Helen Finch
​Style Editor

If someone stopped me in the street and said “Excuse me, may I take your photo? I like your style”, I’d be so flattered.   If they added that it was for an on-line magazine and the focus was on real not-so-young women, and by the way could they just check that I was over the age of 35 - then I’d think they could be my friend forever.  

I wasn’t on the receiving end of this request, I was roaming the street, looking.  It was hard at first to brace myself to approach strangers but after a while I got in the zone.  People were flattered.  Once we got talking it was fine.  I’m an older woman (well beyond 35), I have silver hair, I don’t look like a model.

When I say flattered, some people who I spoke to were actually mega-flattered.  They loved that they’d been stopped in this way.  By the time we parted there might be hugs and I was struck by how extreme their feelings were.  I felt like a bringer of extreme happiness.

We are surrounded by images of younger, glamorous women.  If my image of my older self is affirmed, even (or perhaps especially) by a stranger on the street, it can be a wonderful surprise, like being given a phial of self confidence – I’m ok, ‘stylish’ even.

And even (or perhaps especially) if my clothes come from charity shops.  More than one of the women who I photographed wanted me to know this, demonstrating skill in being stylish even without Vogue-type clothes.
One woman refused my request for a photo.  She didn’t do photos and I got a sense that there were cultural reasons behind this in her case.  I know that in general many people dislike having their photo taken.

It was a privilege to meet these women, at the start of WOJO's Streetstyle.  Only three are shown here (my photography skills are still being honed).  They range in age from 45 to 61.

DI in


JO in

Waterloo Station


Yarmouth (at her wonderful shop Drift)


(there'll be more of Shelley in the next issue, but till then, this is what she wears, gloriously, to work as founder of Fairy Love


ANNA and JUDY at 

De Koffe Pot in  
ANN in