Meet Suzi, the face behind fashion, food and fitness blog (and book), Alternative Ageing.
Suzi describes herself as previously being a “chain smoking, hard drinking reporter/presenter in TV & Radio for most of [her] working life: [appearing on] TVam, Sky News, Meridian TV & BBC Radios 2, 4 & 5, amongst others.” But when her mum died from a heart attack at a young age, Suzi “decided to take stock of [her] health and trained as a nutritionist [who then went on to write] three books, including Alternative Ageing, continued to broadcast as a health expert, moved to Brighton and dyed [her] hair bright red!”
And so began Alternative Ageing, a blog to “share all the things [she] loves and know[s] about: [her] passion for fashion, nutrition, health & beauty, fitness and to find and photograph as many stylish people, over a certain age, who also refuse to become invisible.”
So Suzi, tell us, what inspired you to create something so unique and refreshing?
The thing about these clothes is that they make me feel great – people remark on how much they like “the look” and they suit me in colour and style. That would be my advice to anyone: find your colours, go to a colour advisor if necessary, find your style, and then rummage around charity shops, vintage shops, markets and don’t be afraid of mixing and not matching, trying things back to front, taking in or taking up, and being bold with accessories to liven up an old outfit! Think out of the box when it comes to dressing up!
Where do you like to shop?
I still shop High Street, but really love markets, vintage shops, charity shops, vintage fairs, charity shops, and the markets in Byron Bay in Australia where I spend winter. I picked up the most amazing bargains there, like a vintage tea dress for £5! In Brighton, I tend to have a look at shops like Whistles, River Island, Ted Baker & Fred Perry, but am not buying much at the moment because I came back from Oz with a suitcase full of lovely summer clothes – mostly vintage because I do love having a one-off piece that no one else has.
What sets you apart from all the other fashion bloggers?
I hope it’s the fact that I am much older than the majority of other fashion bloggers and that I am not encouraging readers to dress up in young clothes that are all over the magazines, but clothes that they can find rummaging through second-hand stores or markets. Also, by adapting what they have already to better suit them with a scarf here or a belt there and the right shoes, or by going to a tailor and having a dress turned into a skirt, like I did recently. There’s so much you can do with clothes you already have if you think outside the box. No amazing outfit needs to cost a fortune.
But what also sets me apart is that there is also Nutrition & Health advice on my blog as well as Beauty, Travel & I Like Your Style, where people I meet in the street get to star in their amazing outfits, male and female!
What are your aspirations for Alternative Ageing?
To inspire thousands of women, and men, all over the world, to be funky, fit and healthy. I hope to do more workshops, lectures, radio & TV on Alternative Ageing and who knows, maybe even another book featuring the best of my blogs and photographs. Or even a clothing line of one-offs – Vintage for a Vintage!
The great thing is that this blog can grow old with me and, by the time I am 80-something, the 40-somethings will be 60-something and more tech-savvy than the 60-somethings now and, hopefully, I will be a famous 80-something blogger and vlogger wearing eccentric clothes, travelling, blogging and appearing in the odd advert!
If you think that Suzi is as great as we do, then you can read all about her styling and health and beauty tips for ageing gracefully over on Alternative Ageing – that is, when she’s not busy doing photo shoots with vintage and retro brands in Australia and hitting up Latitude Festival…!