So, this morning, I was watching a news piece on the Today Show about the new age “expirations” on certain fashions for women. Below is the list that, according to a large group of well-dressed Britons is what is fashion and age acceptable in today’s world(flashback to Princess Beatrice’s “statement” hat at a certain recent wedding – not sure I’m ready to take my fashion cues from the Brits.)
Knee-high boots: 47
Tight vest: 44
See-through blouse: 40
Long hair: 53
Ok, I’m looking at said list and…hmmmm…I’ve already violated three of these new “laws”. It would have been four, but I’m not a vest person, unless I’m wearing chainmail on Halloween. I’m on the ragged edge of the “bikini” law and the knee-high boots law, although I’m really not worried about the boots because in another year or so knee high boots will be “out” and no one will be wearing them anyway. As it is, I have one pair, and I usually pull them out once a year, maybe, if it’s the right occasion. That doesn’t happen often.
Now I understand where the folks that make up this “fashion taliban ” are coming from with their new age limitations, but I think they are truly missing what the REAL issue is – it is not an “age” thing. It is a “reality” thing. Everyone’s reality is different, of this much I am sure. Indeed, I have seen 55 year old women who ROCK a miniskirt AND knee-high boots, TOGETHER even (oooh, the horror!) I have also seen twenty year olds who should not only retire their miniskirts early, they should have never contemplated one in the first place. Clearly, they either do not own a mirror or they have no semblence of what is tasteful.
It’s not that I am still willing to don a 17 inch “belt” and call it a skirt. Those days are long gone for this girl, and good riddance. I’m not sure that it was ever a good idea in the first place. However, I will put on a 19 inch skirt (which is mid thigh on me since I am only 5’2”) and think nothing of it. I’ve got nice legs, and a fair amount of confidence to pull it off. I also have no problem putting my derierre in a bikini, although five years ago at nearly a size 14, I wouldn’t have dreamed of it. See my point? Not an age thing. For me, it was a SIZE thing, and there is nothing attractive about a middle-aged overweight woman trying to stuff her butt in a two piece…not a good choice and let’s just leave it at that.
I look at women like Jennifer Aniston, whom I consider to be one of the most elegant women of my generation. Yes, she is unbearably thin with a personal trainer, chef, and incredibly gifted stylist. But that still does not erase the fact that she is 46 years old. So according to the fashion taliban, her miniskirt/short dress days are long gone, and she should really at least start considering cutting her hair. And make it what style??? That crappy boufant hairdo all of our grandmothers sported??? Please…(insert rolling my eyes here.) She is gorgeous and looks hot in whatever she puts on…there is no doubt she could do justice to a burlap sack with a piece of rope around the waist. And I am damn sure that if she did wear said sack, she would be wearing a hot pair of stilettos with it, not a pair of birkenstocks (not that there is anything wrong with birkenstocks…ok, let’s just say they’re not my “style statement”).
As for myself, I will be easy to spot. I will that seventy-five year old woman in stilettos, cruising around on her jazzy (complete with custom paint job and cupholder for my cocktail.) Bill is on notice, not only do I wish to be buried in a pair of unbearably high Gucci pumps, but I am taking ALL my stilettos with me. I will wear a bikini until gravity takes its full effect, and I can see in the mirror that it is no longer a “good idea”. I will wear my hair long and big (I am and always will be a “child of the 80’s), and I while I may drop the hem in my miniskirts, they will always be above the knee. Fashion is an attitude, like so many other things in this world. For me, if I want to feel every bit of my 46 years, then I’ll go slip into a pair of mom jeans and an oversized shirt that hides every bit of feminity I have. Not only will I look like crap, I will feel like crap…not what I want for myself. I want to wake up and feel wonderful, bordering on fabulous, every single day.
Wear what you’re happy in...wear what you feel good in...wear it with confidence and a smile. If comfort is your priority, then it’s all good. If you’re looking to make a statement, that’s great too. As long as you are tasteful, elegant, and classy, it is of no concern to anyone else. Chances are, any finger pointing comes from a place of envy on the part of said finger-pointer who does not have the guts to be their own woman and have their own style – or perhaps they have no style at all.
Life, like fashion, is a state of mind, an attitude that defines us. Live it on your own terms, and to hell with the rest of them.