Why women are looking to the older generation of SOFFS for fashion advice

Rise of the SOFFs (stylish over fifty fives): A third of young women admit they look to older stars for fashion inspiration



14:11 GMT, 24 May 2012

Over-55s are more stylish than ever before according to new research.

A study found that a third of young women now look to older celebrities for fashion inspiration, rather than stars of their own age.

Personalities such as Helen Mirren, Joanna Lumley, both 66, and 63-year-old singer Lulu are now being deemed SOFFS – stylish over fifty fives – as a result.

Joanna Lumley


Helen Mirren

Style icons: Joanna Lumley, Lulu and Helen Mirren

Just under a third (28 per cent) of 18 to 25 year olds admitted they look to these women for style tips rather than figures such as Amy Childs, 21, and X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos, 23.

A spokesperson from isme.com, which commissioned the study of 2,000 women, said that because mature women 'have lived through decades of changing fashion' they have more refined taste.

Actress Helen Mirren was voted as the most stylish over 55 (86 per cent) while Twiggy, who recently unveiled a womenswear collection for Marks and Spencer, was also highly rated.

Amy Childs

Tulisa Contostavlos

Out of vogue Amy Childs (left) and Tulisa Contostavlos (right)

Judi Dench, Lynda Bellingham, Jo Wood and former Strictly judge Arlene Philips were also rated highly by the younger generation.

Helen Mirren: 86*
Twiggy: 85
Joanna Lumley: 80
Lulu: 77Felicity Kendall: 76 Judi Dench: 74
Lynda Bellingham: 73
Jo Wood: 72
Anna Ford: 70
Arlene Philips: 67* PER CENT

The study also revealed that a quarter of older women believe their is no age limit when it comes to what they can wear.

As many as 57 per cent admitted they regularly wore sexy lingerie – compared to just 43 per cent of those half their age.

While 24 per cent still felt comfortable wearing their favourite little black dress, 23 per cent had no problem wearing combat trousers and 18 per cent even sported hooded parkas.

The only item that was off limits was the mini skirt – with only two per cent saying they still regularly wore one.

The isme.com spokesperson added: 'We are delighted that they don’t see age as a barrier to dressing with style.

'All it takes is the right cut and fit for the more mature body shape and even more women can get the confidence to dress as they really want.'