STYLE: Dressing Your Age

dressing your age

By Susan "Honey" Good

Dressing your age is an interesting concept.

And, as we age, clearly what that concept means changes. Unless, or until, we are lucky enough to declare that such "rules" don't apply to us because, at our age, we "rule" the roost... we don't defer to it!

Case in point: On a lovely winter day during a photo shoot for my blog, I pulled out this fun USA sweatshirt (pictured) and decided to pair it with pigtails. 

Am I dressing my age?  Well,  the sweatshirt is over 20 years old so, on that point alone, one could argue that I am decidedly dressing my age.  "After all, how many thirtysomethings own sweatshirts that are this 'seasoned,'" I think to myself with a smile. And, I can promise you this, on this day, in this outfit, I am dressing my attitude! Can you see it in my face? I am having fun! 

All of this gets me to think -- and then dig into -- what others are saying about dressing one's age.

Today, for a change of pace, I am not opining, I am merely sharing what others are saying about age-appropriate dressing with the hope that you, dear readers, will chime in and share what you think about this most interesting issue...

Julia Baird penned a compelling Op-Ed in the New York Times last October titled, "Don't Dress Your Age." She makes many interesting points; here is one of my favorite "sound bites." if you will, from the article...

Women are not praised for dressing like fabulous young things now. As we ascend the ladder of wisdom and maturity, we are cautioned to adopt restraint, to be “classic,” “sophisticated,” to eschew skin in favor of prim. And with every passing year, to occupy less space and be more demure — and dull.

We are also told to monitor our appearance in a way men are very rarely told to. Find me a man leafing through a magazine that tells him to upturn his collar to hide his neck wrinkles, and I will upturn it for him.
— Julia Baird

What say you, dear readers?

Grandparents.com takes a seemingly contrary approach, warning us that, "When you wear clothing made for a different generation, you're making yourself look older." in an article by Beth Levine entitled, "6 Signs You're Not Dressing Your Age."

However, when I dug into their article a little bit deeper, there was some quite sensible advice that perhaps we women should consider.

The quickest way to age yourself is to wear something out of date, unless it is a timeless classic silhouette. Looking modern is more important than looking trendy.
— Beth Levine

I know I said I wouldn't opine but... I must admit, I loved the Telegraph UK article by blogger Alyson Walsh, entitled, "Don’t dress your age - modern women know it's about style not following fashion rules for over 40s."

It's about style... yes! And, as I recently mentioned, I feel style is 80% inner beauty and 20% outer. Who are you, and are you brave enough to allow your appearance to reflect that, critics be damned?

What they don’t want is fast fashion or fickle trends. Nor to be told ‘this is what you wear when you’re 40, 50, 60, whatever’; the boundaries between the generations are blurred, it’s all about ageless style now.
— Alyson Walsh

I've recently shared my thoughts on this matter in several stories on HoneyGood.com including this one in which I declared that YOUR opinion about how you look is the only one that matters and this one in which I challenged you to wear what you want, what feels right, and to do so with the confidence that comes from knowing that if you respect what you see in the mirror, little else matters. 

Now, I want to know what you think? Do you believe in dressing your age, and, if so, what does that mean to you? I would so love to hear from you either in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.