Introducing women: Deborah Boland

Today’s interview is with beautiful  Canadian  fashion blogger Deborah Boland. The Deborah Fabulous After 40 blog, started in 2007, helps women to find their style, starting with the most appropriate colors and shapes for each of us. With a great deal of fashion experience, Deborah has also realised that she has not been able to find a reference in magazines and advertisements in her 40 years to help her choosing her style. This was the reason for  starting her blog.

I suggest you read Deborah’s interview and follow her on her blog.

interview Not Only Twenty

Deborah: joy and style

NotOnlyTwenty: Why and how did you decide to start your blog Fabulous after 40?

Deborah Boland- Fabulous after 40 In 2007 I was winding up my 20 year career as a Lifestyle TV producer/host to spend more time with my 3 small children. I had done a lot of fashion for television and fell into writing a fashion blog for fun. I was in my early 40’s and my lifestyle and body was changing. I was very frustrated that there were so few clothes out their for women at this age and stage of life. There were teenage clothes or old lady clothes and nothing inbetween, and there were no 40+ role models to to be found. I had always loved fashion and there was no way I was going to give up and fall in to a frumpy rut so I started Fabulous After 40 to help women 40, 50, and beyond to Tweak their Chic and look Age-Amazing!

NOT: Fabulous after 40 has an incredibly engaged readership. What do you think is the secret?

DB: I think my readers have found a community where they openly share their style challenges and celebrate their style wins. They come to me for practical advice to look modern, classy and on trend, but not over the top. I enjoy cheering them on and giving them the inspiration and ideas they need to look and feel fabulous no matter what their age.

Plus, all the other women in the community are so supportive too. It’s like a fun girlfriend’s club!

 NOT: Do you think that women feel the society’s pressure to look fashionable, even in their 40-something and over?

DB: I don’t think there’s pressure to look fashionable (yet), but there is pressure to look young (wrinkle free). I don’t see women my age in magazine layouts or ads, and if you do see one, she a silly stereotype – the token older woman with luxurious long gray hair and wrinkle free skin. I don’t know any older women like that. I’m happy to see so many real women 40+ blogging and posting their pictures because we’re getting a truer picture of what 40+ looks like, wrinkles and all. More realistic pictures of women our age helps us feel more positive about aging.

 NOT: Style advices from a fashion blogger can help women to feel more confident?

DB: Authenticity is the key to confidence. Don’t wear anything that doesn’t feel like you, no matter what.

True style is when the inner you matches the outer you.

interview Not Only Twenty

NOT: Where does the style advice stop and where does rule begin?

DB:I don’t believe in rules, but guidelines on dressing your body shape, your best colors etc are helpful to a lot of women, so I try to provide that because that is what my ladies want. However, everybody must dress the way that pleases them and brings them joy. That’s the bottom line. I would never dictate how someone should dress. Style is a personal and individual choice.

NOT: You don’t have to be young to have style, but how important is budget?

DB: Budget is not as important as you would think. I have seen lots of women put together the most fabulous wardrobes on a shoestring. It’s more about selecting some good basic pieces and a few fun things, and going for the best quality you can find. With so many designer discount stores around, this is not a problem. You just have to be willing to do a little hunting to pull it all together, but it’s definitely doable.

NOT: Who inspires you the most in fashion?

DB: I am inspired by women who have a consistent, distinct style. These are women who don’t fall prey to every trend that passes their way. They know who they are, they know what looks good on them and they stick to it with slight tweaks each season to stay on trend. They send a mesage of maturity and confidence and that’s powerful.

NOT: Who is the most inspiring woman (more generally, not only about fashion), and why?

DB: I have always been inspired by women who, often against all odds, take a risk and go for their dreams. I think the saddest thing in life is unufulfilled potential.

If you really want something, you can have it as long as you have courage and work hard. I’m so proud of some of women like this in the Fabulous After 40 community. They’ve been busy working, raising a family taking care of everyone. Now, it’s their time to focus on themselves and be all they can be. Dressing with style is a small step on the road to feeling confident and acheiving eveything they want for themselves in this second half of life.

NOT: What blog do you follow the most; and why?

DB: I follow so many 40+ bloggers, each with their own unique style points of view. I may not be a boho girl or a rocker chic or eccentric type dresser, but it is interesting to study these different looks and appreciate the thoughts and ideas behind them. I always say I can appreciate any style as long as it is done well.

NOT: How do you describe your personal style?

DB: My personal style is classic, elegant with a modern twist. I adore color and a touch of drama here or there. Fit, comfort and quality are very important to me. I like feminine clothes.

NOT: What factors influence your style?

DB: Color is huge for me because I find that the right colors make such a huge difference in the way I look and feel. If I walk into a store, and from a distance see that they don’t have anything in my best colors, I immediately turn around and walk out. If something is a great fit, and is a great style but it’s the wrong color, it’s not for me.

NOT: How your style changes with age?

DB: I have always been very clear on my style so I don’t think it has changed much. The only exception is, I find I don’t really wear high heels much anymore because they are not comfortable and they don’t work with my lifestyle in general. It’s a big change since I used to live in heels.

NOT: Do you think women should dress ‘age appropriately’ and what does it mean to you?

DB: This is a hot topic these days. All I am going to say is: I don’t think you need to limit yourself to certain styles just because you are past a certain age, but you do need to be respectful of the occasion, and you do need to have some common sense and a good full length mirror!

interview Not Only Twenty

NOT: In your opinion is it always licit to play with fashion to express oneself, at whatever age and whatever size?Not quite sure what you mean but I will try and answer…

DBI think it is always healthy to experiment with fashion. We’re always growing and changing in small and sometimes big ways. If fashion is about expressing your true self, then your style needs to be in line with who you are now, not who you were 5 years ago. And I’d say don’t worry about making a mistake. Fashion is not rocket science. It should be fun.

 NOT: What do you think about the fashion blogging world?

DB:I love the 40+ fashion blogging world. They are a wonderful group of creative women and I’ve made many fabulous friendships. Everyone is very supportive and it’s nice to be able to make connections alla round the world. Plus, they’re all such inspiring fashionistas!

 NOT: A secret for success with social networks?

DB: Engagment is the key to success with social networks. My readers love it when I ask their opinion and I love to hear what they have to say.

NOT: What do you have to say about the growing interest on over 40 fashion bloggers?

DB: I think the more focus on 40+ bloggers the better. The more we see real women over 40, 50 and more on blogs in the media, the more powerful and confident we will become and the more advertisers will wake up the fact that midlife women just dont shrivel up and forget about fashion ( or anything else) after 40.

 NOT: Style and life suggestions for the 40 and over?

DB: Life is too short to be Frumpy! Buy the shoes and the party will come! Enjoy your life, enjoy fashion. HAVE FUN!

NOT: You’re plans for the future?

DB: My ladies have been asking me to start a style club with more personalized help and feedback, so that is what I am working and it is very excited. Stay tuned. In the meantime those just starting out can get a copy of my free style guide 5 Massive Fashion Mistakes that Make You Look Too Old or Too Young and how To Get it Just Right at

interview Not Only Twenty


interview Not Only Twenty


interview Not Only Twenty


interview Not Only Twenty


interview Not Only Twenty


interview Not Only Twenty


Rita Palazzi
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