love to know what you think about of any of the points or thoughts I’ve raised, so please leave a comment! I would also love to know what you’d like to see here the Club Forty website.
Thank you so much for continuing to follow and support Club Forty. It wouldn’t be anything without you!