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.

What do you think? Please leave a comment below.


11 Comments on Nine Out of Ten Women Dress Younger Than Their Age

  1. Gail Green
    January 10, 2011 at 12:27 pm (7 years ago)

    Just love this! Being an individual is what it is all about. I shall never conform to the “rules” and feel great being me. Thanks for a great article.

  2. Tymbre
    January 10, 2011 at 9:52 pm (7 years ago)

    I love this! I believe the samething … if a woman is content with her way of dressing. Then by all means she should dress howoever you feel!

    As long as it’s appropriate for others eyes lol

  3. Tori
    January 10, 2011 at 9:58 pm (7 years ago)

    I don’t know if I dress my age either! And who cares?

    I loved this post! So nice to see your personality come out!

  4. nrc
    January 12, 2011 at 11:28 am (7 years ago)

    I’m only 18 but I can assure you that as I grow older i see myself refining the style i already have.
    Great article it created a talking point between my girls and I.

  5. Melody Lesser
    January 13, 2011 at 7:07 pm (7 years ago)

    Thanks NRC! I agree with you and, although I’m older than 18 (lol!), I’m still refining my style – and enjoying the process.

  6. Melody Lesser
    January 13, 2011 at 7:12 pm (7 years ago)

    Tori – Thanks for your kind comment. I agree – who cares if I dress my age or not? While there certainly are rules concerning what and what isn’t appropriate attire, I refuse to be dictated to regarding fashion. And, as a fashion writer/editor/blogger, I would never dictate to my readers. (Or daughters, lol!) Fashion comes and goes; personal style is forever.

  7. Melody Lesser
    January 13, 2011 at 7:14 pm (7 years ago)

    Gail – thanks for your comments and, good for you! Clothing is a reflection of our personalities and, if you think it looks good and feels right, wear it proudly, I say.

  8. Melody Lesser
    January 13, 2011 at 7:18 pm (7 years ago)

    Thanks so much for your kind comment. It is all about feeling comfortable in one’s clothing and, ultimately, in one’s own skin.

  9. Glenda Michaels
    January 15, 2011 at 2:38 pm (7 years ago)

    Great article. Thanks for speaking out for us.

  10. Melody Lesser
    January 16, 2011 at 8:39 am (7 years ago)

    @Glenda – Thank you for your comment. With nine of ten women NOT dressing their age, perhaps we are moving towards a society where age is a number and not a definition.

  11. Daria Shualy
    February 2, 2011 at 7:25 am (7 years ago)

    First: love your writing!

    Second: I do believe there’s such a thing as dressing your age, and it might be because I’m “only” 37, but I really like it better than I liked being 25 and do feel that some looks which worked for me then just don’t do the trick now, are less flattering now, where as looks that are quite chic and would just make me look old when I was 25, look dashing today.

    But, on a more humorous not: The Fun Way to Check if You Dress Your Age

    Hope you’ll get a kick out of it

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