Adding a funky twist to a classic look takes more than imagination. It also takes, No Fear of Fashion. Greetje Kamminga is the creator of this fun, over 40 style blog that inspires women to inject color and artsy touches into their everyday wardrobe.
In only a few short years, the 61-year-old fashionista who hails from The Netherlands has developed quite a loyal following. Readers love Greetje’s bright and slightly offbeat style, as well as her positive, playful personality.
I recently had the chance to chat with Greetje about fashion over 40 and her approach to dressing.
Here’s my interview with this Fabulous After 40 Styleblazer.
Deb: You share a lot of different looks on your blog from classic to artsy. How would you describe the way you like to dress?
Greetje: I used to say my style was classic with an edge, and that is truer the longer I blog. I’m more daring after 3 and a half years. These days I’d say my style is all over the place. I can do a pencil skirt with pumps just as easily as leggings with a long red jacket (and pumps). I strive for clean lines, but I’m not there yet.
My legs are my best feature, and I love to emphasize them. Not with mini skirts, as I don’t like them on me anymore, but skinnies are a great alternative. Rumour has it they are going out of style…bummer.
Deb: How did you get started blogging?
Greetje: It was a spur-of-the-moment thing. When I was leaving a comment on a blog four years ago, I was asked to leave the name of my blog. I didn’t have a blog at that time, so I registered No Fear of Fashion, with no intention of ever bringing it to life.
Deb: Your blog is very colorful. Have you always been a fan or did you grow into wearing color?
Greetje: I have always liked to wear a lot of colors. Bright and bold colors, especially reds, like bright red, purple, or fuchsia suit me best. But I also like yellow, lime, electric blue, bottle green, Kermit green (I have a jacket in that color), and orange. you name it. I don’t know why, but these colors look good on me.
Deb: When I scroll through your blog I notice some pretty funky gold and silver booties. What’s the story behind this fab footwear?
Greetje: I’ve become bolder in my footwear since finally seeing that shoes can make or break an outfit. High-heeled pumps are my favorite, but they do not always convey “modern” so I have dipped my toe into this modern shoe well. I love my gold and silver booties because they go with anything and instantly make an outfit look funky.
Gold and silver boots, like leopard coats, used to be an absolute no-go for classy women. I’m so glad they are now considered fashionable. (I liked them before they became fashionable, but that is because I have a common streak running through my character. Now as I grow older, it doesn’t come out as much. Only now and then, and I usually give in.)
Deb: You wear a lot of denim. Why is it a favorite?
Greetje: Denim is hot, hot, hot in The Netherlands. Sometimes I think it is a uniform and I get why… it is so easy to style. I own about 6 to 8 blue jeans, and they are usually not cheap. I get so much wear out of them that they are the one item I don’t skimp on. My not-so-dark-blue skinny jeans that turn up at the bottom from Denham are my favorite. Oh, and ironically, so are my most inexpensive straight jeans from Occupied.
Deb: You are also a fan of jackets. What do they do for you?
Greetje: Fitted jackets flatter my frame. At 5ft 7 inches, I am average height compared to most Dutch women (who someone told me are the tallest women on the planet). My body shape is an inverted triangle. Fitted jackets are my lifesaver, helping me to fake a waist and an hourglass figure. I like fitted jackets that have lapels and a collar as they suit my long neck better than no collar.
Deb: You went to a blogger meet-up in Vancouver last summer. What did you wear and what was your biggest style takeaway?
Greetje: That was really tricky because I knew I was going to meet women who would be doing their utmost to look good. Also, there was a lot of walking involved, which meant flat shoes, and I’m not a big fan of flat shoes (understatement).
I took my nearly flat silver pointy shoes (thrifted) which went with everything. I wore white jeans and blue jeans with several tops and a blue or a white jacket. For dinner: green skinny trousers with a red flower top and red slingbacks (comfortable higher heels). I also wore a black and white animal print jumper with a wide cream skirt and not too high black slingbacks.
My biggest style takeaway is? Wear whatever YOU want. As long as it makes you happy. Complying with rules takes away freedom.
Deb: You write a lot about outlet shopping in Turin. Tell us about your best deal.
Greetje: My brown boots which go halfway up my calf have been my best buy. Oh, and two bags. But really, nearly everything I buy at the Max Mara outlet is fantastic.
How do I hunt down fab finds? I bring my friend Daniela with me. I’m not very good at choosing the right things from the rack. She has “the eye”. I brief her, and she goes off and brings back nothing but goodies, haha. She also negotiates discounts for me. I love her and not just for that. She is a treasure, a good friend.
Deb: How do you decide where you’ll take your pictures?
Greetjie: I tell my husband Ron what I will be wearing, and he chooses the backdrop. He scouts locations as he is driving around and walking the dog, taking into account which outfits need color or a quiet background. I follow him blindly as he is very creative. We are now past the stage where we argue about the location because he has put me in a spot where my high heels sink in the mud or where I am blown apart by a fierce wind. Taking my photos is not his hobby. He only does it for me. I love him.
Deb: How do you think fashion or the approach to fashion differs in Europe than in North America?
Greetje: I don’t know whether it differs that much. Everywhere there are women interested in fashion and women who don’t care or can’t be bothered. Of course, we do have the advantage of having Italy in Europe. Italians are so creative, so stylish in everything. The Dutch aren’t. We are mainly practical. Lots of cycling, wind, and rain, babysitting in front of the bike, toddler on the back… difficult to manage in high heels!
Deb: How do you balance working full time and blogging?
Greetje: Oh you hit a nerve here. I find it extremely hard to balance. Perhaps with a more normal job, it might be easier, but I have a stressful job with overtime. I have to go to fitness twice a week to keep my body healthy (which takes up time) etc etc. What keeps me going is my passion for outfits. I have always had that, even when I was young and penniless.
I also love to entertain, make people laugh and I love to write. Blogging has everything and more. And I get the sweetest comments and emails from readers to encourage me. Mind you; I like to comment on blogs of blogging friends, and on Instagram which means more time is needed. My advice to other women? Only blog when you have a passion for the subject, otherwise I don’t think you will last.
Deb: You changed your hair color. Did it change your wardrobe or the way you feel about yourself?
Greetje: I went from brunette to blonde, to brunette, and back to blonde again! I didn’t like the blonde at first because I found brown hair more expressive and brown looked far better with yellow and lime clothes than blonde. In the end, I gave in for three reasons. 1. My husband said blonde made me look softer, and he liked it. 2. You didn’t see my grey roots out as much which was the reason I changed in the first place. 3. I started to prefer it.
Changing hair color didn’t change my wardrobe, oddly enough, although I do think that yellow and lime are a little bit trickier with a blonde. And changing hair color certainly didn’t change the way I felt about myself.
Deb: Advice for mature women reading this who want to overcome their fear of fashion?
Greetje: Follow fashion blogs for women over 40 that teach you how to get out of your style rut. I do, because, even though you might not think it, I sometimes need advice myself. I often turn to my many little styles helpers like shop assistants and fashionable friends. Oh, and my husband: he is good at styling too. Since starting my blog and following other blogs for 4 to 5 years now, I have learned a lot.
Deb: Anything else to add?
Greetje: My blog is not just about outfits of the day. I try to make readers laugh as well. That is my mission in life, and I hope I have been successful in doing that.
Deb: You certainly have. I enjoy reading your blog! Thanks for sharing Greetje. Ladies, be sure to visit Greetje’s blog, No Fear of Fashion where she posts her street style as well as her travels around Europe.