Fashion over 40 - who dresses their age anymore?
Who dresses their age anymore? A question on my fashion website last week…
“Dear Nedahl, I was just looking at Kylie in a mini. Is the mini appropriate for all women over 40 or only those who are pop stars/actors? As a 41 year old I’ve been wondering about this for a while. Christina.”
Personally, I think the whole issue of dressing age appropriately is past its use by date, but I’m sure others disagree. With a phrase like mutton dressed as lamb part of everyday vernacular, and a quick google search revealing a click through that said “see Gretel Killeen from Australia’s Big Brother” as their example, it’s fairly clear that people still believe in dressing for one’s age.
And I do too, to a point. I don’t want to see my gran in an Herve Leger bandage dress anytime soon for example. But if 30 is the new 20, 40 the new 30 and 50 the new 40, where do mini-skirts fit in?
Sarah Jessica Parker, she of the tiny-short-wearing-character Carrie Bradshaw who famously donned anything she damn well pleased from tutus to 7 foot trains in Sex and the City, uttered a few years ago that she “can’t wear short shorts anymore. I’m over 40 and a mum.”
Really SJP? I think that’s a little sad, especially remembering her great legs. Should a number determine when you should stop showing them off, particularly when we live in an age where we’re sold the concept of “young” in everything from face creams to new cars?
Elle Macpherson wears a mini so fabulously it’d be a horrible shame for the general public if she stopped. Someone like Janice Dickinson on the other hand, who’s 54 (isn’t it funny that all her plastic surgery made me think she was older than that) could perhaps put those legs away for once. But it’s all in the eye of the beholder.
Blanket rules for everyone in society just don’t work anymore. They’re far too generalizing and antiquated if you ask me. Isn’t it all about how you feel and the image you want to project?
Consider the uproar when Michelle Obama bared her arms in the Presidential race.
Are bare arms appropriate for a 45-year-old mother-of-two gunning for the White House? Not to a lot of critics who at first took her down … and then spent the next six months dissecting her exercise routine. The image she’s projecting? Strong. Smart. In complete control. Her well-toned arms perfectly represent a woman who knows exactly what she’s doing and the only factor that has to do with her age is the “wow” factor.
Then there’s the always lovely Michelle Pfeiffer who’s effortlessly stylish at 51, and manages to squeeze style into every outfit despite being years past a designer’s traditional target market.
Her image? Blonde bombshell, aging gracefully. You could never accuse her of being mutton.
Sheryl Crow on the other hand, in her trademark tight leather pants? Look, I get that she’s been wearing them for years and she’s in the music industry and they’re her “thing”. Rather than it being an age issue (she’s 46), it’s more of a question of how she looks in the pants. Not that she’s too old to wear leather – just that she mightn’t rock them the way she once would have ten or twenty years ago. The image she projects? Someone’s trying to hang onto their youth.
And that’s the risk. When you continue to dress as you did in your 20’s or 30’s (Cher, anyone?) and overdo it, the tongues will start a-wagging and the gossip rags will come a-hunting.
My favourite chameleon Kylie Minogue, now 41, is one celebrity who always gets it right.
She hits on the perfect mix of playful and sexy but never steps over that age appropriate line – we won’t ever again see her in those heartstopping gold hotpants she wore for Spinning Around and nor should we, they’re well beyond their use-by date. But she looks just as stylish and sticks to fashion in a way that suits her best. Ankle boots, fun dresses and all.
So the answer, Christina? Wear a mini if it makes you feel good, if you can get away with it, and as long as the next step isn’t investing in a convertible Porsche and landing a 25-year-old boyfriend to go with it.
Then again … look at Demi Moore!
Read more about celebrity fashion on Nedahl’s Daily Blog at http://www.CocoLee.com.au
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…