Thursday, March 4, 2010


This one sometimes bothers me. What, exactly, is age-appropriate? After all, 40, 50, 60 are not what they used to be. People look, feel and seem younger than their counter-parts of the 50’s and 60’s. You have only to look at photographs from family albums and compare the images to those of your own to see the differences.

That being said, you are still the age that you are. You have acquired, I hope, a certain amount of wisdom along with experience, and that should be reflected in your appearance.

Once we’ve reached a certain age, we pretty much know the difference between what we like and what actually looks good on us. We know what clothes suit our body type, what gets highlighted, what gets camouflaged. But so many of us get stuck at the age-appropriate thing. Cosmetic surgery, Botox and fillers can disguise what we already know. And that’s fine. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look your best, or with wanting to change a feature that has been bothering you since you were a teenager, maybe change a feature that could use some tweaking: a receding chin, for example, or a nose that is quite beaked and hooked. Why not? It’s not like you’re trying to convince yourself and the world that you are really only 25 years old when you are actually 47. You just want to look like your best self.

And that’s the part I’m addressing here.

You may be one of the fortunate ones who have had cosmetic surgery to look decades younger than you actually are. Maybe you work out – with or without a trainer – and your body is toned and fit to near perfection.

You are still the age that you are.

Your wardrobe should reflect a level of sophistication that only someone who is over 40 can exude, a level that a 20-something can buy, certainly, but not in a million years can she carry it off. I’m reminded of the extremely glamorous gowns on the girls who appear on “The Bachelor”.

As soon as they open their mouths, it’s game over. The giggles, the squeaky little girl voices, all belie the sexy and sophisticated looks. The utter lack of experience, and therefore, foresight. The self-consciousness, the parodies of sexiness…

Like Charlie the Tuna, you cannot buy class. Neither can you buy sophistication or sexiness.

And, no matter how toned your body may be, if the face is looking every inch its age, it does not work. I don’t care if you are a tiny little size, toned beyond all human belief – if you are over 60, and you are wearing a baby-doll top, it’s ridiculous.

Even if you have had the cosmetic surgery, the face or eye lift, do you really want to convey the image of a girl to the world at large? Why would you want to do that? What sort of impression does that make?

The impression you give off is one of desperation, not of hipness, trendiness, coolness.

So here’s my list of what not to wear if you are an actual woman:

No leggings with a dress over them. Ditto jeans with a dress over them. That look is for teenagers.

Give up the long hippie chick dresses, the long hippie peasant skirts with ten tons of bracelets, a jean jacket, and the hair down to the waist. It only makes you look older. It is time to evolve. Wear the jean-jacket, but with a great pair of pants and a sophisticated looking cami. And please, cut the hair into an actual style. You don’t have to go “helmet-head”, or fussy – if long hair really does look good on you, get it cut to the shoulders with some layers for movement and to bring attention up to your eyes. It’s like a face-lift without the surgery, trust me!

Don’t do the ripped-up jeans thing. Tie dye. Tube tops or those tops cut down to your behind in back. You’ve outgrown that sort of thing. There are certain shoe styles that do not work for you any more. Don’t pretend that you don’t know what they are. You do. They involve 5” heels, extreme platforms, zillions of straps, rounded toe ballet flats with a bow on them, ankle boots worn with a mini dress.

Stay away from the baby-doll look in anything. You are not a child. No jumpers. Do not do the tiny ruffled mini-skirt, dresses or blouses with little puffy sleeves. I don’t care how young you look, or how much surgery you have had. You don’t have to be stuffy or prissy looking – just as I would advise you to buy a suit and then take the pieces apart and never wear them together again (it is just as much of a no-no to look too old and stuffy), I am advising you to go for a level of sophistication that reflects your wisdom and your experience as a woman. A real woman, not the little girls made up to look like women that we are bombarded with in the magazines and catalogs.

The attention you will get from dressing more appropriately is a lot better type of attention than the kind you get by revealing way too much leg and boob, wearing too much makeup, or dressing like a kid. It is the difference between being laughed at and being taken seriously.

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