Meet Alyson Walsh, founder of That’s Not My Age
“It’s not about age, it’s about style. And this is for every woman who refuses to be invisible.” Alyson Walsh.
Alyson Walsh is a freelance journalist, former magazine fashion editor and author. Having written for The Guardian and Financial Times, she is currently a columnist for The Telegraph, writing on Ageless Style. Alyson began her successful blog, That’s Not My Age in 2008 when she noticed a space to celebrate women of all ages but focusses in particular on style, fashion, health, beauty and lifestyle for the over 50s. Her blog is a breath of fresh air in a world where representation for the over-thirties is virtually non-existent, recognising how invisible so many women who follow fashion and style can feel and showcasing just how relevant and in touch we really are. Her posts are insightful, inspirational and realistic; they will make you revalue pieces in your wardrobe and invest wisely in clothing and accessories that are versatile and will serve you well.
That’s Not My Age was the winner of the Best Women’s Fashion Blog 2019 at Vuelio’s Online Influence Awards.
We challenge you not to get lost in her website and feel reassured by her writing. We spent ten minutes catching up with her.
What’s your daily bag?
Do you pack light or carry it all with you?
I try to pack light…and always carry a hands-free cross body bag. They’re perfect when you’re on-the-go to keep all the essentials close at hand. I cycle a lot, and so often have a cross body bag and a pannier! If I have too much to carry, or I’m not on my bike, I’ll use a leather tote bag.
Did you get stuck in a stay-at-home dressing slump during lockdown, or ensure you had purpose to your daily dressing?
Some people feel it’s important to change into professional mode when working from home and not spend the day in pyjamas or a dressing gown (the Admin Kimono) but as a freelance journalist, I’m used to being at home and so pretty relaxed about this. Having said that, I didn’t spend lockdown in loungewear; I basically lived in a selection of jumpsuits. No faffing around or worrying about what goes with what. Once on, job, done.
Do you have a key investment piece that has well and truly earned its stripes?
My ‘Once in a Lifetime’ Céline tuxedo jacket, bought for the launch of my first book Style Forever and worn on practically every special occasion since (often with jeans or black Cigarette pants). Beautiful tailoring is worth every penny.
Margaret Howell is the dream and Arket is the reality! Margaret Howell knows how to dress the elegant tomboy beautifully, and I love her pared-down, masculine-meets-feminine aesthetic (I usually shop in the sample sale). Arket is the Swedish temple of cool minimalism and where I head to on the high street.
What are your top three wardrobe essentials?
The jumpsuit has become a bit of an obsession – once you start you can’t stop! I have quite a few, including a couple of proper workwear versions, my favourites are from the British brands Spry Workwear and LF Markey.
I’m such a Denim Lover; I really do live in jeans. Straight-leg or boyfriend styles work a treat with a pair of Birkenstock Arizonas, a silk blouse or mannish shirt, right now.
As a sporty kid I spent my life kicking around in trainers, and I’m still a fan of this laid-back look. Whether they’re in fashion or not, to me, a pair of trainers teamed with a tailored jacket and slim or slouchy pants are an essential part of dressed-down daywear.
In a digital age, what print magazines do you still turn to? Does print hold a great appeal to you now? Who does a good job online?
When it comes to magazines, newspapers and books, I’m quite old-school. I’d still rather read a physical copy than a digital one. This is partly because I spend so much time online, I like to slow down and escape in my spare time, but also because of the physical, tactile nature of print. And I have made an effort to carry on buying newspapers throughout the pandemic, I come from a print background and think it’s important to support good journalism. Though my magazine subscriptions may have dwindled over the last couple of years, I like to pick up The Gentlewoman and Grazia – and at weekends I read the FT’s Life & Arts and the Sunday Times Style/ Culture. Oh and you’ll find my Ageless Style column in the Saturday Telegraph (and online)! #shamelessplug
Whose style do you most admire?
Oh there are loads of women whose style I love: Tilda Swinton for her otherworldly, androgynous style, Linda Rodin and Jane Birkin always look fabulous in jeans, the fashion director and costume designer Cynthia Lawrence John knows the best way to wear workwear and the late Lou Lou De La Falaise for her ace accessorising…
How do you like the Tusting
It’s chic, understated, reliable and a great companion for women on the move!
Dream podcast guest?
The award-winning costume designer Sandy Powell
What do you pack for a weekend away?
My swimsuit. We’ve just spent a couple of days in Hastings and it was the first time on a train/ out of south London since early March. It was so lovely to visit the coast – I was desperate for a swim in the sea!