My quest for justice and equality for the modern thirty-something has come with some great responsibility. It seems that anything age-related that crosses my path, lands on my desk, or blasts me in the face on the news, hits me harder than your average citizen. Sorry for the superhero jargon but I feel a strong call to action when lists about “Things you Shouldn’t Do Over Thirty” restrict my fashion or my weekend plans. I also feel a tingle when teenagers describe someone as, “I dunno, old. Like, thirty.” I feel it’s my duty to rebut, educate, or at least rant a little on my blog.
The latest of these instances was coming across an article that cautioned women to not wear mini-skirts over the age of 35. Now, I am not an avid mini-skirt wearer, but I would like to think that I still have the option, even beyond 35. With women taking better care of themselves I’m not sure this is still a rule that should apply. Victoria Beckham, for one, has great legs and often flaunts them in a short hemline. To be sure this is perhaps the equivalent to her husband, David, sporting a faux-hawk in his late thirties. Both trends are an expression of youth, sure, and these celebs are both pushing 40 but they manage to look youthful and stylish rather than immature.
So how can you tell if you’re pulling off a youthful look, rather than looking like a wolf in Teenwolf’s clothing? Ask yourself this: When people compliment you do they simply say, “You look great!” or do they use an adjective like, “That’s an interesting tie”? You may want to beware the “Hey, what’s with the –” comment as well. It usually means, “Hey, you look weird.”
And if you’re not sure if you are too old for a certain look, you probably are. Personally, I don’t think mini-skirts always fall into this category. I think it’s more about the look you try to pull off. Plaid kilt and high socks? Leave it for the highschoolers. For men, the equivalent for me is the borderline-rude message tee coupled with overstuffed sneakers.
To me, the only rule for fashion is that you have sense. Do you really think your look is flattering you the best way it can? Are you sure you’re not trying to recapture something you fear you may have lost?
Sharing clothes with your teenager may be good for the budget, but not for your pride as a thirty-something. Be proud to be in comfortable, stylish clothes. By thirty, you’ve earned it.