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Audrey Alfano

Audrey Alfano

by Melissa Magsaysay

The Former Model Talks About Finding Your Style After 50.

Bold color, plenty of positivity and a slew of straight forward style how-tos for women over 50 are what you’ll find when perusing Audrey Alfano’s robust Instagram account. The Midwest native who raised her family in Manhattan Beach, CA and now lives just outside of Phoenix is a sun seeker in more ways than one.

She radiates positivity, both her personality and in how she dresses (think: bright shades, fun patterns and playful accessories), and actively promotes finding and loving your style for plus size women over 50.

“Ladies in their 50’s and older grew up with so many fashion rules and if you were plus size it was a double whammy,” says Alfano. “No prints, bright colors, stripes, sleeveless, shorter hemlines, clingy fabric, textured fabric, and if you “have” to wear a bathing suit, then it better be a black one piece. As a long retired plus size model, I have watched this industry come so far over the years, but there is always room for more.”

Her message to dispel the sartorial myths thrown at women over the decades comes across in everything she does. From high-low looks to head-to-toe designer, Alfano’s sense of style is infectious, accessible and inspiring.

“Let go of your inhibitions. Let go of all those things they told us when we were younger.”

When not being creative in her fashion choices and helping uplift other women to be confident in their body and style, she is an avid entertainer and gives back to her community.

“I volunteer as a Wish Granter (with the Make a Wish Foundation) and it is the most inspiring and touching job ever,” says Alfano. “Even in times of great distress kids are so resilient and such fighters. It just amazes me.”

Here, she talks more about her message of confidence through style and how she wears her favorite looks from 11 Honoré.

Q & A with Audrey

How would you describe your personal style?

Eclectic! Also, classic, boho, artsy, street smart chic with a touch of girly, elegant and sometimes sexy, but never sloppy. How’s that for a mouthful? I’m always drawn to interesting fashion – designers that pay attention to the details and step away from the norm or expected. I have my own distinct style and I wear what feels right on me.

Tell us about your message of style for women over 50

I have so much to say to women over 50 and especially plus size women over 50! My message is let go of your inhibitions. Let go of all those things they told us when we were younger. Ladies in their 50’s and older grew up with so many fashion rules and if you were plus size it was a double whammy. No prints, bright colors, stripes, sleeveless, shorter hemlines, clingy fabric, textured fabric, and if you “have” to wear a bathing suit, then it better be a black one piece. It makes me sad just writing this. As a long-retired plus size model, I have watched this industry come so far over the years but there is always room for more.

What are the style mantras you live by?

I would say to ladies my age or older, first learn to love yourself. Really love yourself and embrace what God gave you. Sometimes women tell me that I have great style or they ask me how they can find their style. It’s ok to look to others for inspiration. Generally, you know what you like and what you don’t. Follow women on social media if you like the way they dress. Watch how they put things together or mix and match to give you ideas. Look at 11 Honoré to see beautiful clothing on plus size women. What I hear most: “Oh my gosh you look great, but I could never wear that.” Why not? A little help from your local tailor can nip and tuck it so it becomes yours. Get creative and let yourself think out of the box. It is really that simple. That is my motto: Wear what you love. When you wear something you love you automatically feel good about yourself.

Describe some of your favorite looks from 11 Honore

I tend to go for dresses, pants and tops and finally, blazers. In Arizona we do not get cold enough for a closet full of coats. I adore Dima Ayad both as a human and a designer. She is gentle yet fierce but always feminine and classy. She understands the women’s body and her designs are extraordinary and luxurious! I love the color and interesting designs of Mary Katrantzou. For business with a twist I have the Derek Lam black and white pieces and have gotten so much use together and worn separately. I have my eyes on Adam Lippes leopard print blouse and pants because first of all, who does not love animal print? Secondly, the color combo in satin is over-the-top luxurious. I love the Prabal Gurung combo dress because the design combines fabric with sequins in such a lovely unexpected way. The Roland Mouret Girtin dress is the perfect “little black dress” and not like anything I’ve ever seen.

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