Fashion And Ageing: Part 1
Last week I was in a bit of a funk and asked you ladies to help me snap out of it. Well your suggestions for post topics was exactly what I needed, so thank you for that! One thing that really stuck out at me was the myriad of questions about fashion at different ages and what was appropriate. It seems as if some of my dear readers are getting older and are not sure what they should wear. Because I am only 39 I hadn’t given it much thought, but I spent the last four days doing some research and thinking about age and fashion.
I was born, raised, and still live in Los Angeles. It has been my number one influence when it comes to clothing. So I have a feeling my idea of what is appropriate might be different then someone who grew up in the Midwest or in a different country. I mean to be totally honest, it is pretty hard to judge anyone’s age around here and with all the plastic surgery and botox, who can tell? And in case you were wondering, yes, I get botox. And I love it! But that is a different post. I normally don’t watch the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but I caught an episode last night because I was curious as to how old they were and what they wore. It turns out they are mostly in their late 40s and very early 50s. And even though I can’t stand the show, I think those women look pretty darn good! Sure they have had too much work done (NEVER let anyone plump your lips. Ever) but they all had good bodies and great hair. But then again, they also have their own hair dressers, make-up artists, and I bet you they all have very expensive extensions. This isn’t to say I have a problem with that, I am just saying that probably isn’t very practical for your average woman.
Can you guess how old Nigella Lawson is? 53! Who knew? She looks amazing! I should be so lucky to look like her at her age! But seriously, I think she looks and dresses totally appropriately. If you are in your 50s and you feel sexy and want to dress that way, then I say go for it! My only caveat would be the same to anyone who like to sex it up- leave something to the imagination. Ie: don’t wear a short skirt and a tight top. Don’t show off too much cleavage. Don’t let your bra straps show, you aren’t Carrie Bradshaw. Speaking of Carrie Bradshaw, what about those ladies? SJP is 47 and fabulous. Kim Cattrall is 56! Cynthia Nixon is 46 and Kristin Davis is 48. I really can’t see any of them looking bad in practically anything, can you?
I almost wonder if changing one’s fashion has more to do with size then age. It is my opinion that we tend to get heavier as we age. At least that is what has happened to my mom and to myself. I am certainly not the same size I was even 10 years ago. With that said, I happen to live in the work-out capital of the world (I just made that fact up) and let me tell you, I don’t think I have a single large friend. No. Joke. And they all dress in skinny jeans and flowery tops from Anthropologie and wear their daughter’s clothes. Seriously! As a matter of fact, around here one doesn’t “get old” until you are at least 55-60. So that is why it is so difficult for me to give advice on the subject.
So my advice on what looks flattering and appropriate on different women isn’t so much their age as it is their size. If you are 55 and skinny then I say you can probably rock almost anything. But if you are 25 and wear a size 16, then maybe skinny jeans are not the right look for you (unless you are quite tall). If you are a larger gal then you might not feel as comfortable showing off your arms, or anything quite short. This is also common in women over the age of say 50? At least that is the stereotype I grew up with.
I will admit, I have a few little quirks when it comes to ageing. For example, I don’t think you should go sleeveless to a nice event after age 60. I also think you should wear skirts that hit the knee or lower. Notice what Martha wore to court today? She looks fantastic, but I think she would look even better with a slightly longer skirt (and I detest the shoes. Awful). I have also found many of the dresses on Mod Cloth to be too “youthful” which often corresponds to too short or too strappy or shows off too much decolletage and usually all at the same time. I personally try to stay away from items I find too “twee”, even though I adore it on others and if I were ten years younger, I would probably buy. But a lot of that has to do with the fact I am not a size 2 anymore. It also has to do with getting more conservative in my clothing then I used to. I mean I am married and don’t dress to attract men anymore. But if I were single and on the prowl, maybe I would venture out in a shorter skirt than I am used to and I would certainly work the girls (ie: my boobs) more than I do now.
On the other hand I can see myself getting even more fabulous as I age. I have a secret dream of wearing fabulous muumuus and turbans and being surrounded by muscled gay men who adore me and my fabulous self and want to hear all about my exciting life as they bring me drinks by the pool. To a certain extent I kinda can’t wait until I am old enough to just not give a hoot about what others say and dress as crazy as I like. I mean we need to get something out of aging, and besides wisdom maybe I will acquire the ability to be even more extravagant then I already am!
One dear reader mentioned she is moving away from J.Crew and Anthropologie and starting to shop at Talbots and I was confused. Now I love me some Talbots, so it wasn’t about that. It was the reasoning behind it. Maybe my older readers can give me some insight. Do our bodies change and clothing from those stores stop fitting? I mean I surely can’t wear teen clothing, my boobs and hips are far too big. Does something like that happen as we age? Or is it a weight issue? We all know most clothing stores don’t make clothing for heavier women. I am very curious to find out why Anthopologie and J. Crew (and their ilk) don’t work after a certain age and Talbots and Jones Of New York do work. So if you are over 40 and have any thoughts on ageing and fashion, please comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am so interested in this subject and would like to learn as much as possible from my darling readers.