Fashion columnist and influencer Joanne Hegarty on what makes 40-plus life great.

I was thinking I hadn’t heard any news about Amal Clooney for a while ‒ her law career, young twins and handsome hubby George Clooney must be keeping her busy. Then pow!

Her holiday wardrobe in Italy’s Lake Como makes a gigantic splash with not one but three mini-dresses. The first, a design with a pink and white print by Valentino, worn with a floppy hat; a second, a white crystal-embellished number with a feathered hem by 16 Arlington (below), and the third, a green sequined slip by Ermanno Scervino.

Amal typically gravitates towards maxi hemlines or trousers, but this summer she’s embracing the mini head on. Lucky George! Mrs Clooney’s holiday wardrobe is definitely one of summer’s style highlights.

While I prefer to waft through August in easy-breezy kaftans and midi-dresses, 44-year-old Amal (who’s the same age as me) is revving it up with major Hollywood glamour. Go Amal!

Even though few of us have her budget, legs or George, we should all do our own style thing as the years race on ‒ and sod the critics.

Wearing a dress by Mara Hoffman. Basket by Lola & Mawu. Sunglasses by Chloe.

When it comes to fashion, I believe that age doesn’t matter. Like fine wines, our style improves because we know ourselves more. The absolute no-no is to give up or claim we don’t have time to make the effort.

That’s a killer for your self-esteem and happiness.

Amal’s new fondness for minis got me thinking about what else is great about life after 40…

The joy of sitting down. Being a mum, taxi driver, parent to two cats and a dog, and a home owner who’s spent months dealing with builders, I hear myself making noises like ‘aah’ and ‘ooh’ when my bum hits the sofa at the end of the day.

The pleasure of your own company. In my 30s I felt I needed to be surrounded by people all the time. Now a long walk by myself is bliss.

Quality over quantity ‒ with everything from clothes to people to wine.

Neck moisturising. Apparently, I should have been doing this since my 20s!

Lists. Because there’s so much to remember.

Good jeans. Not skinny ones that give you puckered knees but ones that give you good bum. Experiment until you find your brands. Mine are Frame and Levi’s; the more vintage the better.

Knowing that not everything new is better. Sometimes familiar holiday destinations, old movies and favourite books are best.

Small luxuries. Think tidy spaces, long baths, scented candles.

Best friends. Few people are truly good listeners and even fewer can keep secrets.

Good jewellery. If chosen well, it can last and be worn for years.


A glimpse at the upcoming film Don’t Worry Darling, starring Harry Styles and Florence Pugh (above) and directed by Harry’s girlfriend Olivia Wilde (in cinemas from 23 September), calls to mind Slim Aarons’ iconic mid-century photos of Palm Springs socialites. The stylish 50s outfits created by Arianne Phillips are a real treat.


Inspired by the local artisans in her native Ecuador, Stephany Sensi has launched Sensi Studio, a range of bold handwoven bags. This pompom design (£155, will add a bolt of colour to your summer look.


Perfect for summer, the latest jean shorts, or jorts, are a longer, artfully flared style that can hit between the lower thigh and just past the knee (these, by, are £60). Think a grown-up version of denim cut-offs. Model sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid are big fans. Team yours with a white shirt for an elegant look.

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