I discussed this a little bit in my post “Visions of Style: How Fashion Works”. But I wanted to expand on the idea that you should seek to find the things you love to wear. Wear them. And make it a point to not let anyone tell you differently or dissuade you from your display.
I really believe that style is the expression of your self through dress. Inherently, YOUR style should make YOU happy. Furthermore, I don’t believe that these expressions have a time stamp or an astronomical price tag on them!
However, not everyone sees style as simply self expression. Not everyone celebrates style as a personal statement to the world. In fact, with shows like Fashion Police, What Not to Wear, and Love, Lust, or Run with Stacy London, it is obvious that there is a such a thing as “mainstream” style or “acceptable” fashion.
I understand that there are fashion do’s and don’ts, and that learning to dress your body appropriately in terms of cut, proportion, and color can really amp up your everyday personal look. I get that. I do have personal preferences about my own style choices. Guess what, there are some things that I can safely say that I would NEVER wear. NEVER. There are also trends and fads that I simply refuse to try or fall victim to. But there is another side of this fashion YES and fashion NO world that I don’t subscribe to!
I certainly do not subscribe to limiting yourself to NO lists or age specific styles. Here’s the thing, if you happen to know me personally, then you probably already know that I don’t really like being told I can’t do something. Nope. No, is not a word I like very much. Cannot and should not are verbs I don’t appreciate.
So perusing the internet as I am wont to do, I came across an article that I knew I’d have to have a conversation about at some point. NOW is that point. The article is titled “24 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After 30”. That link is live, so you can read the post for yourself.
The truth is that I some of the things listed I can say, “Yep, you’re right. I don’t think that a woman over thirty should be wearing Victoria Secret Pink.” But scrolling down, I was aghast at the fact that the list included things like STOP wearing animal prints after 30, and STOP wearing oversized glasses over 30, and STOP wearing hoop earrings after 30.
But when I started to evaluate the way that I chose to approach this list, I realized that maybe I was simply practicing personal preference and in the direction of my style discriminations. In other words, if I felt that leopard print was COMPLETELY ACCEPTABLE after 30, I felt justified because of my personal assurance in my OWN SYTLE. However, I agreed with the advice to stop wearing Victoria Secret Pink because I don’t really like Victoria Secret Pink.
I was willing to discriminate if I found the item or action to be something I would want others to STOP. But if I was going to say that I didn’t think the list had merit, I’d have to reevaluate my ideas of what I really found acceptable or reprehensible in terms of fashion and style over 30.
My newest pair of kicks, for example (pictured below). Some people would find these absolutely BLAH! Maybe even hideous. A style DON’T for sure!
In my book they are the bomb-diggity. But here’s the thing, who cares? Let’s not style ourselves into lists. Let’s style our selves for our LIVES! Let’s live and laugh and have a ball as we engage in the interactive joys of dressing!
If you are a 30 something mama who wants to throw on that V.S. Pink sweatshirt and head to the gym, what is wrong with that? Sure I, for myself, don’t love the brand, the image, the idea. But if you feel sexy, and happy, and fun in your gym wear. If you can tastefully execute your PINK, WHY NOT?
While I absolutely LOATH platform flip-flops, why should that matter to you? Maybe you love the added hight with the extra comfort of a flat-form. Maybe you wear your favorite pair to give you enough lift to rock your uber long flared pants. Maybe you wore them in the 90s and loved them with all of your heart and simply don’t want to give them up! Go YOU!
It’s true. I do practice discrimination in other areas of fashion such as age. Moderation and modesty, I say. I do take issue with an over-30 wearing Victoria Secret Pink booty shorts to my son’s soccer game. I think dressing in that way says nothing about style or fashion. It just says trashy, unkempt, and inappropriate for a public event. So there’s that.
I think the reason I took such issue with this LIST is that I have always wanted to be the lady that was rocking a leopard pencil skirt when I’m 70. If you think this is outlandish, absurd, over-the-top. That’s fine! You can perm your hair, stop wearing color altogether, get hooked up with some of those awesomely thick soled corrective shoes, and start to hunch before you have even a hint of osteoporosis, go after it! (Let me also say that this is not a dis on corrective footwear. I have A LOT of foot and ankle issues. Bless Birkenstocks, is all I have to say!)
If you think I am alone in my hankering toward pizazz as an octogenarian, please check out ADVANCED STYLE. Heck, if you don’t have or want anything TO DO with fashion or style and just want to smile, feel some good outfit vibes, and check out some seriously beautiful, seriously old people. Check out ADVANCED STYLE. There’s also a DOCUMENTARY (this is the trailer), and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that as well!
I mean, do you see those ladies! They are rich! (And I don’t mean wealthy.) They are fresh! Unique! Vibrant! Glowing! What fun! Yes this bunch look particularly eccentric and self-made. Yes, they are bright and brazen and fear-less. To see a more subdued vision of Advanced Style click through on the video embedded below (below the picture of Ignacio Quiles.)
This notion does not simply apply to women. I hope that you men find just as much enjoyment in wearing your wardrobe. In fact, sometimes, I think that age gives one extra impetus to shun the crowd and wear what your heart desires. My husband and I recently discussed the fact that we believe that age actually gives the wearer even more opportunity, openness, free-range.
He said, “If I see a 67-year-old man wearing a deep purple suit, I don’t question his style or fashion choice. I feel as though he’s earned it. But if I see that same suit on a 20-something, I’m not gonna lie, I think he’s trying too hard.” In the words of Ignacio Quiles, from the scroll of Advanced Style, “Enjoy what you wear and wear what you enjoy and go out and show the world.”
What about this beautiful creature? So self-assured. So self-possessed. So stylish and fashionable. The scene below is actually part of a hearing aid campaign and advertisement, Advanced Style X Audacious.
I’d love to hear what you think of the “Can’t or Can Wear After 30 List” (there are many (love this one), many, many, many, men check this one out, more of them online). Are there items on these lists you absolutely agree with? Are there items on the list you still love to rock? Are there things on the list you might consider incorporating into your current wardrobe? Who are some of your fashion and style icons? Are any of them elderly? As always, I love your comments and discussion. I hope your Monday has been worth living, and that Tuesday greets you with sunshine, energy, and kindness.
Just one more, please. Oh, Iris, I adore you!