As a woman over forty, I’m often confronted with long lists of style advice that usually begin with the word: don’t. it’s apparently something most women my age are confronted with, because recently a gorgeous friend of mine mentioned that an article said that women over forty should refrain from wearing sparkly or shimmer eyeshadow.
This begs the question: Why the hell not?
I’m sorry, but I don’t see how age should have any bearing on what we choose to wear or how we choose to style ourselves. I belong to me. I don’t belong to society or whoever the asshole is who wrote the articles telling my peers and me how to dress. Do you not realize we came from the grunge era?! Like all these kids who are buying their flannel and trying to make their makeup look as though they slept in it…well, we ACTUALLY DID.
We are the reason those styles are back.
That said, we might be mothers. We might be CEOs. We might be entrepreneurs. We might be factory workers. We might be artists. What we aren’t is someone to be trifled with, my dear. We do what we want, wear what we want, and think and say and live how we want.
What I think is this. Maybe we mature, experienced, and otherwise badass women need to turn our attention to other mature, experienced, and otherwise badass women who aren’t gracing the cover of the latest fashion magazine, but strutting their stuff down the city streets in original style. Maybe, instead of scrolling through another Instagram account of young women who basically all look the same, we can scroll through accounts of beautiful and unique older women who are living life on their own damn terms.
Can I show you a few examples?
First of all, here is my most favorite style blog of all time and no, it’s not Sincerely Jules although she’s nice and apparently inspired all the twenty-something fashion bloggers out there who are shamelessly mimicking her brand. My favorite blog of all time is Advanced Style. This absolutely fabulous blog was started by Ari Seth Cohen. Visit it, you won’t be sorry. These women are killing it and let me tell you something: No one will ever refer to one of these badass women as “Girl,” nor will anyone ever tell any them what they shouldn’t be wearing at their age.
I first discovered Advanced Style when I was scrolling mindlessly thorough fashion accounts on Instagram years ago and I happened upon Tziporah Salamon, one of Ari’s muses. She was also one of Bill Cunningham’s favorite’s to feature in his On The Street style section in the New York Times. While I’ve never met Tziporah, I do own a hat that belonged to her. It is from the Galliano House and I purchased it from her via Instagram. It’s not a style understood by many and who cares? I love it.
I’ve loved her and her style from the moment I laid eyes on her. Photo includes a link to her Instagram account.
Try telling this woman that she shouldn’t be wearing these pants, or this gorgeous kimono style jacket. You just try. I’m sure this New York siren will have words for you that will have you crying to your mama.
I think it’s sad, this conformity that I see all over the internet. Truly, check out some of the fashion bloggers right now. You’ll see them smiling brightly, in bulky knit scarves and hats, big knit sweaters, sunnies, Uggs, and a cup of Starbucks coffee in hand.
All of them.
Where’s the originality?!
Ask Iris Apfel and she might tell you that that’s not style, it’s a uniform. It says, “I’m a fashion blogger and because of that, I wear this.” May as well be wearing the black suit of Wall Street. Nothing is original. It’s just a more expensive or less expensive version of it.
Ugh. Bore me to tears.
I’d rather see a mature woman wearing sparkly eyeshadow, Uggs, a pair of harem pants, while carrying a Vodka Tonic, and maybe even flipping the bird, to be honest.
Where’s the grit?
Where’s the attitude?
Where’s the freaking guts?
I’m a mother. I love my kids. I love being a mother. That said, I see no reason to wear a Mom-iform so that I can fit in with the rest of the Moms who are trying to fit in with something else. I’ll let my hair get oily. I’ll go out with out makeup. I’ll wear Burgundy lipstick and Uggs if I want to. Okay, I’ll never be caught dead in Uggs or Crocks, but more power to those who do! I’m your cheerleader! You go, girl!
To all women over forty: toss the notions of what is “appropriate” and embrace what you love. Wear what makes you feel beautiful, or powerful, or playful, or sexy, or whatever emotion you want and wear your polish and grit without apology.
Now, I’m off to throw on my Chuck Taylors, torn jeans, and a dress, because I can.