Last year, I wrote a piece asking “Am I too Old for This?” The lead photo was of me in a navy and white fit and flair dress I wore only for that photo. I had purchased the dress the year I divorced my husband, it fit well and had a modern, yet classic vibe. Something about it just didn’t feel quite right, which lead me to wonder if it was “age appropriate”. You can read the post Here.
In fact, I had begun asking that question about number of looks I was considering for my wardrobe that season. A white ruffled, off shoulder sun dress, a floaty boho maxi dress and a number of bright printed tunics. I had started to realize that something had changed, and though I could wear any of those looks, I wondered whether they were “me”.
In retrospect, the question I asked, “Am I too old for this?” was completely wrong. I should have asked, “Does this suit the woman I am now?” Which leads to an even more important question we need to ask ourselves, every so often: “Who am I now?”
That season, I was in the midst of huge internal change. I was divorcing, my daughter was a sophomore in high school and was moving further and further from the nest. I had more free time on my hands, was in the midst of healing, and discovering new things about myself and life in general.
Just in case you were curious: life continues to be full of change, even after the age of 50—which I think comes as a shock to us and is a complete mystery to our younger counterparts. And yet, the essence of who we are at heart stays the same, so it’s easy to continue wearing styles we’ve always worn, even though it no longer reflects the wholeness of who we are at this point in our lives.
How to Dress your Age:
If you are like me, you’ve derived fashion inspiration from magazines, store displays and television. But with few women in their middle years represented, and even fewer who share my sensibilities, I have found little real guidance from these sources in my middle years. And, I’m not one to follow rules that make no sense. You can read Read 4 Rules to Break After 50 Here.
As I was going through this latest bout of changes, I began noticing more tell tale signs of my age—and didn’t want to be that older woman who looked youthful from the back but who, when she turned, around was an old lady and her clothes seemed incongruent with her appearance—although that fear seems silly now—if she is feeling the ruffled floral sundress, why shouldn’t she wear it? Over this past year of blogging and working on a variety of campaigns, I’ve begun to think about my age, ageism in general, and my personal style very differently.
How to Dress your Age: The clothing we choose should telegraph or reflect who we are today.
our style should not be a function of how old we are or what others deem appropriate for someone our age. The thing that triggers me most is that our age even comes up in the discussion. If we curated our wardrobes based on looks that resonate and reflect our inner world, and we ensure proper fit and what works with our lifestyle, why would “age appropriate” clothing even be a part of the discussion?
I’ve noticed that our generation tends to want to follow the crowd more so than my daughter’s generation. We prefer not stand out too much. We don’t want to show up and be judged harshly so we seek direction and clues from what we see around us, which can lead us to clothing and styles that are stereotypical for “mature” women.
As I ask the question, “who am I now?” I get better feedback as to my own signature style. I am emboldened, and more experimental. I have come to appreciate that others come to different conclusions and I really love it when someone steps out of the box and let’s their unique personality shine through—especially when they make completely different choices than I would. To find your signature style, you just do you, find clothes that “fit” and resonate with you, you can’t go wrong. Here’s a post on how to be a Fashion Icon .
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