Introducing women: Annette Hoeldrich

Annette the lady of the bon ton

The fashion blogger I want to introduce you today is a stunning 56-year-old woman who lives in beautiful Bavaria. Annette’s style is always elegant and refined: a really bon ton style. Annette was one of the first over 40 German fashion bloggers and has an incredibly engaged readership.

Her style and her smile show us a serene woman with an impeccable style in every occasion.

I invite you to read his interview!

NotOnlyTwenty: Why and how did you decide to start your blog Lady of Style?

Annette Hoeldrich- Lady of Style: I started back in 2013 when the typical fashion bloggers were in their 20s!
In Germany I have been one of the first 40+ bloggers and actually probably the oldest then. My daughter encouraged me to start a blog and soon I received a lot of very positive feedback from women of my age. In those days there was hardly any social media – certainly not Instagram – and I focused on my blog and networking with other 40+ bloggers worldwide.

 

NOT: Lady of Style has an incredibly engaged readership. What do you think is the secret?

AH: I am authentic and honest, I am not pretending or faking anything. I am a “real” woman.

 

NOTDo you think that women  over 40 feel the society’s pressure to look fashionable?

AH: I live in the countryside in Bavaria, Southern Germany and women tend to dress very casual and sporty here.  When I go shopping in heels, a dress or leather leggings I sometimes feel people think I “dress up” 😉
I personally think we have the choice to dress the way we like!

 

NOTStyle advices from a fashion blogger can help women to feel more confident?

AH: I do not consider myself as a style advisor but it makes me happy when my readers tell me I have inspired them with my personal style!

 

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

AH: That is why I’d never tell another woman what she should wear…
In my posts I always talk about my personal style. For example I would never mix different patterns and I do not wear Cowboy boots (the latest trend!) but if that makes another woman happy and confident, then she should!

 

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

AH: I cannot afford expensive designer clothes but I pay attention to quality and mix more expensive timeless pieces with Zara or Mango. I have seen women on Instagram wearing designer pieces from head to toe and found it extremely boring and lacking personal style!

I very much rely on my seamstress who alters my clothes for a perfect fit which is most important.

 

NOT: Who inspires you the most in fashion?

AH: When I am not sure about an outfit, I send a photo to my daughter! She has style, studied fashion communication & promotion and always gives me honest feedback.
Style icons: Olivia Palermo, Amal Clooney, Duchess of Sussex

 

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

AH: Michelle Obama

 

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

AH: My German blogger friends – all 40 or 50plus:

Conny of Conny Doll Lifestyle

Cla of Glam up your lifestyle

Plus size blog – Susanne of Texterella

My blogger friends in the UK/US – all 40 or 50plus:

Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb

Lisa of The Sequinist

Liz of What Lizzy Loves

Michelle of Michelle Tyler

 Other inspiring blogs by younger bloggers with ageless style:
with love from Kat

Bittersweet Colours

 Instagram accounts I love (not all are fashion related!)

@tt_stories

@eyeswoon

@annstreetstudio

@sharonsantoni

And of course:@celestebarber

 

 

NOT: How do you describe your personal style?

AH: Classic, feminine, contemporary and ageless.

 

NOTHow your style changes with age?

AH: Over the years I became more open and adventurous. My style has always been elegant, even when I was much younger and I have never been a casual jeans & sneakers girl.
However, I now prefer a mix of styles and don’t want to look “ladylike” but rather pair cool leather leggings and a silk blouse or a feminine dress with a leather jacket.

 

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

AH: Although I don’t wear miniskirts or a crop top any longer, I don’t think age should determine your style. Trying to look younger too hard can easily go wrong… at the same time you don’t want to dress frumpy or boring!
As I said, I love leather leggings but I also wear elegant wide leg palazzo trousers. I always pay attention to my body shape and look for a flattering combination of clothes and add accessories according to the occasion and my mood.

 

NOT: Is there something that you would say to Italian women about style?

AH: German women adore Italian women and men for their sense of style and I wish more Germans would take inspiration for their own looks (especially men!!)

 

NOT: What do you think about the current fashion industry?

AH: Still not enough brands pay attention to the 50plus age group when it comes to sizes and body shapes. I want to see more older models!

And of course sustainability should become essential in the fashion industry.

 

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

AH: After 6 years of blogging I have seen a massive change. What has been a hobby for most bloggers turned into business – not always for the better.
Competition, collaborations with brands, legal aspects and of course the rise of social media are now part of the blogosphere (I don’t use the term “influencer”).

I am glad I have a strong network of lovely German as well as international 40/50plus bloggers!

 

NOT: A secret for success with social networks?

AH: Nowadays social media of course is Instagram first and foremost.

What is “success” on Instagram? 100k followers? 500k?
Instagram’s main users are not my target group, hence it is almost impossible to keep up with the numbers of younger bloggers.

Unfortunately it is too easy to buy followers and likes on Instagram and sadly this almost became a common practice…

Furthermore Instagram doesn’t remove fake accounts which for me is equally shocking and every day I am blocking and reporting a huge amount of fake male accounts from military generals, princes to “lonely widowers” who do nothing but “collect” female profiles.

I have manually cleared my Instagram account and deleted more than 8000 followers! Unfortunately also a lot of 40/50plus bloggers still build their follower numbers on these men… for me this is cheating when brands ask for my media kit!

My Instagram followers now are 87% female accounts and I am still working on increasing this figure. Quality over quantity!

 

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

AH: It is about time since our age group represents the audience with the highest spending power! Unfortunately still a lot of pr agencies and brands don’t seem to fully understand the importance of older bloggers.

 

NOT: Your plans for the future?

AH: Since I am managing my full time job as well as my blog, it is important to plan enough time for myself which isn’t easy.
I live in beautiful Bavaria not far from the Austrian border and my house is surrounded by fields, mountains and lovely trails – ideal for a natural, healthy lifestyle. I enjoy my sunny terrace and garden and call these moments a “mini break”.

My son is at university in Munich and comes home frequently, my daughter graduated in London this summer and is now working there. I am going to London regularly and often call it my second home… can’t wait to go back in November.

Travelling is definitely one of my main goals for the years to come.
Since Italy is not far, I hope to visit your beautiful country again next spring!

 

 

 

 

 

Rita Palazzi
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