As a fashion stylist with years of experience on shows like The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, Gemma Sheppard is brimming with tips to boost your style confidence, whether you’re an aspiring showbiz star or not.
But one thing the telly regular can’t abide? Rules. Especially when it comes to age.
“Age is just a number,” she says. “Never be told you’re too old for something, if it makes you feel good, you should wear it!”
We’re on the topic because Sheppard is currently working on the return of 10 Years Younger In 10 Days.
The show will see men and women undergo non-invasive cosmetic procedures, along with hair, make-up and fashion overhauls – the latter courtesy of Sheppard.
“As we transition through different times in our lives, our wardrobes might need a rethink – it’s important to feel positive about getting dressed every day,” says the stylist.
Feel like you’re stuck in a style rut? In need of a wardrobe refresh but not sure where to start? Sheppard offers eight ways fashion can help you look and feel more youthful…
1. Have a wardrobe clearout
“I would start with a wardrobe cleanse. And be strict! Create three piles on your bedroom floor: keep, storage and donate,” says Sheppard. “If something hasn’t been worn in two years, it’s time to give it away. If it’s precious, it can go into storage.
“The chances are you won’t ever wear these pieces again, and they can make it hard to see what you DO like. Hanging on to old, unworn items in your wardrobe could really be holding you back.”
2. Update your denim
JD Williams Leather Biker Jacket, £160; Indigo Jeans, £35; Grey Marl Vests, £12 for three; Flexi Sole Kitten Heel Ankle Boots, £16.50-£30
“Denim can be worn at any age, but darker washes in a more tailored cut tend to be more flattering. Once you have the perfect, youth-making pair of jeans, these can be dressed up or down for any occasion.”
3. Show off your best bits
“Don’t think that once you reach a certain age you need to retreat into a twinset and pearls. What I would say is, play to your strengths – if you’ve got a fabulous tummy but don’t like your legs, go for bodycon styles that fall below the knee.
“If you love your bust but aren’t so keen on your arms, go for a V-neck with sleeves. Really embrace the changes your body goes through, and focus on what you want to show off!”
4. Lay the fashion foundations
Rosie for Autograph Smoothing Underwired Full Cup Bra, £25, Marks & Spencer
“No matter how much time and money you invest in your clothing, it won’t look as fabulous without the right underwear. This doesn’t mean being trussed up in spanx all day, but having a perfect fitting bra and good supportive briefs will literally change how your clothes fit you, so go for a bra fitting at least once a year. Invest in getting the foundations right and you’ll instantly be walking taller.”
5. Play with colour
Hobbs Jade Sweater, £55.20 (was £69)
“There’s a tendency as we get older to retreat into darker tones, but there’s nothing more youthful than colour. I’m a big believer in not following rules, or getting too hung up on what shade suits your skin tone – if you love a particular colour, go for it. Even if it’s just an accent through a scarf or a piece of jewellery, don’t be afraid to go bold.”
6. Invest in staples
FatFace Mary Graphic Bloom Shirt Dress, £59.50
“This means working out what you need most from your wardrobe. Having a go-to uniform is a great way to take the stress out of dressing, and give you a confidence boost.
“Spend money on the things you’ll wear the most, like a classic biker jacket, or a day to night shirt dress. Once you have your favourite basics in place, you can start to play around with your outfits.”
7. Add a splash of sparkle
Joanna Hope Sequin Blouse, £69, JD Williams
“All hail anything sparkly! Metallics, especially worn near your face, instantly brighten your complexion. This doesn’t mean you need to dress like a disco ball, even muted metallics, like a cami worn under a blazer, can make a big difference.”
8. Don’t get hung up on trends
“Sure, if there’s something in this season you particularly love then definitely be brave and experiment. But don’t feel like you need to be a slave to what’s on trend – it’s far cooler to stick to what YOU like.”
10 Years Younger In 10 Days starts on Thursday, February 27 at 9pm on Channel 5.