It’s time to de­bunk the myth that once you reach a cer­tain age it’s nec­es­sary to dress a cer­tain way

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - OPINION - ANN WASON MOORE ann.wa­son­

DOU­BLE denim, clear-knee mom jeans and romper suits for men … it’s time to try a new trend: old fash­ioned.

No, I’m not talk­ing about hoop skirts or whale­bone corsets (although, now that I think about it…), I’m talk­ing about ac­tu­ally mak­ing ‘old’ fash­ion­able.

Our cur­rent crop of se­niors are those same crazy kids who made the 60s so cool in the first place, we can’t just let the flower power gen­er­a­tion go to seed.

But we should per­haps let them go to Seed. I took my own mum there this week and she rocked it in a ruf­fled dress.

At 77, she was ba­si­cally the babysit­ter for the love chil­dren. If she can shop there, so can any over-60.

But full credit to Mum. Through­out her many, many (many) years, she’s al­ways had style. She’s not afraid of colour, has a smok­ing se­nior body (I know, gross) and al­ways favours nat­u­ral fi­bres (at her age, just as im­por­tant as the sol­u­ble va­ri­ety).

But now that she’s reach­ing her fi­nal sea­sons of fash­ion (giv­ing a whole new mean­ing to win­ter is com­ing), she needs my help. In terms of style, she’s at a cross­roads. But not yet, thank­fully, shop­ping at Cross­roads.

It’s per­fect tim­ing, re­ally. My daugh­ter, at the age of eight, has out­grown my ad­vice. Ap­par­ently I’m too into match­ing. Which is fine. As long as I don’t have to be seen with her in pub­lic.

So now I’m turn­ing my at­ten­tion to my mother. In her time of sar­to­rial need, I must sup­port her. #cir­cle­oflife

And do you know what? It’s not that hard. All she needs is a con­fi­dence boost.

Which is some­thing the style in­dus­try seems to work hard at erod­ing.

When you’re over the fash­ion hill, it’s pretty hard to see your­self re­flected in the shops, let alone the mir­ror. (Shops: please, we beg you. In­vest in some soft light­ing. It’s for your own good.)

The 20-some­thing model vi­sion makes a mock­ery of the real life 60-plus ver­sion. They may be a clothes horse, you just look like the back end of one.

Or so you think. I un­der­stand that youth and beauty and as­pi­ra­tional im­ages sell clothes. But guess who has more money? The old birds. So why not make them want to buy?

In­stead, the ma­jor­ity of ma­ture ladies seem to have bought into the fear of be­com­ing mut­ton dressed as lamb. They’ve been shamed into the age-ap­pro­pri­ate aisles of mid-length frocks, arm­cov­er­ing cardi­gans (even in a swel­ter­ing sub-trop­i­cal sum­mer) and sen­si­ble shoes. But I say stuff ’em. Ex­cept the shoes. I al­ready have my mother’s feet and there is noth­ing to feel ashamed about own­ing a pair of or­thopaedic thongs. Sweet baby jee­bus, the re­lief.

Look, we all know about in­vis­i­ble women. Or rather, women of a cer­tain age cer­tainly do. The rest of so­ci­ety for­gets they ex­ist … thus the in­vis­i­bil­ity co­nun­drum.

The trope is that once you reach a cer­tain age, you should dress a cer­tain way lest the young folk re­mem­ber that *gasp* you are a real per­son and had S-E-X at least once … which is how the rest of us were born.

Well, one sim­ple way to re­mind the world you’re here is to dress to be no­ticed. You don’t have to go all Dame Edna … stay classy. But stay rel­e­vant.

Af­ter my lit­tle style pep talk, I sent Mum off on a solo mis­sion to find her style.

Even­tu­ally I was sum­monsed to Dissh, where she thought she’d found a

suit­able dress to wear to a week­end soiree. (Okay, it’s her sis­ter’s 50th wed­ding an­niver­sary … you can take the frumpy clothes off the oldie, but not the oldie func­tions.)

I de­cided that no mat­ter what she came out of that change room wear­ing, I was go­ing to love it. Be­cause I had a feel­ing she al­ready did. And I want her to feel as good as she looks.

Then she emerged … like a but­ter­fly from a co­coon.

Wear­ing the ex­act dress I bought last week to wear to the same party.

And bug­ger me if she didn’t look good in it, too. Which I made sure to tell her, be­fore stat­ing: “But you’re not buy­ing it. It’s too young for you.”

Hey, I’m happy she has style … just not MY style. And deep down? Maybe I was just jeal­ous.

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