Dressing Young

Dressing Young

Wear what you love because you'll never be this age again   -Elizabeth Knispel.

When the phrase "dressing young" is thrown around I cringe. I hate that saying so much. But what does it actually mean to dress young? In a world so focused on PC, why is that an acceptable way to describe how a person looks?

When I was in college for design my grandma would tell me "Please design clothes for us older ladies because there is nothing out there for us, the gals at church think I'm trying to be young."  My grandma wanted to look and feel great but was so concerned about what others thought about her attire.

Why does fashion and clothing get the worst of that saying? You don't hear people say "she wore mascara- she's trying to look young." Or "she dyed her greys- she is trying to look young." Or "she went to the gym- she must be trying to look young."

Using clothing as the scapegoat for youth is completely ridiculous in my mind.  Taking care of yourself is good for your well-being.  Working out is great for your body and mind. Getting dressed up can actually change your mood. There are plenty of studies that discuss emotions and how you're dressed.

So lets dig into this saying and why it is used so often in fashion.  I think it stems from our own insecurities, and very old way of thinking. I think incorporating a seasonal trend into your wardrobe is no different than dying your hair or changing your nail polish.

When you are young, you are effortless. The essence of youth is associated with being leisurely in everything you do. It's like "the young" just float around in a cloud of fun and life. 

In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with an 80 year old wanting to rock a new fashion trend she is excited about. Why bring her down with our own insecurities? Are we that concerned with her attire, that we will not allow her get excited about something new she is wearing?

I do believe in good taste and elegance, but those rules should apply to fashion at any age, not just those past midlife. The so-called rules, in my mind, have more to do with scale, aesthetics, confidence, and proportion. Age has nothing to do with any of those things. The fashion icons I look up to are all older than myself.  Angela Bassett, Maye Musk, Maxine Waters, Carmen Dell'Orefice, and Charlotte Rampling are all icons that just breath confidence, creativity, and elegance.

My mom, and my aunt Terri have always been the most important style icons in my life, again just slightly older than me.  Both have beautiful red hair, and an impeccable style sense. They just continue to love life, laugh, and float around with the same essence as the college-age girls I work with. 

If "dressing young" means incorporating elements of effortless style into your closet then we should all be doing this. Creating a look that is energetic and approachable, while still being stylish and chic is what fashion is all about. Why only allow the young to enjoy this type of beautiful self expression?

In conclusion, dressing young is a term we should not be using. I see only positive things from embracing a youthful spirit and enjoying the items in your closet. The so-called age appropriate uniforms that they pass out after the age of 50, I will pass. I will let the rules of proportion, elegance, and fun rule my fashion choices.  I will strive to be the person in the nursing home still wearing heals while riding around in my wheel chair. 


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