Nova Scotia·Fashion Profile

Meet Terri, whose love of fashion drove her out of retirement

Haligonian Terri Durling thinks age shouldn't define your fashion choices.

Terri Durling remembers dressing up as a teenager in Digby, N.S.

Terri Durling retired for a second time in January. She has plans to do something fashion-related, which could involve volunteering. (Musemo Handahu for CBC)

Imagine having such a love for dressing up that you decide to come out of retirement, part-time, because you missed being able to express yourself through your clothing. This is what a style rebel does.

Terri Durling of Halifax did just that. She worked as an executive and legal assistant before retiring. After spending a year at home, she started looking through her work clothes to sell or donate them, but she just couldn't part with them.

So she found a part-time job working in the legal department at Dalhousie University five and a half years ago, before retiring again at the end of January when her job became redundant.

Terri Durling shares her style on Instagram under the handle @glammas.closet. (Submitted by Terri Durling)

But the 69-year-old is not hanging up her hat. She'd like to get into something fashion-related in the future, which could involve volunteering.

Durling is the quintessential definition of joie de vivre! 

Video produced by Musemo Handahu, Kristen Brown and Jane Nicholson for CBC.

Durling grew up in rural Nova Scotia, in Digby, and as a young girl wore hand-me-downs from her mother. Understandably, this is not a teenager's ideal style esthetic, but Durling made it work.

Terri's been a fan of hats since she was a teen. (Submitted by Terri Durling)

Through her home-economics class, she gained the skills to help her tweak the clothes to make them her own and discover how she wanted the world to see her.

As a full-time style maven, Durling's hats, expertly layered pieces, statement jewellery, the occasional mixing of prints and the signature red lipstick introduce her to you before she speaks. When she does, you're inspired to not be so hung up on getting older.

Age shouldn't define what you wear, says Durling. (Submitted by Terri Durling)

Durling is an advocate for fighting ageism through the medium of fashion. It's a mission that was amplified when she came across the photographer and author Ari Cohen's Advanced Style blog. This movement celebrates the incomparable and slap-you-in-the-face style of older women and men.

Durling is doing that in Halifax, by living her life so boldly. She refuses to be made invisible and her spirit rages wilder than ever. 

From a young age, she has always leaned on this truth. It didn't (and still doesn't) matter what others think of her clothes. As long as she is happy and feels the truest form of herself then anything negative that anyone has to say holds little importance!

I tip my wide-brimmed straw hat to Durling. She's a woman after my style-obsessed heart with a zest for life I hope to emulate in my older years.

Terri retired for a second time at the end of January. (Musemo Handahu for CBC)

About the Author

Musemo Handahu |

Contributor

Musemo Handahu is multi-faceted fashion creative based in Halifax. As a writer, she has contributed to The Huffington Post and covered fashion weeks in Toronto for Fashion Magazine and in Johannesburg & Cape Town for Essence Magazine.

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