Tackling the Mutton-Shamers

Linda Grant of The Thoughtful Dresser has a great article up today over at the Guardian. Go read the whole thing. I’ll post some more thoughts about this in the next day or two.

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  1. I’m nearly 60 and my rule is the old, “If you wore it then don’t wear it now” for style- but not material. SO yes to leather jackets, skirts or trench. When in doubt I ask, “Would Helen Mirren wear this?”

  2. First of all, I’m in my mid-50s and wear–and love–a longish fitted deep red leather jacket. It makes me feel terrific. What nonsense that I oughtn’t to be wearing it! (What, exactly, is the problem with older women in leather jackets?) Second, I HATE the expression “mutton dressed as lamb.” It’s ugly and dismissive. I have enough self-esteem issues without believing I’m an old, lumpy, overcooked piece of meat! I’m looking forward to reading all the comments. Kisabel

  3. I also am a fan of leather jackets, and think it’s ridiculous that we’re supposed to give them up once we reach a certain age.

    kisabel, I’ve also been offended by the “mutton” term, but it almost feels like there’s some reclaiming going on by those of us who are blogging about it, or at least some heartfelt nose-thumbing! 🙂

  4. One thing I strongly disagreed with in her piece was the notion that if your face looks un certain age, you have to cover up a body that might look more youthful. Genetics and decades spent outside in physical activities have given me a face that looks my age (on a good day), but a pretty good pair of legs. There’s no way I’m going to hide my best physical attribute just because my skin’s not dewy.

    As for “can” and “can’t”, Plumcake at Manolo for the Big Girl said it so eloquently (in the context of larger ladies and bare arms): if you want to, then do it. I think the “mutton” zinger only really zings if you’re questioning your ability or right or wisdom to wear something in the first place. Just as the commenters before me aren’t giving up their leather jackets, I’m not letting go of my short skirts–I’m just stocking up on black tights.

  5. jen, if you’ve got the legs, go for it! My legs aren’t too bad, and I’ll still wear the occasional skirt just about the knee (but with dark hose or tights).

    When I think of someone who is dressing “out of sync” with their face, I think not necessarily of short skirts, but of a short skirt AND Balenciaga platform heels AND a baby doll top. I’m going to post more about this but I think one of the women Linda Grant interviewed nailed in when she said to stick to one items that’s more youthful/trendy.

  6. I’ve wondered if women don’t dress the age when they felt most attractive. Had lunch with woman in early 50’s- had not seen for a decade. Below shoulder wavy hair (Alice in Wonderland), headband, tiny pearls like babies’ teeth, prim navy cardy- and all she talked about was meeting a man. I thought, “then stop trying to look like an 18 year old deb.” She would make a knockout 50 year old woman.