Private stylist, TikTok creator and ageless vogue advocate Barbara Aleks is right here to assist.
Fifteen minutes into my first scroll session on TikTok, I discovered myself considering, “Am I outdated?” Not solely was I embarrassingly late to the social media phenomenon, however as I went down rabbit gap after rabbit gap of fashion-related hashtags, I discovered myself crammed with doubt. Am I dressing all unsuitable? Why don’t I personal any pleated tennis skirts? Do I would like a tie-dye sweatsuit to show my youth?
If the rise of the TikTok aesthetic has taught us something, it’s that teenage women at the moment personal the web — simply take a look at Gen Z’s Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae, the 2 most-followed stars on the platform. Utilizing solely their dance expertise and messy childhood bedrooms as a backdrop, Gen Z customers ignited a brand new pattern funnel, shortly giving rise to aesthetics like “e-girl,” “cottagecore,” and “light and dark academia,” influencing younger buyers all over the place. As fashionable types appear to alter as typically as Netflix’s homepage, the biannual vogue runways are not the one voice directing the brand new season’s traits.
So, the place does that depart the remainder of us who’re decidedly not TikTok teenagers? Is it potential for a non-Gen Z particular person to undertake these traits with out wanting like we’re doing an Amy Poehler “I’m not a regular mom, I’m a cool mom” impression?
Enter type knowledgeable Barbara Aleks, a 50-year-old private stylist from Toronto with over 425.5K followers on TikTok. Though Aleks began her social media journey on Instagram, she now fosters a TikTok neighborhood of mature, fashionable girls on the lookout for outfit inspiration. We talked to the style creator concerning the hashtag #over40style, the place she will get her type inspo and what it’s like being on a platform crowded with youth.
How did you turn out to be a private stylist?
“I’ve been a private stylist for a few years, however I used to be an inside designer earlier than that. I fell into styling when my children had been little, and I began styling many mothers going again to work. They only favored how I dressed, and so they wished my assist procuring and placing outfits collectively. And in order that’s the way it slowly advanced.”
How did you first get into TikTok?
“I fought it for therefore lengthy. My children had been speaking about how I ought to be on there, and I believed, ‘No, I’m too outdated for this.’ After which my fiancé’s niece was like, ‘No, you don’t perceive. You’ll do nicely — there are older girls on there.’ I didn’t know what I used to be doing, however I posted one thing anyhow. After which there was an curiosity, so I posted one thing else, after which I posted one thing totally different, and it simply grew extraordinarily shortly, which actually shocked me.”
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What’s your inspiration for the outfits you share on TikTok?
“Truthfully, I costume for myself. I soak up every part that’s occurring with vogue in the mean time, choose and select what I like and mix it in ways in which work for each my type and physique. [My TikTok account] is actually what I put on and any new purchases I make. I can’t always be shopping for new items as a result of I’ve a finances like all people else. So, if I purchase one thing new, I’ll characteristic that, however then it’s all simply intuition. I’m an enormous believer in utilizing vogue as an expression of who you might be. ”
What are a few of your favorite issues about being on TikTok?
“I really like TikTok as a result of it’s fast and simple; there’s leisure, and it packs just a little bit of data. You’re uncovered to new issues due to the For You Web page [features videos] you won’t often see in your feed. It offers a platform for lots of people to have just a little bit extra enjoyable and freedom than having to have this good grid, like on Instagram.”
What has been the response prefer to your account?
“Throughout the #over40style neighborhood, I discover folks fall into two teams: those that had been like, ‘Wow, I really like that you simply’re carrying a lot of these garments at your age,’ after which the opposite camp of ‘How might you be carrying these garments your age! They’re so inappropriate.’ The latter is such a tiny share that I don’t even reply. I used to be shocked that youthful girls, for essentially the most half, are extra supportive than older ones. I believed I might simply be hitting the over 40 and 50 markets, however all these younger girls had been like, ‘Oh My God, I wish to seem like this after I’m older,’ and are impressed by my type even at their age.”
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Had been you conscious of the #over40style neighborhood earlier than you began posting?
“Due to Instagram, I knew there was a vogue motion of ladies over 40 and 50. So I began utilizing that tag [on TikTok] after which I discovered a scarcity of want for it [and stopped using it as frequently] as a result of vogue is so fluid. I get pleasure from watching youthful girls and their vogue, and I get pleasure from watching girls who’re older than me and their vogue. However I nonetheless use the tag each every so often to seek out these girls who haven’t discovered me but.”
What are your ideas on the style traits popping out of TikTok, reminiscent of “tenniscore,” “cottage core,” “normcore,” and “academia?”
“I really like that there are such a lot of traits and so many selections now versus within the ’80s, when there was one primary look. I’ve folks ask me what’s in for denim within the fall and I’m like ‘every part! Apart from skinny denims.’ There’s a lot selection in vogue proper now, and that’s what I really like. I really like that there are these vibes going round which are distinct and distinctive. Do I’ve a favorite? No, however I really like little parts of every part.”
Do you suppose folks that aren’t teenagers can undertake TikTok vogue traits?
“I feel they completely can! Identical to every other pattern, it’s about making it your personal. You possibly can be carrying no matter the look is, but when it’s probably not who you might be, then the garments can be carrying you, and folks can sense that. So, take the traits and make them your personal. There’s no age restrict to the way you put on it. I feel each lady ought to mess around and have extra enjoyable along with her type. [TikTok fashion] is enjoyable, and that’s what traits are all about.”
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What recommendation would you give to somebody who’s hesitant to strive TikTok vogue traits?
“I might counsel taking one factor — no matter is essentially the most dominant factor of that pattern — and work that into what you have already got. [For example], folks have been speaking concerning the neon pattern for therefore lengthy. I actually simply took a neon blazer, and I did a pop of color in my footwear with denims and a t-shirt and persons are going loopy over it on TikTok and Instagram. So it’s about staying present however not going excessive. In the event you’re older and just a little hesitant, perhaps incorporate neon in a purse, an adjunct, or a t-shirt. You don’t need to go like whole-hog, full-out on a pattern, however simply preserve the vibe and the texture of it. You possibly can add items slowly, after which in case you get extra comfy and daring, preserve including.”