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60 seconds with Caryn Franklin


The Style List models

As readers of this blog may already know, I’ve embarked on an exciting new project with Debenhams called The Style List which aims to give the 40+ woman style ideas, tips and inspiration. I’ll be contributing to the Debenhams blog over the next few weeks, but before I get started,  here’s a bit more about my background…

I’ve built a reputation for being a British fashion expert having been the original presenter of the BBC’s Clothes Show for 12 years as well as Style Challenge, Style Academy, Frock and Roll Years to name a few.

Over the years I’ve consulted for many fashion brands and written for magazines and newspapers, as well as writing 4 books and contributing to numerous documentaries. From my website www.howtolookgood.com I give fashion advice to women of all shapes and sizes. My latest project, co-founded with Erin O’Connor, is the award winning All Walks Beyond the Catwalk promoting curvy and older models at London Fashion Week. I’m also co-chair of Fashion Targets Breast Cancer.

60 seconds with Caryn Franklin

Style is… effortlessness and not about seeking anyone else’s approval. Style is being comfortable with who you are and enjoying your own individual strengths.

My personal style is… all about pleasing me!

I am inspired by… anyone who operates from a position of humility, grace and quiet strength.

My autumn winter must have item is… confidence in my own specialness.

A woman looks good when… she is happy.

A man should always… have clean shoes.

My most treasured possession is… a tiny pair of blue plastic Wellingtons that both my daughters wore as babies.

If I wasn’t working in fashion I would be… a herbalist. I love nature and having a knowledge of the right plants for healing would make me feel I was making an even better contribution than the one I currently make…not that I’m complaining…I love my job!

My top tip is… Love and respect your body. It is yours and it is doing its best for you. Adorn it, celebrate it and then step out of the door and get on with your life.

The Style List project is… about celebrating the beauty of aging not just on the outside but the inside too. Women as they age give off a more complex glow which is underpinned by knowledge and experience. Faces, eye’s, posture are all things that showcase a more sophisticated mind. We need to take a pride in who we are and clothes and image are a great way to communicate our enjoyment of ourselves. Dressing well is a very pleasurable and highly visible sign of our own self esteem and I’m always pleased to explain how to use styling tools to achieve a polished image.

Got a style dilemma?

Perhaps you are 40+ and have a style dilemma or want some fashion advice. Send an email to asktheexpert@debenhams.com and I will be answering some of your questions.

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  • barnaby lenon

    I have a middle aged friend who would be an amazing model for you. How might she apply?