Thursday, 6 June 2013

Style (fashion?) at a Certain Age

I have always loved clothes and fashion.  At one time I seriously wanted to become a fashion designer.  However I have never been a 'clothes horse' because a) I am too short and b) I've always been on the chubby side - a negative double-whammy when it comes to fashion clothes for sure!

Since taking up running I have lost some weight and, I have to admit, this has made it easier to try on a greater variety of styles.  However, I now find myself asking a different question - 'is it appropriate for my age?'  I'm not talking about suitability, whether something is too short or shows too much cleavage, etc.  That is always more about individual bodies and comfort levels.  'Appropriate' seems to be more about whether I should choose something.

Thankfully a lot of what used to be a given for ladies of a certain age to wear no longer applies.  Does that mean that we can still wear what we used to when we were in our twenties and thirties though?  In theory it should, but I think in practice it really doesn't!

This was hit home to me just last week when I was at the grocery store.  There was a lady there who I would place in her early sixties.  It was obvious that her entire appearance, head to toe, had been the focus of much care and attention.  Her hair was beautifully coloured and styled.  Her makeup was applied perfectly.  Her outfit and accessories were fashionable and coordinated.  She was even blessed with being somewhat tall and slim.

The problem was that all of it - hair, makeup, clothes - would have looked fabulous if she was in her thirties.  However, none of it worked in her sixties!  And I don't mean to be judgemental here; believe me, no-one would cheer louder than me if it were possible to still pull off the same outfits some twenty years later!  And also with that having been said, the outfit she had on was gorgeous and not age-inappropriate by itself, so she could probably have rocked it with different hair and makeup.

As it was though, it made me think, because she obviously cared about making a good impression and also because, like a lot of us, she still seemed to want to be fashionable, stylish, even hip if you will.  It made me wonder if I was guilty of the same mistake at times (though not at the supermarket - no-one's going to accuse me of overdressing to go there!).  Are there times when, in trying hard to look my best, I end up looking like I'm trying too hard?

The Menopause Moi wants to say 'well, who the hell cares?  We should all just be who we are!'  And that's true!  But the insecure part of me, the vanity, would like some reassurance.  Maybe a style guide just for ladies of a certain age, to help us navigate the minefield of changing hair, skin, bodies and lives?  There were enough of those around when we were teenagers, helping part us from our pocket money on a Saturday morning!  So - anybody know - does such a thing exist?  If you know where I can get my hands on something like that, please share.  I could use the help!  Much appreciated!




  1. Just wanted you to know that I really enjoy your writing - you have a style which is succinct and to the point, but raises some interesting, funny and thought provoking issues. Keep it up - really good. Shrimpgirl.

  2. Glad that you are enjoying the blog! I have tried to make it all the things you mention, so am happy to hear that is getting through. Hope that you keep coming back and commenting on the things that resonate. Thanks for the encouragement!