This question came up in comments on Tuesday’s post about motorcycle boots, when a few commenters wondered how old is “too old” to wear them? Which begs the question, how old is “too old” to wear a leather jacket or a mini skirt or a Balenciaga bag or skull jewelry? How old is “too old” to enjoy another fling with a current trend, or get a tattoo, or dress in mid-century vintage head-to-toe? At what point do we need to hang up looks we’ve always worn and loved?
Even before I began blogging in earnest three and a half years ago, I’d been anxiously trying to suss out some consistent and unequivocal standard of age-appropriateness to use as a guideline for my own style. I failed miserably, and good thing too.
While we all make judgements about others’ appearances based on our own tastes and sensibilities, ultimately what I think or some self-appointed arbiter of Style Correctness thinks doesn’t matter (except in situations like job interviews, but we’re not going there now). There will always be someone out there ready to tear apart our appearance, no matter how carefully we’ve strategized and tried to follow the rules, or as the old saying goes, “you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” What matters ultimately, is how does what you wear make you feel?
If you feel that those over-the-knee boots are too young for you, you’ll be self-conscious wearing them, and project an image of uncertainty. If you choose an item because you think it will make you look younger, you’ll come across as trying too hard. If you have to talk yourself into something, chances are it’s not the right choice for you. But if wearing those boots or that skirt sets you right into a “damn the torpedos, full steam ahead!” frame of mind then wear it and own the look. You’re the only one who can decide if or when it’s time to pass on a particular style or skirt length. Trust yourself, you’ll know.
So don’t let the Fashion Police cramp your style. If an item sings to you (and fits), chances are you’ll feel and look fabulous wearing it. Let’s retire some of those tired old tropes about what’s “age appropriate” and rewrite the rules to suit ourselves.
Photo at top is grand-mère Lucille (right) and her best friend Peg Crane (left).
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States License.
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