What Does Age Appropriate Mean to You?

 

A couple of weeks back Mr. T, Tucker and I were quietly sharing living room space. Mr. T was watching t.v., Tucker was snuggled in by his side and I was doing some reading – a typical evening picture. (We’re pretty exciting people, as you can see.) Suddenly our silent night was disrupted when I broke into raucous laughter. Now you gotta understand, if this were Mr. T nobody in the house would have looked twice – he is known for his loud, boisterous, jolly laughing – but, me? I frequently find things funny or amusing and will silently smile to myself or give a small chuckle. I rarely belly laugh out loud. Mr. T was staring at me like I’d lost my mind and Tucker began barking madly, as if the sky were falling.

What brought on this unprecedented outburst of hilarity? Actually, I was doing my homework! As you know, last I updated you, I had just finished the book on Thrift Shopping. Happy, happy, joy, joy! Imagine my continued happiness when the next book was on dressing clients over 40! That’s me! That’s 3/4 of the people I know – my friends, my peeps! This is my wheelhouse! Then I started reading… It started off well, times have changed… we don’t have to dress like our mother’s… 60 is the new 40… yada, yada, yada… Then I read it, “When selecting bottoms for you client, there are a few items to avoid. The first is skinny jeans…”  This is when I lost control and my fit of giggles, fed by indignation, just about had me on the floor. (Later they would also ban us from mini-skirts – unless, of course, you’re Madonna or Christie Brinkley, then anything goes!)

I began to think about all of the beautiful, fashionable, elegant women that I am friends with, particularly my fashion blogger friends, most of whom, like me, wear skinny jeans. They are out there impacting their world and making a statement about what it DOES mean to be a woman of style and grace over 40. It occurred to me that the people who should be defining what is “age appropriate” are the people of that age. That being said, I asked several of my fashion blogger friends if they would give their take on what dressing age appropriately means to them. Their responses are brilliant!

THE 60’s: Meet Terri from Meadow Tree Style

I dress for me, my body and my internal sense of design and balance. I dress for what Mother Nature happily or precariously throws my way. I dress how I want to be perceived wherever I’m going and for whatever I’m doing. As long as I keep to these values, I am dressing age appropriate for me. Of course, over time my style has evolved. While comfortable with it at age 68, I expect to still refine.

 Being age appropriate is not something I think about. Know yourself and your style will follow. Anyway, fashion should be fun! One of the advantages of being grown-up is that each of us are free to discover their own style rules. My rules seem to be: dress the fantasy, play the part, not to take it too seriously and have a great time doing it!

 

The 80’s, 60’s & 50’s: Meet Jodie, Nancy and Charlotte from JTouchofstyle

Charlotte (80’s), Nancy (60’s), Jodie (50’s)

Jodie: Now that I’ve been blogging, I have come to the realization that dressing appropriately for my age is hogwash. Not that we shouldn’t try to look nice, but I feel that any item can have a version that works for women of any age! Take leather for instance. All 3 of us have a leather skirt and I don’t think you’d look at any of us wearing them and think we were inappropriate.

Instead, I’ve been trying to concentrate on the fit and colors of my clothing pieces. I feel that those factors really make a huge difference in how we look. Besides the fact that I realize getting dressed should be a fun process, and we are allowed to evolve over time!! Yippee!!!

Nancy: Dressing age appropriately to me means not trying to look like someone significantly younger than you are. I would not want to dress looking too little girlish or like a teenager. But I could try to dress like a young woman but maybe have a longer hem to my dress and less cleavage showing!! I mostly would want to choose styles that were ‘made for me’. In other words, they really looked nice on me and made me stand out in a good way. I think I’ve learned through Jodie’s blog that it’s okay to stop trying to blend in and dress exactly how everyone else does.

Charlotte: As we age and our skin doesn’t look as good, we want to be more covered up–as our arms. Also hose instead of bare legs. I remember in tailoring we were taught that round Peter Pan collars were for little girls-Yet I have a designer jacket with a round collar–which is hardly noticeable in the wild print. Also taught that puff sleeves were for the VERY young. These were the things we were taught in my day; however, with time also comes the realization that things change. That’s been very eye-opening for me with Jodie’s blog.

 

Nancy, Charlotte, Jodie

 

 

The 40’s: Meet Chrissy from Granola & Grace

What is considered to be fashionably age appropriate is hard for me to define. I feel the lines between what one should wear in a certain season of life versus another continues to blur. Personally, I lean towards what I feel comfortable in. I believe what I style now will change when I’m in my 50’s and possibly again in my 60’s and 70’s.  For instance, my ever-changing body shape is a factor in what I choose to wear from day-to-day.
 
You will always find an extreme case but from what I see, women tend to just know what’s appropriate for them. More often than not, it seems women lean towards a conservative approach when it comes to age appropriateness and I say we have more freedom than we think.
 
When in doubt I ask myself these questions:
 
Is this outfit getting the wrong kind of attention?
What am I trying to prove with this outfit?
Do I want to be captivating as a woman or am I trying to “compete” with a 16-20 year old??

The 50’s… again!

Rockin’ one of my many pairs of skinny jeans

 

The shortest mini I own. I will only wear it with tights and flats. I don’t think I’d feel comfortable wearing it if I were a taller person, but because I’m so short, I don’t have issues. That probably doesn’t make sense to some people, but it’s my reasoning, so it is what it is. But, if you’re taller and feel ok in mini’s, that’s great! That’s your comfort zone!
I have to be honest with you all. I don’t really think about my age – not when I’m getting dressed – or much of anytime else. I don’t think of myself as Ronnie, who’s 50 (almost 51). I’m just Ronnie. My clothing style has certainly evolved over the years, but not so much because of my age, but because of where I was in my life and what I was communicating at that time. My personal style has done a lot of evolving in the last two and a half years because of my weight loss. Initially I believe I went a little bonkers! Just wanting to try to wear all the things that my body just couldn’t wear before – at least without getting arrested for indecency! I ended up with a lot of “teeny bopper” looking items and clothing that, ultimately, were not me. It was at this time I became friends with Janeane Pittman from Designing from My Closet and took her style class. This really helped me to gain some focus. Since I’ve turned 50, I find myself evolving again. Not because of my age, but because of where I am in my life… what I want to convey to the world. I don’t want to say the same things at 50 that I wanted to say at 20. I hope none of us do. But as Madeleine L’Engle said, “The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.” There will always be 20 yr. old Ronnie in there, and 30 yr. old, and 40. As long as I feel an item of clothing flatters my body, I enjoy wearing it and it meets my personal standards of modesty I have no problem wearing it. I feel the same way for any other woman “of a certain age.” To quote Stacy London, “Between forty and death, you might have decades left to live, and you might want to live them with style!”
 A very special thanks to Terri, Jodie, Nancy, Charlotte and Chrissy for joining us today and sharing their thoughts. If you haven’t visited their sites before, I really hope you take the time to follow the pink link in their blog names above and pop over there! I know you’ll enjoy your time with them as much as I do!
Until We Meet Again,

Ronnie

6 Replies to “What Does Age Appropriate Mean to You?”

  1. I’m glad it made you laugh when you read this Ronnie. Because I’m sure some people would have taken it to heart! And maybe most people don’t use the term hogwash anymore….but it’s totally appropriate for this idea!! Heck…look at my mom whose 80. That first photo, she’s wearing basically skinny jeans. Maybe they aren’t super duper tight on her, but it’s the silhouette that they are talking about!!
    Good for you for showing how silly that statement was, and getting all kinds of great fun from it!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. Well, Jodie, it was just too absurd to take seriously! It’s one of those things, you read the material, you answer the questions the way they want you to, but you treat your clients the way you know is right!

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  2. I never consider my age. I find my colors, I find what I know looks best for my height and weight, and I really don’t care what anyone else says or thinks about what I should or shouldn’t. None of their business, unless I ask 🙂

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    1. That’s exactly the way it should be, Linda – know your colors, know what works for your body type and what makes you happy to wear and then move on. Those things are what’s going to make you look your best, anyway! 🙂

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  3. Lovely post, Ronnie and one that resonates with most of us. And i say a big yea to leggings because we can still wear our shorter skirts. I sure tried to make my self older-I just noticed that I said I was 68-I’m still 67! 68 doesn’t come until July….oh, weil-I eventually get there.

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    1. Thanks, Terri! You and the other ladies really made this post and I so appreciate your input! Yes! I’m a leggings girl, too! And, yes, I sometimes wear them as pants, no matter what anyone says – but only really good quality ones.
      Ha ha! You know after a while we get to an age where we just don’t care anymore about rounding the number up a bit! We are what we are and that’s just FINE! 🙂

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