Be yourself and let your confidence shine through! That’s the message from Heather Anderson, creator of the popular blog, So Heather.
This pretty, 42- year- old blogger from Dallas Texas with a cool fashion sense and gorgeous hair is also a professional stylist. Her specialty? Helping 40+ women find a way of dressing that feels true to who they are. Every week Heather posts some of her latest outfits as inspiration. Readers love her casual, relaxed, hip style.
I recently had a chance to chat with Heather about her approach to fashion and her style influences over the years. Here’s my interview with this Fabulous After 40 Styleblazer.
Deb: Heather, how would you describe your style?
Heather: My style is effortless, chic, and a bit edgy.
Deb: You say your dad was your source of style inspiration. This is particularly fascinating considering he was a male. What did he offer you in terms of style inspiration that the women in your life did not?
Heather: My Dad always encouraged me to be independent and express myself through my style in any way I wanted. He had impeccable style himself and always wore the perfect thing to any and every event he attended. I would say his style was very polished and unique; he always looked well put together and on-trend. He had a ton of leather jackets and denim (just like me) which he wore very well, but he also looked amazing in all of his tailored suits. He was known to wear pink on occasion which shows the world that he was very confident and comfortable in his own skin.
We had similar tastes in clothes when I was growing up he was the one who would take me shopping most of the time. We always seemed to gravitate towards the same type of clothing, which was casual and cool with a bit of an edge. He was always complimentary of what I wore and called me a “clothes horse” from time to time and he was dead on. I’ve always loved fashion from the time I was a little girl. He allowed me to be myself and was always positive and encouraging about the way I dressed.
I also got a great deal of my style inspiration from my mother and grandmother as well. They are both very glamorous and beautiful women inside and out.
Deb: You recommend to your clients that they dress in the clothes that make them feel most like “you”. How do you handle those clients who come to you with photos of style icons and other women and insist that you help them dress that way even though it may not be true to them?
Heather: If a client came to me and wanted to dress a certain way that didn’t fit their lifestyle or body type I would talk to them a bit more about why they wanted to dress this certain way. I would try and find a happy medium of the new look they wanted to create while still staying true to themselves and looking the best they could in the right style of clothing. I’m not afraid to be honest with my clients, even if that means telling them something doesn’t work with their body style, intact that is my job and why they hired me.
Deb: You have an impressive collection of jackets and vests. What about these pieces do you love and what are some of your favorite ways to style them?
Heather: Jackets are by far my favorite thing to wear which is why I have so many. I feel more polished and put together when I’m wearing a jacket layered over a tee or tank versus just wearing a simple top by itself. I feel most confident dressed in my favorite pair of jeans, a leather jacket, and heels. That’s my go-to uniform and what you will see me wearing most of the time. I would say this is my signature look. I also like styling vests and jackets over maxi dresses or pencil skirts, and I really love pairing them with flare jeans!
Deb: I’m getting a 70’s boho vibe from many of your outfit posts (flared jeans, off-the-shoulder tops, and fringed accessories). Is this a favorite current trend? What about this particular style makes you feel confident?
Heather: I adore the 70’s boho trend a ton! It is for sure a favorite trend of mine. I feel very free and happy when I’m wearing flares and an off-the-shoulder top, sexy too which is always a good thing! I don’t wear anything I don’t feel confident in, and I don’t think anyone else should either, ever. In fact, that is one piece of style advice I tell all of my clients – stay true to yourself and wear clothing you feel confident in all the time.
Deb: Other trends you like and why. Any that you wouldn’t touch at all?
Heather: I love ripped jeans which have been a trend for a while now, and I don’t think it’s leaving anytime soon. I’m a HUGE fan of ripped jeans; I bet 75% of my jeans are ripped that are hanging in my closet, and I have a lot of jeans! However, one trend I won’t touch because I’m over 40 is the massively overdone ripped jeans. I think a few rips is cool for a woman over 40 but stay away from the jeans that are totally ripped everywhere, you can end up looking like you are trying to be 20 again, and that’s not a good thing.
Deb: Neutral colors are consistent in your outfits. Do you ever veer away from neutrals to wear bold, vibrant colors (turquoise, fuchsia, lime green, etc)? If not, why?
Heather: I will admit I wear a ton of neutral colors and not a lot of bright colors, I also don’t like a ton of patterns either. I do love bright colors and am not opposed to wearing them by any means. I have done some posts in bright coral which is a favorite color of mine to wear in spring and summer, as well as yellow which is another favorite of mine. I have a bright red leather jacket that I wear on occasion and am going to pull out and wear on Valentine’s Day for sure, stay tuned for that post. I think this spring and summer I’m going to try and wear more bright colors!
Deb: You say that your style includes edgy. What does edgy mean to you and how do you suggest other women who want to inject some edginess into their wardrobes do that?
Heather: To me, edgy means ripped jeans, leather jackets, high heels with studs, really anything rocker chic, and an all-black ensemble is also edgy and very sophisticated too! Other women can incorporate edginess into their wardrobe by investing in a black leather jacket, my number one wardrobe staple. Wear that leather jacket over anything you would put a black blazer over and voila – instant edginess!
Deb: You are the queen of jeans. You wear them a lot, and look fabulous in them! What do you look for in jeans and what are your favorite brands?
Heather: You are right about that, I’m obsessed with denim and it’s by far my favorite thing to wear. I love all kinds of jeans really, skinny, ripped, high-rise, flares, skinny boyfriend jeans, you name it I love it’s made of denim. My favorite is probably ripped skinny jeans and my second favorite is a good pair of high-rise flares, I think those are the most flattering. My favorite brands of jeans are AG, Rag and Bone, Amo, and Citizens of Humanity.
Deb: I love the Chic at Any Age feature you do with bloggers from different decades all wearing the same piece in a different way. What kind of differences do you see in the way women like to dress at different ages, or are there any? Also, what are your feelings on age-appropriate dressing?
Heather: I think age-appropriate dressing is extremely important. As I described above regarding the ripped jeans, it is possible to look a bit on the trashy side if you wear your jeans too ripped over the age of 40, or if you wear your shorts or skirts too short or too tight. These are all things we need to keep in mind as we get older.
There are other ways we can still look sexy and chic without showing too much skin. For example, the off-the-shoulder top is such a big trend right now and can be worn by all ages in my opinion. It’s the perfect top to wear that makes you feel sexy and still look age-appropriate. My Chic at Every Age series is one of my favorite things I’m involved in; I love it because it shows women of all ages how to style a particular item. I think there are definitely differences in the way we style items, and there should be. I actually think our differences exist because of our ages, but also because we all have different personal styles which keep it fun and interesting.
Deb: Fun question- If you could travel back to any decade exclusively for the fashion of that period, which decade would it be? Why?
Heather: If I could travel back to any decade it would for sure be the ’70s because of the fashion. I love it!!! I love it all, the flares, the high-rise jeans, the big sunnies, the long hair parted down the middle (which I wear today), the flowy tops, and tall boots. The free-spirited and laid-back attitude is inspiring as well. I really feel like I would have fit right in!
Deb: Last question – What have you learned about your style since beginning the blog that you never realized before. Any surprises or new growth areas?
Heather: I have learned that my style is unique and a little on the edgier side. I don’t really like a lot of flowers and full skirts, I love them on others, but I just don’t feel like myself wearing things like that. I’m jeans and jacket kind of girl, and I’m happy with that. I try and take my own advice when it comes to what I like to wear. I wear things that make me feel confident and most ‘myself’.
Deb: Any last thoughts, words, or advice for 40+ women on a personal style journey?
Heather: My advice to women over 40 is that you are beautiful and wonderful, and age only makes us grow stronger and wiser. Dress like the woman you want to be and are meant to be. You should feel confident and powerful in what you wear, and if you don’t then you are wearing the wrong thing! Style is a personal thing that is unique to every woman so find your unique style and let your confidence shine through!!
Thanks, Heather for sharing your retro style with us. Ladies, be sure to visit Heather’s blog: So Heather and find out more about her favorite styles and inspiration.