Casual Wear over 40…
Lately I’ve seen a lot of blog posts titled something like ‘How to wear (this or that) over 40’, or ‘Can you wear (this or that) over 40?’ And as much as I love the outfits and admire the bloggers posting them, I’m somewhat perplexed by this phenomenon. Yes, I said phenomenon: there are dozens of bright, creative and elegant over 40 (or over 50, over 60, over 70…) bloggers out there, defiantly declaring that they wear whatever the hell they want.
Fair enough. I would expect nothing more.
I’m just wondering why we should feel the need to declare our right / intention to wear whatever we want…
We’re grown woman, after all, and we don’t need to explain or justify the choices we make, about our wardrobes or life in general. So, let me be clear here: I see no reason to get on a soapbox declaring that I will defy some absurd expectations or ‘rules’ and wear whatever I want. Grown women don’t ask for permission, explain or apologise for the choices they make.
Yes, I’ve seen those articles / posts by (usually clueless) 20 or 30-something writers about clothing you should give up after an arbitrarily chosen age. So what?
I don’t read them, so why should it bother me what the writers of these articles think?
I mean, if the writers of the said articles at least bothered to explain what they themselves plan to do the day after the dreaded 30th, 40th, 50th, whatever birthday (toss everything in their wardrobes? pull a sack over their heads? jump off a cliff, maybe?), then they might be at least marginally entertaining. But no, they usually just list items that are suddenly off-limits (to people older than the writer, that is).
Or perhaps the writers of these articles think they will never reach the magical cut-off point themselves and therefore they don’t need such a plan…
Yeah, well, that sparks a lot more interesting discussion on the future (or rather lack of future) these writers seem to be planning, and in that case maybe they should talk to someone… I’m just not sure I’m the right person for that particular discussion as sympathy is not exactly my strong suit…
Anyway, as I’ve been able to dress myself for quite a long time already, I think I can manage to dress myself without advice for whatever time I have left on this earth. And given that I don’t like taking (or giving) unsolicited advice on anything, I’m certainly not going to take fashion advice from someone half my age, thank you very much. My motto is, and always has been, ‘if I want your advice, I’ll ask for it’. I see no reason to change this policy.
However, just to jump on the bandwagon (to use an American idiom), let me answer the question ‘how to wear a casual outfit over 40’, just for fun: it’s just clothes, for heaven’s sake, and you’re a smart woman. If someone is offended by your clothing choices, maybe they need to get a life. And you need to stop shouting that you can do whatever you want and just do it.
top: Next / trousers: Marks and Spencer / leather jacket: Karen Millen (old) /
shoes: Clarks / sunglasses: Chanel (old) / bag: Chanel / pendant: Tiffany & Co
What about you, where do you stand on unsolicited fashion advice?
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Ha ha! Too true! : P bisousSuzanne
I am having breakfast and my day starts with a laugh! You write in such a humurous way. I agree with you, please who is going to tell me that I can t wear what I want! I now know better what I like and what suits me than when I was in my 20 s! Great post!
It's not a question of someone telling me what to wear or not. I've never listened to any "advice" on anything, so I don't even pay attention to that. But I feel no need to declare "I wear whatever I want" either; I just do it.
1. Of course! I don't get why people feel the need to limit their fashion-choices, certainly not due to age. I don't limit mine to gender and that's a much bigger social-taboo. 2. I love this shirt! The way the pockets tilt the plaid emphasizes your feminine shape elegantly. A real design-win!
Thanks, Ally.It never even occurred to me that I should somehow change the way I dress because of age. Therefore, I have no need to rebel against these 'rules' (because I never realised there were any), and I'm getting annoyed by all these bloggers shouting at the top of their lungs that they will wear whatever they want. Nothing wrong with the idea, quite the contrary: I just see no need to have temper tantrum about it. If you want to wear something, then do it. A grown woman does not need a permission, nor does she need to explain her actions. And if anybody has a problem with that, well, too bad…
Terrific thoughts on positive aging. How about the thought that every woman over 40 should have short hair. How boring life would be if we all "looked alike". Really enjoy your wit.Dawn
Well, I've always believed that grown women know what's best for them, without having to explain or justify their actions.
I agree with you, there is no need to declare… or is there? I think that in theory, many of us understand that we don't need a permission, but at the same time, many of us are raised to believe (for various reasons) that we need it. And this form of declaration is more of a self-assurance rather than declaration for the society or giving advice, really. We talk about what matters to us, what hurts or bothers. And it sometimes take a shape of such brave declarations or life advice to others. But we actually talk to ourselves, as writers. "I write not to be understood, but to understand" (a famous quote, I forgot by what writer), and I would add "to reassure myself."
I understand the need to reassure oneself, but at the same time I think that these sort of defiant declarations put us in the role of a belligerent teenager rebelling against authority. It's reactive, responding to provocation. And as such gives power to whoever does the provoking. When I say that I don't take fashion advice (or any other type of advice) from someone half my age, it means that I cannot be provoked by their opinions, either, because I don.t care about these opinions. It says that their opinions do not deserve my attention at all, that I choose to ignore something I find ridiculous, or even worse, maybe I just laught at these ideas. So, instead of just reacting to provocation I remain in charge, and ignore these lists of what you're not supposed to do after a certain age and do whatever I think is best for me. Reacting with anger or annoyance is always a victory to people who refuse to see women over 40, 50, 60 etc as important. Ignoring them while doing our own thing is a victory for us.
I agree with you, Tiina!
Very cool jacket -Hanna LeiLatest Post: Outfit: Floral Skirt + Stefilia's Stone Necklace
Preach it sister! I'm so tired of seeing these articles myself. And if one more blogger writes "Age Appropriate" in her post, I'm gonna scream. When did that phrase become a way to shame older women anyway? I remember it being used for when children or young girls dressed too provocatively for their age, and somehow it's been changed to apply to older women dressing too young. I did title one post "How to wear florals when over fifty" because when I think of floral dresses I picture little girls on Easter. I also use to title all my posts "Fashion Over Fifty", but I stopped that because I realized age has nothing to do with my style…my body type and personal taste does.
Yes, it's all about personal style and body type, and dressing in clothes that suit our lifestyles. I sometimes title my posts 'wearing X over 40' but I have mixed feelings about it. I don't think age has so much to do with how I wear something (but my body type certainly does). Yet, I do call myself a 40plus blogger (maybe I should change it to 50plus…), and I do look for other over 40, over 50 etc bloggers because I can relate to them better than to 20 or 30 something bloggers. In that sense the 'over 40' tagline (when it refers to the blogger, i.e. the model) is useful, helping us find bloggers who are our peers. And I certainly would love to see more middle-aged (and older) women represented in fashion magazines. And not just the token tall, slim 'mature' model, but women of all shapes and sizes.