Do you dress your age? Research says you don’t.
Dress my age? Hell, no!
A new survey, conducted by UK department store chain Debenhams, finds that nine out of 10 women dress younger than their age and more than half don’t intend to dress their age until their 70s.
But what, exactly, does it mean to dress your age? Not one of my friends, in the waning days of their third, fourth or even fifth decade on this planet, made an appointment with their hair stylist for a “mom” (read, matronly) haircut. I know of no one who wears “mom jeans” or who, at some pre-ordained date thought, “Ah hell. I’m – pick a number – and I’m giving up. No more stylish clothing, cosmetics or mirrors for me.” The ageless women I know haven’t adopted a wardrobe of elastic-waist polyester pants and sensible shoes. They exercise regularly, are conscientious about eating healthy foods, take pride in their appearances and look beautiful – not only for their ages, but for any age. No, they don’t raid their daughters’ closets or wear skimpy clothing – that might be inappropriate at any age – but they haven’t sacrificed style and fashion for dumpy, shapeless clothing either.
I have a friend who’s the epitome of ageless. She hits the gym regularly and is in great shape. She wears her long – and beautifully blonde – hair in a pony tail that reaches her waist. She looks as fabulous in tee shirts and yoga pants as she does in a cocktail dress. She is past the age when women are “supposed” to wear their hair long. But don’t tell her that. Don’t tell her that she is supposed to dress her age when, thanks to the gym, healthy eating, an upbeat attitude and outlook, her age is impossible to pinpoint.
I’m of the very strong opinion that we should be neither defined by our looks nor derided because we take pride in them and want to maintain them as long as possible. I don’t know that I dress my age. I don’t know that I don’t. What I know is that I dress for my body, my comfort, the occasion, the weather. I’m happy when I look my best. It makes me feel good. My appearance is not the sum of me, but it is an important part of who I am.
Maybe that survey is correct, at least, in part. While I no longer dress like I did when I was in my 20s, I don’t intend to dress my age, no matter what age I reach. I will continue to dress as I please – and if that means I’m going to wear an up-to-the-minute trend because I like it and feel good wearing it, what’s it to you? I say wear what you like, what makes you feel good about being in your own skin and what’s a reflection of your lifestyle, personality and personal style.
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