I’m not supposed to wear what?

by Julie Frayn on February 14, 2015 in  Writing

Articles about what women of a certain age should not wear have been flying around social media like the Wicked Witch’s evil monkeys. One article claimed that women over 30 (thirty! We’re still children at 30!) should avoid 24 specific things, including graphic T’s, eye shadow, mini-skirts, bedazzled anything, and leopard print.

May I just say… Bite me.

Now, I’m not one for bedazzling. But if you are – have at it! And I’ll stop wearing graphic T’s when they pry them from my cold, dead, body.

shoulder pads and big hair - must be the '80s

shoulder pads and big hair – must be the ’80s

I am a woman over 30. Well, actually over 40. Okay, fine, 50. And I got here the hard way – by living, loving, hurting, losing. And winning. There was some of that too. Like hell is any pseudo fashion guru going to tell me what I should or should not wear.

I’ve never followed the trends (except for the shoulder-padded, leg-warming eighties – but really, what choice did I have? There wasn’t anything else available!). I wear what I like. What I’m comfortable in. Not just from a “that high-waisted dress pant is digging into my belly button and giving me a stomach ache” kind of comfort. But also from a “comfortable in my own skin and my clothing choices give me as much confidence as my anxiety-riddled brain will allow” perspective.

Then along came this…..

What Not to Wear After Age 50: The Final Say

Except for the last line (ladies, wear all the holiday-themed clothes you want), a perfect article about what women of any age should never wear. And it’s got nothing to do with T-shirts and bling.

Denim & graphic T's - a love affair since the '70s (but I did doff the hat)

Denim & graphic T’s – a love affair since the ’70s (but I did doff the hat)

I’m the Chief Financial Officer of a local charity/attraction. That CFO title usually lends itself to a certain presumed appearance, an expected wardrobe (aka stuffy, brown, boring). Folks, I am one casual dude. Yesterday I wore jeans (oh wait, that’s every day), a Red Hot Chili Peppers graphic tee, a black blazer, and Gilligan run-runs. I was comfortable (physically and psychologically), presentable, and most importantly – I was me.*

The Shakespeare quote “… the apparel oft proclaims the man,” has been twisted in modern times to “clothes make the man.” Twisted because it became an argument to dress your best, for your station – as it were. But the original meant be true to yourself.

Sounds good to me! Hand me my Batman T-shirt.

*I used to be most comfortable in stiletto heels. 4 and 5 inch, and in the ’80s, 6 inch. I’d stand 6’4″ tall in those. But a fall down the stairs last year thanks to catching those heels on the rubber grip of a stair riser cost me my confidence. So I only wear them on occasion. A little piece of me died on those stairs.


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