Dress Your Age
DRESS YOUR AGE
Me, circa 2000; age: 20
Overplucked eyebrows, toe rings, and curly hair
My signature look: Jeans and a belt, tank top and cardigan, or a button down tucked in.
Oh how I miss the 90s! Silver tab Levis, velvet chokers, dark lipstick, overplucked eyebrows, Doc Maartens...and who can forget those rubber Steve Madden platform sandals that smelled like a locker room by the end of the summer?
I was a 90's teen. I often long for the time before cell phones and social media, when the only acronyms I knew were TLC, SWV and NSYNC. You couldn't reach someone whenever you wanted to, and if it was an emergency or you wanted them to call you, you paged them. Having a pager was the "cool" thing; I remember having a pink, pellucid one.Me and my friends spent our summers cliff jumping, driving around on back roads, exploring new places, swimming in creeks, sunbathing at local parks and - wait for it - talking. Yes, we talked to each other! Face to face! When we were together we looked at each other, we didn't stare at our phones. We connected.
I recently read an article called "50 Things No Woman Over 40 Should Own". On that list? Uggs (you will have to pry my Uggs out of my cold, dead hands), Harem pants, a magnifying mirror (because we're so old and ugly why would we want to look at ourselves up close?), headbands, scrunchies, sweatsuits, peasant blouses, choker necklaces, sequined anything, sparkly eye makeup, leather mini skirts, ("it's short, it's tight, just a no") and bomber jackets. There were more items on that list, but these are the ones that annoyed me the most. The message I got? If you're over 40 you are no longer allowed to wear anything fun, trendy or cute. Cover yourself up and make sure you don't sparkle. Don't look in that magnifying mirror because you will not like what you see close up. Don't wear anything short or tight because there's no way you have the body to rock something like that if you're over 40. Chokers? Why would you want to draw attention to your neck?
The most frustrating and often said thing to me by women when I show them something to try on is, "not at my age". Why? Why not at your age? Why can't you rock a mini skirt or a dress with spaghetti straps? Those wide leg pants with flowers on them? They look beautiful on you. As women get older, we have a tendency to shy away from anything that makes us stand out. We don't want to be noticed.
I'm here to tell you - you deserve to be noticed. You deserve to be noticed at 30, 40, 50, 60, 70+. And if I hear one more person say a woman is beautiful "for her age"...the message that sends? Only youth is beautiful. And if that's true, we're all doomed. It's not true.
You're beautiful regardless of your age, your scars, your stretch marks or your cellulite. You are you, and there is only one.
WEAR WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT.
DRESSING 'THEIR AGE'
Iris Apfel: Age: 93
When Iris Apfel was a young woman from Queens, New York, starting out in the fashion industry,
Frieda Loehmann, founder of the famed department store, took her aside:
“She said, ‘You're not pretty and you'll never be pretty, but it doesn't matter.
You have something much better. You have style.’ ”
Carmen Dell'Orefice: Age: 91
Carmen first started
modeling when she was 13.
At 91, she is the
world's oldest working model.
She has been known as the "silver muse".
Linda Rodin: Age: 74
Linda is a former model, stylist, fashion editor, and now beauty entrepreneur.
She is known for her silver hair, vibrant lipstick and audacious eye wear.
At 74, she is still being scouted by famous photographers and ad campaigns.
Lyn Slater: Age: 63
This professor-turned fashion blogger is an inspiration for women who have taken a stand against ageism.
Called "The Accidental Icon", this grandmother wears what she wants and does it with more style than most 20-somethings.
Her instagram account @Iconaccidental, has 758k followers.
Caroline Labouchere: Age: 58
A gray ambassador (YAY!) and model with a glowy, flawless complexion. Caroline began her modeling career at 54 and now regularly shares her haircare tips, fashion inspo, and skincare treatments. She currently has 510k Instagram followers.
Cameron Diaz: Age: 50
I would call her style California chic, with a relaxed and casual vibe. She's good at highlighting her best assets, and knows that simplicity is a great way to maximize beauty. Plus, she's just an all around cool chic.
Vanessa Harrison: Age: 42
I'm obviously not a style icon; not a famous one anyway! I'm more known for my hair; I started going grey when I was 18! By the time I was 26 I had a big skunk stripe on top of my head. About 2 years ago I let it grow out completely and I have never gotten more compliments on anything. Sometimes it looks more blonde depending on how much time I spend in the sun, and people don't believe it's real - it is. It's the most low maintenance style I've ever had! I haven't been to a salon in 3 years.
I do believe with every fiber of my being that women should not stop dressing fabulously just because they are "of a certain age". I think every woman should do what they want and what makes them comfortable. As far as what other people think? Fuck 'em.