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Planning Retirement Online

The Rise of Glamorous Grandmothers!

November 2013

According to the Grandparents Association, there are 14 million grandparents in the UK.

While grandfathers still maintain a fairly traditional role, it seems that the warm and cuddly traditional image of Grandma is definitely on the way out! Here at Laterlife we have been looking at changing images of the over 50s for some years, and it seems that old stereotype of grandmothers being...well, grandmothers...has pretty well disappeared.

A major new survey has just been undertaken to try and find out what is going on. It was commissioned by leading fashion and home catalogue brand Kaleidoscope, and the results are interesting.

The survey showed that 88% of British grandma’s now consider themselves to be ‘Glam-mas’, and are a serious force to be reckoned with in the style stakes.

Of those surveyed, a surprising 92% stated that they actively followed the latest fashions, although perhaps slightly more traditionally classic and smart trends proved to be the most popular. Similarly, it appears that Grandmas today are on the pulse when it comes to what styles to avoid, with dresses above the knee and tight fitting pieces topping the poll as the biggest fashion faux pas for the over 50s.
This new breed of ‘Glam-ma’ is also determined to keep their wardrobes up to date, with 44% of those asked admitting to spending up to £100 each month on new purchases.

When it comes to celebrity style – Carole Middleton wins the battle of the royal grandmas with 40% of British grandmothers voting for her as their main style influence opposed to Camilla Parker-Bowles who received just 2%. Goldie Hawn and Mary Berry also scored highly.


It appears that it’s not just the Glam-ma’s who rank themselves highly in the style stakes, as over 50% of grandchildren surveyed also agree that their grandma is a style muse – with the majority stating it is their grandmother’s attitude towards her outfit choices that they admire the most.

Helen North, Head of Marketing at Kaleidoscope, told Laterlife:

“I think it’s fantastic to see from our survey results that so many grandmothers are enjoying fashion and feeling confident and comfortable enough to experiment with different styles and trends. The average age of a British grandparent is becoming younger than it was in the previous generation, so it is not surprising that the traditional view of what a grandma should look like has become outdated. A lot of these women will have spent many years working hard and raising their families so it’s great that they can now find the time to focus on themselves and have some fun with fashion.”

Helen said there are so many super stylish grandmas in the public eye at present providing a huge pool of style inspiration.

Key statistics from Kaleidoscope’s survey included:

  • 88% of British grandmothers consider themselves to be a Glam-ma

  • 92% of Glam-ma’s actively follow the latest fashions

  • Glam-ma’s consider Carole Middleton, Goldie Hawn and Mary Berry to be their greatest style icons with Camilla Parker-Bowles voted the least stylish

  • British Glam-ma’s spend up to £100 per month on keeping their wardrobes topped up

  • 58% of grandchildren surveyed consider their grandma to be a style inspiration.

The six names that gained the most votes for the most glamorous grandmother were:

Carole Middleton
The new grandmother to little Prince George, 58, received 40 percent of the vote.

Goldie Hawn
The actress and former "Laugh-In" star, 67, received 28 percent of the vote.

Sharon Osbourne
The X Factor UK judge and media personality, 60, received 10 percent of the vote.

Mary Berry
The British food writer and TV presenter, 78, received 10 percent of the vote.

Jane Fonda
The actress and fitness guru, 75, received 7 percent of the vote.

Sally Field
The popular actress, 66, received 3 percent of the vote.

The famous online Huffington Post were also interested in this and asked their Facebook fans if they thought Carole Middleton was the most glamorous grandmother in the world. Most replied that ALL grandmothers are glamorous.

If you have any photographs of glamorous grandmas, do send them.  Maybe we can create our own portfolio of Laterlife Glam-mas!


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The above article is part of the features section of called laterlife interest. laterlife interest contains a variety of articles of interest for visitors to written by a number of experienced and new journalists.

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