Age Appropriate Dressing – Part II

I wrote this post in February of 2009 and felt like I needed to pull this out of the archives today!

I really think that women put entirely too much negative energy on analyzing what the next woman is wearing. Whether she is too short, too tall, full figured, overweight, underweight, twenty, thirty, forty, pear shape, apple shape, long waist, short waist, missing a breast, bald, whatever!

People make careers out of pestering women with stupid rules about what they can and can’t wear and where they should and shouldn’t shop. Ordaining themselves self-appointment experts and running around the blogosphere promoting their so-called expertise. Hitting folks over the head and shaking their bony little fingers of authority at the women who dare not to play by the “rules”.  They’re all quite dreadful, really. Wasting energy trying to control what other people put on their own bodies instead of focusing that energy on something more productive.

Independent women will always do what they want when it comes to their choice in dress, hair and make-up. Keywords here is ‘their choice’ not someone else’s.

No style manual trying to have more importance then the constitution can enforce or change that. Well, they might get a few newbies to buy-in but if their own sense of style is very strong, those “rules” will start going to the wayside pretty quickly and the next thing you know that $50 style manual of ‘dos and don’t’ is up for sale on Ebay. Now, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with purchasing a style guide, in my opinion, and I use that term loosely – but guide means just that, it’s all relative not absolute. What leaves my nose upturned like I just walked by a dumper of rotten fish guts is rules of what someone thinks a woman should definitely “not” wear or where they should definitely “not” shop – if they’re tall, short, overweight, skinny, mature or young. Ask yourself this: “who’s money is it?” Who worked hard for it? Shouldn’t a person be able to spend their hard earned money any way they want?

I also wish younger women would stop using that same tired, rehashed excuse that women are trying to recapture their youth if they decided to purchase a top at Forever21. Give it a rest! It’s been used so many times in discussions like this, its starting to become standard de facto. Just a weak, overused, ideology used by the fashion industry to control what women put on their backs.

Yawn….I’m falling asleep on that lame excuse. Sarah Jessica Parker looked  incredible in everything she wore in that movie. She would give any twentysomething a run for their money and I bet ya they absolutely HATE it because she twenty years older and still FIERCE!  This chick is so bad, her body is better then a whole lot of twenty and thirty year olds, shame on them for not staying on top of their game!  Kudos to Patricia Field (SATC stylist) for having the insight and guts to buck the nonsense called “age-appropriate dressing”.

The truth is women do and can become jealous of one another and this “age-appropriate” dressing babble (I believe) is a way for the industry to control independent thinking women who are secure enough and confident enough to own their look. I say let people dress however they want to dress, if you can’t be happy for someone who is happy with themselves and their fashion choices, then just mind your business, stop trying to throw weak-ass shade and direct that wasted energy on doing something positive and meaningful instead of being obsessed with what the next woman is wearing. I’m sure who ever they are, they not wasting a minute of their time thinking about y.o.u.

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22 Responses to Age Appropriate Dressing – Part II

  1. Kim Brown says:

    Funny, sad and true! I bought some colorful Nike high tops to wear with skinny jeans and a cute tshirt and my 19 yr old was like “mom, you can’t wear that!” I was like “whatever…says who?” I’ve always been a risk taker and do my own thing. Love the snaps part LOL

  2. Miss Marilyn says:

    I’m forty something (been told look thirty something) and I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now and wanted to tell you that you inspired me to start having fun again with fashion. Through several pretty stressful years, I kind of got lazy and bored with what I wore. When I saw you rocking some really cool outfits and some REALLY cool shoes, well, it got me interested again. I so agree with your post today! Age doesn’t mean shit! Women who feel compelled to make rude judgments/comments about age appropriate attire are insecure haters. So….thank you SO much for posting this!!!!

    Always looking forward to seeing your next outfit and your next great deal.

  3. diya says:

    TOTALLY AGREE. It’s just another tired argument by now that women use to bash each other…along with the “slut” name-calling, the “fat” or “anorexic” accusations, the “dresses, bras & and heels are invented by males to enslave the female”… or WHATEVER. SJP looks totally awesome and she owns every. single. look. would I wear every carrie bradshaw look? Probably not, but Carrie (and Samantha, my 2 fave characters) both says “screw the rules” to everything…from fashion to dating to any sort of notion of what a certain female of a certain SHOULD behave like and does whatever makes them happy. Now that’s true feminism for me, in heels or not in heels … not only if you burn bras and etc. etc…

    don’t know if any of that made sense? I’m tired of women STILL controlling what other women do in this modern time when the century-old sexist laws were lifted a couple decades ago.

  4. Profile photo of Budget Chic Budget Chic says:

    @ miss marilyn – OKAY! It’s also ironic how a rich 16 year old can wear Chanel suits and heavy dark, couture that is “suppose to be” suited for a more mature woman and everybody is cool, she’s just innovative, right? right! But if someone deems an item too “young looking” and you are over thirty – you get that really stern look and a slap on the wrist from the “Fashion Police” to get back in your lane. Nothing but pure unadulterated B.S.

    Nothing but pure foolishness. As you get older and wiser you begin to determine how dumb and prejudice people’s hang-up’s can be and then you tune out all the irrational “noise” and just be true to yourself. Only way to live in my book! :-D

    @ Kimmie – seems like teenagers never want to see their parent wearing anything even remotely close to what they would wear. But I bet ya if your daughter saw her mother’s friend wearing those sneakers, she would have thought it was so cool!

  5. Dadaalqu says:

    Please believe me, I’m soooo glad you wrote on this today. My Mom has wanted me to long like a Granny since I was 18. I am now 50 and still doing it my way. My 15 year old granddaughter told me my metallic apple green toenails were too young. I told her whatever. I dress to suit me. However weird and warped it looks when I step out I have enough confidence to know that I’ll probably see it next week. I have to be me because everyone else is taken!!!

  6. Francesca says:

    I guess the minute we think we should slip into beige slippers and a nanna cardi, well we may as well just shuffle off this mortal coil. Age is not important, what suits us and what we love is ! Go girl !

  7. Emma Yamada says:

    I Love this Post ! I am 32 and my kids sometimes tell me I am too old to wear certain things and I tell them that I don’t care. You only live once, Enjoy It !!

  8. courtnee says:

    The closer I get to 40 the more apt I am to wear whatever I want! As long as I feel like I can still rock it I will. My favorite scene in SATC2 is when Samantha wants to buy a dress and the salesgirl tells her she’s a little old. Her answer “I’m Fitfy f**** Two and I will rock that dress!” And she most certainly did.

    The older I get the more comfortable I am in my own skin…rules be damned!

  9. Nell Jean says:

    Eventually you’ll be as old as I am and wear what you please. A friend once told me, “Everybody knows where their ‘fat’s at’ and mine is hidden.”

    Years back when scrubs became the norm on hospital floors, various units at our hospital were in an uproar over which color, which pattern, which style. Our sensible nurse manager said, “Here are 3 colors from which to choose: geranium pink, burgundy and teal. I expect Clean, Covered and No colored bikini panties under white uniform pants.” She had the happiest, best dressed nurses in the whole building.

    My fashion rules are still pretty much clean, covered and no colored bikini underpants. I’ve added to cover the flabby upper arm and don’t pull the belt too tight.

  10. chomy says:

    i want to jump from behind this computer and GIVE YOU A HIGH FIVE!!!!

    exactly my point . when it comes to shopping, the only person who has veto power should be you , the individual.

    Stay Fabulous!!!!

  11. Profile photo of Budget Chic Budget Chic says:

    @ chomy – you are a young person and you have more willingness to go with the flow — a whole lot more then some middle age folks trying to be the authority over other middle age folks. Most of those style guides are written by women over 35!

    One person that I really can not stomach is Stacy London from “What Not To Wear”. This woman is the ultimate hypocrite which is why I stop watching that show. She chops off every woman hair over the age of 35 but she got her hair shoulder length and at different times during the season of the show down her back and I know she’s got to be forty or getting real close. LOL

  12. The Seeker says:

    Love this post, truly…. you know me to know I’m with you, dear!!!!


  13. Eboni Ife says:

    hahahaha I am cracking up at Stacy London… I can’t take her seriously because I don’t admire her personal style AT ALL… if she walked by me I wouldn’t look twice at her. That being said, she is not qualified to give me any advice whatsoever about style….as far as I’m concerned, she has none. she is just bland. I feel like they turn every body that goes on that show into an Ann Taylor Loft mannequin… which is fine if you have an Ann Taylor Loft clothing personality, but it is not for everyone…

    enough of my rant… great post! Lol!

    Eboni Ife’

  14. Linda says:

    I absolutely agree with you on this one. I think the problem is that women raise their daughters to be critical of other women. We are socialized to cut each other down. I try to be the opposite of this. I love to see someone wear something that is different and unique no matter the age or the weight. We have to be free.

  15. Profile photo of Budget Chic Budget Chic says:

    @ Linda – and the thing is the women who are the quickest to cut each other down are the ones that are older and should know better.

    I think information like dressing for your body type is helpful and useful but at the end of the day its that person’s choice what they chose to spend their money on and hey if they like it, I love it. Too many other important issues going on in the world to be overly concerned about what someone’s else is putting on their back. So some ill-advised person can hold the title as “Style Expert”. Whatever that’s suppose to mean.

    If a 82 year old wants to buy a blouse in Forever 21 one, I’m like hey…..if that one small thing makes this person happy, puts a smile on their face and they feel good about themselves, am happy for you! Way too many other pressures in the world to be nitpicking women to death over some straight nonsense.

  16. Jackie says:

    I don’t see the sense in playing fashion police and bullying people in doing something they don’t want to do. I agree, who exactly are they hurting anyway. People can be so stupid sometimes. Not only that but that age appropriate stuff is age discrimination.

    • Profile photo of Budget Chic Budget Chic says:

      @ jackie

      I love this comment I found on another site:

      Isn’t that depressing? Since when do we let our clothes reflect how long we’ve been around, instead of who we are?

      I think the concept of age-appropriate dressing is silly. After all, what are the chances of one feeling exactly the same as their birth certificate says they are? People should dress how they feel, at this particular moment – and to hell with the reaction!

  17. GM says:

    I was just questioning age appropriate clothing/shoes this morning. I love boots, specially doc martens, I want to wear them again but “was” too shy to get them due to my age (mid 30). After reading this blog, I don’t think I have any more excuses :)

  18. WendyB says:

    I totally agree, as you can see!

  19. zulema2 says:

    I am 32 and i was told i dress to “Funky”.. What is that supposed to mena? I think i dress just Fab for me, I dont go by fashion runway, I do me. I am chunky but I feel great and i dress to look good for me and my hubby. Sometimes some women need to be supportive not critical, Jealosy is a terrible disease to have!!!

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