Is it important to dress your age?

January 26, 2017 Published by
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Honey Good discusses the importance of dressing your age.

Dressing your age is an interesting concept. As we age, what that means clearly changes. There may come a point when we are lucky enough to declare that such “rules” don’t apply to us because, at our age, we “rule” the roost and won’t defer to it!

Case in point: On a lovely winter day during a photo shoot for my blog, I pulled out this fun USA sweatshirt (pictured) and decided to pair it with pigtails.

Do I dress my age?

Well,  the sweatshirt is over 20 years old so, on that point alone, one could argue that, on that day, I was decidedly dressing my age.  “After all, how many thirtysomethings own sweatshirts that are this ‘seasoned,'” I thought to myself with a smile. And, I can promise you this, on that day, in that outfit, I was dressing my attitude! Can you see it in my face? I was having fun!

All of this got me to think about — and then dig into — what others are saying about dressing one’s age.

What others are saying about dressing your age

Today, for a change of pace, I am not opining, I am merely sharing what others are saying about age-appropriate dressing with the hope that you, dear readers, will chime in and share what you think about this most interesting issue.

Julia Baird penned a compelling Op-Ed in the New York Times last October titled, “Don’t Dress Your Age.” She makes many interesting points; here is one of my favorite “sound bites,” if you will, from the article…

“Women are not praised for dressing like fabulous young things now. As we ascend the ladder of wisdom and maturity, we are cautioned to adopt restraint, to be “classic,’ “sophisticated,’ to eschew skin in favor of prim. And with every passing year, to occupy less space and be more demure — and dull.

We are also told to monitor our appearance in a way men are very rarely told to. Find me a man leafing through a magazine that tells him to upturn his collar to hide his neck wrinkles, and I will upturn it for him.”

Grandparents.com takes a contrary approach, warning us that, “When you wear clothing made for a different generation, you’re making yourself look older.” In an article by Beth Levine titled, “6 Signs You’re Not Dressing Your Age.”

However, when I dug into their article a little bit deeper, there was some quite sensible advice that perhaps older women should consider:

“The quickest way to age yourself is to wear something out of date, unless it is a timeless classic silhouette. Looking modern is more important than looking trendy.”

I know I said I wouldn’t opine but… I must admit, I loved the Telegraph UK article Alyson Walsh titled, “Don’t dress your age – modern women know it’s about style not following fashion rules for over 40s.

It’s about style… yes! And, as I recently mentioned, I feel style is 80% inner beauty and 20% outer. Who are you, and are you brave enough to allow your appearance to reflect that, critics be damned?

From the article:

“What they don’t want is fast fashion or fickle trends. Nor to be told ‘this is what you wear when you’re 40, 50, 60, whatever’; the boundaries between the generations are blurred, it’s all about ageless style now.”

In all my articles on style for women over 50, I always try to make this point, which I believe to be true: YOUR opinion about how you look is the only one that matters. If you know me, you know that I always challenge you to wear what you want, what feels right, and to do so with the confidence that comes from knowing that if you respect what you see in the mirror, little else matters.

Now, I want to know what you think! Do you believe in dressing your age, and, if so, what does that really mean to you? I would so love to hear from you either in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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14 Comments

  • Laura Smith says:

    Honey you are adorable and can wear anything. I do believe though, that your spirit is the prettiest part of your outfit. You are very inspiring! I have to start paying more positive attention to myself. Cheers to you????????????????????????????

  • terry says:

    I am of the opinion as we move through this aging process that we are mindful of dressing for our age. I in NO way mean that we should dress "old lady" or "matronly." In fact, I think this is an age when we can be more daring and experiment. However, I personally do not think it wise for an older women to be wearing mini anything, skimpy swim suits, or showing too much of what we have. I believe we can dress to be anything we want – sexy, traditional, comfortable, sophisticated, etc. But I do not believe we should dress as though we are still in our 20’s – that is age appropriate to me.

  • Bobbi Thomas says:

    I think you look cute in the sweatshirt and braids. Bet your hubby thought so, too!

    If we have the legs to dress in above-the-knee styles, we should do it. I do, and I’m 60.

    Let’s get away with WHAT WE CAN. And not focus on the "dont’s".

  • veronica says:

    I dress the way I want. Many of these young girls don’t even look good in the attire they wear. Just because you young don’t mean you look good with everything hanging out. I use different attire for work, church and out on the town. Am a size six and even if i wanted to dress my age it is difficult to find nice mature clothing in my size. To you haters look at yourself before you look at me

  • Christel Thomas says:

    I am 73 years young. I like to dress comfortable, I am mostly at home. I don’ t take long trips anymore, mainly just around town. Sometimes I go to Seattle or Vancouver BC. I have to look nice, more or less I wear classic style outfits. I don’t like to wear stuff that would make me look "cooky". My family and friends would think I went bananas if I would change my style. However, I do like some up to date looks too. I enjoyed the recent collection from Chanel Spring and Summer 2017.
    I also like your blog, very insightful

  • Iris says:

    I think that you should wear what feels comfortable for you and what makes you feel well dressed. I see no clear cut pattern for what you should wear as you get older these days. The edges are being rounded and softened every generation of older persons. I personally like bright colors and unique pieces so I tend to wear what make s me feel good and that in which I think I look good.

  • Robin says:

    I love your outfit with the vintage sweathirt. I’ve always worn what I wanted, and continue to do so as I age. I did eliminate a few things like mini skirts and hot pants, which would just look silly, even if you have nice legs. I’ve had women tell me ‘I could never wear that,’ and I tell them it’s all about attitude. When I’m wearing something unusual, women will actually stop me on the street and tell me they love my outfit.

  • MS. WILLIAMS says:

    Well, dressing my age (68) for me yesterday was skinny jeans, turtleneck (grey paisley) n black velvet jacket…all with boots. I thought I looked good n my daughter didn’t send me home to change when she saw me. LOL…I am avarage n shape n my Dr referred to me as skinny last week, so I don’t think sixe wise it was inappropriate…so she is a nber n dressing is what makes u feel good about yourself???

  • De De says:

    Love this posting! It is a common thread that we "older" women hear about dressing your age". I dress in what feels good on me and makes me feel good inside! I am 71 almost 72 (next month), work full time, am married to a man I love that is 4 years younger, and most people think I am around 55! I try to be "up to date" in my clothes, but don’t wear trendy items. I am comfortable in "classic " clothes, such as jeans and t-shirts, cardigans and khaki pants, etc. I think we should wear whatever makes us feel attractive, fits our lifestyle and looks good on us! .

    • Honey Good says:

      Your lifestyle sounds wonderful especially your love for your husband. That is the best part. You are a very visible woman. Warmly, Honey

  • Anna H says:

    Love your clothes! I just celebrated my 70th birthday and I’m extremely grateful that I got my mothers skin… very few wrinkles so I am told all the time I don’t look my age, I dress for myself.. I love putting outfits together that combine old favorites, jean jacket and white tee shirt with a pencil skirt and ankle boots. I don’t wear short skirts without tights or sleeveless without a shawl.. .., it’s what I’m comfortable with. so no I don’t dress for my age… for my mood.

    • Honey Good says:

      Dear Anna, Great advice. I agree with you on all counts. I also cover my arms. If I am wearing a black sleeveless dress I will wear a very light fabric silk body suit under the dress. I dress for myself, too.
      Warmly, Honey

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