Does Style Have an Age Limit?

by | October 12, 2012 at 10:00 AM | Fashion

Category5 is a fabulous online fashion experience dedicated to truth in fashion, shopping, and all things style. Lauren is dedicated to giving women all the tools they need to come away with an insightful, honest, and humorous look at where their style truly resides.

By Lauren Deloach, Editor of Category 5

There has been this long-standing ideology that style has an age limit and that somehow when women reach “a certain age” it’s OK to begin giving up, because after all, “if the twenty-somethings are modeling the clothes they couldn’t possibly be speaking to me.” Meanwhile, so much of the contemporary clothing being modeled by these stick-figure double zeros can only be afforded by these women “of a certain age.” The designers know it, and so does everyone else with common sense. How many 22-years-olds who’ve just graduated from college have $330 to spend on a Rebecca Taylor floral top? I’d say their main focus is geared more towards getting a job that can at least cover rent so making the walk of shame to mom and dad’s house isn’t a survival requirement. So I’m going to ask the question, already knowing the answer, because I have come to find that the truth eludes so many women. Does style have an age limit? ABSOLUTELY NOT! But as the definition of style can truly be swayed either way, i.e. classy versus trashy, let’s cover some of the ways we can ensure that no matter what age your birth certificate says, the external style you’re toting around reads eternal.

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(From left to right: Diane von Furstenberg Danette Sequin Dress- $385, www.saks.com; Kate Spade Drew Cardigan- $298, www.katespade.com; Milly Colorblock Pencil Skirt- $250, www.shopbop.com)

 

To really debunk this myth about a woman’s age, I think it’s key we cover one of the biggest areas so many women like to pick on women over 50 for: skirt length. “Mom, that skirt is wayyyy too short!” the 21-year-old says to her fifty-five year old mother. Meanwhile, excuse me love, but I don’t care if you’re twenty-one or not, your skirt is too short too! No matter the occasion, if you’re out in public, I guarantee you that no one except the disgusting creature at the end of the bar wants to see your moon. And I’m willing to bet any amount of money that it just so happens that out of everyone you’re encountering he’s the last one you’d ever want to catch a glimpse of it. So let’s cut the nonsense about a woman’s skirt length over a certain age, as the bottom line is that no one wants to know what’s hiding under that piece of loin-cloth you’re calling a mini-skirt.

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The set. I talk about it endlessly, in the hopes that one day designers will finally get the message that they are doing women with or without style such a disservice. These microwave looks are such a cop out and do nothing but enforce style-zombie thinking. Now, while it’s true and I have to be honest and say most of the women I see wearing these sets (two to four piece ensembles you buy at one price) are in their fifties and up, I do see women in their twenties rocking these sets on occasion due to budget limitations. No matter your age, I’m here to tell you wearing a set is the definition of giving up in the style world, and if you’re reading this and pondering the last set you’ve bought I’m going to tell you what no one else has the courage to: you’re a style quitter and it’s time to get back in the game. Start purchasing separates, all by different designers, and force yourself to begin thinking about what it truly means to mix and match your wardrobe. Use that mind and wisdom for good versus evil!

Finally, on to the major trends for fall thus far, such as black and white, burgundy, and polka dots. Is there some unwritten rule that says a 62-year-old woman can’t wear polka dots? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Furthermore, let me just say “Excuse you…that FAB 62-year-old chick happened to be rocking out polka dots before you even knew how to dress yourself, so maybe you should take a style cue!” As for the black and white trend, it’s an eternal classic, filled with the promise of a beautiful pop of color to offset the duo within the ensemble. Finally, the fine wine, aka burgundy…if there was any woman designed to rock this trend it’s the fifty and up crew. Each trend is truly for all ages, as all women want to feel beautiful inside and out. Anything less than extraordinary is a denial of the woman you’re supposed to be.

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When you get down to it, style was and always will be made for the masses, no matter the age. It’s our personal form of expressing who we are on the inside. Hideous orthopedic shoes without a doctor’s note condoning it, dull khaki pant sets with zero stretch and a flimsy polyester scarf thrown in for “condescending” measure….it’s an insult. I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention that growing out your hair for twenty years that hangs past your moon as some form of pride (excluding those donating to charities) is just warped. It’s a time hair capsule, and the only thing everyone around you is thinking is how far down does that hair travel to her moon in the shower? YIKES! There is NO age myth on great style, so if you’re out of the game, get in it, and if you’re in the game, on behalf of the rest of us fighting the good fight to stay in it (despite all that it means to be a woman in 2012), we’re happy to have you on our team.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.