SENSE OF STYLE NEVER GROWS OLD
It’s time to debunk the myth that once you reach a certain age it’s necessary to dress a certain way
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.