It’s a cute little dress, an inch or two above the knee, flows great when you move, chic black and white stripes…you want it. You stand in line at the checkout counter, and then you start thinking: “Am I too old to wear this?”
While women in their thirties and forties may ask the question, it’s especially prevalent among “women of a certain age.” As we get older, we develop our go-to style — the clothes our closets are filled with — and we seldom venture outside our comfort zone.
Women ask this question because we don’t want to be judged inappropriate by others. We know this happens, because we judge. We look at other women and think to ourselves, “They’re too old to wear that.” We’ve appointed ourselves the clothing police of others, and in doing so, we end up policing ourselves.
The Internet is filled with articles of what styles you can wear at 30, 40, and 50. Some articles reach as high as 60, but after that, you apparently can’t wear anything stylish at all. They talk about not using clothing to try to “look young.” I think they’re missing the point. Clothing isn’t just about how you look, it’s about how you feel.
The irony is that no one really cares what women in their 60s, 70s, and 80s wear. As far as the fashion industry is concerned, we don’t exist. No one markets to us, except perhaps Chico’s and Dr. Scholl’s. At this point in our lives, we should dress to please ourselves, be more comfortable stepping outside of our comfort zone, and less concerned with what others think.
When I am old, I shall wear purple…and cropped pants, and leggings, shoes with ankle straps, camisoles, large purses, black nail polish, and more. I shall wear things that are comfortable and that make me happy. I won’t worry that I will be judged by others, and I will try not to judge others as well.
In the end, it starts with me. If I want to be judged less, I have to judge less. I’m ready.