I am forty-two years old but I feel like the same person I was at eighteen, and that teenager inside does not want to dress for her forty-year old body. No, I don’t want to dress my age. Not at all. Is this weird?
No matter how I feel I know I have matured a great deal. Youthful insecurities have been replaced by a confidence that only comes from experience. My responsibilities have tripled since the time I needed only to finish my homework, make my bed and be home by midnight. I have a family to nurture, laundry to clean, design projects to complete and a mortgage to pay, but I still look at the world much the same way as I did as a teen. I have the same optimism, the same girlyness, and the same likes and dislikes in music. Now that the 80’s are back in fashion I could dress the same way I did as a teenager too, and you know what, I kind of want to. Certainly I don’t want to wear the kind of clothing I think a respectable forty-year old woman should wear.
I have this idea in my mind that at forty I should be wearing knee-length skirts, fitted blouses, loose draped sweaters and simple dresses. My shoes should be elegant. Even if the heels are high they should not be trendy. Colors should be muted, prints should be restrained, and all leather goods should be of the highest quality. But the teenager inside rebels. I don’t want to dress the way I think I should.
The other day I made an executive decision. I have worried long enough over looking like mutton dressed as lamb. Who cares, really, how I dress? As long as I don’t embarrass my children and my husband is happy there is no reason not to dress how I like. So I am no longer going to worry if a garment is “too young” for me. I’m going to look at it and ask myself if I love it, if it’s flattering and if it works with my lifestyle. If a knee-length skirt looks great I’ll be pleased, but if a denim miniskirt looks good I’ll take it home, if only because I have lots and lots of knee-length skirts in my wardrobe, but miniskirts are in short supply. So I bought one. Here it is.
I felt bad for the poor kid at The Gap who helped me find the right size. “Is it too short?!!” I squeaked. “Does it look OK on me? No, no really. Be honest. Am I too old to wear this?” He looked bewildered, but he reassured me that the skirt looked good and it wasn’t too short, in fact it was the same length as the shorts I walked into the store wearing.
I took the skirt home and my husband loved it, so I wore it out Friday night with a hot pink jacket and chunky platform sandals to celebrate the decision to care less about the age-appropriateness of my attire.
- Thrifted pink denim jacket
- Blouse by Bellatrix
- Denim skirt from The Gap
- Platform Sandals by Roberto de Carlo
What do you think of dressing your age?