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Caryn Franklin presents The Style List


The StyleLISTAs a department store we pride ourselves on offering a great range of clothing for all ages. That’s why we’ve launched an incredible new project called The Style List, in partnership with fashion expert Caryn Franklin.

As from this week we have some stunning new photography going into our shop windows and the models will even better reflect the broad age range of our customers. We’ve picked models in their 40s, 50s and 60s to demonstrate how easy it is to look amazing with the versatile collections offered in store and online.

Caryn FranklinCaryn Franklin says: “I’m so proud to introduce this landmark fashion story at Debenhams created with models who are all forty plus. In the coming months expect plenty of tips from me so you can update your wardrobe with new confidence, because, as these great pictures show, style and beauty is definitely ageless.”

I had a quick chat with Mark Stevens, our Head of Creative, and he told me: “We’ve been receiving fantastic feedback from customers following on from the inclusivity campaigns we have launched recently, and this seemed like a natural gap in the market which needed addressing. We are committed to using a variety of models in our photography, and are confident that by bringing Caryn on board, this campaign will resonate and be able to reach out to women who struggle to find fashion guidance on the High Street.”

If you missed our previous projects find out about them below:

We’re always here to help if people feel they need some style tips and advice. Whether you go in store and speak to one of our expert personal shoppers or head online for the latest tips from Caryn Franklin and the rest of the team, we aim to be your first port of call in helping you look and feel fabulous.

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  • Russ King

    It’s great news that middle-aged women are featuring as models for you. The comments in our forums have shown that many women from the 30′s onwards find it hard to see if the clothes will suit them when they are always shown on young models.

    Your photoshoot shows that women of all ages can look fab.

    Can we use the main photo here for an article on your photo shoot for activagers?

  • Jane C Woods

    Brilliant and brilliant! At last, (along with Guardian group) some sensible models. I have long ranted on -sorry, I mean discoursed, on the topic of femageism so it’s great to see a store of major influence like Debenhams taking a proactive role. THANK YOU! Jane

  • islandmomma

    Next time I go to UK I will be heading straight for Debenhams because you SO deserve support in this, as I just said on my FB page.

    From what I see here you prove that women can dress stylishly regardless of age. Something I have always known, but that you are doing this promotion will help so many women who seem to think they are condemned to cardis and elastic-waisted pants after 50!

    Your models are also proof that older women don’t have to give in to “middle-aged” spread, but can be elegant and fit!!

  • Jayne cox

    What great news for mid life women! So many women feel invisible and fearful as they are not realistically represented on the high street. I know my clients will appreciate this step forward, as do I. Thanks so much. Jayne

  • Karen

    Thank you so much. As a mid life women – I shall definately be looking at Debenhams to be the first place I go when clothes shopping – we are not invisible and want to be stylish

  • http://www.fabafterfifty.com Ceri Wheeldon

    Delighted to see that Debenhams are taking the initative in using women over 50 in their campaign. We DO buy clothes and it is far more realistic to see those clothes modelled by women we can relate to, rather than by girls young enough to be our daughters (or even granddaughters)! We are not invisible and do like to be stylish. Well done Debenhams for recognising this!

  • http://www.chicat50plus.com chicat50plus

    This is a great idea. It is about time that retailers woke up to the fact that women over 50 still love fashion and do have considerable spending power. I am sure many women will identify with the photographs as it will give them confidence to buy stylish clothes when they see them worn by real women.

  • Anne Johnson-Cheverere

    Amen,amen — we all (ladies over 40)want to look, feel and behave stylishly. I think women of age simply think we can not have fun, even fashion fun anymore. I ready for a different sort of fun without looking like I am trying to be a teenager AGAIN. Down with dowdy.
    Anne in Austin

  • angelabdc

    This campaign looks wonderful and I am confident will garner Debenhams lots of goodwill that will translate into sales. These models are beautiful and elegant and the clothes look great on them. I believe that not everyone could be a model, but that models should represent a much wider range of ages, sizes and ethnic groups than is generally the case.

  • Coreen Jans

    Congratulations…..a store with style and good sense. We over 40′s, or I should say 50′s, probably have a lot more spending power than most think. Good to see a business making a sound ‘business decision’ and filling a huge hole in the market at the same time. Well done from across the other side of the world in New Zealand.

  • Jan [summerdaze] Spooner

    Am a great fan of Jasper C, Matthew W, John R, to name but a few of Debenhams designers – BUT almost felt a guilty mutton/lamb syndrome when buying them, so WELL DONE! Caryn & Debs for promoting the older woman especially those over 50, 60, and as I am, 70….!!! And for making them look so splendid!!The discerning customer recognised at last!

  • Sarahh

    At last fashion tips for the over 40′s. A forgotten group for too long have now been put back on the map. women all over the country have been asking for this for years. Thank you Caryn and Deb’s for listening.

  • claire cotton-may

    about time too – well done Caryn and Jane…. heres to a long standing campaign representing real women with real spending power.

  • Jude

    How fantastic! I think the ‘middle years’, when our bodies suddenly seem bent on their own new course, are often a really difficult time for women on many levels. Finding a style which reflects who we have been, who we are, and who we are going to be can be challenging and we need key players like Debenhams to inspire and respect us. Thank you!

  • Teresa Morgan-Jones

    Well done Caryn & Debs for promoting over 40s fashion and models of all sizes to show those fashions! Love it, keep up the good work!!

  • elizabeth john Ogwutum

    40+? That’ll be grate! Girls can still look pretty @ 60. That is if you know what I mean…

  • Patti Boulaye

    Brilliant!!! I am so proud of you Karyn. Congratulations to Debenhams too for leading the way. Now we can trust and know that the dresses we see on the shop windows reflect real women. Thank you for this great, stylish and elegant fashion for women over 40. After reading about this promotion, I was encouraged to go into my local Debenhams for the first time. Well done! here’s to a long and successful campaign! Thank you Caryn! Thank you Debenhams!

  • Kyoki Dee

    of course thats fantastic stuff . well done caryn and …Debenhams, i must admit, i would never had expected you to sign off on this but i am humbled but the fact that you have.

    i defintiely advocate for models of all shapes, sizes and ages…

  • Janice

    Brilliant Caryn. Good on you Debenhams on taking this forward, a return visit to shop is definitely in my diary

  • Jessica Lauren

    Congratulations and thanks all round for this most welcome and important project. Keep it up!

  • Lady Oon

    The new middle age is now 70 years old! Bring it on for the older models. I am 59 and still rocking! Older women have more spending power and should be represented in the fashion stake. Well done Caryn for championing for the older woman in the fashion world.

  • Glenmore Trenear-Harvey

    Caryn Franklin is typical of the many elegant and stylish women I see aboard the top cruise lines in the world. Seabourn, Crystal, Regent, Silversea and Cunard. These ‘cougars’have the time, money and inclination and flair to maintain wardrobes that reflect their enviable lifestyle. Debenhams are to be commended for their commercial nous in recognising the value of this market and providing such an ideal ‘guide’ in Caryn. Well done!

  • Liz Brewer

    I totally agree. We need to see real glamorous models of
    50+ I am sick and tired of having to have a stylist to produce the right look from elegant feminine clothes completely misrepresented on the usual skinny – far too young models. Women of a certain age who have the money to spend on clothes need to see how they actually do look
    All best Liz

  • Louise Burfitt-Dons FRSA

    I think this is a wonderful initiative. Here are my reasons why.
    Despite the fact that most young women are focussed on the moment and what’s happening NOW, my experience is that most of them are motivated , inspired and encouraged more than anything by hearing and seeing for themselves that they will still be cherished and admired when they are older. ‘You do not have to do it all by 21.’ Your world is just beginning.
    The idea that ‘life is over by 25’ or that ‘no one will look at you unless you resemble an 18 year old reality star’ is fuelling a massive increase in psychological disturbance amongst all age groups of women, an increase in cases of anorexia and a spate of completely unnecessary breast implants and facial surgery.
    Therefore any campaign to promote older women can only be seen as being beneficial to all. By only featuring young models we are grossly distorting the facts of how wonderful life can be as a n older woman.

  • Kellie

    What a fantastic idea and why hasnt this happend long before now? Marks & Spencer have been using Twiggy for sometime now in their ad campaign so why not keep the momentum going. Well done Caryn and Jane for having the balls to launch this and to Debenhams for getting behind it. I am on the cusp of 40 and long to see realistic images of women in their late 30′s, early 40′s. I am a self confessed walking fashion disaster and need some direction so please keep it going!

  • Lisa Henshall

    I think this is a splendid idea – M&S & now Debenhams starting to use older models – we need more fuller figure models too & models from all ethnic backgrounds to represent this diverse country. I’m nearly 40 myself and find it very hard to see if an outfit will suit me if it’s on some skinny young model. This is a wonderful step forward and let’s hope all the other high street shops will follow suit.

  • Pippa

    Another great initiative taken up by Debenhams and let’s hope it stays and is adopted by other stores too rather than being a short term publicity stunt. Young girls and young women in this country need to see positive images of wonderful women of all ages and shapes and sizes. It’s so obvious but sadly so invisible in magazines, stores etc that our country’s girls and young women grow up with body dysmorphia, eating disorders and ambitions of achieving impossible looks and bodies. Big up the over 40s!! We’re beautiful in all our guises and still have a lot to offer!

  • Barbara Campbell

    Fantastic. After losings six stones in six months with 3 more to go and plans afoot to rekit my entire wardrobe I hated the idea of going seeing fashion on the catwalk or modelled by under 30s as I have no desire to dress like lamb when I am a seasoned and beautiful (smile) piece of mutton!

  • Mandalina

    Fantastic idea! Congratulations to you and to Debenhams for leading the way. Everyone wants to know that the outfits we see in the shop windows are a reflection of us – real women. Thank you, therefore, for an amazing, stylish and smart fashion for women over 40.

    I rarely shop at Debenhams, but after reading about this initiative, I am compelled to visit my local Debenhams (in Croydon). Hope this is a long and successful campaign and thank you for starting it! It’s long overdue!

  • Kym Mazelle

    This is a wonderful thing!!!!!! Call me if you need me to model. I totally support this!!! sincerely Kym Mazelle

  • L inda Cooney

    Great ! I’m 74 . Hate anything but cotton and refuse to wear deep plunging necklines. Crepy decolage is revolting. I seem to live in jeans and rather boring “T” shirts. I shall definitely visit Debenhams.

  • France Noveck

    Brilliant . Well done , I applaud you Caryn and hope that US Stores will adopt and duplicate pattern..Copy as Debenhams’.

    At 65 ,stylish and fashionable elegant, can make any 25 years old overlooked.
    Time for change and realities…Congratulations.

  • Nicki Barclay

    This is long overdue and a welcome arrival. Well done ladies – and Debenhams for taking the vanguard. I will now explore your store!

  • http://www.fabafterfifty.com Ceri Wheeldon

    Great to see so many women get behind the campaign!

  • Kay Ellen Consolver

    This is an excellent and inspirational initiative- not only for those over 40 now but those under 40 who will one day, with luck and grace, be 40, 50, 60, 70. 80, 90 or even more!

  • http://www.liisweb.com Liis Windischmann

    As a 39 year old model (and consumer) with no intention of retiring anytime soon, I absolutely applaud this campaign! Caryn and Debenhams, thank you for showing the beauty and power in an often neglected segment of fashion. The 40+ consumer is confident in her buying power and her fashion look. She knows what she wants so why not reflect her more in advertisements and on the runways of the world? Debenhams, please continue to reflect a diverse range of women in your campaigns – it is refreshing and much appreciated. Thank you!

  • http://www.pattiboulaye.com Patti Boulaye

    Brilliant!!! I am so proud of you Caryn. Congratulations to Debenhams too for leading the way. Now we can trust and know that the dresses we see on the shop windows reflect real women. Thank you for this great, stylish and elegant fashion for women over 40. After reading about this promotion, I was encouraged to go into my local Debenhams for the first time. Well done! here’s to a long and successful campaign! Thank you Caryn! Thank you Debenhams!

  • Lindsey

    Thank you Caryn. Thank you Debenhams – for being brave – for standing up for women. At last an approach to stylish, sexy and dynamic dressing that does not require a woman over 40 to squeeze into the fashion mould of a twenty-something.

  • Kate Stein

    As much as I would like to support a campaign for more older models, I have to say I was very disappointed to open the link to the Debenham’s campaign page to find yet again, tall thin ladies with cheekbones near their eyebrows. I don’t know the age of those models but I’m guessig that they all are older than they look. Meaning, the young,thin, tall look is still being subtly promoted. What about regular women of all heights and shapes? Not everyone is 5’11” and underweight.

    So until even Caryn Franklyn gets realistic I’m not going to support this campaign. I have no doubt these issues will continue to be ignored.

  • Claire Dobinson

    About time that someone recognised that women 40+ can be just as stylish and fabulous as their younger counterparts, well done Debenhams for kick starting this!

  • Deanne

    Caryns Campaign For 40+ women is just so wonderful, as statistically women in this age group and beyond; are looking even more fabulous in their mature years; coupled with great style.

    I think those campaigning against ageism need to know be told; and be reminded that they will be OLD for evermore; and never be classified as young……from the moment they emerged from thier Mothers womb…..

    The Typical Question that has NEVER changed in centuries:

    “How OLD Is Your Baby?”


    “baby is one day OLD”

    “baby is one week OLD”

    “baby is one month OLD

    “baby is six months OLD

    “baby is one year OLD……………………….and so on


    “How YOUNG Is Your Baby”

    The morale of life being, we have ALL been groomed to be OLD from birth to grave.


    Old to Young!!!!!

    Its just about maturing, ageing wisely with passion for life and living life to the full; maturing in wisdom thru all lifes challenges also.

    I KNOW I AM GRACED TO BE AGEING AND MATURING NOW WITH SUCH GRACE AND STYLE…that maybe Caryn should now get us all together modelling,designing, being photographed etc, and shock reality into people with these antiquated thoughts and ideas


    Much Love To You All


  • Jan Shure

    Absolutely brilliant Debenhams – 60&Sensational applauds you for your clever Style List. Like Debenhams and Caryn, 60&Sensational recognises that the women of the baby boomer generation are not yet ready for a cup of cocoa and a pair of stretch-waistband polyester trousers. We want to stay looking fabulous forever, and the fact that one of the UK’s biggest department-store chains believes, like 60&Sensational, in providing gorgeous clothes and beauty advice, for this “sensational” generation is a truly welcome development. Well done Debenhams!

  • Kim Thomson

    How refreshing to see woman of all ages in such a campaign. It actually represents society honestly for once. Well done Debenhams!

  • Tracey C

    Halleluyah! Grown up fashion for grown up women in grown up sizes. Thank you for treating those of us over forty and over size 10 as the real women we are….Debenhams here I come! TC

  • Alisa H

    Love it! Beauty is present at all ages if we can just open our eyes and see it. I applaud this initiative and everyone involved.

    Kudos to Debenhams and Caryn Franklyn!

  • Ana Lucia Alves

    Great. I am a model and older then 40. I think it’s lovely to keep working as we age naturally. Airbrushing should be banished as it ruins the female selfsteam. It’s ridiculous; people are fulled by wrong advertising. So we must thank for this campain. Bravissimo!!

  • sherrykay

    I am only sorry that the U.S. is still behind in this thinking. What I like is that all women can be beautiful; each in her own unique, comfortable way, without needing to try to ‘fit’ into a ‘model’ look. To me that means we should feel attractive and happy with own looks-without having to put on tons of makeup, squeeze into tight sausage undergarments, wear 6 inch heels, and follow the trendy young outfits that look as ridiculous on the young as they would on us (remember, we probably wore those looks 30 years ago!). These are MY ideas and i appreciate a forum where we can have a discourse, not just an article in a high fashion magazine that gives lip service just so they can remain relevant.

  • Jane Buckle

    Hooray……………I have been living in France for six years where older women are adored and dress so elegantly even if they don’t have much money. I am now selling up and coming back to live in the UK…………..Debenhams here I come!!!!!!!!

    Jane Buckle

  • Lesley Smith

    Great news!! for us girls over 50… some thing to really look forward too (and feel confident) when going shopping at Debenhams now. Let us hope that ALL other stores follow soon? Thank you Caryn for showing the way.

  • Sylvia Lawson

    Great news, at last we can see how clothes will really look on the more mature woman, rather than trying to imagine how the clothes on a 20/30 something will be on me!

    Keep using these models, they also give us confidence to try and hopefully buy the styles we might shy away from.

  • Suzanne Duckett, Good Housekeeping magazine

    And more the point, whatever their age the models used for this smart campaign are simply gorgeous women full stop. Well done Debenhams.

  • hazel Englander

    I am a mid 40′s “older model” with Close and love the fact that Debenhams are not JUST! using “older” models but are actually dressing them in a sexy,glamerous and modern way!!
    I am tired of being dressed in frumpy,old fashioned,sexless,shapeless clothes on modelling jobs,just because of my age and who,as an “older ” model I now represent?!I think it is dismissive and patronising to women out there who love clothes and fashion but are written off,even by the fashion industry.
    I know a lot of well groomed women in their 40′s,50′s,60′s and 70+,not professional models who,like me,wouldn’t be seen dead in these clothes.
    Well done Debenhams.As a 4o+ model I would love to be dressed in clothes I would actually wear myself and feel excited about.

  • Jennie

    That’s fantastic! Hoorah! About time! A real representation of real women – finally! Well done Debenhams for leading the way and making a change on behalf of everyone over 25!

  • Alexandra

    Real women make you look, then look again. Well done Debenhams. This kind of campaign is long overdue but it took you to do it.

  • http://www.howtolookgood.com Caryn Franklin

    Couldn’t help smiling when I read all these comments. It just goes to show doesn’t it that as consumers we really appreciate this approach. Beauty and aspirational imagery means different things to different age groups.

    Getting older is to be celebrated in the same way that youth is so thoroughly iconised. The more imagery there is to look at, the more it engenders a feel good factor. Not just about ourselves but also about the store. Debenhams are smart!

  • June Potts

    What a great idea to use models of 40+. I am in my 60′s and haven’t found much interest in shopping because you feel overwhelmed by so much fashion aimed at the very young and finding nothing to give me the confidence to even go in a try out. But Debenhams have certainly proved it can be done and I am definitely planning a visit to my nearest Store. Hope you and the Store will continue providing this much needed service which I am sure will encourage my age group to get out and shop again! (instead of just making do). These beautiful models are a credit to Debenham’s forward thinking and positive action.

  • Debbie A

    Fantastic Debenham’s about time! I personally hate clothes shopping because I end up feeling rubbish about myself coz I’m not skinny or petite! Yay for diversity!

  • Julie K

    Well done for using models that represent real women; not just skinny teenagers. Clothes are becoming less age appropriate so seeing clothes (and good fashionable clothes at that) on older models can only inspire us to come and shop and try something new.

    We’ve all been put off even going into a store if all its advertising of products is on young models – how shortsighted does that seem when you think about it?

    We CAN wear what we want! thank you Debenhams for noticing that us 40somethings are in great shape and don’t want to disappear in to elastic waists any time soon.

  • Bridget

    That’s great – well done!


    At long last – clothing that doesn’t stop us looking good once we hit forty! I’m looking forward to more of this and minus airbrushing and size zero! Thank you.

  • Jackie R

    It is lovely to see elegant clothes for us ladies of the better age.
    I get so excited by all fashion. I’m 57, but feel much younger, except my body shape has changed from slim to menapausal apple now (size 14). I do stuggle with that (especially as my husband, 51, is in love with our beautiful, Kylie Minogue).
    My clothes are getting bigger, shoes getting flatter by the month and my confidence has now gone with the children leaving the nest. Also I am seeing my mother in the mirror, Aghhh! Not yet, please?
    Please can you tell me, where can I get a Caryn (style) makeover to suit my age/shape and personality? Is that Debenhams?
    Lets not be invisible anymore! Thanks.

  • http://www.smartplanninguk.com Mimi

    Excellent project! It was high time that a wider spectrum of the public would be considered. My congratulations.

  • http://www.howtolookgood.com Caryn Franklin

    Happy New Year ladies.I’m delighted to read your comments.

    How about including in your new year’s resolution the decision to love and accept your body and choose clothes to flatter your shape? Why not kick off the New Year by booking in a free personal shopping appointment?

    Jackie R you can get excellent advice and help from the personal shopping team at Debenhams…just tell them Caryn sent you!

  • Lisa Culshaw

    Hi Caryn
    I’m one of those women who everyone will hate because I’m very slim, a size 8 in fact but that doesn’t mean that I have an easy ride when it comes to finding nice clothes that fit. I have very small breasts so I can’t wear anything that requires a cleavage – many tops and dresses just hang down from me like a coat hanger. Also because I’m tall, long sleeved tops that fit tend to be short in the arm.

    So it’s not easy being thin either. I wish I could have breasts or curves to show off, clothes merely hang limply from me and on more than one occasion I’ve been asked if I’m a boy. I guess none of us are happy whatever shape we are and there is no ‘perfect’ body. But celebrate your curves, because at least there is no mistaking your womanliness!

  • Ann O’Flynn

    Good to see that Debenhams, (with Caryn’s help!), are addressing the imbalance in our society’s culture and body-image-driven fashion industry. Don’t forget there also loads of athletic build, sporty women who are looking for clothes that can account for broad shoulders and muscular arms & legs too, these aren’t always easy to find without resorting to the sweatshirt, jeans and trainers look. Thanks for showing us how easy it can be to look glam when we want to!

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